Law School Discussion

Law Students => Pursuing an LLM => Topic started by: lawyerintraining on August 16, 2011, 01:18:49 AM

Title: Is an LLM worth it?
Post by: lawyerintraining on August 16, 2011, 01:18:49 AM
Is it worth the time and costs? Would it still be worth it if gotten from an online school life taft after getting the JD from an ABA school like regent?
Title: Re: Is an LLM worth it?
Post by: legalpractitioner on November 23, 2011, 03:15:14 PM
A specialized LLM in Tax might worth it but if it were an online I am not sure it would add much unless you acquired practice experience first.
Title: Re: Is an LLM worth it?
Post by: Tofayel on December 10, 2011, 10:53:47 AM
In job field, value of online degree is too minimum. But in law profession has private practice scope, so you may take online LLM program.
Title: Re: Is an LLM worth it?
Post by: legalpractitioner on December 11, 2011, 07:22:20 AM
In other words, pass the bar and get some practice experience first before pursuing a LLM in Tax.  Otherwise you can work for TurboTax as a Tax Advisor, they want to hire attorneys at $16-$18 an hour!!
Title: Re: Is an LLM worth it?
Post by: FalconJimmy on December 11, 2011, 08:41:43 AM
In other words, pass the bar and get some practice experience first before pursuing a LLM in Tax.  Otherwise you can work for TurboTax as a Tax Advisor, they want to hire attorneys at $16-$18 an hour!!

He said unless it's an online LLM in TAx.

Also, that turbotax ad was for all sorts of people, not just attorneys.  I'd like to see some proof that they actually hired a licensed attorney for $16 an hour.


If you get a real LLM in Tax from a real program, your employment prospects are greatly enhanced.  My best friend got an LLM in Tax way back in the day and he's never been without options.  LLM in Tax is a good deal.  The best way, of course, is to get a job doing tax law and get them to sponsor you through an LLM Program because they can be expensive.  However, even if you had to do it on your own dime, it'd pay off eventually.
Title: Re: Is an LLM worth it?
Post by: legalpractitioner on December 11, 2011, 09:22:38 AM
I can't see how a LLM IN Tax is going to make anyone much more employable unless they have some work experience as an attorney first. It might make you marginally more employable but you would have to give up two years of potential earnings  and I am not sure the math would make sense since Tax law does not come to mind as paying more than say litigation. In fact, LLMs have to compete somewhat with CPAs, CPA-Attorneys and Enrolled Agents.

And yes, $16-$18 an hour is what Intuit is offering licensed attorneys with tax experience I know because I spoke with them last week. I had to hold back the laughter but they would not have offered that rate unless there were takers.
Title: Re: Is an LLM worth it?
Post by: FalconJimmy on December 11, 2011, 02:32:53 PM
I can't see how a LLM IN Tax is going to make anyone much more employable unless they have some work experience as an attorney first. It might make you marginally more employable but you would have to give up two years of potential earnings  and I am not sure the math would make sense since Tax law does not come to mind as paying more than say litigation. In fact, LLMs have to compete somewhat with CPAs, CPA-Attorneys and Enrolled Agents.


Jon, a lot of time you make sense, but right now, you really don't.

First, an LLM in tax takes about 9 months, not 2 years.

Second, for most attorneys, it's exceptionally difficult to work in Tax without an LLM in Tax.  Some folks, I guess, could luck into it and start working tax right off the bat.  Never known of one, personally, but I won't say it's impossible.  I will, absolutely, state that if it's somebody's plan to work tax law without an LLM, that it's an unrealistic idea and that it borders on impossible.  I won't say, categorically, that it's impossible.  For all I know, NYU is strong enough, and close enough to Wall Street that they can place people doing tax work right off the bat, but for most people at most law schools, you will not work in tax law without an LLM.

Third, tax attorneys bill higher rates and get higher salaries than your typical garden variety attorney at similar firms.  Who do you think is doing tax litigation?  Labor attorneys? 

Fourth, Tax attorneys don't do anything remotely resembling the work of CPAs, and CPAs don't do anything that's even remotely the same as what Tax Attorneys do... well... actually, that's not entirely true.  Some CPAs try to practice tax law, and generally Tax Attorneys are glad they do because their clients end up needing representation when they get hauled before the IRS.  The majority of LLMs you know do not know much accoutning, and despite what most CPAs think of themselves, they know precious little actual tax law.  If you've got a CPA doing your tax planning, chances are you don't have that much in the way of income and assets to deal with.

And yes, $16-$18 an hour is what Intuit is offering licensed attorneys with tax experience I know because I spoke with them last week. I had to hold back the laughter but they would not have offered that rate unless there were takers.

Fantastic logic, there, Jon. 
Title: Re: Is an LLM worth it?
Post by: legalpractitioner on December 12, 2011, 06:37:12 PM
I was wrong, figure one year for a LLM in Tax from what I can see. Best deal would be a joint JD/LLM program like Loyola LA offers.

Title: Re: Is an LLM worth it?
Post by: john4040 on December 12, 2011, 07:23:43 PM
Is it worth the time and costs? Would it still be worth it if gotten from an online school life taft after getting the JD from an ABA school like regent?

1.  Depends.  Is it a Tax LLM from NYU, GULC, University of Florida, or Northwestern?  Is it an IP LLM and you are able to sit for the patent bar?  Are you a foreign student looking to back-door your way into US law practice?  If the answer to any of the above is "yes," then go.  If not, then DO NOT GO.

2.  LLM from an online school = Horrible idea.
Title: Re: Is an LLM worth it?
Post by: LincolnLover on December 13, 2011, 05:07:51 PM
Isn't there ABA approved online LLM's now from schools that offer them on campus? How would anyone know the difference?
Title: Re: Is an LLM worth it?
Post by: chi2009 on December 14, 2011, 10:43:35 AM
So frustrated with the conflicting advice on this topic. I'm beginning my 3L year at Chicago-Kent, which has an LLM program in tax (tax is the only LLM I would consider).  I plan to go into tax law and have worked in the school's tax clinic for 2 semesters, handling real cases in US Tax Court.  So, the question is: Do I graduate in Dec 2012 with a JD and maybe go back for an LLM later (if at all), OR do I stay 1 extra semester and graduate in May 2013 with a JD/LLM in tax? 

I've generally heard that an LLM will only help if I do transactional work, but won't matter if I stick with litigation.  I want to be done with school, but if I ever get the LLM, doing it in 1 semester and double dipping the credits with the JD sounds a lot better than doing it in 2 semesters later.  Either way, I will graduate with a certificate in business law, but I don't think that really means anything.  Thoughts??
Title: Re: Is an LLM worth it?
Post by: FalconJimmy on December 14, 2011, 10:57:12 AM
Can you talk to some practicing tax attorneys through your school's alumi association? 

Anything you get from here is anonymous advice from the internet and should be treated as such.
Title: Re: Is an LLM worth it?
Post by: chi2009 on December 14, 2011, 11:08:44 AM
I've spoken with a handful of tax attorneys and a tax court judge, and their opinions are split.  Some insist I should get the LLM, especially since my undergrad degree is not in tax.  Others insist that, unless I plan to practice transactional law, it's a waste of time.  I've taken 1 LLM class so far (business valuation & financial statement analysis, for JD credit) and hated it, so I'm a little turned off by the transactional route.  I'm meeting with the LLM director over the break, who will obviously have his own bias.  Just really frustrated at all the conflicting advice  >:(
Title: Re: Is an LLM worth it?
Post by: copperton1 on February 19, 2012, 12:37:06 PM
Has anyone looked at the online LLM in Taxation or Business Transactions from University of Alabama? It looks interesting because it would allow the student to continue working and not have to relocate. However, I am skeptical of how the "online" program would be received by employers, whether law firms or in-house counsels. Also, would a strong GPA, 3.7 or better in the LLM program make up for an average GPA, 3.00, from law school?
Title: Re: Is an LLM worth it?
Post by: john4040 on February 19, 2012, 11:20:52 PM
Has anyone looked at the online LLM in Taxation or Business Transactions from University of Alabama? It looks interesting because it would allow the student to continue working and not have to relocate. However, I am skeptical of how the "online" program would be received by employers, whether law firms or in-house counsels.

Bad idea.  See my previous post.  Employers don't really value an LLM unless it's in Tax (from one of the schools I metioned above) or IP.

Also, would a strong GPA, 3.7 or better in the LLM program make up for an average GPA, 3.00, from law school?

No.