LLM in tax


5steve
Currently, I'm a 3L at a 3rd tier law school interested in tax law. The school I attend offers a joint JD/LLM in taxation, but I dont know if this program is worth attending. I am around the top third of my class and I dont know if I would get into a top three school. Would I be better off getting a JD/LLM in half the time, or taking a shot and applying to the top three schools as well as other schools a little further down the list?

Also, how easy/difficult would it be to transfer graduate tax courses from one school to another?
Currently, I'm a 3L at a 3rd tier law school interested in tax law. The school I attend offers a joint JD/LLM in taxation, but I dont know if this program is worth attending. I am around the top third of my class and I dont know if I would get into a top three school. Would I be better off getting a JD/LLM in half the time, or taking a shot and applying to the top three schools as well as other schools a little further down the list?

Also, how easy/difficult would it be to transfer graduate tax courses from one school to another?
quote
SteveB
First, on applying to the best programs - what have you got to lose? A few application fees and maybe a couple of anxious nights of waiting for an answer? No different than law school! Don't count yourself out just b/c of the school you are at. Go for it!

Second, you need to consider how connected your "home" school is. If you plan on practicing local to where you are at, your law school may have better "warm" job connections than a "cold" LLM.

Next, you've got to ask yourself what kind of job you expect when you are done. Do you expect to be an associate at Skadden Arps? (Not even all the NYU grads can get those jobs) Do you want to go International yet stay in the US? (Skip DC and NY and check out FL) Do you want to do International for a firm that requires you to go overseas? (Stick with NYU and GT for reputation, not actual quality.) Do you want to practice in the West coast sunshine? (Where they won't care if you have an East coast pedigree...check out the scholarship offers of Denver/USD/Loyola/Chapman.)

The bottom line is that you have so very many factor to consider! It's much more than just "$10K and 6 months if you stay at your school v. a lifetime of big bucks earnings if you go to a REAL program." That is such a short sighted and smarmy view which I'm sure that you'll hear over and over on this board.

This leads me to my final point: Take what you read here with a grain of salt...this board is like Wikipedia, anyone - myself included - can post anything. You should lean on your professors (the ones who aren't biased and looking for JD/LLM revenue for your school), the tax firms you admire and your alumni.

Just take this as one bit of advice. Good luck, and keep us posted over the next year!

Oh, almost forgot! On the transfer units, most programs outside the Top 10 will take up to 6 unit$ - the top program$ make you take all 24-30 unit$ in-house...for reason$ unrelated to the quality of the credit$ that you are trying to tran$fer. If you know what I mean...
First, on applying to the best programs - what have you got to lose? A few application fees and maybe a couple of anxious nights of waiting for an answer? No different than law school! Don't count yourself out just b/c of the school you are at. Go for it!

Second, you need to consider how connected your "home" school is. If you plan on practicing local to where you are at, your law school may have better "warm" job connections than a "cold" LLM.

Next, you've got to ask yourself what kind of job you expect when you are done. Do you expect to be an associate at Skadden Arps? (Not even all the NYU grads can get those jobs) Do you want to go International yet stay in the US? (Skip DC and NY and check out FL) Do you want to do International for a firm that requires you to go overseas? (Stick with NYU and GT for reputation, not actual quality.) Do you want to practice in the West coast sunshine? (Where they won't care if you have an East coast pedigree...check out the scholarship offers of Denver/USD/Loyola/Chapman.)

The bottom line is that you have so very many factor to consider! It's much more than just "$10K and 6 months if you stay at your school v. a lifetime of big bucks earnings if you go to a REAL program." That is such a short sighted and smarmy view which I'm sure that you'll hear over and over on this board.

This leads me to my final point: Take what you read here with a grain of salt...this board is like Wikipedia, anyone - myself included - can post anything. You should lean on your professors (the ones who aren't biased and looking for JD/LLM revenue for your school), the tax firms you admire and your alumni.

Just take this as one bit of advice. Good luck, and keep us posted over the next year!

Oh, almost forgot! On the transfer units, most programs outside the Top 10 will take up to 6 unit$ - the top program$ make you take all 24-30 unit$ in-house...for reason$ unrelated to the quality of the credit$ that you are trying to tran$fer. If you know what I mean...


quote
5steve
With limited llm information around, you're guidance was much appreciated. I have asked several professors and the director of my school's tax law program, but the information I received wasn't worth much. Currently, I go to school in Chicago and it seems like Northwestern would be a good fit, but as I said before it would take twice as long to obtain the degree. My main concern is quality of education and marketability. Its not a burning desire to be an associate at Skadden Arps, but it is important to have leverage over employers after graduation. The main concern with staying at (I'll leave it anonymous) is my frustration with our career services office. Faculty is great, but the staff doesn't deserve a dime of my tuition money. Although I prefer Chicago, my ears did perk up a bit when you mentioned scholarship opportunities on the west coast. Can you elaborate or guide me to a source that would provide more information on scholarship opportunities? Also, any thoughts or opinions on the various schools in Chicago that offer tax llm would be great. i.e. Kent, John Marshall, Depaul, Northwestern

Thanks
With limited llm information around, you're guidance was much appreciated. I have asked several professors and the director of my school's tax law program, but the information I received wasn't worth much. Currently, I go to school in Chicago and it seems like Northwestern would be a good fit, but as I said before it would take twice as long to obtain the degree. My main concern is quality of education and marketability. Its not a burning desire to be an associate at Skadden Arps, but it is important to have leverage over employers after graduation. The main concern with staying at (I'll leave it anonymous) is my frustration with our career services office. Faculty is great, but the staff doesn't deserve a dime of my tuition money. Although I prefer Chicago, my ears did perk up a bit when you mentioned scholarship opportunities on the west coast. Can you elaborate or guide me to a source that would provide more information on scholarship opportunities? Also, any thoughts or opinions on the various schools in Chicago that offer tax llm would be great. i.e. Kent, John Marshall, Depaul, Northwestern

Thanks
quote
SteveB
On the scholarship potential, it really depends on what the applicant pool is like next spring. Last year there were some pretty agressive scholarship policies from Denver to the west. But you won't know until the spring - a lot of schools will say "you're admitted, but scholarhsip offers won't be made until April." In the meantime, talk to the LLM directors at those schools and feel them out.

From what I understand, the last two years have seen overall law school admissions go down nationwide - meaning scholarhsip offers go up. But now that everyone thinks we're heading into a recession, in theory, applications for 2008-2009 should go up because people like to wait out job recessions by getting another degree. This means the need for scholarship offers would go down. Get it? But it's just too early to tell.

On your other question, my opinion (and remember, this is just my opinion - do your own homework!) on the Chicago schools is pick NW, but don't count out Kent - they pump out a lot of Accountant/CPA's, so I'll bet your Kent LLM could get you a Big 4 job through a Kent CPA alumnus.
On the scholarship potential, it really depends on what the applicant pool is like next spring. Last year there were some pretty agressive scholarship policies from Denver to the west. But you won't know until the spring - a lot of schools will say "you're admitted, but scholarhsip offers won't be made until April." In the meantime, talk to the LLM directors at those schools and feel them out.

From what I understand, the last two years have seen overall law school admissions go down nationwide - meaning scholarhsip offers go up. But now that everyone thinks we're heading into a recession, in theory, applications for 2008-2009 should go up because people like to wait out job recessions by getting another degree. This means the need for scholarship offers would go down. Get it? But it's just too early to tell.

On your other question, my opinion (and remember, this is just my opinion - do your own homework!) on the Chicago schools is pick NW, but don't count out Kent - they pump out a lot of Accountant/CPA's, so I'll bet your Kent LLM could get you a Big 4 job through a Kent CPA alumnus.
quote
5steve
I realize its only your opinion, but I appreciate the advice. I have done research on my own, mainly spoken with professors and they have given me some guidance. Anyway, it doesn't take much research to know NW is the premier program in Chicago, but they have small classes and tend to be selective. I know, I know, I have nothing to lose, but the application fee. Obviously I'm going to apply, but there is one dilemma. I am in Federal Income Tax right now and I won't get my grade back until late January. Should I wait for the grade, or get my application in ASAP? As for my other stats, I have a 3.25 gpa (35%), taken Corporate Tax and received an A, and intern at a local gov't agency that deals with property tax matters. What are my chances of getting accepted? Should I wait until I receive that Federal Income Tax grade or apply ASAP? I realize this is opinion, but every bit of information helps. Thanks
I realize its only your opinion, but I appreciate the advice. I have done research on my own, mainly spoken with professors and they have given me some guidance. Anyway, it doesn't take much research to know NW is the premier program in Chicago, but they have small classes and tend to be selective. I know, I know, I have nothing to lose, but the application fee. Obviously I'm going to apply, but there is one dilemma. I am in Federal Income Tax right now and I won't get my grade back until late January. Should I wait for the grade, or get my application in ASAP? As for my other stats, I have a 3.25 gpa (35%), taken Corporate Tax and received an A, and intern at a local gov't agency that deals with property tax matters. What are my chances of getting accepted? Should I wait until I receive that Federal Income Tax grade or apply ASAP? I realize this is opinion, but every bit of information helps. Thanks
quote
SteveB
I'd wait till grades are posted in Jan but have everything ready to roll unless NW had an guaranteed early admission program. (Not many schools do and I doubt that NW has the need to.)

There's no way to comment on your chances -- it will depend on the applicant "gene pool" in the spring. Still your stats are definitely respectable.

Q: How were you able to take Corp Tax without taking Fed Tax first?
I'd wait till grades are posted in Jan but have everything ready to roll unless NW had an guaranteed early admission program. (Not many schools do and I doubt that NW has the need to.)

There's no way to comment on your chances -- it will depend on the applicant "gene pool" in the spring. Still your stats are definitely respectable.

Q: How were you able to take Corp Tax without taking Fed Tax first?
quote
5steve
You were the first with that opinion. Most of my professors felt it would be best to apply ASAP, but they advised me to call/email the director of the program to ask him directly. No clue how they allowed me to enroll in Corp Tax w/o taking Fed Tax. I was unaware it was a prereq and if I know that school like I think I know that school, I'd say someone was asleep at the wheel. Oh well. Thanks for the advice. Feel free to leave anymore comments.
You were the first with that opinion. Most of my professors felt it would be best to apply ASAP, but they advised me to call/email the director of the program to ask him directly. No clue how they allowed me to enroll in Corp Tax w/o taking Fed Tax. I was unaware it was a prereq and if I know that school like I think I know that school, I'd say someone was asleep at the wheel. Oh well. Thanks for the advice. Feel free to leave anymore comments.
quote
CSJTax
On your other question, my opinion (and remember, this is just my opinion - do your own homework!) on the Chicago schools is pick NW, but don't count out Kent - they pump out a lot of Accountant/CPA's, so I'll bet your Kent LLM could get you a Big 4 job through a Kent CPA alumnus.

I agree that for a Tax LLM in Chicago, Northwestern would be the best choice reputation-wise if you can get in. I wholeheartedly agree, however, that the Chicago-Kent's Tax LLM program is extremely good and very well regarded in the Midwest and by Big 4 accounting firms. It's reputation is imporoving as the law school's overall rank keeps improving. The law school itself is a Tier 2 school, very close to moving into Tier 1.
<blockquote>On your other question, my opinion (and remember, this is just my opinion - do your own homework!) on the Chicago schools is pick NW, but don't count out Kent - they pump out a lot of Accountant/CPA's, so I'll bet your Kent LLM could get you a Big 4 job through a Kent CPA alumnus.</blockquote>
I agree that for a Tax LLM in Chicago, Northwestern would be the best choice reputation-wise if you can get in. I wholeheartedly agree, however, that the Chicago-Kent's Tax LLM program is extremely good and very well regarded in the Midwest and by Big 4 accounting firms. It's reputation is imporoving as the law school's overall rank keeps improving. The law school itself is a Tier 2 school, very close to moving into Tier 1.
quote
CSJTax
New 2014 Rankings for Tax LLMs from USNews & World Report are out:
#1 NYU
#2 Georgetown
#3 Florida
#4 Northwestern
#5 Miami
#6 Boston University
#7 Loyola-LA
#8 Unversity of Washington
#9 San Diego
#10 Houston

Check it out here:
http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2013/03/new-2014.html
New 2014 Rankings for Tax LLMs from USNews & World Report are out:
#1 NYU
#2 Georgetown
#3 Florida
#4 Northwestern
#5 Miami
#6 Boston University
#7 Loyola-LA
#8 Unversity of Washington
#9 San Diego
#10 Houston

Check it out here:
http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2013/03/new-2014.html
quote

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