Tax Law???

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IzziesGal
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Tax Law???

Postby IzziesGal » Fri Apr 08, 2011 11:16 pm

Anyone have any thoughts? I'm trying to put together my fall schedule, and can't figure out if this would be suicide or not.

dougroberts
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Re: Tax Law???

Postby dougroberts » Fri Apr 08, 2011 11:28 pm

If by Tax law you mean federal income tax, then it is not a hard class.

It is common sense if you do your own taxes. I don't do my own taxes, and I thought it was common sense. Basically, all we talked about is what gets taxed (income, capital gains, finders/keepers, certain gifts, etc.) and where you get deductions. Add in some basis stuff and case law that defines income and deductions, and you are done!

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IzziesGal
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Re: Tax Law???

Postby IzziesGal » Fri Apr 08, 2011 11:36 pm

Ha - that doesn't sound as bad as I was making it out to be in my head. In fact, it almost sounds kinda (gasp) . . . fun.

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king3780
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Re: Tax Law???

Postby king3780 » Fri Apr 08, 2011 11:40 pm

I have it this semester and like it. It seems like the kind of stuff you could encounter either in your personal life or just as side issues in any area of practice. To me, it's like Evidence... even if you're going to be a transactional attorney, it's still good to know.

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nealric
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Re: Tax Law???

Postby nealric » Sat Apr 09, 2011 12:01 am

Tax I is pretty easy. Corporate tax and partnership tax can be killers.

dougroberts
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Re: Tax Law???

Postby dougroberts » Sat Apr 09, 2011 12:46 am

IzziesGal wrote:Ha - that doesn't sound as bad as I was making it out to be in my head. In fact, it almost sounds kinda (gasp) . . . fun.


Yes, I thought it was a fun class too. It was interesting too, but I think it will depend on your professor. Obviously, the IRS tax code is not very interesting, but if your prof. does not emphasis reading it too much and just tells you what you need to know/rely on case law, then the class is more interesting. If you go straight off the Internal Revenue Code, then it may be a bit more dry I suppose.

And it is a very important class, so definitely recommend regardless of practice area you intent to go into.

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Vronsky
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Re: Tax Law???

Postby Vronsky » Sat Apr 09, 2011 11:14 am

I was wondering about this, too, as people have recommended to me that I take Fed. Income Tax. Can anyone be more specific about how this is useful if you have no intention of being a "tax" lawyer? (Aside from the fact that it will help you do your own taxes.)

1) does this course help on its own if you go into transactional law? If a student plans on taking Corporations, M&A, Bankruptcy, blah blah etc, would Fed. Income Tax help on its own, or only because it serves as prereq. for higher level corporate tax classes?

2) does if help at all if you go into litigation? ie for Securities regulation or Antitrust?

3) does it help at all if you go into international law, ie international M&A or International arbitration, etc?

BeautifulSW
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Re: Tax Law???

Postby BeautifulSW » Sun Apr 10, 2011 3:21 pm

My personal opinion is that baby tax (personal income tax, overview of taxation, whatever your school calls it) should be a required course. Failure to consider tax consequences can be malpractice in a lot of situations far from BigLaw. Hard core tax, such as passthrough entities, can be difficult but what I am talking about is pretty simple. But it amazes me how many lawyers know absolutely nothing about tax, want to know nothing about tax, and don't even prepare their own 1040s.

dakatz
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Re: Tax Law???

Postby dakatz » Sun Apr 10, 2011 3:26 pm

I'm pretty excited to take a tax law course 2L year. I'm just really sick of constitutional law and all its pseudo-philosophical musing. I'd really like to study something with rules and an actual basis. Tax law seems to be more at that end of the spectrum. I also think that everyone in law school should take at least one tax course. As much as many people may not like it, its too useful to never be exposed to.

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king3780
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Re: Tax Law???

Postby king3780 » Sun Apr 10, 2011 10:33 pm

BeautifulSW wrote:My personal opinion is that baby tax (personal income tax, overview of taxation, whatever your school calls it) should be a required course. Failure to consider tax consequences can be malpractice in a lot of situations far from BigLaw. Hard core tax, such as passthrough entities, can be difficult but what I am talking about is pretty simple. But it amazes me how many lawyers know absolutely nothing about tax, want to know nothing about tax, and don't even prepare their own 1040s.


That's funny. My Trusts and Estates prof is always referring to stuff we should have learned in "baby tax."

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king3780
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Re: Tax Law???

Postby king3780 » Sun Apr 10, 2011 10:38 pm

Vronsky wrote:I was wondering about this, too, as people have recommended to me that I take Fed. Income Tax. Can anyone be more specific about how this is useful if you have no intention of being a "tax" lawyer? (Aside from the fact that it will help you do your own taxes.)

1) does this course help on its own if you go into transactional law? If a student plans on taking Corporations, M&A, Bankruptcy, blah blah etc, would Fed. Income Tax help on its own, or only because it serves as prereq. for higher level corporate tax classes?

2) does if help at all if you go into litigation? ie for Securities regulation or Antitrust?

3) does it help at all if you go into international law, ie international M&A or International arbitration, etc?


1) Anything transactional has a tax consequence to it. Sure if you're doing a $5 billion M&A deal you're going to have someone who specializes in tax join in, but wouldn't it be nice to have some clue what he's saying? Or to not have to go to his office for the very basics?
2) I would think for SecReg and Antitrust it would be the same as above... just a baseline of knowledge so you're not completely clueless.
3) May help here, may not. Hard to say. What I tend to look at is if there are 15 elective classes (just picking a number, everyone will be different I'm sure) available to you in law school, I'd pick a basic tax class in that pool long before many of the other options.

I also agree with the notion that tax should be a required class. I also think evidence should be required, though it's my understand most schools don't require it.

keg411
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Re: Tax Law???

Postby keg411 » Sun Apr 10, 2011 11:21 pm

I hate the times they offer the intro tax class here, but I'll probably take it 2nd semester.




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