General qualifications for top-4 Tax LLM schools (NYU, Georgetown, Florida, NWestern)


Hodor
Hey everyone,

Like most of you, I’m working on my LLM applications, but I don’t want to go through the trouble and expense of applying to a school where I have absolutely no chance at acceptance. I’ve spoken to the dean of admissions at my school – he asked around but wasn’t able to find any hard and fast formula of GPA+tax grades+other = acceptance.

I’d appreciate any honest thoughts, criticism, or advice from current/past students at these programs or other applicants who are in my position. Maybe others can base their position off of the feedback.

My resume: Top-30 law school in Southeast, top-25% rank (90+ GPA), and journal. Tax grades were both high Bs in fed income and an estate-planning/trust class. Summer work includes a judicial internship, and several firms of varying size with tax projects at each, and a few days of Christmas break working at the estate planning firm where a professor is a partner. Pro bono work includes Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA). Majored in History at a Southeastern small liberal arts college.

I’m concerned that my tax class grades may not be high enough for these programs, despite the extra interest I’ve shown in tax on the whole. I’m also concerned that the lack of an accounting background from college may come back to bite me, although at this point, I’d rather work at a law firm than the Big Four.

Big picture, I’d likely want to end up in the Southeast long-term, but I certainly wouldn’t turn down nationwide opportunities that the northern schools would offer. I saw somewhere that NYU enrolls 600 or so out of 2800 applicants, but they have to accept some others that end up at Gtown, UF, etc. – so trying to gauge whether I’d fall in that top 1000 applicants. Also trying to get in and out without taking on too much extra debt, of course.

As a secondary question, how key is class rank in these programs? If I’m top-25% now, I’d expect that to drop to top 40%-50% due to increased competition. How valuable is a degree from one of these programs if you’re barely in the top half? I think average salary from one of these top schools is somewhere around $160k (US News World Report) so what could a top 50% NYU grad expect
Hey everyone,

Like most of you, I’m working on my LLM applications, but I don’t want to go through the trouble and expense of applying to a school where I have absolutely no chance at acceptance. I’ve spoken to the dean of admissions at my school – he asked around but wasn’t able to find any hard and fast formula of GPA+tax grades+other = acceptance.

I’d appreciate any honest thoughts, criticism, or advice from current/past students at these programs or other applicants who are in my position. Maybe others can base their position off of the feedback.

My resume: Top-30 law school in Southeast, top-25% rank (90+ GPA), and journal. Tax grades were both high Bs in fed income and an estate-planning/trust class. Summer work includes a judicial internship, and several firms of varying size with tax projects at each, and a few days of Christmas break working at the estate planning firm where a professor is a partner. Pro bono work includes Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA). Majored in History at a Southeastern small liberal arts college.

I’m concerned that my tax class grades may not be high enough for these programs, despite the extra interest I’ve shown in tax on the whole. I’m also concerned that the lack of an accounting background from college may come back to bite me, although at this point, I’d rather work at a law firm than the Big Four.

Big picture, I’d likely want to end up in the Southeast long-term, but I certainly wouldn’t turn down nationwide opportunities that the northern schools would offer. I saw somewhere that NYU enrolls 600 or so out of 2800 applicants, but they have to accept some others that end up at Gtown, UF, etc. – so trying to gauge whether I’d fall in that top 1000 applicants. Also trying to get in and out without taking on too much extra debt, of course.

As a secondary question, how key is class rank in these programs? If I’m top-25% now, I’d expect that to drop to top 40%-50% due to increased competition. How valuable is a degree from one of these programs if you’re barely in the top half? I think average salary from one of these top schools is somewhere around $160k (US News World Report) so what could a top 50% NYU grad expect
quote
Mo.llm
Hi, I am in the same situation and planning to apply next year for Tax LLM but is it important to have an academic background in tax ? I mean I have graduated from a law school that doesn't offer any courses related to tax. Mainly because there were no taxes in my country back then. Should I consider an international tax program instead of the regular one ?
Hi, I am in the same situation and planning to apply next year for Tax LLM but is it important to have an academic background in tax ? I mean I have graduated from a law school that doesn't offer any courses related to tax. Mainly because there were no taxes in my country back then. Should I consider an international tax program instead of the regular one ?
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Wavshrdr
I would say the Tax LLMs are at least as competitive, if not more so, than the general law schools mentioned. I was accepted into 2 of the schools mentioned for the international tax program. I had no background in US tax, nor tax in general, but I had very good credentials in home country law school (top 5%).

I asked about transferring to US Tax and one school said no directly and I would have to reapply for that program and the other said they would waitlist me if I wanted but I'd give up my guaranteed slot for int'l tax.

I went with another program at a higher ranked school in the end for a different program. My experience when looking for jobs later is there is not much of market for int'l tax. I've looked at jobs for the last year and almost nothing there. As for US tax, this is generally a very good LLM to have but I saw very few "entry level" openings for people just out of school and no real experience in tax. A lot of demand though for people with a US tax LLM AND experience.
I would say the Tax LLMs are at least as competitive, if not more so, than the general law schools mentioned. I was accepted into 2 of the schools mentioned for the international tax program. I had no background in US tax, nor tax in general, but I had very good credentials in home country law school (top 5%).

I asked about transferring to US Tax and one school said no directly and I would have to reapply for that program and the other said they would waitlist me if I wanted but I'd give up my guaranteed slot for int'l tax.

I went with another program at a higher ranked school in the end for a different program. My experience when looking for jobs later is there is not much of market for int'l tax. I've looked at jobs for the last year and almost nothing there. As for US tax, this is generally a very good LLM to have but I saw very few "entry level" openings for people just out of school and no real experience in tax. A lot of demand though for people with a US tax LLM AND experience.
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