Tax LLM Questions

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Tax LLM Questions

Postby TTH » Tue Feb 21, 2012 10:41 am

So, I've been thinking about Tax LLMs just a little bit the last couple of days. I kind of like tax, but I'm at a school that has thin tax offerings. As long as I have a legal job at graduation, I'm not going to run off and do the LLM, but I am curious if it ever make sense to the LLM when you have a job (assume non-biglaw)?

Will decent grades from a T1 school + a reputable Tax LLM get you to biglaw/biggov tax?

Also, I was talking to my tax professor about this, and while discussing the only schools worth going to for the LLM, he mentioned Northwestern in addition to NYU/GT/UF. Anyone got thoughts about Northwestern relative to those other three schools?

And to save some uncreative poster the time it takes to find it and post it, here's the LLM flowchart.


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Re: Tax LLM Questions

Postby patrickd139 » Tue Feb 21, 2012 12:10 pm

I'm in a similar position: midlaw offer in a small city I'm not crazy about, very top of my class (with a 4.0 GPA in tax) at a T2 that's not in the market I want to practice in. I've got an acceptance to GT's Tax LLM program for this fall.

Consensus says that if you're not qualified for a biglaw job out of law school, an LLM in tax (even from the schools mentioned on the flowchart) won't change that. An interesting question that I'm struggling with is whether those of us who are qualified to get biglaw (or the local equivalent) in one geographic region, but who want biglaw outside that region, would significantly increase our prospects by obtaining an LLM from NYU, G'town or UF. There are indications that you can.

Anecdotally, legal recruiters at large firms in Texas--several of whom I've spoken to over the last few weeks--have a very predictable view that pretty damn near follows the snarky LLM flowchart. Accordingly, Northwestern isn't on anyone's radar for tax LLMs. I could hazard a guess about why (the relatively young age of the program and lack of alumni, the geographic distance between Chicago and Texas, etc.), but the truth remains that NYU is absolutely the best, followed by G'town at a close second, and then UF before it drops off in a huge way, even as far as Northwestern is concerned.

Again, just one anecdotal experience (with a Texas focus, no less), but in LLM hiring, that seems to be what's available.

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Re: Tax LLM Questions

Postby Riles246 » Tue Feb 21, 2012 1:51 pm

I come from a tax background and can confirm that Northwestern is probably not worth the money for a tax LLM. Whenever we hired Tax LLMs they came from NYU or Georgetown. I'm in the northeast and would say that Florida doesn't have a huge presence here either, at least in the circles I run in.

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Re: Tax LLM Questions

Postby thegrayman » Wed Feb 22, 2012 12:37 pm

I was contemplating the same, I spoke with a biglaw guy who got his LLM at NYU, he was saying that his firm only hired people without the LLM, and then had them pursue the LLM part-time while working. He said that they do not hire people who stay in school longer to get their LLM.

His tax department was very small, I have no idea if their practice is the norm or not.

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Re: Tax LLM Questions

Postby Naked Dude » Wed Feb 22, 2012 12:42 pm

Anecdotally, I know an unemployed Northwestern LLM (from outside of law school). However, because of family obligations he is only looking for work in a single secondary market. He also turned down a midlaw offer (non-tax department). I didn't understand this, but I guess the cognitive dissonance that comes with practicing in a different area from your pricey LLM is overwhelming.

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