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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