Do You Need a Tax LL.M. to Land a Great Job Right Now?

Despite worries about the economy, the job market remains relatively healthy. US payrolls gained 372,000 jobs last month, and the unemployment rate remained at 3.6%—comparable to pre-Covid-19 levels in February 2020.

Over the past month, job growth was strong in the legal and accounting fields—and that’s not expected to change. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, law jobs are projected to grow 9% from 2020 to 2030, about as fast as the average for all occupations, while jobs for accountants and auditors will grow 7%.

Even with the number of available jobs, candidates are looking for the extras that will make them stand out. So what does that look like? In some cases, the difference maker might be school or work performance—while other notables include languages, internships, and life experience.

Over the years, I’ve fielded questions from aspiring accountants and lawyers about career choices. One that comes up quite often is whether earning a tax LL.M. will give you an edge or make it easier to get a job. As with many things in the tax world, it depends.

What is a Tax LL.M.?

A tax LL.M., or more formally, an LL.M. taxation, is a Master of Laws degree in taxation offered through a law school.

A tax LL.M. isn’t the equivalent of a general LL.M. or international LL.M. degrees. Not all law schools offer a tax LL.M.—some provide a general LL.M. degree with a concentration in tax or a certificate in a tax-related program such as estate planning.

It’s also not the same degree as a master’s in tax—typically a Master of Science or Master of Business Taxation—earned through a college or university.

Time Commitment

A typical tax LL.M. program is about 24 credits. That works out to a year of full-time study or several semesters of part-

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2023 Sponsored Legal Fellowship | Death Penalty Information Center

Posted July 27, 2022

The Death Penalty Information Center in Washington, DC seeks applicants for a sponsored public interest legal fellowship to begin in the fall of 2023.

The Death Penalty Information Center is a national non-profit educational organization that serves the media and the public by publishing in-depth reports; tracking death sentences, exonerations, death warrants, executions, and appellate developments; and providing accurate information and fact-based analysis on capital punishment in the United States. DPIC has been cited thousands of times in court opinions, attorney briefs, research articles, and news stories.

Reporting to the Deputy Director, the fellow will research cutting edge issues in the administration of the death penalty. DPIC staff will work with candidates to develop a proposal for submission. DPIC is interested in working with candidates to apply for fellowships such as those funded by Equal Justice Works, Soros, or Justice Catalyst. DPIC is also open to fellowships funded by law schools, law firms, and other foundations.

DPIC’s legal fellows assist in updating and expanding DPIC’s web content, as well as contribute to DPIC projects such as its comprehensive database of death sentences, the Year End Report, and other DPIC reports and issue analyses. Legal fellows participate in monitoring executions and new death sentences, tracking death penalty cases of interest, and tracking legislative developments. Legal fellows also draft blog posts and case summaries for inclusion on DPIC’s website.

The fellow will be a full member of the staff, participating in weekly staff meetings, periodic staff retreats, and discussions about organizational planning and priorities. The legal fellow may work with law students, undergraduate interns, pro bono volunteers, and external partners on collaborative projects. We strongly encourage candidates from underrepresented communities to apply.

Required qualifications:

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Best Law Firm Types For Different Young Lawyers

Working at a law firm is a great start for young lawyers to gain experience and work their way up to a partnership. Still, this track isn’t always the best fit for every lawyer. Some lawyers will do better on their own as solo practitioners and others will be better served in small or large firms. There are several tracks available to lawyers and it’s important to understand each to make the best decision for their career.

What Is It Like to Work at a Law Firm?

There’s no simple answer to this question. The experience depends on the size and reputation of the firm, the practice area, and other factors. No matter the size of the firm, the legal industry is known for being stressful and often includes long hours that seep into a lawyer’s personal time.

The benefits of working at a law firm include getting training from more experienced lawyers, a guaranteed salary, and experts in different departments to handle specific areas of the law firm’s business like invoicing and billing. Lawyers at law firms simply get to practice law without worrying about running a business, handling their own marketing or accounting, or other hassles. That said, the experienced lawyers will have in a small law firm can vary widely, as can the experience in large firms. Some firms may seek out any case they can, while others may focus solely on class action lawsuits followed by layoffs until the next case comes around.

Mid-sized firms are a good in-between that offer less competition and more stability overall, but they can have their downsides. At the right firm, a young lawyer can learn and grow, eventually becoming a vital part of the team.

The big established law firms offer career opportunities, but they can be the most

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