Paul L. Caron

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

How Valuable Is a Tax LLM?

Tax Analysts David van den Berg (Tax Analysts), How Valuable Is a Tax LLM? It Depends, 2011 TNT 186-7 (Sept. 26, 2011):

Conventional wisdom suggests a tax LLM degree can open professional doors for an aspiring tax lawyer -- and that more are pursuing that degree in the sluggish economy -- but not all firms value the degree equally.

For our take, see:

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The fact that "not all firms value the degree equally" misses the mark. Firms value an LL.M. in tax. Sure, there may be some that place 0 value on it (or place 0 value because it did not come from G'town or NYU), but there is additional value when comparing a 3L J.D. from your equivalent J.D. school vs. your LL.M. degree.

Even when the economy is super great, LL.M. from NYU and G'town when paired with a good J.D. school and grades puts you ahead of other candidates.

And yes, it is possible to go in to tax law without an accounting background. most accountants prepare returns; tax law has almost nothing to do with returns (except whether they were timely filed or giving advice on what will eventually end up as a line item or on a Schedule. only a de minimis amount of tax lawyers i know have CPA or accounting backgrounds. that is not to say they are not out there. they are. but you don't need one.

Posted by: tax guy | Sep 28, 2011 9:54:18 PM

Is it possible to go into tax if you don't have an accounting background?

Posted by: empty | Sep 28, 2011 10:31:28 AM