Career Advice Needed!

(Share and discuss thoughts and stories on Dropping out of law school, entering a graduate school program, Career changes, Similar/ related career options)
Knight2021

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Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Feb 02, 2019 1:55 am

Career Advice Needed!

Post by Knight2021 » Sun Jan 17, 2021 9:41 pm

Hey everyone!

My goal is to work big 4, location doesn't really matter to me. I attended a decent law school (Currently a 3L), interviewed for a few positions at big 4 firms but the pandemic kind of froze all my options (was essentially told that they were no longer filling the position but I could have just not gotten it). I was wondering if trying to attend a tax llm program would increase my odds. I know the NYU and Georgetown programs are the best (and really the only ones worth attending) but my stats are probably not competitive for either program. Would a llm at Florida or Northwestern be beneficial? My stats are listed below. Any advice is greatly appreciated.

Top 25 law school (think Minnesota, Arizona State or Emory, so not very prestigious)
Top 25% of class (3.56 GPA)
Summer experiences include extern for a district court judge and tax policy at a nonprofit
Tax grades are bad (B in Fed Income, A in Corporate, B+ in Estate, and A in SALT)
EIC of a secondary journal
Undergrad in Accounting (GPA 4.0)

Anonymous User
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Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Career Advice Needed!

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Jan 20, 2021 8:04 pm

Knight2021 wrote:
Sun Jan 17, 2021 9:41 pm
Hey everyone!

My goal is to work big 4, location doesn't really matter to me. I attended a decent law school (Currently a 3L), interviewed for a few positions at big 4 firms but the pandemic kind of froze all my options (was essentially told that they were no longer filling the position but I could have just not gotten it). I was wondering if trying to attend a tax llm program would increase my odds. I know the NYU and Georgetown programs are the best (and really the only ones worth attending) but my stats are probably not competitive for either program. Would a llm at Florida or Northwestern be beneficial? My stats are listed below. Any advice is greatly appreciated.

Top 25 law school (think Minnesota, Arizona State or Emory, so not very prestigious)
Top 25% of class (3.56 GPA)
Summer experiences include extern for a district court judge and tax policy at a nonprofit
Tax grades are bad (B in Fed Income, A in Corporate, B+ in Estate, and A in SALT)
EIC of a secondary journal
Undergrad in Accounting (GPA 4.0)
Hi OP,

First, your stats are quite competitive for NYU and GT Tax LLM.Yes, attending one of the 4 tax programs mentioned above would drastically increase your chances of getting a job at a Big 4 because TIP/TARE (OCI for the tax programs mentioned above and Big 4 recruits JD/LLMs heavily through that pipeline. Hope that helps!

Best of luck!

CanadianWolf

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Posts: 11067
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:54 pm

Re: Career Advice Needed!

Post by CanadianWolf » Mon Feb 22, 2021 1:21 pm

In response to your question: Yes, an LLM in Tax from Northwestern or from Florida will significantly enhance your prospects of Big 4 employment.

You also appear to be well qualified for the tax llm degree programs at NYU & Georgetown (top 25% of class at a top 25 law school with a number of tax courses, EIC of a journal, tax policy experience at a non-profit, and a degree in accounting).

Are you interested in a particular practice area (International, M&A, SALT, transfer pricing, for example) ?

Important considerations: Total amount of student loan debt and COA of any tax LLM degree program.

Are you a licensed CPA ? Or have you passed any of the CPA exams ? I ask for a couple of reasons, especially because you earned a 4.0 GPA in accounting.

CanadianWolf

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Posts: 11067
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:54 pm

Re: Career Advice Needed!

Post by CanadianWolf » Wed Feb 24, 2021 9:14 am

Just reviewed the bios of about 30 partners / principals in the Washington National Tax office of two Big 4 accounting firms. Those with tax LLMs earned them mostly at Georgetown, next was Boston University, then University of Miami, while two had NYU LLMs in Tax. Somewhat surprising to me was the number of Big 4 partners / principals who gave up a partnership in a major law firm to join a Big 4 accounting firm.

Although Northwestern's tax LLM program was not represented among the folks who I researched, Northwestern tax will get one Big 4 employment if one so desires. NU's tax LLM program is young relative to BU, NYU, Florida, UMiami, U San Diego, Loyola--Los Angeles, Golden Gate, USF, & many others, but it is very well designed & offers great career counseling in addition to job interview opportunities at TARE (tax attorney recruiting event) each year along with BU & Florida & TARE now includes the new tax LLM program at UC-Irvine.

I think that the advice shared on this website regarding tax LLM programs is a bit misleading--at least with respect to Big 4 tax employment. I know of dozens hired by Big 4 accounting firms from tax LLM programs which are rarely if ever mentioned on Top Law Schools website--especially on the West Coast of the US. Also true for the South--including Texas. Of course, if NYC biglaw is one's goal, then NYU's tax LLM program is the clear leader. (NYC Big 4 accounting firms seem receptive to tax LLMs earned from just about any program based on job offers with which I have second-hand knowledge.)

FND

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Posts: 355
Joined: Sun Mar 17, 2019 2:23 pm

Re: Career Advice Needed!

Post by FND » Sat May 01, 2021 9:18 am

CanadianWolf wrote:
Wed Feb 24, 2021 9:14 am
Somewhat surprising to me was the number of Big 4 partners / principals who gave up a partnership in a major law firm to join a Big 4 accounting firm.
1) could be they were non-equity partners
2) many equity partners' salaries are comparable to big 4 principals/partners - it might have been a move to a slightly higher salary, somewhat lower hours, or any of a number of reasons.

I knew an attorney years back who was keenly aware of the way the economy was shifting, and would leap from law firm to bank to law firm to hedge fund to whatever, and somehow always came out on top (or, at least, left before the shit hit the fan)

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