Tax LLM (Apply again?)


M&A

Applied to schools across the county, with not much luck. Waiting on G-town, Florida, and another lower ranked school.

Stats:
Tier 2 school. Rank accompanied with apps put me in top 65%. Current rank after previous semester's grades: Top 45%. A GPA of 3.5 this semester will move me up to top 25% of my class. (I'm a transfer student, so grades are weighed more heavily my 3L year because 1L year grades are not factored.) Business degree, decent legal experience (mid-sized firm, US Senator's office, Prosecutor's Office), B average in two tax classes. Currently in 4 credit tax class.

Should I settle for a lower ranked school #10 in the geographic area I want to practice, or apply again for next year? During the interim, I'd apply for a temp position with the IRS or possibly sit for another bar.

Any thoughts?

Thanks

Applied to schools across the county, with not much luck. Waiting on G-town, Florida, and another lower ranked school.

Stats:
Tier 2 school. Rank accompanied with apps put me in top 65%. Current rank after previous semester's grades: Top 45%. A GPA of 3.5 this semester will move me up to top 25% of my class. (I'm a transfer student, so grades are weighed more heavily my 3L year because 1L year grades are not factored.) Business degree, decent legal experience (mid-sized firm, US Senator's office, Prosecutor's Office), B average in two tax classes. Currently in 4 credit tax class.

Should I settle for a lower ranked school #10 in the geographic area I want to practice, or apply again for next year? During the interim, I'd apply for a temp position with the IRS or possibly sit for another bar.

Any thoughts?

Thanks

quote

You might check out Alabama (www.alabamallm.com)
It's a top tier school with a tax llm program you can take online. They accept applications even into June.

You might check out Alabama (www.alabamallm.com)
It's a top tier school with a tax llm program you can take online. They accept applications even into June.
quote
Santa

Don't look at Alabama, but apply in a broader range of schools, also some in top 20 such as Vanderbilt.

I don't really know if you will get in though.

Don't look at Alabama, but apply in a broader range of schools, also some in top 20 such as Vanderbilt.

I don't really know if you will get in though.
quote
KimchiTax

This OP is talking about tax LL.M. programs.
Vanderbilt doesn't have one.
Busted, Santa!
:P


Don't look at Alabama, but apply in a broader range of schools, also some in top 20 such as Vanderbilt.

I don't really know if you will get in though.

This OP is talking about tax LL.M. programs.
Vanderbilt doesn't have one.
Busted, Santa!
:P


<blockquote>Don't look at Alabama, but apply in a broader range of schools, also some in top 20 such as Vanderbilt.

I don't really know if you will get in though.</blockquote>
quote
M&A

Thanks for the advise. But, an online program at Alabama, and, to the above post, didn't think that Vanderbilt had a program, let alone at a top 20 school?

Boston typically accepts students ranked top third, USD: top half, and Washington more like top 60% (spoke to admissions at these schools), and NYU, I know people that have been accepted in the top 25-30% range.

I'll be graduating top third to top 25% trom an upper tier 2 school with as of now a B average in tax classes with a final in corp. tax manana. I think I can do better than an online program and a non-existant one ranked in the top 20 that I might or might not get in to.

Thanks for the input, though.
Cheers!

Thanks for the advise. But, an online program at Alabama, and, to the above post, didn't think that Vanderbilt had a program, let alone at a top 20 school?

Boston typically accepts students ranked top third, USD: top half, and Washington more like top 60% (spoke to admissions at these schools), and NYU, I know people that have been accepted in the top 25-30% range.

I'll be graduating top third to top 25% trom an upper tier 2 school with as of now a B average in tax classes with a final in corp. tax manana. I think I can do better than an online program and a non-existant one ranked in the top 20 that I might or might not get in to.

Thanks for the input, though.
Cheers!
quote
KimchiTax

Check Daniel Powell's previous postings. This person has been advertising this program whenever he can. I don't think his above post is necessarily directed at you.
And Santa has applied to general LLM programs, so he may have been a bit confused and mentioned JD ranking. (Sorry Santa, and I know the pic here is not your real picture, but I still like you regardless of what you look like. lol)
I think you have a good shot at UF, GU and/or whatever lower ranked schools you referred to. Be patient a little longer. You may hear good news very soon. Good luck.
You can consider reapplying later, like in summer, after you get all results.


Thanks for the advise. But, an online program at Alabama, and, to the above post, didn't think that Vanderbilt had a program, let alone at a top 20 school?

Boston typically accepts students ranked top third, USD: top half, and Washington more like top 60% (spoke to admissions at these schools), and NYU, I know people that have been accepted in the top 25-30% range.

I'll be graduating top third to top 25% trom an upper tier 2 school with as of now a B average in tax classes with a final in corp. tax manana. I think I can do better than an online program and a non-existant one ranked in the top 20 that I might or might not get in to.

Thanks for the input, though.
Cheers!

Check Daniel Powell's previous postings. This person has been advertising this program whenever he can. I don't think his above post is necessarily directed at you.
And Santa has applied to general LLM programs, so he may have been a bit confused and mentioned JD ranking. (Sorry Santa, and I know the pic here is not your real picture, but I still like you regardless of what you look like. lol)
I think you have a good shot at UF, GU and/or whatever lower ranked schools you referred to. Be patient a little longer. You may hear good news very soon. Good luck.
You can consider reapplying later, like in summer, after you get all results.



<blockquote>Thanks for the advise. But, an online program at Alabama, and, to the above post, didn't think that Vanderbilt had a program, let alone at a top 20 school?

Boston typically accepts students ranked top third, USD: top half, and Washington more like top 60% (spoke to admissions at these schools), and NYU, I know people that have been accepted in the top 25-30% range.

I'll be graduating top third to top 25% trom an upper tier 2 school with as of now a B average in tax classes with a final in corp. tax manana. I think I can do better than an online program and a non-existant one ranked in the top 20 that I might or might not get in to.

Thanks for the input, though.
Cheers!</blockquote>
quote
hangfire

Applications are up at all schools, due to the economy. You'd probably be fine without the recession. If no luck this year, then I'd consider reapplying.

Applications are up at all schools, due to the economy. You'd probably be fine without the recession. If no luck this year, then I'd consider reapplying.
quote
SteveB

re: Should I apply again for next year Ask yourself, what would make my application any stronger next year? What will give me an advantage over next years applicants? Unless you already have a clerkship/fellowship/volunteer/public service job already lined up (to show that you *intentionally* took a year off between JD and LLM to help in with a rain forest/judges chambers/public defender/the needy) just listing worked at a small law firm wont give you a leg up. Remember, the schools that reject you all know they said no already how are you going to convince them to change their mind? Its not like the DMV, where if you wait long enough youll eventually get in you need to demonstrate why you are now more qualified than when they rejected you.

re: Should I settle on school in the geographic area Thats a tough question for this board to answer. Where is your geographic area? Where is your *dream* geographic area? Have you talked to your Professors and Career Services people about the need for a Top 3 LLM program v. Top 25 in the markets/firms where you want to practice? Theres a big difference in what is expected at Skadden Arps in DC v. the IRS in Kansas City. What specialty do you want? Which program has that?

re: Temp position with the IRS There is no such thing as an IRS temp job these days. And its too late to for the fall clerkships and the honors hire program.

re: Sit for another bar. Only if you plan on moving to that state with or without the LLM. Just sitting and passing wont open the door to a better LLM program.

re: Hangfires comment about Applications are up at all schools, due to the economy. Thats not exactly true this recession. Apps are down at many schools (Undergrad & Grad) because the economy is actually so bad that people are afraid to spend $60K on college or $150K for law school or $30-$60K for an LLM when the result might be the same pay check as a nurse with a community college degree. This story made the NY Times, WSJ and even Parade magazine this semester. I tend to believe it because UCLA just re-opened their LLM application period. Their press release made it sound like they were doing it for the good of the public, but the reality is that they still have empty seats to fill and a budget to meet. I suspect that many programs will be dipping into their wait list or quietly accepting late applications.

I am really curious about your meteoric rise in class rank. The cumulative weight of the GPA scheme means that as each semester ends, you can move less and less. Even w/o counting your transfer classes, a 20%-40% move in your last year seems a bit odd unless you go to a very small law school are you sure that is accurate?

re: “Should I apply again for next year” Ask yourself, “what would make my application any stronger next year? What will give me an advantage over next year’s applicants?” Unless you already have a clerkship/fellowship/volunteer/public service job already lined up (to show that you *intentionally* took a year off between JD and LLM to help in with a rain forest/judge’s chambers/public defender/the needy) just listing “worked at a small law firm” won’t give you a leg up. Remember, the schools that reject you all know they said “no” already – how are you going to convince them to change their mind? It’s not like the DMV, where if you wait long enough you’ll eventually get in – you need to demonstrate why you are now more qualified than when they rejected you.

re: “Should I settle on school in the geographic area” That’s a tough question for this board to answer. Where is your geographic area? Where is your *dream* geographic area? Have you talked to your Professors and Career Services people about the need for a Top 3 LLM program v. Top 25 in the markets/firms where you want to practice? There’s a big difference in what is expected at Skadden Arps in DC v. the IRS in Kansas City. What specialty do you want? Which program has that?

re: “Temp position with the IRS” There is no such thing as an IRS temp job these days. And it’s too late to for the fall clerkships and the honor’s hire program.

re: “Sit for another bar.” Only if you plan on moving to that state with or without the LLM. Just sitting and passing won’t open the door to a better LLM program.

re: Hangfire’s comment about “Applications are up at all schools, due to the economy.” That’s not exactly true this recession. Apps are down at many schools (Undergrad & Grad) because the economy is actually so bad that people are afraid to spend $60K on college or $150K for law school or $30-$60K for an LLM when the result might be the same pay check as a nurse with a community college degree. This story made the NY Times, WSJ and even Parade magazine this semester. I tend to believe it because UCLA just re-opened their LLM application period. Their press release made it sound like they were doing it for the good of the public, but the reality is that they still have empty seats to fill and a budget to meet. I suspect that many programs will be dipping into their wait list or quietly accepting late applications.

I am really curious about your meteoric rise in class rank. The cumulative weight of the GPA scheme means that as each semester ends, you can move less and less. Even w/o counting your transfer classes, a 20%-40% move in your last year seems a bit odd unless you go to a very small law school – are you sure that is accurate?
quote
M&A

The improve in class rank does seem odd but the GPA spread is incredibly small. For instance 3.0 is top half, 3.2 is top 25%, etc. After only one semester of good grades, I moved up 30% in my rank, which is not reflected on my transcript. My school only ranks once at the end of each year. An increase in rank is speculative as I'm not sure how I'll do this semester, but a comparable performance as the last semester will put me in the top 25-30%, My grade in Corp. tax also plays a role in my decision to wait a year.

I was accepted to UW yesterday and am still waiting on UF. UW is #10, respectable, but not a top three. We'll see what happens with UF. My geographic region is the PacNW, although I'm not opposed to west coast (Cali).


Ultimately, I'd like to work for a large law firm of Big 4.


re: Should I apply again for next year Ask yourself, what would make my application any stronger next year? What will give me an advantage over next years applicants? Unless you already have a clerkship/fellowship/volunteer/public service job already lined up (to show that you *intentionally* took a year off between JD and LLM to help in with a rain forest/judges chambers/public defender/the needy) just listing worked at a small law firm wont give you a leg up. Remember, the schools that reject you all know they said no already how are you going to convince them to change their mind? Its not like the DMV, where if you wait long enough youll eventually get in you need to demonstrate why you are now more qualified than when they rejected you.

re: Should I settle on school in the geographic area Thats a tough question for this board to answer. Where is your geographic area? Where is your *dream* geographic area? Have you talked to your Professors and Career Services people about the need for a Top 3 LLM program v. Top 25 in the markets/firms where you want to practice? Theres a big difference in what is expected at Skadden Arps in DC v. the IRS in Kansas City. What specialty do you want? Which program has that?

re: Temp position with the IRS There is no such thing as an IRS temp job these days. And its too late to for the fall clerkships and the honors hire program.

re: Sit for another bar. Only if you plan on moving to that state with or without the LLM. Just sitting and passing wont open the door to a better LLM program.

re: Hangfires comment about Applications are up at all schools, due to the economy. Thats not exactly true this recession. Apps are down at many schools (Undergrad & Grad) because the economy is actually so bad that people are afraid to spend $60K on college or $150K for law school or $30-$60K for an LLM when the result might be the same pay check as a nurse with a community college degree. This story made the NY Times, WSJ and even Parade magazine this semester. I tend to believe it because UCLA just re-opened their LLM application period. Their press release made it sound like they were doing it for the good of the public, but the reality is that they still have empty seats to fill and a budget to meet. I suspect that many programs will be dipping into their wait list or quietly accepting late applications.

I am really curious about your meteoric rise in class rank. The cumulative weight of the GPA scheme means that as each semester ends, you can move less and less. Even w/o counting your transfer classes, a 20%-40% move in your last year seems a bit odd unless you go to a very small law school are you sure that is accurate?

The improve in class rank does seem odd but the GPA spread is incredibly small. For instance 3.0 is top half, 3.2 is top 25%, etc. After only one semester of good grades, I moved up 30% in my rank, which is not reflected on my transcript. My school only ranks once at the end of each year. An increase in rank is speculative as I'm not sure how I'll do this semester, but a comparable performance as the last semester will put me in the top 25-30%, My grade in Corp. tax also plays a role in my decision to wait a year.

I was accepted to UW yesterday and am still waiting on UF. UW is #10, respectable, but not a top three. We'll see what happens with UF. My geographic region is the PacNW, although I'm not opposed to west coast (Cali).



Ultimately, I'd like to work for a large law firm of Big 4.




<blockquote>re: “Should I apply again for next year” Ask yourself, “what would make my application any stronger next year? What will give me an advantage over next year’s applicants?” Unless you already have a clerkship/fellowship/volunteer/public service job already lined up (to show that you *intentionally* took a year off between JD and LLM to help in with a rain forest/judge’s chambers/public defender/the needy) just listing “worked at a small law firm” won’t give you a leg up. Remember, the schools that reject you all know they said “no” already – how are you going to convince them to change their mind? It’s not like the DMV, where if you wait long enough you’ll eventually get in – you need to demonstrate why you are now more qualified than when they rejected you.

re: “Should I settle on school in the geographic area” That’s a tough question for this board to answer. Where is your geographic area? Where is your *dream* geographic area? Have you talked to your Professors and Career Services people about the need for a Top 3 LLM program v. Top 25 in the markets/firms where you want to practice? There’s a big difference in what is expected at Skadden Arps in DC v. the IRS in Kansas City. What specialty do you want? Which program has that?

re: “Temp position with the IRS” There is no such thing as an IRS temp job these days. And it’s too late to for the fall clerkships and the honor’s hire program.

re: “Sit for another bar.” Only if you plan on moving to that state with or without the LLM. Just sitting and passing won’t open the door to a better LLM program.

re: Hangfire’s comment about “Applications are up at all schools, due to the economy.” That’s not exactly true this recession. Apps are down at many schools (Undergrad & Grad) because the economy is actually so bad that people are afraid to spend $60K on college or $150K for law school or $30-$60K for an LLM when the result might be the same pay check as a nurse with a community college degree. This story made the NY Times, WSJ and even Parade magazine this semester. I tend to believe it because UCLA just re-opened their LLM application period. Their press release made it sound like they were doing it for the good of the public, but the reality is that they still have empty seats to fill and a budget to meet. I suspect that many programs will be dipping into their wait list or quietly accepting late applications.

I am really curious about your meteoric rise in class rank. The cumulative weight of the GPA scheme means that as each semester ends, you can move less and less. Even w/o counting your transfer classes, a 20%-40% move in your last year seems a bit odd unless you go to a very small law school – are you sure that is accurate?</blockquote>
quote
hangfire

re: Hangfires comment about Applications are up at all schools, due to the economy. Thats not exactly true this recession. Apps are down at many schools (Undergrad & Grad) because the economy is actually so bad that people are afraid to spend $60K on college or $150K for law school or $30-$60K for an LLM

======

From what I've been told by administrators, this has not been the case at Georgetown's LL.M. program. We've experienced a significant increase in applications. I suspect that NYU and UF are the same.

As you know, many firms are deferring start dates. Other graduates simply cannot find work. Consequently, more students are thinking about picking up another degree while they ride out the recession. Mix in scholarship money, and it's a no-brainer for some folks.

Not trying to be snide, but UCLA is a poor comparison -- it's not a top-three program. I'd fully expect applications to go down at less prestigious LL.M. programs.

And FWIW, several friends at NYU and GULC would kill to move to Kansas City to work for the IRS. Those jobs are extremely competitive right now. Very few (if any) of us are going to biglaw in the fall -- they simply aren't hiring. So I would discourage someone from going to a program outside the top-three right now. Cost-benefit does not play out in this economy.

Good luck.

re: Hangfire’s comment about “Applications are up at all schools, due to the economy.” That’s not exactly true this recession. Apps are down at many schools (Undergrad & Grad) because the economy is actually so bad that people are afraid to spend $60K on college or $150K for law school or $30-$60K for an LLM

======

From what I've been told by administrators, this has not been the case at Georgetown's LL.M. program. We've experienced a significant increase in applications. I suspect that NYU and UF are the same.

As you know, many firms are deferring start dates. Other graduates simply cannot find work. Consequently, more students are thinking about picking up another degree while they ride out the recession. Mix in scholarship money, and it's a no-brainer for some folks.

Not trying to be snide, but UCLA is a poor comparison -- it's not a top-three program. I'd fully expect applications to go down at less prestigious LL.M. programs.

And FWIW, several friends at NYU and GULC would kill to move to Kansas City to work for the IRS. Those jobs are extremely competitive right now. Very few (if any) of us are going to biglaw in the fall -- they simply aren't hiring. So I would discourage someone from going to a program outside the top-three right now. Cost-benefit does not play out in this economy.

Good luck.
quote
DDvorak

I got my LLM from NYU and work in DC at Treasury. My sister-in-law came to me a year ago talking up the Alabama online program, just like the Daniel Powell poster that seems to be promoting the program. Perhaps he got suckered in just as she did. I warned her just as you have advised to stick with the top three programs. She got into that program and said it was awful. She lasted, I think, about four classes and had enough. She's a good student but she said the lectures online were ridiculous and they had signal problems that they never fixed. She also said they didn't tell her that a B minus was a failing grade. She said about half the students left the program in six months. The numbers just got smaller and smaller and nobody said a thing about what was happening. I will talk to her about posting out here but she is pretty bitter over the whole. She thinks they sold her a bill of goods. She most definitely would not recommend the Alabama Online LLM program.

Bottom line, I think Treasury and IRS would look askance at any online Tax LLM program especially one that has so many students falling out of it. I will talk to her and try to get some more facts.

I got my LLM from NYU and work in DC at Treasury. My sister-in-law came to me a year ago talking up the Alabama online program, just like the Daniel Powell poster that seems to be promoting the program. Perhaps he got suckered in just as she did. I warned her just as you have advised to stick with the top three programs. She got into that program and said it was awful. She lasted, I think, about four classes and had enough. She's a good student but she said the lectures online were ridiculous and they had signal problems that they never fixed. She also said they didn't tell her that a B minus was a failing grade. She said about half the students left the program in six months. The numbers just got smaller and smaller and nobody said a thing about what was happening. I will talk to her about posting out here but she is pretty bitter over the whole. She thinks they sold her a bill of goods. She most definitely would not recommend the Alabama Online LLM program.

Bottom line, I think Treasury and IRS would look askance at any online Tax LLM program especially one that has so many students falling out of it. I will talk to her and try to get some more facts.
quote

In response to the above post, I am in the Alabama program and, thus far, have had a positive experience. I do not know about rankings, I do not know which programs are considered better than others, I do not know what the Treasury or IRS considers, but what I do know is as follows:

1. The 3.0 = B requirement was and is known. It is in the material regarding the program. It is in the student handbook. And it was disclosed at orienation. We all knew in advance of the academic requirement. My neck is always on the chopping block after each exam.

2. One or two times there may have been a signal issue at the professor's end, but I equate that to inclement weather or a traffic problem. How many of you arrived late to a class or legal proceeding because of rain, snow, traffic, flat tire, accident, etc., et. al.? It happens from time to time. The signal issue was immediately corrected and class went on.

3. We were all informed in advance of orientation of technology requirements. It is in the materials on line, it was also sent by mail (I think) and, if I recall, e-mails may have even been sent. In any event, just for this program I purchased a new lap top for the program and, thankfully, have had no technology issues with sound or video.

4. Professors credentials are published on the Alabama site for all to see and are all experts in the courses that they teach. There is no Mickey Mouse here and the professors are all well respected in the tax community.

5. The Director of the program is genuine and here to help. All issues I have had, whether real or imagined, have all been resolved in a satisfactory manner. The Director will accomodate reasonable requests and is very approachable.

All in all, I think the education at Alabama is first rate. I have no regrets with the distance program and, given my personal and professional life, was the right choice for me.

In response to the above post, I am in the Alabama program and, thus far, have had a positive experience. I do not know about rankings, I do not know which programs are considered better than others, I do not know what the Treasury or IRS considers, but what I do know is as follows:

1. The 3.0 = B requirement was and is known. It is in the material regarding the program. It is in the student handbook. And it was disclosed at orienation. We all knew in advance of the academic requirement. My neck is always on the chopping block after each exam.

2. One or two times there may have been a signal issue at the professor's end, but I equate that to inclement weather or a traffic problem. How many of you arrived late to a class or legal proceeding because of rain, snow, traffic, flat tire, accident, etc., et. al.? It happens from time to time. The signal issue was immediately corrected and class went on.

3. We were all informed in advance of orientation of technology requirements. It is in the materials on line, it was also sent by mail (I think) and, if I recall, e-mails may have even been sent. In any event, just for this program I purchased a new lap top for the program and, thankfully, have had no technology issues with sound or video.

4. Professors credentials are published on the Alabama site for all to see and are all experts in the courses that they teach. There is no Mickey Mouse here and the professors are all well respected in the tax community.

5. The Director of the program is genuine and here to help. All issues I have had, whether real or imagined, have all been resolved in a satisfactory manner. The Director will accomodate reasonable requests and is very approachable.

All in all, I think the education at Alabama is first rate. I have no regrets with the distance program and, given my personal and professional life, was the right choice for me.



quote
TaxToes

I just graduated from NYU with an LLM in Tax. I cannot give any advice as to how to gain admission. But if it is not too late, I would try to do something with the IRS this summer, if even on a volunteer basis. Of this years graduating Tax class (regardless of grades), I would speculate that less than 50% of us have jobs (which is something that program has never even come close to in the past).

There are two main reasons why most obtain an LLM in Tax. To learn the material and to get a better job. At this point there is no "better", it is just a job (in tax or elsewhere). Those that do have jobs (i) returned to the firms they worked for previously (ii) tooks jobs in small botique firms doing gift and estate work in smaller cities across the US or (iii) took jobs with the IRS.

Almost all students I know that have jobs with the IRS, worked for them the summer before entering the LLM program or were willing to go to smaller cities miles from anywhere they had lived previously.

For this reason,I would suggest to you that even if you go to a lower ranked program you may be better positioned to get a job if you have tax experience than those graduating from top programs without it.

"May" being the operative word.

I just graduated from NYU with an LLM in Tax. I cannot give any advice as to how to gain admission. But if it is not too late, I would try to do something with the IRS this summer, if even on a volunteer basis. Of this years graduating Tax class (regardless of grades), I would speculate that less than 50% of us have jobs (which is something that program has never even come close to in the past).

There are two main reasons why most obtain an LLM in Tax. To learn the material and to get a better job. At this point there is no "better", it is just a job (in tax or elsewhere). Those that do have jobs (i) returned to the firms they worked for previously (ii) tooks jobs in small botique firms doing gift and estate work in smaller cities across the US or (iii) took jobs with the IRS.

Almost all students I know that have jobs with the IRS, worked for them the summer before entering the LLM program or were willing to go to smaller cities miles from anywhere they had lived previously.

For this reason,I would suggest to you that even if you go to a lower ranked program you may be better positioned to get a job if you have tax experience than those graduating from top programs without it.

"May" being the operative word.
quote
Santa

Just do a general LLM and choose tax courses imo.

Just do a general LLM and choose tax courses imo.
quote

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