4L: 3 Initial Thoughts on My Pursuit of an LL.M.

by Joshua on September 21, 2010

One of the reasons I started Tax Docket was to provide a forum for potential Tax LL.M. candidates to obtain useful information about particular programs and discuss any reservations, concerns, or insights about such programs. Now that I have embarked on my pursuit of an LL.M. in Taxation, I would like to share some initial thoughts. These remarks are intended to be general statements about Graduate Tax Programs and are not meant to pertain solely to the program I am attending.

1. Get ready for some heavy lifting. If you are a third year considering pursing an LL.M. degree next year, you better hit the gym starting tomorrow. Do not wait to make it a New Year’s Resolution. To put it in perspective, I would say that the weight of my backpack everyday is at least 50 pounds . Luckily, my school provides “commuter” students with a locker. Some exercises you may want to consider are Front Squats or Lunges.

2. Code. Read. Statutory reading is the cornerstone of the Tax LL.M. program (at least that is how it seems so far). If you did not enjoy reading the Internal Revenue Code in your Basic Income Taxation course, you will likely not enjoy reading it at the LL.M. level.

3. Is this something you want to do? For many readers, it may be to early to tell whether you want to pursue an LL.M. in Taxation. However, I urge you to reflect on this question before making your ultimate decision. This program is unlike law school in the respect that every class you  take (with some exceptions depending on course options at a particular school) pertains to tax, whereas in law school your schedule may be composed of a wide range of subject areas. Therefore, if tax does not seem like an area of law that you can see yourself immersing yourself in everyday, a Tax LL.M. may not be the appropriate route. That is not to say that you could never get a job in tax law without the LL.M.

I plan on posting some more of my thoughts regarding my experiences in the Graduate Tax Program as the year goes on.

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