JD/LLM vs JD/MBA for prospective tax lawyer

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Tax Law with business/academia exit options

JD/LLM
8
67%
JD/MBA
4
33%
 
Total votes: 12

jagpaw

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JD/LLM vs JD/MBA for prospective tax lawyer

Postby jagpaw » Tue Mar 12, 2013 12:58 pm

I'll be starting my 1L at MVP this year, and have a strong interest in pursuing a career in international tax law. I've been flirting with the idea of a JD/MBA for far too long, and understand that this board generally considers it not worth the cost. That being said, the attorneys I've reached out to have stated that, in certain cases, the networking opportunities from the dual degree were invaluable in moving up the partner ladder. It can also may provide career flexibility down the road, especially if I'd like to lateral from a tax counsel position within a corporation to something more business related. My dilemma is that NYU offers a program where you can complete an LLM in seven semesters, irrespective of the school you're at. Spending my last year in NYC would be pretty cool, especially since I grew up and have worked in the town where I'll be starting law school. On the other hand, I have a feeling not many people outside the tax world understand the value of a tax llm from NYU, and I doubt it would be very transferable across other sectors. I would also learn a lot more substantive knowledge in this program, but would lose out on the signalling effect of an MBA if I were to enter the business world. To add another caveat, I'd like to keep my options open to eventually teaching tax law down the road, and from my understanding an LLM would be more valued than an MBA. I'd even venture to guess that an MBA may be looked down upon as its not an 'academic' degree. Costs are obviously a big issue, and an LLM in New York city may have living expenses that offset the benefits of completing the JD/LLM in 3 years vs a 4 year JD/MBA in a college town. I've been struggling with this decision for a while, so any help would be appreciated. Thanks.

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patrickd139

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Re: JD/LLM vs JD/MBA for prospective tax lawyer

Postby patrickd139 » Tue Mar 12, 2013 11:06 pm

I noticed that you mentioned the JD/LLM program at NYU. Don't get your hopes up on that one. I think they admitted one (1) person last year who didn't already attend NYU. It's exceptionally difficult to get into, and dozens of people apparently apply. Almost every single person who goes through the program starts out as an NYU law student.

You're absolutely right that Tax LLM decidedly does NOT signal business interest. Unless you want to be a tax attorney, it's a waste of time to get an LLM in tax, even from NYU.

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VeeD101

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Re: JD/LLM vs JD/MBA for prospective tax lawyer

Postby VeeD101 » Wed Mar 13, 2013 12:58 pm

PM'd you.

jagpaw

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Re: JD/LLM vs JD/MBA for prospective tax lawyer

Postby jagpaw » Thu Aug 09, 2018 4:55 pm

.

JohnnieSockran

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Re: JD/LLM vs JD/MBA for prospective tax lawyer

Postby JohnnieSockran » Thu Aug 09, 2018 5:05 pm

FWIW, I'm not sure about the TLS anti-JD/MBA thing you mentioned, but I think that program's value will vary drastically across the schools you listed.

Michigan, Virginia and Penn may be close in LS rankings, but they are not so much in MBA rankings. Wharton far exceeds the other 2 school for its MBA program. As a Penn grad, I can tell you that my classmates that got their JD/MBA had options both at top law firms, as well as places like investment banks, startups, etc. (if that was an interest of theirs). So the degree is significantly more portable. I don't think that is quite as likely of an outcome at the other 2 schools you mentioned. That said, it's very tough to get into the JD/MBA program at Penn (if you haven't already), but I can't speak for the other 2 schools.

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nealric

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Re: JD/LLM vs JD/MBA for prospective tax lawyer

Postby nealric » Thu Aug 09, 2018 5:20 pm

You have to ask yourself what you really want to do. If you want to be a tax lawyer, get the LLM. If you want to do business, get the MBA (or just skip law school altogether).

As posters above noted, there's a big difference between Wharton and the other programs on the MBA side.

SFSpartan

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Re: JD/LLM vs JD/MBA for prospective tax lawyer

Postby SFSpartan » Fri Aug 10, 2018 4:31 pm

If the school is P, I'd do Wharton, skip law school, and not go back (assuming you just want to do business). Otherwise, I think it comes down to whether you want to be a lawyer or a business person. If the former, go LLM, if the latter, MBA.

nylon_law

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Re: JD/LLM vs JD/MBA for prospective tax lawyer

Postby nylon_law » Fri Aug 10, 2018 4:55 pm

I think having a combination of JD/MBA is an excellent choice. Having worked in finance for some time, I think a JD would have been invaluable when working on structured or bespoke transactions. It gives you more opportunities to do different types of work. Right now you may want to do international tax. But perhaps after a summer internship or first semester, you may want to work in structured tax arbitrage or at a hedge fund where a legal degree and an MBA are very complementary to the role. Best of luck!



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