Benefits of Mtax two years after graduating law school or in general

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Benefits of Mtax two years after graduating law school or in general

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Oct 30, 2018 1:09 pm

Hello all,
I graduated law school in 2015. Since then I have been a personal injury attorney, as well as a staff attorney in an amlaw 100 firm. I am starting to realize that I may want to head toward a position that is more tied with finance, wealth, estates, etc. I am considering obtaining a MTax in the hopes it will benefit me later down the road. The law school I graduated from does not offer an LLM in taxation, only the Mtax.

I am wondering what experiences you guys have had with (1) obtaining the degree and (2) with how advantageous it was in having while searching for a position.

Any advice/tips would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you

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Re: Benefits of Mtax two years after graduating law school or in general

Postby QContinuum » Tue Oct 30, 2018 2:41 pm

As a general rule, I think TLS' conventional wisdom is that LL.M.s don't add any value for U.S. J.D.s (and certainly not enough value to compensate for the CoA plus lost earnings). IMO, this is even more true of a degree that isn't even a LL.M. (I had never heard of a MTax before reading this thread, and I suspect I'm far from alone).

The only LL.M.s generally accepted to add value are Tax LL.M.s from the top 3 programs: NYU, Georgetown, and Florida (in that order), and there has even been some debate on these fora about whether Florida's program is still worth attending.

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Re: Benefits of Mtax two years after graduating law school or in general

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Oct 30, 2018 6:46 pm

I'm a tax associate and I have literally never heard of an MTax - no one at my big law firm has one (that I'm aware of), and we wouldn't use it as a credential/excuse to hire someone who otherwise has no tax experience (unlike an LLM - we definitely hire people with LLMs out of NYU or Gtown). I can't imagine an MTax would help unless you can use it to network your way into a tax position - which you may be able to do anyway. Is there a reason why you are thinking about staying at your old law school, and aren't considering going to one with an actual tax LLM? How committed are you to tax? It sounds like you may be interested more in estate planning, in which case you may just want to start attending estate planning bar meetings or networking with estate planners in your area to learn more about the practice.

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Re: Benefits of Mtax two years after graduating law school or in general

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Oct 30, 2018 7:40 pm

Agree with QContinuum 100%. I am a JD/Tax LLM student and I don't know of any lawyer who has a Mtax; even getting a Tax LLM is debatable. I got an LLM because I am able to do it in 3 years and have virtually no debt. If you have no background in tax and didn't take any tax classes in school, it might be hard to obtain a tax position without the LLM. But you need to consider the time and money...etc.

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Re: Benefits of Mtax two years after graduating law school or in general

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Oct 30, 2018 9:24 pm

I didn't know that I was so unique :oops: :oops: :oops:

I'm a JD/Mtax. I current work Big4 M&A tax. I would echo what the other posters have said; if you want to go tax, get an LLM (NYU or Georgetown). My Mtax helped me land the job at my current Big4, but everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, I work with has an LL.M. Happy to answer any questions you have. I, like yourself, did not attend a school with an LL.M. program, but with an Mtax program, which is why I got it instead of an LL.M.

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Re: Benefits of Mtax two years after graduating law school or in general

Postby 2013 » Tue Oct 30, 2018 10:15 pm

I know a few people who have mtax degrees. Their firms are still requiring them to get an LLM.

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Re: Benefits of Mtax two years after graduating law school or in general

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Nov 02, 2018 11:32 am

The reasons I am tied to the school I graduated from are for (1) convenience, (2) they offer an online program and (3) I am anticipating a higher likelihood of being accepted into the program as opposed to another school since my law school grades weren't exactly stellar.

It is my understanding that the classes offered through the Mtax program are almost identical, however you will have a higher likelihood of additional compensation due to possessing the LLM. But, if having the Mtax would increase my chances of landing a more financial-oriented position and not necessarily give me the bump in income I would still be open to it as my tuition would be about half the cost.

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Re: Benefits of Mtax two years after graduating law school or in general

Postby QContinuum » Fri Nov 02, 2018 12:24 pm

I don't mean to be rude, OP, but you don't seem to have read the above posts at all.

QContinuum wrote:LL.M.s don't add any value for U.S. J.D.s (and certainly not enough value to compensate for the CoA plus lost earnings). IMO, this is even more true of a degree that isn't even a LL.M. (I had never heard of a MTax before reading this thread, and I suspect I'm far from alone).

Anonymous User wrote:I'm a tax associate and I have literally never heard of an MTax - no one at my big law firm has one (that I'm aware of), and we wouldn't use it as a credential/excuse to hire someone who otherwise has no tax experience

Anonymous User wrote:Agree with QContinuum 100%. I am a JD/Tax LLM student and I don't know of any lawyer who has a Mtax; even getting a Tax LLM is debatable.

Anonymous User wrote:I'm a JD/Mtax. I current work Big4 M&A tax. I would echo what the other posters have said; if you want to go tax, get an LLM (NYU or Georgetown).

2013 wrote:I know a few people who have mtax degrees. Their firms are still requiring them to get an LLM.


What people have said - unanimously, 5-0! - is: Don't get an MTax. This includes a poster who has an MTax themselves! People are telling you the MTax is not going to help you get a job. People are saying that even a Tax LL.M. won't help, unless it's from NYU, Georgetown, or maybe Florida.

The MTax program you're considering is even less likely than the "average" MTax program to add value, because:
  • You'd be doing it at the same law school you received your J.D. from, diminishing its networking value (since you wouldn't be meeting a new group of profs/career services folks)
  • It's an online program, further diminishing its networking value (networking is one of those things that can really only be done in person)
  • It's an online program, which may cause many lawyers to view it skeptically
I understand the legal job market is still rough. I understand the temptation to view an extra degree as a magic bullet. But it isn't. All it'll do is put you further in the student debt hole.

If you're interested in tax, the best thing you can do (short of landing a tax position now) is a Tax LL.M. from NYU, Georgetown, or maybe Florida. If you can't get into any of those programs, the second best thing you can do is land any legal job that's even tangentially tax/finance/estate-related. It can even be a low-paying or non-paying gig; anything to avoid a resume hole and add experience while you keep hustling for your dream job. Consider state court clerkships.

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Re: Benefits of Mtax two years after graduating law school or in general

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Nov 02, 2018 1:42 pm

My law school GPA is below a 3. Would any of the schools mentioned even consider me?

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Re: Benefits of Mtax two years after graduating law school or in general

Postby Miss-Bubbled » Fri Nov 02, 2018 4:24 pm

Anonymous User wrote:My law school GPA is below a 3. Would any of the schools mentioned even consider me?


Almost certainly not, but that still doesn’t make an MYax from an online program a good option.
Last edited by QContinuum on Fri Nov 02, 2018 4:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Outed for anon abuse.

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Re: Benefits of Mtax two years after graduating law school or in general

Postby QContinuum » Fri Nov 02, 2018 4:31 pm

Anonymous User wrote:My law school GPA is below a 3. Would any of the schools mentioned even consider me?

The top 3 tax LL.M. programs generally take students in the top ~quarter at T2/T3 schools. A sub-3.0 GPA is not promising. That said, they also care the most about your tax grades (for obvious reasons). How'd you do in those? If you aced your tax classes, you may still have a chance.

Miss-Bubbled wrote:Almost certainly not, but that still doesn’t make an MYax from an online program a good option.

Bubbled is correct. A key thesis emphasized again and again by every single poster in this thread - 6-0 - is that the MTax is not going to help you. Quite the opposite, it will hurt you.

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Re: Benefits of Mtax two years after graduating law school or in general

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Nov 02, 2018 10:42 pm

Anonymous JD/MTax from above here. I want to emphasize that having an MTax most definitely helped me land a job at Big4 M&A Tax (which I think is a very good job...not Big Law good...but still good). I feel confident in saying that without my MTax, I would not have the job that I have now. However, unless you want to go Big4, DO NOT GET AN MTAX.

You need to understand that Big Law is VERY prestige driven. LL.M. >>>>>> MTax in terms of prestige. You effectively have a 0% chance of landing Big Law with an MTax and your JD/grades, which is totally fine, Big Law isn't the be-all and end-all of legal practice. Next on the list of tax law options is Big4/mid law. Mid law is difficult to get as a transactional tax attorney because the tax aspect of the deal is so technical/specialized. You may have a shot at Estate Planning with an MTax but it would be a major uphill battle. Big4 hires a lot of JDs for their M&A/Int/SALT groups and is likely your only/best option if you want to go tax; however, they do not work much with "finance, wealth, estates..." like you want.

That's why you should not get an MTax. It will cost WAY more money than it is worth for you.

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Re: Benefits of Mtax two years after graduating law school or in general

Postby QContinuum » Sat Nov 03, 2018 12:03 am

Anonymous User wrote:Anonymous JD/MTax from above here. I want to emphasize that having an MTax most definitely helped me land a job at Big4 M&A Tax (which I think is a very good job...not Big Law good...but still good). I feel confident in saying that without my MTax, I would not have the job that I have now. However, unless you want to go Big4, DO NOT GET AN MTAX.

But what was your JD GPA? And were you at a T1, or a T2/T3/T4? I'm really skeptical that a MTax would make a sub-3.0 JD at a (presumably) T2/T3/T4 school attractive to the Big4. Big4 positions aren't guaranteed even for NYU/Georgetown Tax LL.M.s.

I also recall your previous observation that:
Anonymous User wrote:everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, I work with has an LL.M.

So what happened to your MTax classmates? Did none of them apply to the Big4, or were they all rejected? I suspect that if a MTax really improved one's chances at the Big4, you'd have encountered many other MTax grads at your company - yet you haven't.

I can see a MTax making a small difference around the edges, especially for a student who hadn't taken many tax courses during their JD years. But I really don't think a MTax has the ability to erase poor law school performance the way a NYU/Georgetown Tax LL.M. can (and even there only to a limited extent - recall, one generally needs to have been top ~quarter in their JD class to get into the LL.M. program in the first place).

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Re: Benefits of Mtax two years after graduating law school or in general

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Nov 03, 2018 3:27 pm

I agree that an Mtax does not have the ability to erase poor JD performance like an LL.M. My JD rank was between top 15 - 20%, but I came from a T4. I agree that a sub-3.0 GPA is probably a non-starter at Big4. I took every tax class available at my JD (and did well in them). I suspect that my Mtax helped me because my overall GPA and tax grades were good and fit within the hiring guidelines that Big4 follow (usually 3.2 and above if I recall correctly).

The few JD/MTax classmates of mine are all in small law firms doing general practice, I don't believe any of them applied to a Big4.

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Re: Benefits of Mtax two years after graduating law school or in general

Postby QContinuum » Sat Nov 03, 2018 8:26 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I agree that an Mtax does not have the ability to erase poor JD performance like an LL.M. My JD rank was between top 15 - 20%, but I came from a T4. I agree that a sub-3.0 GPA is probably a non-starter at Big4. I took every tax class available at my JD (and did well in them). I suspect that my Mtax helped me because my overall GPA and tax grades were good and fit within the hiring guidelines that Big4 follow (usually 3.2 and above if I recall correctly).

The few JD/MTax classmates of mine are all in small law firms doing general practice, I don't believe any of them applied to a Big4.


Thanks for the extra info - should be very helpful to OP - and congrats on your success!



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