I'm hoping to hear some opinions on a probable tax LLM application next September. I'm an international student who is graduating with a Canadian LL.B and American J.D. this May (dual law degree program). In the spirit of full disclosure, the U.S. school I currently attend is tier three. I graduated with a degree in economics/finance in the top 5% of my undergraduate institution. My first year of law school in Canada was disappointing (finished right in the middle of the pack), but I improved during my second year and finished in the top 20%. During my last year and a half in the U.S. I have done relatively well and currently sit in the top 4% of the school heading into my final term. My time here has really peaked my interest in tax law, and I have a 4.0 GPA in the 6 courses I have taken (Basic, Partnership, E/G, Corporate, Policy, and Executive/Deferred Compensation). I feel strongly that practicing tax law is the proper career path for me to follow.
I know some of my fellow students who have pursued graduate tax work, but mostly in the lower ranked programs. After doing some preliminary research, I think it is only worth applying to University of Florida, GULC, and NYU. My strong preference would be to attend NYU, if possible.
I'm hoping to get a sense of what my chances are from anyone who is familiar with the process. I'm planning on applying this upcoming fall for entrance in 2010. Between graduation this May and Sept/2010, I'll be working at a Toronto corporate law firm (minimal tax exposure) for the purposes of fulfilling the requirements for admittance to the Ontario bar. I also plan on writing the NY State bar exam in July/2010. I'm hoping this "real world" legal experience will help my application.
Anyways, sorry for the long winded question. I fully realize that the tax law market is awful right now, but I'm hoping that the situation changes in the next couple of years before I would finish any LLM. To that extent, I'm also wondering whether my tier three JD (even with good grades) destroys my chances for a biglaw job. Even if I don't have what it takes for a "premier" big firm job, I obviously want an extra year of school to pay off financially to some degree.
Thanks in advance.