How To Prepare for a Career in Tax Law

Pursuing an LL.M. in Taxation

Many students find that it is difficult to fit in all of the important tax classes during their J.D. programs, and prefer to approach certain topics a structured classroom environment rather than in a piecemeal fashion while first starting in practice. After graduating from the J.D. program, you may choose to continue your tax studies at NYU by enrolling in advanced tax courses. The LL.M. in Taxation is a 24-credit degree program, which students complete full-time during a one-year period or part-time over a period of study of up to five years. Special rules apply, however, for NYU J.D. students. If you are interested in pursuing an LL.M. in Taxation, it is important that you consider these rules, described below, as you design your J.D. tax course schedule. 

J.D./LL.M. in Taxation

If you participate in the J.D./LL.M. program, you must complete 12 credits of advanced tax courses while pursuing your J.D. degree. An advanced tax course includes all tax courses except Income Taxation and the three-credit Tax Clinic session. If you complete at least 12 credits of advanced tax courses before receiving your J.D., you may then pursue your LL.M. in Taxation by enrolling full-time at NYU during the fall semester following your graduation from the J.D. program. You will be able to “double-count” the 12 credits of advanced tax courses that you completed as a J.D. student toward your LL.M. in Taxation. During the additional fall semester following your J.D. graduation, you must complete 12 additional credits, at least 8 of which must consist of credits for advanced tax courses. All J.D./LL.M. students must complete at least one course in tax procedure and one course in tax policy. Upon successful completion of this additional semester, you will earn an LL.M. in Taxation in addition to your J.D. degree. 

Part-time LL.M. in Taxation

After graduating from your J.D. program, you may not wish to spend an additional semester full-time at NYU. But if you have taken advanced tax courses, you may still pursue your LL.M. in Taxation on a part-time basis. You may take as long as five years to complete the LL.M. in Taxation requirements. The five-year period begins to run from the semester in which you took your first advanced tax course as a J.D. student. If you enroll in this program, you will be able to double-count up to 12 advanced tax credits taken during your J.D. program toward your LL.M. in Taxation. You do not have to complete 12 credits of advanced tax courses as a J.D. student to enroll in the part-time LL.M. in Taxation program following graduation from your J.D. program. For example, if you take 8 advanced tax credits as a J.D., you will be able to double-count these credits toward your LL.M. in Taxation on a part-time basis (subject to the five-year rule). All J.D. students who pursue the part-time LL.M. in Taxation are required to complete at least one course in tax procedure and one course in tax policy. 

Finally, as a part-time LL.M. student, as long as you complete 12 advanced tax credits by taking tax courses on campus (including the credits that you take during your J.D. program), you may complete the remainder of your LL.M. in Taxation by taking online tax courses. The NYU Graduate Tax Program offers many advanced tax courses in an online format each year. As a student in one of these classes, you participate by viewing videos of a course that is being offered on campus during that semester or that was recorded during a previous semester. You complete the same exam as all other students, both on-campus and online, who are enrolled in the course. The availability of online tax courses offers significant flexibility to our students who are practicing or who work in other cities. For example, you could complete 12 advanced tax credits during your J.D. program at NYU, move to Chicago following graduation, and complete the remaining 12 advanced tax credits by enrolling entirely in online courses during the five-year period described above. 

Every March, the Graduate Tax Program hosts a special meeting for all J.D. students who are interested in learning about the J.D./LL.M in Taxation program, the part-time LL.M. in Taxation program and related scholarship opportunities. If you are interested in applying to the LL.M. in Taxation program, please e-mail law.grad.moreinfo@nyu.edu to request more information. 

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