What is the value of an L.L.M (Not Tax)?

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corporatelaw87
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What is the value of an L.L.M (Not Tax)?

Postby corporatelaw87 » Wed Feb 02, 2011 6:34 pm

I see many schools offer L.L.M's in many areas. It seems like the only area where people who practice in that area consistently get it is tax. I am curious if you are a domestic student, what is the value of having an L.L.M in one of those other areas, especially if you want to work in private practice. Thanks.

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General Tso
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Re: What is the value of an L.L.M (Not Tax)?

Postby General Tso » Wed Feb 02, 2011 6:36 pm

nun

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General Tso
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Re: What is the value of an L.L.M (Not Tax)?

Postby General Tso » Wed Feb 02, 2011 6:38 pm

what I should have said is:

negative value -- worth less than the tuition $$

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Grizz
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Re: What is the value of an L.L.M (Not Tax)?

Postby Grizz » Wed Feb 02, 2011 6:41 pm

General Tso wrote:negative value -- worth less than the tuition $$

corporatelaw87
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Re: What is the value of an L.L.M (Not Tax)?

Postby corporatelaw87 » Wed Feb 02, 2011 6:52 pm

rad law wrote:
General Tso wrote:negative value -- worth less than the tuition $$


Then why do people get it do you think? It seems like many academics have them, mostly in their specialty, but surely not everyone who gets one goes into academics. Also, I am curious why is it such a necessity to have one for tax law?

CanadianWolf
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Re: What is the value of an L.L.M (Not Tax)?

Postby CanadianWolf » Wed Feb 02, 2011 6:56 pm

Many LLMs are paid for by employers to improve one's knowledge in a specific area while earning required continuing education credits. Prof. Leitner has written that it can also be a factor for those pursuing academia. LLM study can also enable those from lessor recruited law schools to gain a slight entre to a different market.
Last edited by CanadianWolf on Wed Feb 02, 2011 6:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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General Tso
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Re: What is the value of an L.L.M (Not Tax)?

Postby General Tso » Wed Feb 02, 2011 6:59 pm

corporatelaw87 wrote:
rad law wrote:
General Tso wrote:negative value -- worth less than the tuition $$


Then why do people get it do you think? It seems like many academics have them, mostly in their specialty, but surely not everyone who gets one goes into academics. Also, I am curious why is it such a necessity to have one for tax law?


I am not sure why it is necessary for tax law, but I assume it is because tax is a very dense subject and you cannot learn everything you need to be a tax practitioner in 3 years of law school while taking Torts, K's, Evidence, etc. For whatever reason, employers expect to see a Tax LLM.

Even if you like tax law, the economic value of a tax LLM is probably pretty low right now...it's another year of lost wages and supposedly tax hiring is worse than attorney hiring in general. check taxtalent.com forums and other TLS tax experts if you are interested.

Hanging degrees on your wall has become an easy, safe harbor in America. Almost nobody gets turned away...even people with 142 LSATs can attend Abraham Lincoln Online School of Law. We've got to get rid of the cultural notion that 15 diplomas on the wall= financial success.

I figure society + my family expenditures on education have to be approaching $500k for me, and I don't see how I will be earning more than $60k or so. It'll take me 10+ years to eclipse the total expenses I've accrued over 20 years of education. So society will see a profit out of me when I turn 45 or so.

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patrickd139
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Re: What is the value of an L.L.M (Not Tax)?

Postby patrickd139 » Wed Feb 02, 2011 6:59 pm

IAT LLMFlowchart

Image

In general, it appears to be largely a waste of money from an investment in career standpoint if you're not looking to be a tax attorney. Even then, it seems to be a questionable proposition if you don't go to one of the "big 3" (NYU, GULC or UF). Although NU's tax program seems to be on a meteoric rise, given its relatively young age. I'll be interested in following its progress in the future.

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General Tso
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Re: What is the value of an L.L.M (Not Tax)?

Postby General Tso » Wed Feb 02, 2011 7:00 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:Many LLMs are paid for by employers to improve one's knowledge in a specific area while earning required continuing education credits. Prof. Leitner has written that it can also be a factor for those pursuing academia. LLM study can also enable those from lessor recruited law schools to gain a slight entre to a different market.


that is what a law library is for

and I was not aware that LLM students were eligible for OCI

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patrickd139
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Re: What is the value of an L.L.M (Not Tax)?

Postby patrickd139 » Wed Feb 02, 2011 7:03 pm

corporatelaw87 wrote:
rad law wrote:
General Tso wrote:negative value -- worth less than the tuition $$


Then why do people get it do you think? It seems like many academics have them, mostly in their specialty, but surely not everyone who gets one goes into academics. Also, I am curious why is it such a necessity to have one for tax law?

The short answer is that it's not a necessity for practicing tax law. However, unlike other areas of law (i.e. environmental or international), tax as a subject (due to its ever-changing code-based nature) lends itself to a steeper learning curve which can be conquered with education as easily as (some argue better than) experience.

That still doesn't change the fact that there are many excellent tax attorneys with CPAs, BBAs in Accounting, etc. who do not have LLMs. I would hardly say an LLM is a necessity, even at the big firms.

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Re: What is the value of an L.L.M (Not Tax)?

Postby CanadianWolf » Wed Feb 02, 2011 7:08 pm

@General Tso: Tell the state bar that you want to satisfy your continuing education requirements with personal library research. When they stop laughing, they may give you an option to develop a course outline & submit it for state bar continuing education credit certification. Never wrote that LLMs are or are not eligible for OCI. LLM Tax is useful to learn from those who co-authored tax code provisions to learn what happens when legislation is made & why the areas are so confusing even to the expert authors (legislation is often similiar to the sausage making process).

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Re: What is the value of an L.L.M (Not Tax)?

Postby CanadianWolf » Wed Feb 02, 2011 7:28 pm

Another useful aspect of taking LLM classes is the benefit of networking since many, sometimes most, LLM tax professors are adjunct teachers with actual law practices. Similiar reasoning why many recommend "Executive MBA" programs over traditional MBA programs.

P.S. If you follow General Tso's reasoning above, then law school is unnecessary; just tell the state bar examiners that you'll complete law school on your own in the law library. This won't even work in Vermont, although you never know about California.

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Unitas
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Re: What is the value of an L.L.M (Not Tax)?

Postby Unitas » Wed Feb 02, 2011 7:57 pm

corporatelaw87 wrote:I see many schools offer L.L.M's in many areas. It seems like the only area where people who practice in that area consistently get it is tax. I am curious if you are a domestic student, what is the value of having an L.L.M in one of those other areas, especially if you want to work in private practice. Thanks.


Not to disagree with everyone, but it seems worth it for tax (for obvious reasons) as people noted and also for those that went to lower ranker Law School's. My understanding is they are easier to get into, so can finish law school and then get an LLM and still have a Harvard name on your resume.

I am not sure if what I said above is true anymore, but if you look at some older lawyers they'll have lower law school and then higher up LLM school, not in tax.

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patrickd139
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Re: What is the value of an L.L.M (Not Tax)?

Postby patrickd139 » Wed Feb 02, 2011 10:49 pm

Unitas wrote:Not to disagree with everyone, but it seems worth it for tax (for obvious reasons) as people noted and also for those that went to lower ranker Law School's. My understanding is they are easier to get into, so can finish law school and then get an LLM and still have a Harvard name on your resume.

I am not sure if what I said above is true anymore, but if you look at some older lawyers they'll have lower law school and then higher up LLM school, not in tax.

My understanding is that the bolded is not the case. Specifically with HLS, which reserves most (all?) of its LLM seats to graduates of foreign law schools. The "exposure to the American legal system/environment" slant of their LLM website is what makes me think this is the case. Perhaps those who are interested in a career in academia would be better off considering an SJD instead.

To pick another top law school, I know from speaking with a professor of mine who holds an LLM from Yale and a JD from Arkansas-Little Rock that she was one of 3 LLM students from the US her particular year. She was also first in her class (by a lot, IIRC), knew she wanted to teach, was published, and had a "research game plan" outlined before she applied. Add in her general penchant for being an all-around rock star and it makes me think she's the exception, not the rule.

For the TL;DR crowd: Statistically, don't bank on it being any easier to get an LLM from YHS than it is to get into their JD programs.

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Re: What is the value of an L.L.M (Not Tax)?

Postby General Tso » Thu Feb 03, 2011 12:27 am

CanadianWolf wrote:Another useful aspect of taking LLM classes is the benefit of networking since many, sometimes most, LLM tax professors are adjunct teachers with actual law practices. Similiar reasoning why many recommend "Executive MBA" programs over traditional MBA programs.

P.S. If you follow General Tso's reasoning above, then law school is unnecessary; just tell the state bar examiners that you'll complete law school on your own in the law library. This won't even work in Vermont, although you never know about California.


You are right. I am wrong. Go get your LLM in International Legal Studies with specialization in Gender and International Law from the Women and the Law program at American University Washington College of the Law.

http://www.wcl.american.edu/gender/wlp/ ... zation.cfm

Only $21,000 per semester! That is a bargain compared to a $250 CLE course. And you will be biggenderlawsecure.

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beidoun
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Re: What is the value of an L.L.M (Not Tax)?

Postby beidoun » Thu Feb 03, 2011 12:40 am

My cousin is doing his LLM in tax at georgetown. He graduated from Detroit-Mercy. He said its getting him better job opportunities.

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nealric
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Re: What is the value of an L.L.M (Not Tax)?

Postby nealric » Thu Feb 03, 2011 1:06 am

I am not sure if what I said above is true anymore, but if you look at some older lawyers they'll have lower law school and then higher up LLM school, not in tax.


That's probably because they went to law school before their degree was called a JD. Most schools only transitioned over in the 1960s, so there are a few older people practicing with just LLBs or LLMs.

I have a tax LLM, but I got my job through the regular JD hiring process. One of the big difficulties in learning Tax is that you often don't know what you don't know- and what you don't know could be a big deal. The LLM at least gives you the lay of the land, so you at least have a foundation for learning. There are also many issues in tax that would be quite difficult to learn in practice unless you are lucky enough to have a mentor who will sit down with you and serve as a tutor. Such mentors are a very rare thing in today's world of billable hour requirements.

That said, I would advise a heaping dose of caution for those planning on doing tax LLMs straight out of law school (Even at NYU/GULC/UF) who don't already have a job lined up. It's a very high risk job-finding strategy for most.

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NZA
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Re: What is the value of an L.L.M (Not Tax)?

Postby NZA » Thu Feb 03, 2011 1:09 am

beidoun wrote:My cousin is doing his LLM in tax at georgetown. He graduated from Detroit-Mercy. He said its getting him better job opportunities.


Most of the new attys at the IRS I knew had LLMs, mainly because it's such a technical field.

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patrickd139
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Re: What is the value of an L.L.M (Not Tax)?

Postby patrickd139 » Thu Feb 03, 2011 2:35 am

That said, I would advise a heaping dose of caution for those planning on doing tax LLMs straight out of law school (Even at NYU/GULC/UF) who don't already have a job lined up. It's a very high risk job-finding strategy for most.

+1. Best advice in this thread (or any LLM thread, for that matter).

Edited for quotefail.
Last edited by patrickd139 on Thu Feb 03, 2011 5:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

BeautifulSW
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Re: What is the value of an L.L.M (Not Tax)?

Postby BeautifulSW » Thu Feb 03, 2011 3:08 pm

A few articles have suggested that an LLM in something other than tax can help an older lawyer transition into a new practice area. Maybe. But it seems to me that the biggest use of most LLM programs is as source of cash to law schools.

I agree with the posters here who say that the tax LLM is useful but I also think that someone with the CPA or an accounting degree in taxation probably doesn't need the LLM too. Right now, the market for new hires in tax is supposed to be pretty tight. Fifty thousand is a lot to gamble.

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Re: What is the value of an L.L.M (Not Tax)?

Postby CanadianWolf » Thu Feb 03, 2011 3:13 pm

@General Tso: Again you are misreading posts. I only addressed LLMs in Taxation taken for continuing education & networking opportunities in addition to working toward an additional degree with tuition paid for by one's employer.

I do, however, agree with your admission that you are wrong.

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A'nold
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Re: What is the value of an L.L.M (Not Tax)?

Postby A'nold » Thu Feb 03, 2011 5:34 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:@General Tso: Again you are misreading posts. I only addressed LLMs in Taxation taken for continuing education & networking opportunities in addition to working toward an additional degree with tuition paid for by one's employer.

I do, however, agree with your admission that you are wrong.


Oh no he di'int *snaps fingers*

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General Tso
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Re: What is the value of an L.L.M (Not Tax)?

Postby General Tso » Fri Feb 04, 2011 12:20 am

A'nold wrote:
CanadianWolf wrote:@General Tso: Again you are misreading posts. I only addressed LLMs in Taxation taken for continuing education & networking opportunities in addition to working toward an additional degree with tuition paid for by one's employer.

I do, however, agree with your admission that you are wrong.


Oh no he di'int *snaps fingers*


lol

Wolf -- read the thread title

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Re: What is the value of an L.L.M (Not Tax)?

Postby rejectmaster » Fri Feb 04, 2011 1:04 am

BeautifulSW wrote:A few articles have suggested that an LLM in something other than tax can help an older lawyer transition into a new practice area. Maybe. But it seems to me that the biggest use of most LLM programs is as source of cash to law schools.

I agree with the posters here who say that the tax LLM is useful but I also think that someone with the CPA or an accounting degree in taxation probably doesn't need the LLM too. Right now, the market for new hires in tax is supposed to be pretty tight. Fifty thousand is a lot to gamble.


i don't know if my sources are bad but i have heard the opposite (regarding the market for tax attorneys)

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nealric
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Re: What is the value of an L.L.M (Not Tax)?

Postby nealric » Fri Feb 04, 2011 1:20 am

i don't know if my sources are bad but i have heard the opposite (regarding the market for tax attorneys)


Biglaw entry-level hiring for tax isn't any better than biglaw as a whole. Tax does give you the big4 option, but I wouldn't consider Big4 all that attractive. The marketing for lateral tax people is picking up though.




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