Where do you work if you practice Tax Law?

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BankruptMe
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Where do you work if you practice Tax Law?

Postby BankruptMe » Thu Mar 26, 2015 5:54 pm

The only tax lawyers I have talked to have been big law tax lawyers, however is there a need for tax lawyers in mid-small law firms?

What is the difference between big law tax and mid/small law tax practice?

Can you go solo/x<10 law firm practicing tax law or is it reserved only for larger firms?

If anyone works in tax or knows someone who does, could you share your experience?

Thanks

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dabigchina
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Re: Where do you work if you practice Tax Law?

Postby dabigchina » Thu Mar 26, 2015 8:21 pm

BankruptMe wrote:The only tax lawyers I have talked to have been big law tax lawyers, however is there a need for tax lawyers in mid-small law firms?

What is the difference between big law tax and mid/small law tax practice?

Can you go solo/x<10 law firm practicing tax law or is it reserved only for larger firms?

If anyone works in tax or knows someone who does, could you share your experience?

Thanks


Big4 accounting

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IHeartPhilly
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Joined: Tue Apr 24, 2012 4:19 pm

Re: Where do you work if you practice Tax Law?

Postby IHeartPhilly » Thu Mar 26, 2015 8:38 pm

Tag, I'm interested in these answers as well.

UndecidedMN
Posts: 151
Joined: Mon Jul 30, 2012 10:05 pm

Re: Where do you work if you practice Tax Law?

Postby UndecidedMN » Thu Mar 26, 2015 8:51 pm

I did a lot of research on this because I wanted to be in Tax Law out of law school. I recently went to the ABA Tax Section meeting, have been to numerous local tax breakfasts, interviewed about six different attorneys from small and large firms, and lastly numerous professors from different law schools. So I think I got a handle on this. My information may be limited to the Minnesota/Wisc. market, but I do not believe so.

First, you have to decide what type of tax law you want to be in. Litigation or essentially non-litigation. Litigation firms in Minnesota are actually very small firms 1-3 attorneys who specialize in tax law. Big firms around here are known to contract with them for their tax litigation clients, especially if it is criminal tax work. The big law firms will do litigation tax work, but almost never criminal. Also, the cases that big law firms handle usually settle, so don't expect to be in the courtroom. The risks from the government side and the client side are often way too big to be litigate. You may also work at the IRS.

If you go the non-litigation route, you are going big law or accounting firms. I was in the tax clinic for a few years, and a third of my fellow classmates went there. If you are in an accounting firm, it is extremely corporate structured and you feel much more like an accountant then a lawyer. Mostly working for accounting firms, you are focusing on international tax and some mergers and acquisition stuff. If you want to go big law, you usually summered there or got a LLM in tax. If you work at big law, you are working on estates and M&A.

LLMs are not the be all and end all in tax. Top 25% to 33% do get big law jobs from top 3-4 schools. I stress top 3-4 schools. The only schools I would get an LLM from if you wish to work at U.S. Tax Court or Big Law is NYU and Georgetown. Northwestern has been pushing there LLM really hard and they are good for Midwest firms. Everyone says Florida, but I would stay away. Thats it for schools I would attend for an LLM. Villanova is also getting better based upon the quality of its faculty, location, and so forth. But they are shipping alot of their grads to Big 4 accounting from what I understand. If you think LLMs will get you into DOJ, it won't. For some reason, they want litigators they will teach tax to. So knowing tax is not really a benefit. Also getting your LLM will cost anywhere from 75K-100K. I was accepted to NYU and that is why I didn't go. LLMs will get you an edge over someone else who does not have one, however experience trumps all. Lastly, if you get an LLM, you will be writing the research memo or legal memo about the tax issue being litigated. Most often you will not be the litigator.

Good luck and happy to answer more, just PM or post.

adil91
Posts: 501
Joined: Sun Jan 03, 2010 6:54 pm

Re: Where do you work if you practice Tax Law?

Postby adil91 » Thu Mar 26, 2015 9:01 pm

UndecidedMN wrote:I did a lot of research on this because I wanted to be in Tax Law out of law school. I recently went to the ABA Tax Section meeting, have been to numerous local tax breakfasts, interviewed about six different attorneys from small and large firms, and lastly numerous professors from different law schools. So I think I got a handle on this. My information may be limited to the Minnesota/Wisc. market, but I do not believe so.

First, you have to decide what type of tax law you want to be in. Litigation or essentially non-litigation. Litigation firms in Minnesota are actually very small firms 1-3 attorneys who specialize in tax law. Big firms around here are known to contract with them for their tax litigation clients, especially if it is criminal tax work. The big law firms will do litigation tax work, but almost never criminal. Also, the cases that big law firms handle usually settle, so don't expect to be in the courtroom. The risks from the government side and the client side are often way too big to be litigate. You may also work at the IRS.

If you go the non-litigation route, you are going big law or accounting firms. I was in the tax clinic for a few years, and a third of my fellow classmates went there. If you are in an accounting firm, it is extremely corporate structured and you feel much more like an accountant then a lawyer. Mostly working for accounting firms, you are focusing on international tax and some mergers and acquisition stuff. If you want to go big law, you usually summered there or got a LLM in tax. If you work at big law, you are working on estates and M&A.

LLMs are not the be all and end all in tax. Top 25% to 33% do get big law jobs from top 3-4 schools. I stress top 3-4 schools. The only schools I would get an LLM from if you wish to work at U.S. Tax Court or Big Law is NYU and Georgetown. Northwestern has been pushing there LLM really hard and they are good for Midwest firms. Everyone says Florida, but I would stay away. Thats it for schools I would attend for an LLM. Villanova is also getting better based upon the quality of its faculty, location, and so forth. But they are shipping alot of their grads to Big 4 accounting from what I understand. If you think LLMs will get you into DOJ, it won't. For some reason, they want litigators they will teach tax to. So knowing tax is not really a benefit. Also getting your LLM will cost anywhere from 75K-100K. I was accepted to NYU and that is why I didn't go. LLMs will get you an edge over someone else who does not have one, however experience trumps all. Lastly, if you get an LLM, you will be writing the research memo or legal memo about the tax issue being litigated. Most often you will not be the litigator.

Good luck and happy to answer more, just PM or post.


What about doing a combined JD/LLM in tax law? Would that give you a leg up in Big 4 or Big Law hiring straight out of law school?

UndecidedMN
Posts: 151
Joined: Mon Jul 30, 2012 10:05 pm

Re: Where do you work if you practice Tax Law?

Postby UndecidedMN » Thu Mar 26, 2015 10:12 pm

Again depends where. Would only get a LLM from the schools mentioned. If you do a combined JD/LLM and only costs you like half a year, it may be worth it to add. But just remember, most LLMs, regardless of the discipline are worthless.

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BankruptMe
Posts: 822
Joined: Thu Dec 26, 2013 6:02 pm

Re: Where do you work if you practice Tax Law?

Postby BankruptMe » Fri Mar 27, 2015 11:01 am

UndecidedMN wrote:I did a lot of research on this because I wanted to be in Tax Law out of law school. I recently went to the ABA Tax Section meeting, have been to numerous local tax breakfasts, interviewed about six different attorneys from small and large firms, and lastly numerous professors from different law schools. So I think I got a handle on this. My information may be limited to the Minnesota/Wisc. market, but I do not believe so.

First, you have to decide what type of tax law you want to be in. Litigation or essentially non-litigation. Litigation firms in Minnesota are actually very small firms 1-3 attorneys who specialize in tax law. Big firms around here are known to contract with them for their tax litigation clients, especially if it is criminal tax work. The big law firms will do litigation tax work, but almost never criminal. Also, the cases that big law firms handle usually settle, so don't expect to be in the courtroom. The risks from the government side and the client side are often way too big to be litigate. You may also work at the IRS.

If you go the non-litigation route, you are going big law or accounting firms. I was in the tax clinic for a few years, and a third of my fellow classmates went there. If you are in an accounting firm, it is extremely corporate structured and you feel much more like an accountant then a lawyer. Mostly working for accounting firms, you are focusing on international tax and some mergers and acquisition stuff. If you want to go big law, you usually summered there or got a LLM in tax. If you work at big law, you are working on estates and M&A.

LLMs are not the be all and end all in tax. Top 25% to 33% do get big law jobs from top 3-4 schools. I stress top 3-4 schools. The only schools I would get an LLM from if you wish to work at U.S. Tax Court or Big Law is NYU and Georgetown. Northwestern has been pushing there LLM really hard and they are good for Midwest firms. Everyone says Florida, but I would stay away. Thats it for schools I would attend for an LLM. Villanova is also getting better based upon the quality of its faculty, location, and so forth. But they are shipping alot of their grads to Big 4 accounting from what I understand. If you think LLMs will get you into DOJ, it won't. For some reason, they want litigators they will teach tax to. So knowing tax is not really a benefit. Also getting your LLM will cost anywhere from 75K-100K. I was accepted to NYU and that is why I didn't go. LLMs will get you an edge over someone else who does not have one, however experience trumps all. Lastly, if you get an LLM, you will be writing the research memo or legal memo about the tax issue being litigated. Most often you will not be the litigator.

Good luck and happy to answer more, just PM or post.


This is good info.

I'm interested in International Tax I think. So if I don't want litigation, I need to try my best to get into big law.

I was looking at the big 2 llm programs last night and it seemed that it is not "necessary" to have one to get a job, moreso, for someone who missed the boat in big law recruiting (or whose employer is paying for it already).

Seems like there is more opportunity in the accounting world than law for tax.




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