Pursue Tax LLM in midst of Covid?

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Pursue Tax LLM in midst of Covid?

Post by Anonymous User » Sat Nov 21, 2020 10:17 am

Anon because I feel like I'm in the minority with this (maybe? idk).

Issue: do you recommend person X (current 3L) pursue a Tax LLM for Fall 2021 even though she's (1) in the middle of a pandemic and (2) X has a Big4 job lined up after JD (for Fall 2021)?

Personal Thoughts: I think it boils down to whether X wants to have financial security in the middle of a pandemic vs. staying in school in the middle of a pandemic.

X never wants to do BigLaw and will probably just want the prestige + slight upgrade in pay that a Tax LLM affords at Big4. Does it make less sense for her to pursue an LLM or should she be motivated to advance her career in a LLM program?

Very interested in hearing people's perspective.

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Re: Pursue Tax LLM in midst of Covid?

Post by Anonymous User » Sat Nov 21, 2020 3:39 pm

Former ex big4-er here who was contemplating the same but ended up not getting the llm. If you have a job lined up with one of the big4, I would probably just take it. if you want to get an llm in the future, I think all of the big4 will pay for it/subsidize it assuming you commit to staying with them for X amount of years. Compared to my peers, having an llm didnt really matter much once we started (other than the pay bump) and the lack of an llm didnt come up. The only time the llm may have helped was if you wanted to get slotted into a more "prestigious" group like WNT or M&A, etc.

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Re: Pursue Tax LLM in midst of Covid?

Post by Anonymous User » Sat Nov 21, 2020 7:53 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Sat Nov 21, 2020 3:39 pm
Former ex big4-er here who was contemplating the same but ended up not getting the llm. If you have a job lined up with one of the big4, I would probably just take it. if you want to get an llm in the future, I think all of the big4 will pay for it/subsidize it assuming you commit to staying with them for X amount of years. Compared to my peers, having an llm didnt really matter much once we started (other than the pay bump) and the lack of an llm didnt come up. The only time the llm may have helped was if you wanted to get slotted into a more "prestigious" group like WNT or M&A, etc.
OP here: Wait so if someone wants to grab M&A/InternationalTax/National they should get an LLM? Sorry, hoping you’d clarify a bit.

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Re: Pursue Tax LLM in midst of Covid?

Post by Anonymous User » Sat Nov 21, 2020 9:17 pm

I agree that you should start at the Big 4 firm in the fall of 2021. If you are performing, and you are willing to stay, they will eventually pay for you to obtain your LLM on a part-time basis. Moreover, I have found that having the tax LLM only matters for people who are trying to make the jump from Big 4 to Big law. If you are content with Big 4, I don't see a reason for spending more money (or getting into further debt) for the LLM. You will be doing the same work as your peers that obtained the LLM, they just receive the pay bump. This pay differential will go away over time.

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Re: Pursue Tax LLM in midst of Covid?

Post by hangtime813 » Mon Nov 23, 2020 2:56 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Sat Nov 21, 2020 7:53 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Sat Nov 21, 2020 3:39 pm
Former ex big4-er here who was contemplating the same but ended up not getting the llm. If you have a job lined up with one of the big4, I would probably just take it. if you want to get an llm in the future, I think all of the big4 will pay for it/subsidize it assuming you commit to staying with them for X amount of years. Compared to my peers, having an llm didnt really matter much once we started (other than the pay bump) and the lack of an llm didnt come up. The only time the llm may have helped was if you wanted to get slotted into a more "prestigious" group like WNT or M&A, etc.
OP here: Wait so if someone wants to grab M&A/InternationalTax/National they should get an LLM? Sorry, hoping you’d clarify a bit.
In my experience, WNT and M&A (and to a certain degree, international tax, including transfer pricing), preferred to hire JDs with LLM's, though of course there were exceptions. I know for a fact there were significantly more JDs w/o LLM's in federal tax and SALT than there were in other groups. This of course probably varies by firm and likely office too.

If you are already slotted for federal tax or state and local tax, I would just try to transfer internally than get an llm.

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Anonymous User
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Re: Pursue Tax LLM in midst of Covid?

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Nov 23, 2020 6:18 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Sat Nov 21, 2020 10:17 am
Anon because I feel like I'm in the minority with this (maybe? idk).

Issue: do you recommend person X (current 3L) pursue a Tax LLM for Fall 2021 even though she's (1) in the middle of a pandemic and (2) X has a Big4 job lined up after JD (for Fall 2021)?

Personal Thoughts: I think it boils down to whether X wants to have financial security in the middle of a pandemic vs. staying in school in the middle of a pandemic.

X never wants to do BigLaw and will probably just want the prestige + slight upgrade in pay that a Tax LLM affords at Big4. Does it make less sense for her to pursue an LLM or should she be motivated to advance her career in a LLM program?

Very interested in hearing people's perspective.
The most likely outcome out of a tax llm program is a position at a big4 accounting firm, which you already have, so pursing the llm seems redundant. Tax LLM's may start at a higher salary, but you're giving up a year's salary + paying another year of law school tuition.

Also, "prestige" is subjective. Most of your peers in public accounting will have 4 year undergrad accounting degrees and will probably find your JD "prestigious". They most likely won't know/care what a LLM is.

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Re: Pursue Tax LLM in midst of Covid?

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Nov 23, 2020 10:16 pm

OP here. I forgot to note that will be in a major market when I start working.

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nealric

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Re: Pursue Tax LLM in midst of Covid?

Post by nealric » Tue Nov 24, 2020 10:16 am

Personally, I'd just do the NYU online LLM while you work big4 in this circumstance.

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Re: Pursue Tax LLM in midst of Covid?

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Nov 24, 2020 11:51 am

JD/LLM Big4 here. I would highly recommend you take the Big4 job and pursue the LLM in the future.

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Re: Pursue Tax LLM in midst of Covid?

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Nov 24, 2020 4:23 pm

nealric wrote:
Tue Nov 24, 2020 10:16 am
Personally, I'd just do the NYU online LLM while you work big4 in this circumstance.
Hey Mod! That would be the ideal route. However, just thinking about the possibility of juggling the NYU LLM program concurrently working at Big4 makes me feel..... well... burnt out. Idk, maybe I'm wrong? I've never experienced the program and maybe someone can shine in as to whether it is doable.

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Re: Pursue Tax LLM in midst of Covid?

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Nov 24, 2020 4:25 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Tue Nov 24, 2020 11:51 am
JD/LLM Big4 here. I would highly recommend you take the Big4 job and pursue the LLM in the future.
This was a route I was leaning towards. Do you mind providing your rationale?

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Re: Pursue Tax LLM in midst of Covid?

Post by sms18 » Tue Nov 24, 2020 7:05 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Tue Nov 24, 2020 4:23 pm
nealric wrote:
Tue Nov 24, 2020 10:16 am
Personally, I'd just do the NYU online LLM while you work big4 in this circumstance.
Hey Mod! That would be the ideal route. However, just thinking about the possibility of juggling the NYU LLM program concurrently working at Big4 makes me feel..... well... burnt out. Idk, maybe I'm wrong? I've never experienced the program and maybe someone can shine in as to whether it is doable.
Unless X is trying to ace all of the tax LLM classes (which isn't necessary as a practical matter if one already has a job), then X should not have too much difficulty juggling LLM "classes" while working fulltime.

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Re: Pursue Tax LLM in midst of Covid?

Post by Taxed4ever » Tue Nov 24, 2020 10:23 pm

I'm currently doing M&A Tax at a NYC B4 and attending NYU's LLM part time. Would definitely recommend grabbing the job as a JD and doing the LLM part time. From a work perspective, I find the LLMs know a few more rules than the JDs, but that playing field levels out quickly (with work experience and after taking the core tax classes at NYU). I'd also recommend doing the LLM slowly so you can (I) get great grades such that you have better exit ops and/bragging rights and, MORE IMPORTANTLY, (II) actually have time to read for class and/or review each class properly and learn a few tax rules for the $65k you are paying (less what the firm pays plus what you have to pay back if you leave).

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Re: Pursue Tax LLM in midst of Covid?

Post by ninthcircuitattorney » Thu Nov 26, 2020 5:09 pm

Would anyone in the know mind commenting on the workload in the NYU LL.M. tax part-time program, especially the "executive online" program? A couple of hours each week outside of class? Or is it more like a couple hours each night outside of class?

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Re: Pursue Tax LLM in midst of Covid?

Post by Anonymous User » Sat Nov 28, 2020 10:03 pm

ninthcircuitattorney wrote:
Thu Nov 26, 2020 5:09 pm
Would anyone in the know mind commenting on the workload in the NYU LL.M. tax part-time program, especially the "executive online" program? A couple of hours each week outside of class? Or is it more like a couple hours each night outside of class?
It’s hard because it’s 1L on steroids. You’re up against people who have somewhat of a decent foundation in tax. Also, TIP/TARE (OCI basically) comes after the 1st semester so you really only have 1 semester to show what you’re about.

For example, it’s common for a professor to hand you a fat outline filled strictly with IRC codes where it’s your job to figure out what and where everything fits in a given situation - much like a puzzle.

edit: I’m not quite sure how the difficulty translates to the part time program. A former Manager of mine was doing her NYU LLM part time while being a Senior Manager at a Big 4. She seemed a bit burnt out from what I saw

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