NYU LLM in Taxation or International Taxation?


Joshf126

Dear all,

I just got accepted to NYU last week for the 2020/2021 academic year. I initially applied to the LLM in Taxation with the intention of taking the NY bar exam in July 2021 (I am a foreign trained lawyer).

However, the dean just emailed me yesterday saying that it is not possible for foreign trained attorneys to gain NY bar eligibility through the LLM in Taxation (which is primarily designed for US law graduates). Instead, he has offered me the possibility to enroll in the LLM in International Tax, designed for non-US attorneys and which would qualify me for the NY Bar.

With that said, I have been working in international tax for quite a long time (4 years approx) and my intention is to gain a solid understanding of US taxation so as to be able to work in that area at an international firm. I am afraid that the LLM in International Tax may be too generic and will not qualify me to advise on US corporate taxation.

I have been reviewing the curriculum for the LLM in international tax and it seems that the first semester is focused on studying US corporate taxation and US international tax rules, which is okay. However the second semester focuses more on international tax courses like tax treaties, BEPS and the like; and I have already a good understanding of those areas as I have been working in international tax for years. So it seems of little help to spend money and time in reviewing those things again (although the tax treaties course also provides some insight on the US approach to tax treaties which would be useful).

So I have the following options:

1. Enroll in the LLM in International Taxation and take the NY bar.
Pros: I can actually take the NY bar (easiest for foreign attorneys) and the second semester will be a bit more relaxed.
Cons: I am afraid I won’t get a comprehensive knowledge of US taxation and won’t be able to work in US tax after graduation.

2. Enroll in the LLM in Taxation and take the California bar.
Pros: I would get a very good background in US taxation.
Cons: I would have to sit the California bar, which is far more difficult than the NY one. And I think that for international lawyers it makes more sense to be licensed in NY rather than in California.

Any suggestions on the above? Has anyone completed the LLM in International Tax and could provide some guidance as to how US oriented it is?

Many thanks

[Edited by Joshf126 on Jan 28, 2020]

Dear all,

I just got accepted to NYU last week for the 2020/2021 academic year. I initially applied to the LLM in Taxation with the intention of taking the NY bar exam in July 2021 (I am a foreign trained lawyer).

However, the dean just emailed me yesterday saying that it is not possible for foreign trained attorneys to gain NY bar eligibility through the LLM in Taxation (which is primarily designed for US law graduates). Instead, he has offered me the possibility to enroll in the LLM in International Tax, designed for non-US attorneys and which would qualify me for the NY Bar.

With that said, I have been working in international tax for quite a long time (4 years approx) and my intention is to gain a solid understanding of US taxation so as to be able to work in that area at an international firm. I am afraid that the LLM in International Tax may be too generic and will not qualify me to advise on US corporate taxation.

I have been reviewing the curriculum for the LLM in international tax and it seems that the first semester is focused on studying US corporate taxation and US international tax rules, which is okay. However the second semester focuses more on international tax courses like tax treaties, BEPS and the like; and I have already a good understanding of those areas as I have been working in international tax for years. So it seems of little help to spend money and time in reviewing those things again (although the tax treaties course also provides some insight on the US approach to tax treaties which would be useful).

So I have the following options:

1. Enroll in the LLM in International Taxation and take the NY bar.
Pros: I can actually take the NY bar (easiest for foreign attorneys) and the second semester will be a bit more relaxed.
Cons: I am afraid I won’t get a comprehensive knowledge of US taxation and won’t be able to work in US tax after graduation.

2. Enroll in the LLM in Taxation and take the California bar.
Pros: I would get a very good background in US taxation.
Cons: I would have to sit the California bar, which is far more difficult than the NY one. And I think that for international lawyers it makes more sense to be licensed in NY rather than in California.

Any suggestions on the above? Has anyone completed the LLM in International Tax and could provide some guidance as to how US oriented it is?

Many thanks
quote
agm1790

Hello,

I'm a current ITP and maybe this will help your decision.

First Semester:
On the first semester it was mandatory for us to take International taxation I and II and US Corporate Taxation (4 credits each), the rest of the credits (another 8, maximum) were free for us to elect. the International taxation class was a mix between domestic and international LLM studies and it is focused on the US perspective of international taxation, so it is virtually a must for any US tax lawyer that works with multinationals or with domestic corporations with international operations. most of the domestic tax LLMs take that class with Prof. Steines, who is one among the best. The US Corp Taxation class is really good and it is only US focused, so it seems that this one is a perfect fit for your plans. After that you have up to 8 credits to allocate (16 credits in a semester is really tough though, so keep that in mind). If you are doing the NY bar, you need to sacrifice 4 credits on that semester for bar eligible courses (corporations, is the popular choice, I got Trusts and Estates as I do some estate planning). after that, you have 4 free credits to allocate and you can do it with two 2 credit tax classes (taxation of financial instruments, taxation of M&A transaction, among many others, they are usually 2 credit courses).

Second semester:
On this semester you have 3 mandatory courses that result on 9 credits. Tax treaties (4 credits), Tax policy in BEPS (2 credits) and Taxation of international business transactions (3 credits). The tax treaties course is given by David Rosenbloom who is basically a living legend on the tax world. the tricky thing of the course is that it is focused on the US implications of international tax treaties and you analyze in depth the US model and domestic conditions. It is rare for non-US tax lawyers to actually know this by practice only (I was practicing int tax for 5 years before the program and the class has been useful so far). then you have the 2nd part of that class that its focused on the OECD and UN models, that is usually lectured by a visiting professor. on this part I agree with you that it could be redundant if you already have a lot of experience, but it goes into a level of detail and context that has actually proven helpful to me, at least. A lot of domestic tax LLMs take the Tax treaties class. With the BEPS tax policy class (2 credits) I agree with you. you will only robust your knowledge. Concerning taxation of IBT, this is one of the best courses of the program. it is a Mix of international tax students and domestic tax students. It is based on practical problem solving and client advising from the US perspective and you play with other jurisdictions (your own and the jurisdiction of another classmate). the Professors are current and former advisors of top players, this class seems like a perfect fit for what you are looking for. with the mandatory behind us, you still have 7 credits to allocate (again, if you want to go full load). of the 7, if you are doing the bar you need to spend 1 in graduate lawyering, 2 on professional responsibility and 2 on another bar related topic (no tax course is bar eligible, unfortunately). after that, you still have 2 credits to allocate on tax. My recommendation would be partnership tax for ITPs (1 credit, with Cunningham, great guy) and tax fraud (1 credit).

With that, you should have solid US tax knowledge, comparable with the domestic tax LLMs and be bar eligible for NY. It is a hell of a ride.

I hope this helps.

Hello,

I'm a current ITP and maybe this will help your decision.

First Semester:
On the first semester it was mandatory for us to take International taxation I and II and US Corporate Taxation (4 credits each), the rest of the credits (another 8, maximum) were free for us to elect. the International taxation class was a mix between domestic and international LLM studies and it is focused on the US perspective of international taxation, so it is virtually a must for any US tax lawyer that works with multinationals or with domestic corporations with international operations. most of the domestic tax LLMs take that class with Prof. Steines, who is one among the best. The US Corp Taxation class is really good and it is only US focused, so it seems that this one is a perfect fit for your plans. After that you have up to 8 credits to allocate (16 credits in a semester is really tough though, so keep that in mind). If you are doing the NY bar, you need to sacrifice 4 credits on that semester for bar eligible courses (corporations, is the popular choice, I got Trusts and Estates as I do some estate planning). after that, you have 4 free credits to allocate and you can do it with two 2 credit tax classes (taxation of financial instruments, taxation of M&A transaction, among many others, they are usually 2 credit courses).

Second semester:
On this semester you have 3 mandatory courses that result on 9 credits. Tax treaties (4 credits), Tax policy in BEPS (2 credits) and Taxation of international business transactions (3 credits). The tax treaties course is given by David Rosenbloom who is basically a living legend on the tax world. the tricky thing of the course is that it is focused on the US implications of international tax treaties and you analyze in depth the US model and domestic conditions. It is rare for non-US tax lawyers to actually know this by practice only (I was practicing int tax for 5 years before the program and the class has been useful so far). then you have the 2nd part of that class that its focused on the OECD and UN models, that is usually lectured by a visiting professor. on this part I agree with you that it could be redundant if you already have a lot of experience, but it goes into a level of detail and context that has actually proven helpful to me, at least. A lot of domestic tax LLMs take the Tax treaties class. With the BEPS tax policy class (2 credits) I agree with you. you will only robust your knowledge. Concerning taxation of IBT, this is one of the best courses of the program. it is a Mix of international tax students and domestic tax students. It is based on practical problem solving and client advising from the US perspective and you play with other jurisdictions (your own and the jurisdiction of another classmate). the Professors are current and former advisors of top players, this class seems like a perfect fit for what you are looking for. with the mandatory behind us, you still have 7 credits to allocate (again, if you want to go full load). of the 7, if you are doing the bar you need to spend 1 in graduate lawyering, 2 on professional responsibility and 2 on another bar related topic (no tax course is bar eligible, unfortunately). after that, you still have 2 credits to allocate on tax. My recommendation would be partnership tax for ITPs (1 credit, with Cunningham, great guy) and tax fraud (1 credit).

With that, you should have solid US tax knowledge, comparable with the domestic tax LLMs and be bar eligible for NY. It is a hell of a ride.

I hope this helps.
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