Leave litigation to pursue tax?

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IamHere

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Leave litigation to pursue tax?

Post by IamHere » Mon Jul 13, 2020 10:10 pm

I am a mid-level labor and employment associate at an AmLaw 200 firm from a T50 school (3.3 GPA), but I think it may be time for a change. I have pushed through things for the past few years, but litigation has really started to wear on me. I have had my eye on tax law since my first year of law school and got A’s in the tax classes took (federal income, corporate, and partnership), but I was unable to secure a position in tax or any other transactional practice after law school. Would I have a shot NYU’s or Georgetown’s Tax LLM programs?

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Sackboy

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Re: Leave litigation to pursue tax?

Post by Sackboy » Tue Jul 14, 2020 4:38 am

You'd have a very good shot at both programs. I just want to warn you that you'll likely need to start as a first-year all over again, so be ready for that. Some controversy group might start you as a second year.

PT818

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Re: Leave litigation to pursue tax?

Post by PT818 » Tue Jul 14, 2020 9:17 pm

You have a shot at both programs, but getting back into biglaw from either will be an uphill climb. You might end up at an accounting firm making much less money than you do now. Could be worth it, depending on what you want to do.

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nealric

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Re: Leave litigation to pursue tax?

Post by nealric » Wed Jul 15, 2020 3:07 pm

If you were an HYS alum with a corporate background working for a v10, I'd tell you this is very doable. But coming from a T50 with median(ish) grades, a non-related background, and (presumably) lower AMLAW 200 firm, I think it will be very difficult to get a job at a large law firm doing tax. Most law firms are looking to their summers to fill their entry level slots, and from a tax standpoint you might as well be a fresh law school graduate. Even the HYS alum might struggle in the current market. Things would need to substantially improve- hiring is in deep freeze right now.

You have a decent shot at getting into NYU or GULC LLM program (they aren't all that competitive, though who knows if that will change due to COVID), but the outcome is more likely to be an accounting firm paying considerably less than you are making now. You may be able to work your way up, but it will be a long and tough road.

IamHere

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Re: Leave litigation to pursue tax?

Post by IamHere » Tue Jul 28, 2020 9:32 pm

Thanks! Tax is definitely my dream, but I am not sure it is worth pursuing if my chance of getting big law is slim. I'll give it a bit more thought and see where I land.

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Re: Leave litigation to pursue tax?

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Jul 28, 2020 10:20 pm

What are the group's thoughts on OP perhaps sending out feelers to a few tax controversy partners (perhaps outside their current firm) to indicate their interest, success in past core tax classes, biglaw litigation experience and willingness to be docked a couple of years?

Put another way, most incoming tax first-years don't have much substantive knowledge beyond what you similarly learned through your income, corporate and partnership taxation classes.

sparty99

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Re: Leave litigation to pursue tax?

Post by sparty99 » Tue Jul 28, 2020 10:55 pm

IamHere wrote:
Tue Jul 28, 2020 9:32 pm
Thanks! Tax is definitely my dream, but I am not sure it is worth pursuing if my chance of getting big law is slim. I'll give it a bit more thought and see where I land.
I think you could still get big law. But not sure if going into debt is worth the career change.

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Re: Leave litigation to pursue tax?

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Aug 03, 2020 6:04 pm

IamHere wrote:
Tue Jul 28, 2020 9:32 pm
Thanks! Tax is definitely my dream, but I am not sure it is worth pursuing if my chance of getting big law is slim. I'll give it a bit more thought and see where I land.
The chances are slim in the current market, but it will get better given the market improves. There is a high likelihood that you will get into both NYU and GT's Tax program at sticker price. Big Law general tax jobs are very competitive (it will be an uphill battle considering your law school GPA), however, with your L&E experience you would be competitive for an executive compensation position considering your first semester LLM GPA is competitive. The BigLaw jobs at TIP (OCI for NYU and GT's Tax program) are mostly for Executive Compensation (Benefits) associate positions. While there are a few general tax positions, they go to candidates with the best credentials (law school GPA is a big factor). I've heard of exceptions, but it is unlikely. Also, many BigLaw general tax associates and partners worked in Big4 (M&A/Intl/WNTS) for a few years so there is that.

If you are open to Exec Comp and really want BigLaw right away, go to NYU (they are better at placing candidates in BigLaw). You could also apply for a clerkship at the US Tax Court (applications begin during the fall) and work there for a year or two and that could open doors to Biglaw general tax or IRS. Best of Luck!

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