If I were in-state at UIUC and offered 15K, I would go there over Vandy in a heartbeat. Then again, I have debt phobia and base my decision on debt first, rankings a close second.
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I'm graduating this year. I went through recruiting season this last fall. There were about 18 accounting firms recruiting on campus. Mostly for accountants, but I know a few lawyers who didn't mind going to work for an accounting firm and received offers.
Denver is a hard market to get a tax job in and many of the firms stated that they only recruit for tax at DU. So if you are in Denver and you want a job in tax DU is the place.
As for lawyers seeking jobs at law firms, I know several people who have had some luck though it is much more difficult and many find that getting a job at a law firm in Denver is very competitive because of the size of the market and the number of transplants who are already over-qualified moving here. That being said, I have some friends who have received job offers (through Mark V.) and others who were picked up by some of the professors (they also have practices) but if you want big law, this obviously is not the place.
I would say that there are two kinds of students at DU. (besides accountants and lawyers). There are students who really want to learn taxation and the many issues around taxes, and would like to work in Tax. Then there are others who received there J.D. but didn't receive a Job offer from that experience so they go on for an LLM hoping to secure a job in Tax at any law office. Obviously these candidates did not do so well in recruiting. Curiously they are the same students who never attend class and are skiing on the mountain four days a week.
The law students that I find who are interested in Tax are the ones who find jobs in law firms, or are interested enough to take an accounting job as a last resort. Your interest will drive your employment.
As for employment outside of the Denver area in accounting the prospects are even better. If you want to work at a Big-4 Accounting firm and are a MST Student then you have very good opportunities anywhere in the west and mid-west. As for the east coast the program is not as well known as I found out first hand so it takes a little more work to work in an east coast office but it can be done. As for employment for lawyers I cannot say because almost all the lawyers I talk to want to stay in Denver.
As for my own experience in recruiting at DU I ended with a job offer from each of the four big 4 accounting firms in New York, accepting with one of them. My background though is in accounting and I wanted to work at a national accounting firm.
As for classes I would recommend so far would be....
Property (Roche) Demanding, but excellent;
Corp II (Gelt) Again, demanding, but excellent;
International (Wilson); he is very knowledgeable though you will need to do much reading to understand his train of thought during lectures ;
Consolidation (Kozik), he was a E&Y for many years but his class lacks structure so your going to get what you put into it;
Civil & Criminal (D' Estrada), he works at the IRS so a good resource of their train of thought.
Advanced Partnership (Gelt), his specialty area of practice.
Most of the other required classes are taught by Walker (who I have heard is very good, but have not had him personally),
Vogal (who is decent but you need to put a lot of work into his classes to get something of value out of the lectures and it doesn’t help to email him from time to time for more information, he’s very busy teaching CPE credits and running the tax program)
Loggeman (very fast paced, so make sure you ask a lot of questions to slow him down or you might miss something)
Conrad (have heard he is straight forward, but have not had him personally).
Hope this helps.