Do I still have a chance to be a tax lawyer?

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Do I still have a chance to be a tax lawyer?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Dec 12, 2018 5:37 pm

Aim to be a tax lawyer at the entrance to law school, a T14. No tax background. Worked my ass off in 1L and get good grades (top 1/3). Work my ass off during OCI and get a tax summer associate. Did a good job the past summer but no offered because of financial reason of the firm, leave with a good recommendation letter. I worked harder than 1L in my 2L year, took all the hardest tax courses (partnership, corporate, international, etc) but I underestimated the difficulty of tax courses: the average GPA for tax courses now is around B. However, I did an externship at a government tax office and got very good review. Currently another externship at a tax research non profit, working on some tax courses to improve my grades for tax courses. Do I still have a chance to be a tax lawyer at 3L now? Thinking about Big 4 already. Now I am median at the T14 now. I am wondering will firms look at my grades at my tax courses and then refuse to hire me?

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nealric

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Re: Do I still have a chance to be a tax lawyer?

Postby nealric » Wed Dec 12, 2018 6:18 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Aim to be a tax lawyer at the entrance to law school, a T14. No tax background. Worked my ass off in 1L and get good grades (top 1/3). Work my ass off during OCI and get a tax summer associate. Did a good job the past summer but no offered because of financial reason of the firm, leave with a good recommendation letter. I worked harder than 1L in my 2L year, took all the hardest tax courses (partnership, corporate, international, etc) but I underestimated the difficulty of tax courses: the average GPA for tax courses now is around B. However, I did an externship at a government tax office and got very good review. Currently another externship at a tax research non profit, working on some tax courses to improve my grades for tax courses. Do I still have a chance to be a tax lawyer at 3L now? Thinking about Big 4 already. Now I am median at the T14 now. I am wondering will firms look at my grades at my tax courses and then refuse to hire me?


I think you still have a shot if you keep hustling. You may need an LLM to get Big4. "B" grades in tax classes aren't ideal, but I wouldn't call it a categorical bar.

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Re: Do I still have a chance to be a tax lawyer?

Postby QContinuum » Wed Dec 12, 2018 6:29 pm

nealric wrote:I think you still have a shot if you keep hustling. You may need an LLM to get Big4. "B" grades in tax classes aren't ideal, but I wouldn't call it a categorical bar.

You'd know better than me, neal, so it'd be great if you could confirm, but my belief is that OP would be competitive for admission to the Tax LL.M. program at NYU. My understanding is that NYU/Georgetown take students down to top quarter or so at T1/T2 schools. OP's not top quarter, but they're at a T14, and they've taken 4? 5? tax classes. If OP can get into NYU, I think they'd have as good a shot as anyone at the Big4.

I guess the question is whether OP got straight Bs in their tax classes, or if there was any tax class they got at least an A- in. Straight Bs in tax classes might make NYU/Georgetown hesitant to take OP. But if they did well in at least one tax class, a strong LOR from that professor might help. That said, this is mostly based on intuition, as I'm by no means an expert on Tax LL.M. admissions.

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Re: Do I still have a chance to be a tax lawyer?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Dec 12, 2018 7:31 pm

OP here. My best tax course grade is B+ at this point and the bad grades result from overwork. I think I can get at least a A- this semester in tax courses. Will big 4 recruiting pays a lot of attention to grades in tax? I trade my grades for experience in my second year. In addition, already got into Tax LLM at NYU/GULC but prefer to get a job before the LLM.

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ronaldo09

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Re: Do I still have a chance to be a tax lawyer?

Postby ronaldo09 » Wed Dec 12, 2018 11:00 pm

I think with a T-14 and your strong interest in tax (which you will be able to express during the interviews), you are a solid candidate for Big 4 and perhaps a law firm if you network more.

But if you get NYU/Gtown LLM, you will substantially increase your chances. If you get solid grades there, nobody will care about your tax grades before and T-14 + NYU LLM, makes you a great candidate at Big 4 and solid candidate at law firm tax.

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Re: Do I still have a chance to be a tax lawyer?

Postby L'orDuCommun » Thu Dec 13, 2018 1:19 am

Please don't let grades discourage you. Tax classes are hard in a way that people who never take one can't comprehend.

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nealric

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Re: Do I still have a chance to be a tax lawyer?

Postby nealric » Thu Dec 13, 2018 9:49 am

QContinuum wrote:
nealric wrote:I think you still have a shot if you keep hustling. You may need an LLM to get Big4. "B" grades in tax classes aren't ideal, but I wouldn't call it a categorical bar.

You'd know better than me, neal, so it'd be great if you could confirm, but my belief is that OP would be competitive for admission to the Tax LL.M. program at NYU. My understanding is that NYU/Georgetown take students down to top quarter or so at T1/T2 schools. OP's not top quarter, but they're at a T14, and they've taken 4? 5? tax classes. If OP can get into NYU, I think they'd have as good a shot as anyone at the Big4.

I guess the question is whether OP got straight Bs in their tax classes, or if there was any tax class they got at least an A- in. Straight Bs in tax classes might make NYU/Georgetown hesitant to take OP. But if they did well in at least one tax class, a strong LOR from that professor might help. That said, this is mostly based on intuition, as I'm by no means an expert on Tax LL.M. admissions.


Yes, I think so. I'm hardly an expert in LLM admissions, but my sense is that Georgtown/NYU take most T14 students unless they have absolutely abysmal grades (like Sub 3.0 GPA). Can't hurt to apply and see what happens.

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Yugihoe

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Re: Do I still have a chance to be a tax lawyer?

Postby Yugihoe » Thu Dec 13, 2018 11:45 am

I would try my hardest to get a job at big 4 or big law without the LLM and only rely on it as an absolute backup plan (I know you can get a big law firm to pay for that LLM degree). You'll be missing out on a full year opportunity cost of lost income.

Hustle hard, network with as many people as you can who are at these places -- get coffees and whatever you need to do during 3L. That should be your priority over school work. You've got a demonstrable interest in tax and will have a lot to talk about at interviews. You just need to find some place now that has an opening for a tax associate. Good luck.



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