tax


califtax

I have been admitted to the tax LLM programs at University of San Diego, Loyola (Los Angeles), and Chapman. I have spoken with several tax attorneys that I have worked with in the past, and some tax professors, but I have not gotten a clear consensus as to the best program. From the information I have gathered, I am leaning towards Loyola. Does anyone have any advice that might be helpful?

Thanks.

I have been admitted to the tax LLM programs at University of San Diego, Loyola (Los Angeles), and Chapman. I have spoken with several tax attorneys that I have worked with in the past, and some tax professors, but I have not gotten a clear consensus as to the best program. From the information I have gathered, I am leaning towards Loyola. Does anyone have any advice that might be helpful?

Thanks.

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Publius00

I think that really depends upon where you want to practice. If you want to end up in San Diego, then I think USD is your best bet. If you don't feel a need to have a career in San Diego, I agree with you that Loyola would be my number one choice amongst the three. The main reason for that is that USD's career services has a reputation for being rather unhelpful.

Loyola has put together a pretty good tax program in LA. My understanding is that a very large percentage of the LL.M. students are part time, so they have a lot of night classes. I have heard that you can make some great networking connections at Loyola (and that's the reason I would choose them over USD).

Chapman has a surprisingly good reputation in tax. I don't know the number of students in the program, but I would think that it is small enough for you to really get to know your professors. Given your three choices, the only way I would probably go to Chapman over USD or Loyola is if they provided an excellent financial aid package.

I think that really depends upon where you want to practice. If you want to end up in San Diego, then I think USD is your best bet. If you don't feel a need to have a career in San Diego, I agree with you that Loyola would be my number one choice amongst the three. The main reason for that is that USD's career services has a reputation for being rather unhelpful.

Loyola has put together a pretty good tax program in LA. My understanding is that a very large percentage of the LL.M. students are part time, so they have a lot of night classes. I have heard that you can make some great networking connections at Loyola (and that's the reason I would choose them over USD).

Chapman has a surprisingly good reputation in tax. I don't know the number of students in the program, but I would think that it is small enough for you to really get to know your professors. Given your three choices, the only way I would probably go to Chapman over USD or Loyola is if they provided an excellent financial aid package.
quote

I just graduated from Chapman. I found that the program provided a great tax education. If you have specific questions, let me know and I would be happy to provide additional details.

I just graduated from Chapman. I found that the program provided a great tax education. If you have specific questions, let me know and I would be happy to provide additional details.
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jktax

I'm the Director of Loyola's Tax LLM Program and would be happy to put you in touch with recent graduates to discuss the highly personalized job search assistance we give our LLM students to best take advantage of our connections in the tax community. You can contact me through Loyola's Tax LLM webpage.

http://www.lls.edu/programs/tax-llm/index.html

I'm the Director of Loyola's Tax LLM Program and would be happy to put you in touch with recent graduates to discuss the highly personalized job search assistance we give our LLM students to best take advantage of our connections in the tax community. You can contact me through Loyola's Tax LLM webpage.

http://www.lls.edu/programs/tax-llm/index.html
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durhamtax

USD's Yax LL.M. is natioanlly ranked at number 10. It is the best on the west coast. Quite a few top tax attorneys and Judges (M Carr Fergusen and Judge David Laro to mention a couple) are on staff. I finish in August and it is top-notch.

On the west coast, I wouldn't have studied anywhere else.

USD's Yax LL.M. is natioanlly ranked at number 10. It is the best on the west coast. Quite a few top tax attorneys and Judges (M Carr Fergusen and Judge David Laro to mention a couple) are on staff. I finish in August and it is top-notch.

On the west coast, I wouldn't have studied anywhere else.
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setho

Unless you are going to go to a top 3 tax llm program, there isnt a huge difference between tax programs. When choosing a program outside the top 3 you should consider location and recruiting and networking opportunities when picking a school. They are all going to offer a good education, but their job prospects are mainly regional so you should focus on geography and connections foremost.

Unless you are going to go to a top 3 tax llm program, there isnt a huge difference between tax programs. When choosing a program outside the top 3 you should consider location and recruiting and networking opportunities when picking a school. They are all going to offer a good education, but their job prospects are mainly regional so you should focus on geography and connections foremost.
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417714

Unless you are going to go to a top 3 tax llm program, there isnt a huge difference between tax programs. When choosing a program outside the top 3 you should consider location and recruiting and networking opportunities when picking a school. They are all going to offer a good education, but their job prospects are mainly regional so you should focus on geography and connections foremost.


Setho, as a member of a prestigious tax practice area in a nationally recognized firm, I'm currently very disheartened to see someone make the above kinds of blanket statements. If someone has the education and the ability to market themseles they can find a job outside of the region they attend school (case in point, of the six people in my group whom have LLMs only two came from a top three school). The others came from schools outside of the top three, do a fantastic job, and are evidence that job prospects are "mainly regional." I almost find it amusing that you speak with such authority, but you are not currently employed (as you are in the midst of how to best market yourself according to other posts).

<blockquote>Unless you are going to go to a top 3 tax llm program, there isnt a huge difference between tax programs. When choosing a program outside the top 3 you should consider location and recruiting and networking opportunities when picking a school. They are all going to offer a good education, but their job prospects are mainly regional so you should focus on geography and connections foremost.</blockquote>

Setho, as a member of a prestigious tax practice area in a nationally recognized firm, I'm currently very disheartened to see someone make the above kinds of blanket statements. If someone has the education and the ability to market themseles they can find a job outside of the region they attend school (case in point, of the six people in my group whom have LLMs only two came from a top three school). The others came from schools outside of the top three, do a fantastic job, and are evidence that job prospects are "mainly regional." I almost find it amusing that you speak with such authority, but you are not currently employed (as you are in the midst of how to best market yourself according to other posts).
quote
setho

My post was geared towards helping someone choose between schools. I did not put down the schools, infact i even said that they are going to offer a good education. I merely was trying to get across the point that what sets these schools apart from one another is the fact they have different locations and thus different connections and networking opportunities.

As we all know simply attending an LLM program is no guarantee of getting a job, so when considering a school it is best to take into consideration all factors that will influence your ability to get a job. One of these factors is the connections and networking opportunities the school is able to offer. Although I do not have conclusive proof of it (and feel free to attack me on this point if you like), I would venture to say that once you get outside of the top 5 or 6 tax llm programs, the national recognition of the program drops off. This isnt to say that the educational experience provided isnt good, but rather that in our profession, the name on your degree matters a lot. As a product of this lack of national recognition the degree just doesnt carry as far geographically. I am not saying its impossible to get a job but I would think it would be more difficult.

I am sorry if you took my post to be offensive, it was not intended to be taken that way and was a sincere attempt at helping the person to choose a school that would suit their career best.

My post was geared towards helping someone choose between schools. I did not put down the schools, infact i even said that they are going to offer a good education. I merely was trying to get across the point that what sets these schools apart from one another is the fact they have different locations and thus different connections and networking opportunities.

As we all know simply attending an LLM program is no guarantee of getting a job, so when considering a school it is best to take into consideration all factors that will influence your ability to get a job. One of these factors is the connections and networking opportunities the school is able to offer. Although I do not have conclusive proof of it (and feel free to attack me on this point if you like), I would venture to say that once you get outside of the top 5 or 6 tax llm programs, the national recognition of the program drops off. This isnt to say that the educational experience provided isnt good, but rather that in our profession, the name on your degree matters a lot. As a product of this lack of national recognition the degree just doesnt carry as far geographically. I am not saying its impossible to get a job but I would think it would be more difficult.

I am sorry if you took my post to be offensive, it was not intended to be taken that way and was a sincere attempt at helping the person to choose a school that would suit their career best.
quote
davy1

I currently work in a small law firm doing insurance defense. I want to stay in the L.A. area and obtain my tax degree. Does anyone have anything further to say about Chapman, its reputation and job prospects. Also, if I were to obtain my LLM, would it be practical, possible even, to strike out on my own as a solo atty in tax, elder law, estate planning & anything else tax related?

I currently work in a small law firm doing insurance defense. I want to stay in the L.A. area and obtain my tax degree. Does anyone have anything further to say about Chapman, its reputation and job prospects. Also, if I were to obtain my LLM, would it be practical, possible even, to strike out on my own as a solo atty in tax, elder law, estate planning & anything else tax related?
quote
justax

Hey guys,

I got an admission from Florida and Boston U for tax llm. Which school would carry more punch in the Northeast (which is where I plan to return after my LLM)? I plan to do intl tax.

(I posted the same msg on this board but am posting redundant one here again to collect any many opinions as possible) Thanks all for your advice in advance!

Hey guys,

I got an admission from Florida and Boston U for tax llm. Which school would carry more punch in the Northeast (which is where I plan to return after my LLM)? I plan to do intl tax.

(I posted the same msg on this board but am posting redundant one here again to collect any many opinions as possible) Thanks all for your advice in advance!
quote
SteveB

Hi Davy1:

The only thing I'd add is that Chapman has some heavy duty estate planning classes that you won't find at the other two So Cal programs. Loyola seems to be more into tax policy and such.

A professor from Chapman was teaching at Loyola last year, so I think the programs must be pretty comparable if they swap profs like that!!

As far as job prospects, I think it will be more a matter of the overall economy than either of those schools reputations if you are looking for a job locally.

You're going to take the same core classes in both programs, so you may want to see who has the electives that suit your interests best - especially if you are considering going solo.

Hi Davy1:

The only thing I'd add is that Chapman has some heavy duty estate planning classes that you won't find at the other two So Cal programs. Loyola seems to be more into tax policy and such.

A professor from Chapman was teaching at Loyola last year, so I think the programs must be pretty comparable if they swap profs like that!!

As far as job prospects, I think it will be more a matter of the overall economy than either of those schools reputations if you are looking for a job locally.

You're going to take the same core classes in both programs, so you may want to see who has the electives that suit your interests best - especially if you are considering going solo.
quote
lurker

As a former Chapman Tax LLM student, I have to agree with this comment. If you are a planning a career in estate planning, then Chapman is likely to be a good school for you. But if name recognition is your concern, then avoid Chapman like the plague and go to Loyola instead - or possibly USD. You have to take 27 units to graduate from Chapman as opposed to 24 at Loyola.

One side note: USD is no longer #1 in the west coast. Loyola is.

I learned that one of my former Chapman classmates is now working at one of those shady tax resolution firms. Another got a job at a mid-size CPA firm, but no one that I knew of got a job at a Big4 accounting firm. The rest either gave up tax altogether and did something else, or did not find a job.

Another former classmate transferred to Loyola after one semester at Chapman and I heard he did really well there.

As a former Chapman Tax LLM student, I have to agree with this comment. If you are a planning a career in estate planning, then Chapman is likely to be a good school for you. But if name recognition is your concern, then avoid Chapman like the plague and go to Loyola instead - or possibly USD. You have to take 27 units to graduate from Chapman as opposed to 24 at Loyola.

One side note: USD is no longer #1 in the west coast. Loyola is.

I learned that one of my former Chapman classmates is now working at one of those shady tax resolution firms. Another got a job at a mid-size CPA firm, but no one that I knew of got a job at a Big4 accounting firm. The rest either gave up tax altogether and did something else, or did not find a job.

Another former classmate transferred to Loyola after one semester at Chapman and I heard he did really well there.
quote
Shaman

Ha ha! Thanks for the laugh of the week! A graduate of ANY (meaning even a crappy mid-west program) LLM program who is working for a "shady tax resolution" service is just a lame-r that should have never wasted the money on the LLM in the first place!! Those "firms" barely want attorneys, let alone LLM's! (Then again, I guess there has got to be some loser at the bottom of the LLM class that the shady place can hire cheap...no matter what school they went to!!)

I agree that the job market just sucks - but the thought that Loyola is better than San Diego is laughable! "Former student" usually means "dropped out of a program," which is funny too. I mean, if you diss a school that rejected you, you just seem hurt, but when you diss the school that YOU chose to got to then you were lame for staying there!

So a top 4 accounting firm hired a 3rd tier LLM? Woopie! USD will get you interviews at the tax court...

Ha ha! Thanks for the laugh of the week! A graduate of ANY (meaning even a crappy mid-west program) LLM program who is working for a "shady tax resolution" service is just a lame-r that should have never wasted the money on the LLM in the first place!! Those "firms" barely want attorneys, let alone LLM's! (Then again, I guess there has got to be some loser at the bottom of the LLM class that the shady place can hire cheap...no matter what school they went to!!)

I agree that the job market just sucks - but the thought that Loyola is better than San Diego is laughable! "Former student" usually means "dropped out of a program," which is funny too. I mean, if you diss a school that rejected you, you just seem hurt, but when you diss the school that YOU chose to got to then you were lame for staying there!

So a top 4 accounting firm hired a 3rd tier LLM? Woopie! USD will get you interviews at the tax court...
quote
lurker

Shaman, let me guess, you're a current or former USD Tax LLM student? You seem to know a bit about the program. Good for you and good luck finding a job. In fact, I hope you are one of the few who gets an interview with the Tax Court.

FYI, Loyola ranked higher than USD this year although it was only recent and not by much:

http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2008/03/new-2009-us-new.html

13. Loyola-L.A. (up from #16)
...
16. San Diego (down from #10)

Going up or down one or two spots is understandable considering that the rankings fluctuate a bit, but going down six spots on the tax rankings in one year? WTF?

Anyway, I went to Chapman because there were estate planning classes there that I wanted to take and I wanted the CLE units. I met a more than a few people who were in my line of work and even exchanged referrals from time to time. The LLM degree is more of a side benefit.

But I must say I was shocked to find out that one of my former classmates (I say "former classmate" because we graduated and went our separate ways) was working for one of these shady tax resolution outfits. That's when I realized that Chapman's LLM degree is not going to help young attorneys trying to pad their resumes. I don't want anybody else ending up in his shoes.

I don't know much about USD but I am sure it is a fine tax program. I only know a sliver about Loyola because of my former classmate (this one dropped out of the program) who transferred there. He said that he absolutely loved the school and never looked back.

Shaman, let me guess, you're a current or former USD Tax LLM student? You seem to know a bit about the program. Good for you and good luck finding a job. In fact, I hope you are one of the few who gets an interview with the Tax Court.

FYI, Loyola ranked higher than USD this year although it was only recent and not by much:

http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2008/03/new-2009-us-new.html

13. Loyola-L.A. (up from #16)
...
16. San Diego (down from #10)

Going up or down one or two spots is understandable considering that the rankings fluctuate a bit, but going down six spots on the tax rankings in one year? WTF?

Anyway, I went to Chapman because there were estate planning classes there that I wanted to take and I wanted the CLE units. I met a more than a few people who were in my line of work and even exchanged referrals from time to time. The LLM degree is more of a side benefit.

But I must say I was shocked to find out that one of my former classmates (I say "former classmate" because we graduated and went our separate ways) was working for one of these shady tax resolution outfits. That's when I realized that Chapman's LLM degree is not going to help young attorneys trying to pad their resumes. I don't want anybody else ending up in his shoes.

I don't know much about USD but I am sure it is a fine tax program. I only know a sliver about Loyola because of my former classmate (this one dropped out of the program) who transferred there. He said that he absolutely loved the school and never looked back.
quote

What does shady tax resolution firm mean? Ive seen the concept a few times but I dont understand it, its some how a statement for fraudulent non ethic firm?

Salud!

B.A.

What does shady tax resolution firm mean? I’ve seen the concept a few times but I don’t understand it, its some how a statement for fraudulent non ethic firm?

Salud!

B.A.
quote
jake

I suggest checking the publications of each faculty. The USN&WR rankings are by reputation which is voted on by people in the area. Top ranking reflects number of grads from each school. Not necessarily quality.

I suggest checking the publications of each faculty. The USN&WR rankings are by reputation which is voted on by people in the area. Top ranking reflects number of grads from each school. Not necessarily quality.

</blockquote>
quote
SteveB

FYI folks...

Regarding the rankings disussion above, you guys realize that USN&WR does not rank *any* LLM programs, right?

TaxProfBlog simply takes the JD rankings and then extracts the schools that also have LLM's. He leaves them in the same order, then re-numbers them 1-25. If you don't believe me, email Mr. TaxProfBlog himself.

Again, the US News does not rank LLM programs. The US News ranks (1) law schools and (2) selected JD specializations - not LLM specializations.

FYI folks...

Regarding the rankings disussion above, you guys realize that USN&WR does not rank *any* LLM programs, right?

TaxProfBlog simply takes the JD rankings and then extracts the schools that also have LLM's. He leaves them in the same order, then re-numbers them 1-25. If you don't believe me, email Mr. TaxProfBlog himself.

Again, the US News does not rank LLM programs. The US News ranks (1) law schools and (2) selected JD specializations - not LLM specializations.
quote

SteveB

The USNWR rankings are different than TaxProfBlog's rankings.

For instance, Florida is ranked #2 by the Tax Prof Blog. That is ahead of Northwestern, Georgetown, Boston University, and SMU.

However, USNWR has Florida's law school ranked #46. Florida ranks behind all the schools listed above in overall rankings, but is second only to NYU for tax school rankings.

FYI

SteveB

The USNWR rankings are different than TaxProfBlog's rankings.

For instance, Florida is ranked #2 by the Tax Prof Blog. That is ahead of Northwestern, Georgetown, Boston University, and SMU.

However, USNWR has Florida's law school ranked #46. Florida ranks behind all the schools listed above in overall rankings, but is second only to NYU for tax school rankings.

FYI
quote
SteveB

Raisinhead, you missed my point entirely. I was trying to make the point that US News does NOT rank *LLM* programs.

Yes, there is a HUGE difference between the USN&WR "overall" law school rankings and the JD Tax specializations - thus explaining the FL difference that you mentioned - but we all know about that already.

The US News does rank several JD specializations, including Tax, *separately* from the overall rankings.

TaxProf (Paul Caron) then takes the JD Tax specialization list (not the *overall rank*) and extracts the schools that "also have Tax LLM's" and re-numbers them from 1-25. He posts his methodology - very clearly - on his blog.

Although everyone infers that "if the JD program is good, then the LLM must be too," this is not always the case. Some schools are top heavy in adjuncts, some schools have more expertise in certain areas, some schools just use LLM's as cash cows, and so on. Beyond inference, there is no way to validate what people are calling the LLM rankings.

No one has taken the time to do an analysis strictly of the LLM programs, so we're stuck with using either (1) the *overall/basic* US News ranks or (2) the US News *JD tax specialization* rankings, or (3) the JD tax rankings as transposed by TaxProf, or (4) the Social Science Research Network rankings (which is just Napster for nerds). None of which actually study LLM programs!!!

I wish someone would come up with a true LLM survey especially because people all over this board "boast or bash" school's LLM rankings when there is no validated psychometric basis for doing so.

Raisinhead, you missed my point entirely. I was trying to make the point that US News does NOT rank *LLM* programs.

Yes, there is a HUGE difference between the USN&WR "overall" law school rankings and the JD Tax specializations - thus explaining the FL difference that you mentioned - but we all know about that already.

The US News does rank several JD specializations, including Tax, *separately* from the overall rankings.

TaxProf (Paul Caron) then takes the JD Tax specialization list (not the *overall rank*) and extracts the schools that "also have Tax LLM's" and re-numbers them from 1-25. He posts his methodology - very clearly - on his blog.

Although everyone infers that "if the JD program is good, then the LLM must be too," this is not always the case. Some schools are top heavy in adjuncts, some schools have more expertise in certain areas, some schools just use LLM's as cash cows, and so on. Beyond inference, there is no way to validate what people are calling the LLM rankings.

No one has taken the time to do an analysis strictly of the LLM programs, so we're stuck with using either (1) the *overall/basic* US News ranks or (2) the US News *JD tax specialization* rankings, or (3) the JD tax rankings as transposed by TaxProf, or (4) the Social Science Research Network rankings (which is just Napster for nerds). None of which actually study LLM programs!!!

I wish someone would come up with a true LLM survey especially because people all over this board "boast or bash" school's LLM rankings when there is no validated psychometric basis for doing so.
quote

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