Top LL.M. Programs for US Tax Law 2020

It’s not surprising that so many attorneys want to do a specialized LL.M. in US Tax Law. Income taxes and payroll taxes contribute over $3 trillion to the US economy each year, and it requires thousands of lawyers to make sure everything works smoothly. 

Indeed, taxation, and the laws that govern how it works, permeate the everyday lives of citizens all over the world. For lawyers in the US – as well as those based overseas whose practice touches on US tax laws – LL.M. programs in US Tax Law provide in-depth understanding and practical experience.

An LL.M. in Taxation broadly prepares graduates for working as tax specialists in law firms, in corporations wanting to plan and strategize their tax, in government and in academia. Of course, lawyers looking to work in these types of positions in the US might prefer to study for an LL.M. in US Tax Law. Those interested in working in international tax law might also be interested in this Top 10 List of LL.M. Programs in International Tax Law.

Other types of lawyers also work in response to tax policy: lawyers working in family law, property, finance, energy and healthcare can all benefit from specialized study in tax law.

See below for the top 10 LL.M.s in US Tax Law.

New York City, New York 1977 Followers 1558 Discussions
NYU

New York University’s LL.M. in Taxation is offered with a variety of concentrations: general taxation, business taxation, estate planning, tax policy and international taxation, which is available to US-trained attorneys. Other elective courses cover state and local taxation, executive compensation, bankruptcy, and civil and criminal tax procedure. Practicing lawyers are able to enroll on the program part-time, in order to keep up with work commitments. NYU additionally offers the Executive LL.M. in Taxation, which can be completed entirely online. NYU’s Law School was ranked the top law school for tax by US News & World Report in 2017.

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Washington, District of Columbia 1017 Followers 911 Discussions
Georgetown

Georgetown University’s Master of Laws in Taxation provides the opportunity to study taxation law in Washington D.C., where the country’s laws are made and enforced. In fact, the university’s Law Center is located just two blocks from the US Tax Court, and close to many of the nation’s other legal institutions. Students can undertake externships at government agencies and nonprofits as well as legal and accounting firms. The Tax Center hosts regular panel discussions with taxation experts and government tax officials. This school was ranked second in the US News ranking of top law schools for taxation in 2017.

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Gainesville, Florida 102 Followers 212 Discussions
Florida - Levin

The University of Florida was ranked third in the US News tax law schools ranking in 2017. The UF Law Graduate Tax Program is taught by renowned faculty members who have published important texts in the field of taxation. As well as the LL.M. in Taxation, focusing on tax from a U.S. perspective, the school also offers an LL.M. in International Taxation as well as an SJD in Taxation. The University of Florida is home to the Richard B. Stephens Tax Research Center, which produces leading research on taxation.

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Chicago, Illinois 479 Followers 493 Discussions
Northwestern - Pritzker

Northwestern’s LL.M. in Taxation covers domestic taxation with courses on corporate taxation, partnerships and property, as well as international taxation. Students have the option to participate in a research seminar, as well as a range of electives. Northwestern additionally offers a joint JD-LL.M. in Tax, where students have the possibility of completing both degrees in just six or seven semesters.

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Charlottesville, Virginia 211 Followers 200 Discussions
Virginia (UVA) Law

Call it a bit of historical irony: even though the University of Virginia School of Law was founded by the notoriously anti-tax Thomas Jefferson, it now offers one of the top LL.M. concentrations in Tax Law in the country. Courses in the LL.M. include tax policy, federal income tax, corporate tax, accounting, real estate and professional responsibility for tax lawyers. The school is home to a nonprofit law clinic, where students gain practical experience, as well as the Virginia Tax Review journal.

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San Diego, California 87 Followers 76 Discussions
University of San Diego (USD)

The University of San Diego School of Law’s LL.M. in Taxation turns out graduates with a deep understanding of US tax policy. Aside from gaining the knowledge of theory and practical skills to become practicing tax lawyers, students explore tax policymaking, policy reform and the Internal Revenue Service. The school offers JD degree students the opportunity to earn the LL.M. in taxation in just one additional semester.

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Boston, Massachusetts 328 Followers 338 Discussions
BU Law

Boston University Law was ranked eighth in the US News ranking of best law schools for tax in 2017. The school’s Graduate Tax Program is offered both as a residential program taught in Boston, and as an online program. Students are able to choose the Estate Planning concentration if they wish, or pick a variety of emphasis areas that center around a particular theme, such as business taxation or financial planning.

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New York City, New York 1336 Followers 999 Discussions
Columbia

Columbia Law School holds an annual Tax Policy Colloquium, which introduces students to current tax policy research via a number of renowned tax scholars who present throughout the semester. The school’s LL.M. is a general one, but it offers courses in taxation, property and real estate. Externships, pro bono projects, legal clinics and the school’s 14 law journals all provide experiential learning opportunities. LL.M. students are able to take courses from Columbia Business School and the School of International and Public Affairs, creating the possibility of an interdisciplinary study experience.

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Cambridge, Massachusetts 1101 Followers 866 Discussions
Harvard

Students admitted to the Harvard LL.M. program can apply for a Concentration in Taxation. The concentration covers tax law finance and strategic planning, and then students have a choice of elective topics including tax policy, trusts and estates, corporate mergers, acquisitions and divisions and comparative tax law. The International Tax Program is available for visiting scholars from all over the world, both for research and to undertake the LL.M.

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Irvine, California 9 Followers 4 Discussions
UC Irvine Law

Currently ranked as a top 10 school for tax law by US News, UC Irvine has established itself as a powerhouse in the discipline. The school’s Graduate Tax Program, launched in 2018, is a one-year program that aims to help students prepare for careers as attorneys, policymakers, and other kinds of tax professionals. 

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