TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
Pepperdine University School of Law

Friday, October 10, 2008

Loyola-L.A. Launches 3-Year J.D.-Tax LL.M. Degree

Loyola_la_logo_2Loyola-L.A. yesterday announced America's first three-year joint J.D./Tax L.L.M. Program.  Students in the program complete the requirements for both the J.D. and Tax L.L.M. degrees in three academic years:

  • First Academic Year: Required J.D. Courses
  • Summer After First Year:  Intensive Summer Tax Session (12 units)
  • Second and Third Academic Years:  12 Additional Advanced Tax Courses Counted Toward Both Degrees
  • Third Academic Year:  Two Elective Capstone Courses: Tax Law Practicum and/or Honors Tax Policy Colloquium

     The new program offers students significant employment and financial advantages:

  • Enhanced second-year OCI: During the fall on-campus-interview season at the beginning of their second year, students will be able to offer employers a credential (completion of the intensive summer tax session) not available from any other law school in the United States.
  • Second-year summer open: Students in the program will normally be free to accept employment during the summer after their second year without conflicting academic obligations.
  • Potential for LLM-level tax employment after three years: Students in conventional full-time LLM programs typically cannot hold full-time jobs. Such programs therefore impose a hidden cost – a year of salary foregone (currently as much as $165K). Our program avoids that cost.

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1. Who the hell wants to take 12 credits in the summer after their 1L year!!!!!

2. Those three bullet points are joke!

"Enhanced second-year OCI:" The only employer that would care is an accounting firm or a boutique tax firm.

"Second year summer open:" All 2L students have this, with the exception of Northwestern students in the 2 year JD program, so what's the advantage?

"Potential for LLM-level tax employment after three years:" Those who want to pursue an LLM and are lucky enough to find a job will just go get their LLM part-time. No one in his/her right mind chooses getting LLM full-time (only possible exception is NYU, but even that's a stretch) over a law firm job, especially one paying $165K (especially in this market).

Posted by: | Oct 10, 2008 6:02:04 AM

In response to the prior comment:

1. Some employers view evidence of willingness to work hard as a plus in making hiring decisions.

2. The new program is aimed primarily at students who are predisposed toward practice in the tax area. Even if only firms looking to hire in tax are favorably impressed by completion of Loyola's Intensive Summer Session, such students may gain an advantage in second-year-summer hiring.

3. As the comment notes, the fact that Loyola's program leaves the second year summer open distinguishes it, in particular, from Northwestern's program.

4. As the comment notes, students who can get good tax jobs immediately upon graduation may well attend a Tax LLM program part-time -- assuming such a program exists locally. A significant number of tax employers, however, require completion of a Tax LLM program prior to employment. About half of Loyola's Tax LLM students already attend full-time. For these, a three-year rather than four-year course of study may prove attractive.

Posted by: Theodore Seto | Oct 10, 2008 12:02:12 PM

What makes you think a Loyola grad will get $165k/yr in this market? I bet we see more 3 + 1 full-time LLM students in this market.

Posted by: Apep | Oct 10, 2008 1:03:20 PM