I think it's going to be really obvious who I am if my classmates read this.
Background on me (so that you can evaluate my chances)
I worked for a mid-size firm last summer. I think I did a good job and I can rely on them for references, but they weren't able to offer me a job (after they said they thought for sure they would) because a bunch of their clients went under and their finances were subsequently terrible.
I'm a 3L at Emory. I have a 3.35. I estimate that is about top 40-45%, but Emory does not rank above the top 1/3.
I am in the "Transactional Program" here, which means I'll take about 15 courses that are business/finance/accounting/tax related. Included in those 15 will be Fundamentals of Income Tax, Partnership Tax, and Corporate Tax (10h total). I got A's in Analytical Methods and Law & Econ. I got a B in Business Associations. I'm in Tax and Bankruptcy now (If I get a B+ in both I will be happy since I banked on this firm job and stopped caring much about school until just now), but I have no other sorta-tax courses yet (I got a "Pass" in Corporate Finance).
I don't think I'm going to have any job at all at the end of this year (I didn't get no-offered until 2 weeks ago, which made applying for new jobs even more difficult than it would have been).
I have very little work experience. I summered for that mid-sized firm and did Corporate Law including some tax (but M&A mostly). I interned for the US Dept of Commerce while I was in undergrad. I worked for 6 months at a Bankruptcy/Foreclosure firm after college. I spent 2 months working for H&R Block doing taxes. 1L summer I worked for the Public Defender and a crappy small law firm.
I am interested in going to school for one more year for an LLM and want to learn more about it.
Questions (there are several, but I'd appreciate answers to any of them)
What are my chances of getting into NYU/GULC/UF/NW/UM/BU/SD?
Can I reasonably expect a job making over $100k out of the top 3? What about the other 4? (I can mass mail myself and don't need Career Services)
Will firms in markets like Miami or Boston (markets where they like to see a connection) see someone like me (with no connection to those cities) as having a connection based just on going to school for a year in one of those cites?
Is a Tax LLM useful at all in a non-attorney position (e.g. in Consulting or I-Banking)? Will it improve my chances of being hired as a normal Corporate/Transactional attorney? (I'd ideally like to do M&A)
Any idea which LLM tax schools might give me a merit scholarship?
Is need-based aid ever likely?
Are there other LLM degrees (i.e. Business & Finance or whatever) that might be worth looking into?
Edit: To answer my first question...
I called GULC and UF.
GULC said that they'll want to wait on my tax grade, but that they typically look for top 15%. They said that at Emory, they'd look for around the top 1/3.
UF said that they look for at least a 3.5, but that it's not set in stone -- they said they wanted students in the top 25% of their class. I specifically asked if they had different standards for someone that went to a top school or a lower ranked school, and they said they did not. They also said they would probably wait for my tax grade.
I am assuming NYU is quite a bit more competitive than both (on their website, they said students pretty much need to have a minimum of a 3.5 GPA).
Miami said they were looking for a 3.0 and a B in Tax (which they would wait for), and did not really factor in the quality of the JD program (which I find absolutely ridiculous). Northwestern wouldn't give me a cutoff, but said that they (like their normal JD program) generally look for a well-rounded candidate with work experience.
I've also heard that Biglaw firms usually focus on your law school achievement and that, "if you can't land a job straight out of law school, you probably won't be able to with an LLM, even from NYU." I'm not sure if there is merit to this or not. I don't mind working for a no-name midsize firm in Atlanta/Miami that specializes in tax and pays $110k and this may be different than a V100 biglaw firm job. Anyone have any idea of tax boutiques are hiring or if tax lawyers are in demand?
Not sure where your numbers will get you? Dying to know where you stand? Come have your palms read by your fellow posters!
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Wrong. Dead wrong. NYU LLM in Tax is generally considered the main LLM in Tax. Look at Skadden & Arps, which specializes in tax law, and other top firms. Everyone with an LLM in tax is from NYU. Everyone. After NYU, it isn't worth much. Hell, given how worthless speciality rankings are in the first place, you are better of getting a tax LLM from HLS or CLS than Gtown or UF.