TaxProf Blog

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

Monday, September 27, 2010

Leiter: The Tax LL.M. -- 'The One Advanced Law Degree That Everyone Considers Worth the Candle'

Brian Leiter (Chicago), The LLM, Under Attack:

In a more thorough look, Caron, Kawol and Pratt focus on whether to pursue a tax LLM -- the one advanced law degree that everyone considers worth the candle -- and conclude that for the right student, there can be real benefits.  Other LLM's seem to have intrinsic value.  ...  I fear that, with a few limited exceptions, the greatest economic utility of the LLM flows to law schools collecting undiscounted tuition dollars while avoiding damage to their median LSAT.   And because the ABA does not accredit LLM programs, schools work under virtually no regulatory oversight.  There are many reasons why institutions seek this revenue but we're kidding ourselves if we don't concede a common one: LLM programs can subsidize the scholarly enterprise.  A three course load is expensive.

Update:  Oops -- as Brian notes in the comments, this post on Brian Leiter's Law School Reports was written by Dan Filler (Drexel).

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It was Dan Filler, not Leiter.

Posted by: Brian | Sep 27, 2010 5:30:11 AM

Almost everyone. One partner told me that an LL M saved an hour on the first work assignment, thirty minutes on the second, and fifteen minutes on the third; and after that, nothing. But the majority does seem to be going the LL M's way.

Posted by: Michael A. Livingston | Sep 27, 2010 3:20:43 PM

I went straight through 4 years of college into three years of law school. Immediately aafter graduating I began working in the tax group of the legal dept. of a multi-zillion dollar financial services company. The head of our little group also taught in the LL.M. program at a local law school.

I asked him if I ought to continue my studies in his program. Even though 2 of my colleagues were then in his program and one had recently completed it, he told me not to -- I would learn more here in the office than I would there, he said. Many years later I can say I have no regrets.

Posted by: eli bortman | Sep 28, 2010 4:13:33 AM