need help choosing LLM tax program in CA


Hi,
I have applied and gotten into each of the four tax LLM programs in CA. I know that Loyola's law school is ranked the highest and then USD. However, I'm not sure which Tax LLM program is better. Also, I want to eventually live in San Francisco, and I'm not sure if it would be better in terms of my career and networking to go to Golden Gate. Please help.

Hi,
I have applied and gotten into each of the four tax LLM programs in CA. I know that Loyola's law school is ranked the highest and then USD. However, I'm not sure which Tax LLM program is better. Also, I want to eventually live in San Francisco, and I'm not sure if it would be better in terms of my career and networking to go to Golden Gate. Please help.
quote
SteveB

FYI, you may not have seen that USD and Loyola just traded places in the rankings (again) - so be careful on making a decision based on that.

I don't think it's fair to say which program is better, because what's "better" for one person maybe an awefull choice for another. There are so many personal factors that have to be taken into account. Visit each school, talk to the professors, talk to the students, see who offers classes you are interested in and if you still don't know which school is right for you after that, put all the names in a hat and pick one! Good luck...

FYI, you may not have seen that USD and Loyola just traded places in the rankings (again) - so be careful on making a decision based on that.

I don't think it's fair to say which program is better, because what's "better" for one person maybe an awefull choice for another. There are so many personal factors that have to be taken into account. Visit each school, talk to the professors, talk to the students, see who offers classes you are interested in and if you still don't know which school is right for you after that, put all the names in a hat and pick one! Good luck...
quote
mw3L08

luvtaxlaw09 - I've been in your position and I've learned a good bit about the programs. And I apologize in advance for the massive post, but I think most of it is relevant and helpful. YMMV


First, if you know you want to be in San Francisco, then Golden Gate is a good option. While it really doesn't have the reputation outside of the bay area, it has many alumni in SF and its a good place to go to build connection there.

If you want to go to the "best" school, you'll have to think of what you define as "best." There is not any ranking of LLM programs. There is simply a ranking of the law schools with the best overall tax programs (though that does not necessarily mean best tax LLM programs). I think there is probably a high correlation, but not perfect. Thus the small difference in rank between LLS and USD is negligible.

Loylola has a fantastic advantage *in LA*. The director is basically magic with working connections to get LLM grads jobs in LA. That being said, she would even admit that her benefit greatly declines outsides of LA. If you want to find a job in the bay area, your best bet would be to go through the Tax Law Job Fair where many SF-area firms recruit (or at least have recruited before the economy fell asleep).

USD is strong and the place to go if you want to stay in San Diego, but it also has the best representation in the Tax Law Job Fair (usually held in SF)... getting some 3/4ths of the available interviews. That's not to say that it will get 3/4ths of the jobs. One explanation is that many of the Loyola and students get jobs through the director's networking, they tend not to have as many people go to the Job Fair... and many Chapman students are focused on LA, so they are looking locally and not as focused on the Tax Law Job Fair.

Chapman is a strong tax LLM program, but still doesnt have quite the reputation as a law school. It's strong in LA, but I feel that it tends to be seen as an LA-school and is probably comparable to GGU in that it is a good choice if you want to stay in that city.

In summary, the two best national/regional reputations are USD and LLS and the difference is small. If you want to stay in LA, Chapman is good choice. If you want to stay in SF, GGU is good. But Chapman and GGU carry less prestige outside of those cities.

I think you should closely examine the professors to see where you will get the best education and examine the course offerings and see if any of the schools offer more courses that interest you and your desired specialty.

Like I said, I was in a very similar situation and I eventually ruled out Chapman and was left with GGU, USD, and LLS. I then ruled out GGU because I felt that the education and faculty at LLS and USD are just stronger. Between USD and LLS, I think that LLS is tops in LA, but USD may have an edge in SF (and SD, though that is not as relevant to you). I think USD would be the strongest choice, but that is my opinion and likely opposing the opinion of many others.

PM me if you have more questions... I'd be glad to help.
And good luck!

luvtaxlaw09 - I've been in your position and I've learned a good bit about the programs. And I apologize in advance for the massive post, but I think most of it is relevant and helpful. YMMV


First, if you know you want to be in San Francisco, then Golden Gate is a good option. While it really doesn't have the reputation outside of the bay area, it has many alumni in SF and its a good place to go to build connection there.

If you want to go to the "best" school, you'll have to think of what you define as "best." There is not any ranking of LLM programs. There is simply a ranking of the law schools with the best overall tax programs (though that does not necessarily mean best tax LLM programs). I think there is probably a high correlation, but not perfect. Thus the small difference in rank between LLS and USD is negligible.

Loylola has a fantastic advantage *in LA*. The director is basically magic with working connections to get LLM grads jobs in LA. That being said, she would even admit that her benefit greatly declines outsides of LA. If you want to find a job in the bay area, your best bet would be to go through the Tax Law Job Fair where many SF-area firms recruit (or at least have recruited before the economy fell asleep).

USD is strong and the place to go if you want to stay in San Diego, but it also has the best representation in the Tax Law Job Fair (usually held in SF)... getting some 3/4ths of the available interviews. That's not to say that it will get 3/4ths of the jobs. One explanation is that many of the Loyola and students get jobs through the director's networking, they tend not to have as many people go to the Job Fair... and many Chapman students are focused on LA, so they are looking locally and not as focused on the Tax Law Job Fair.

Chapman is a strong tax LLM program, but still doesnt have quite the reputation as a law school. It's strong in LA, but I feel that it tends to be seen as an LA-school and is probably comparable to GGU in that it is a good choice if you want to stay in that city.

In summary, the two best national/regional reputations are USD and LLS and the difference is small. If you want to stay in LA, Chapman is good choice. If you want to stay in SF, GGU is good. But Chapman and GGU carry less prestige outside of those cities.

I think you should closely examine the professors to see where you will get the best education and examine the course offerings and see if any of the schools offer more courses that interest you and your desired specialty.

Like I said, I was in a very similar situation and I eventually ruled out Chapman and was left with GGU, USD, and LLS. I then ruled out GGU because I felt that the education and faculty at LLS and USD are just stronger. Between USD and LLS, I think that LLS is tops in LA, but USD may have an edge in SF (and SD, though that is not as relevant to you). I think USD would be the strongest choice, but that is my opinion and likely opposing the opinion of many others.

PM me if you have more questions... I'd be glad to help.
And good luck!
quote

I would not select Loyola. I've had mixed experiences with the adjunct faculty. Since I work full time, I am forced to take evening classes (taught primarily by adjuncts). The course offerings are not great. Contrary the prior comments by others on this post, many students in my LLM classes (graduating this month) have not found jobs.

I would not select Loyola. I've had mixed experiences with the adjunct faculty. Since I work full time, I am forced to take evening classes (taught primarily by adjuncts). The course offerings are not great. Contrary the prior comments by others on this post, many students in my LLM classes (graduating this month) have not found jobs.
quote
jthomas

I'm a current LLM Tax student at GGU. I choose the program mostly because it was the only one in San Francisco, so I could continue practicing by day and studying by night. I can't speak for the other schools. But, I'd give GGU high marks thus far. Almost all the professors are currently practicing in the community. So, they are really helpful with networking. Plus, because they are actively practicing they give extremely practical office management advice. They also share model work product, which is invaluable if you're looking to start your own practice.

Good Luck!

I'm a current LLM Tax student at GGU. I choose the program mostly because it was the only one in San Francisco, so I could continue practicing by day and studying by night. I can't speak for the other schools. But, I'd give GGU high marks thus far. Almost all the professors are currently practicing in the community. So, they are really helpful with networking. Plus, because they are actively practicing they give extremely practical office management advice. They also share model work product, which is invaluable if you're looking to start your own practice.

Good Luck!
quote

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