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 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 2022.View School Profile
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 2022.View School Profile
The University of Florida was third in the US News tax law schools ranking in 2022. 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.View School Profile
Northwestern’s high-ranking LL.M. in Taxation covers the four principal areas of taxation of property transactions, corporate taxation, partnership taxation, and international taxation, along with a variety of electives. With seven residential tax faculty professors and a dedicated career adviser, the 40 students admitted to Northwester's Tax Program every year enjoy an exceptionally high faculty-student ratio. 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.View School Profile
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, ranked #5 by the US News & World Report Courses in 2022. With an extensive array of tax-focused courses on offer, LL.M. students have the flexibility to construct a curriculum of broad-based or specialized instruction in the field, including tax policy, federal income tax, corporate tax, accounting, and estate planning. The school is home to a nonprofit law clinic where students gain practical experience, as well as the Virginia Tax Review journal.View School Profile
Established in 1959, the Graduate Tax Program at Boston University School of Law is one of the nation’s oldest and highest-regarded such programs. It currently ranks second in the nation, according to the National Law Journal. The LL.M. in Taxation is designed for recent graduates as well as mid-career and seasoned attorneys, with flexibility built into the curriculum: The degree may be completed in person or online, full-time or part-time. Optional areas of specialization include estate planning, international taxation, and financial services taxation.View School Profile
Loyola Law School in Los Angeles offers a rigorous graduate tax program with an application process that is more selective than the school’s JD . Students on the Tax LL.M. have the opportunity to gain practical experience at the school’s numerous law clinics that serve on small cases, taxpayer appeals, and non-profit cases, among others. Loyola also offers a joint JD/LL.M. in just three years, as well as a Master in Taxation for non-lawyers who wish to enhance their careers with the same tax law training available to law graduates in the LL.M. program. The Loyola Tax Policy Colloquium hosts tax scholars speaking on current tax law concepts and challenges. The school also offers an Online Tax LL.M.View School Profile
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.View School Profile
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.View School Profile
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.View School Profile
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