Career Services

Frequently Asked Questions for LLM Taxation Students

The Tax LLM job search is a very individualized search, as candidates’ career goals, in terms of geography, practice setting, and tax practice area, vary widely. Similarly, LLM students come from diverse backgrounds with respect to their pre-LLM academic and professional experience. The Office of Career Services works with each student individually to prepare a job search plan that meets his or her needs. 

Prospective students with questions about employment should contact the OCS at law.ocs.llm@nyu.edu to request a copy of the Prospective Student Packet, which includes historical lists of LLM employers and other relevant information. After reviewing the packet, applicants with additional questions may schedule a phone appointment with a career counselor to review individual questions about career services for LLM students. 

Please note that the information provided on this page is for students interested in the Graduate Tax Program. Students considering the International Tax Program should also consult the FAQs for foreign-trained candidates, as employment information can vary for foreign-trained students.

1.  WHAT JOB SEARCH SUPPORT IS PROVIDED TO TAXATION LLM STUDENTS?

Students should refer to the LLM Career Curriculum for a full description of services for full-time LLM candidates through the Office of Career Services. In brief, the services provided to LLM candidates include:

  • Comprehensive workshops and presentations on various aspects of the job search process.
  • One-on-one meetings with LLM Career Counselors to review individual goals and strategies.
  • Panels featuring Tax LLM alumni and employers of Tax LLMs.
  • Practice interview programs and other networking opportunities.
  • Fall and Spring On-Campus Interviews featuring employers interviewing Tax LLM candidates exclusively for positions nationwide.
  • Taxation Interview Program (TIP), a consortium interview program held in Washington, DC where Tax LLM students are selected to interview with tax employers nationwide.
  • Day at the Tax Court interview program for judicial clerkships with the US Tax Court.
  • Online job listings for tax related positions, online research resources, comprehensive handbooks and career counseling guides.

2.   WHAT ARE THE EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES WITH AN NYU LLM DEGREE?

Students obtain a graduate degree for a variety of reasons and your individual background will determine, in part, the level of opportunity available to you following the completion of an LLM in Taxation.  Once you start your studies at NYU, LLM career counselors are available to help assess your goals and strengths, and to develop an individualized job search strategy. 

The LLM degree opens doors for many students, but cannot be counted on completely to change one’s background.  Individual factors such as your JD institution, prior experience, and academic performance, coupled with your professional goals (such as practice setting and geographic region) and the current job market, will all play a role in the LLM job search.

3.   WHERE DO TAX LLM GRADUATES WORK?

The diverse backgrounds of Tax LLM candidates make it impossible to predict individual employment outcomes.  When reviewing employment statistics, keep in mind that a range of factors play a role in the Tax LLM job search, including prior work and academic history, geographic preference, and personal circumstances. We are listing Tax LLM employment information to provide basic information about our class. Prospective students with individual questions about employment prospects should contact the OCS at law.ocs.llm@nyu.edu for more information. The majority of Taxation LLM graduates traditionally work in private practice at law firms, followed by public accounting firms, government, and judicial clerkships at the Tax Court. These figures change with market conditions.  Increasingly, students are exploring a wider range of opportunities, including compliance and in-house positions at corporations, management consulting, teaching, publishing, and investment banking.  These positions are highly specialized, and employers seeking students for these positions typically post a job listing rather than participate in on-campus recruiting.

Graduates work throughout the US and overseas.  The largest geographic markets for our graduates are the New York Metro Area, Washington, DC, Southeast and Southwest (including Texas). Candidates who are able to be geographically flexible in their job search are encouraged to consider smaller markets and to expand their search when possible.

For more information, including detailed employment statistics, please see the charts at the bottom of this page.

4.   HOW MANY EMPLOYERS CONTACT NYU FOR LLM IN TAXATION CANDIDATES?

The total number of employers interviewing LLM in Taxation students on campus fluctuates with the legal job market, with more employers typically interviewing in the Spring semester. In addition, NYU participates in the Taxation Interview Program in consortium with Georgetown Law Center in Washington, DC, each February.  This program typically hosts between 40 and 60 interview schedules. Employers participating in on-campus interviews and the Taxation Interview Program come from around the country, with the majority being from New York and Washington, DC, and represent a range of practice settings. For those employers unable to visit campus or the Taxation Interview Program, we offer online job listings, which allow employers worldwide to receive resumes of qualified candidates directly from individual candidates.  We also distribute a resume directory of Tax LLM candidates to a wide range of employers across the country.

Please contact the OCS at law.ocs.llm@nyu.edu and request the “Prospective Student Information Packet” to obtain a list of employers who have historically participated in our recruiting programs or posted a job listing.

5.   HOW DO STUDENTS IN THE TAX LLM PROGRAM OBTAIN JOBS?

Students obtain employment in a variety of ways including: networking, individual mailings, On-Campus Interviews (OCI), NYU’s job listings, the Taxation Interview Program (TIP), the Tax Clerkship program, and referrals.  The most frequently reported sources of employment (i.e., the way in which a student initially learned of or made contact with the employer) are the NYU On-Campus Interview Program, and targeted mail campaigns/networking (self-initiated contact with the employer).  Employer hiring practices can vary with the market; in some years, employers will prefer the convenience of on-campus recruiting programs, while in other years, they may prefer to screen resumes through a job listing and interview only a small number of candidates. Many students indicate that personal networking connections were essential to the job search, even if they secured their offer through OCI or TIP.

During the fall and spring semesters, the Office of Career Services provides individual counseling, panels, and workshops on all aspects of the job search.  The success of a student’s efforts strongly correlates to his or her performance at NYU, utilization of resources available through the OCS, and traditional job-search activities outside of the OCS services.  There is no specific or foolproof means for obtaining a position; the approaches vary and should reflect each student’s individual ambitions and qualifications.  The OCS works with students to provide the tools for success in the legal market and determine a job search strategy that best suits each individual’s needs.

6.  WHEN DO TAX LLMS USUALLY OBTAIN JOBS?

A small percentage of students enter the LLM program with an offer to return to a law firm or pre-LLM employer; however, most students obtain positions in the Spring semester.  A large number of employers, particularly law firms in New York City and Washington, DC, wait until a student completes at least one semester of academic work at NYU before conducting interviews, in order to evaluate LLM performance in the hiring process.  This is why most LLM resume collections and on-campus recruiting programs take place in February and March. Historically, a very small number of non-NYC employers have hired students in the Fall semester based on a student’s geographic ties or JD performance. Students seriously pursuing employment in a smaller/regional market should meet with a career counselor in the fall semester to make sure your job search is on track.

The most commonly reported months for LLM job offers are March and April. For many students, the job search will not be limited to the Fall or Spring seasons, but will involve year-round effort on the part of the student and may extend beyond the completion of the LLM program.

7. WHAT FACTORS ARE CONSIDERED IN THE TAX LLM HIRING PROCESS?

The LLM in Taxation class is very diverse in terms of academic and professional background. Employers typically look at a range of factors when considering an LLM candidate, including:

  • LLM grades
  • Reputation of JD school
  • Performance in JD program (including in Tax related coursework)
  • Demonstrated interest in tax law (through coursework, professional experience, etc.)
  • Prior legal work experience
  • Relevant non-legal work experience (prior to law school)
  • Undergraduate degree (if relevant)
  • Interviewing skills
  • Perceived “fit” with the employer

No one of these factors will determine a candidate’s success. In the end, it is the match between the employer’s needs, and the combination of all of the factors above that will enable an LLM candidate to succeed in the interview process.

8.  WHAT ARE CONSIDERED “RESPECTABLE” GRADES IN THE TAX LLM PROGRAM?

Academic performance in the Tax LLM program is an integral component of hiring decisions and grading is based on a competitive curve (wherein the vast majority of students receive grades in the mid-range, few students receive “below-average” and few students receive “outstanding” marks).  The NYU degree alone will not get you a job.  Historically, large New York City law firms have hired students with above average grades in the LLM in Taxation program (B+ and higher).  Keep in mind that students who are accepted to NYU usually graduate in the top 25% of their JD classes and, therefore, the level of competition increases.  To achieve the abovementioned GPA, the student should expect to commit a great deal of time and effort to his or her studies.

9.  AS A PART-TIME LLM STUDENT, MAY I USE THE OFFICE OF CAREER SERVICES?

Yes, however, PLEASE NOTE that students must meet a credit requirement before receiving services.  A student has access to most services once he or she has completed 8 credits; all services become available once the student nears graduation and has completed 16 credits.  Please contact the OCS for a separate outline describing the services for part-time students if you are interested in learning more.

10.   WILL THE TAX LLM DEGREE INCREASE MY SALARY?

Employers’ policies regarding “credit” for the LLM degree vary widely.  While employers sometimes award credit to LLM graduates, the majority do not give credit to graduates with no prior legal experience.  When credit is given, graduates typically begin as a second year associate, at the second year salary and corresponding credit toward partnership. Please refer to the NALP Directory of Legal Employers (www.nalpdirectory.com) for salary information. 

 

Again, thank you for your interest in New York University School of Law’s LLM in Taxation program.  We look forward to continued contact should you join NYU School of Law!

EMPLOYMENT NINE MONTHS AFTER GRADUATION
(represents May graduates of the full time Graduate Tax Program as of 2/15 each year)

Class of 2013 Class of 2012 Class of 2011 Class of 2010
92.9% (105/113) 90.1% (100/111) 88.8% (111/125) 85.5% (101/118)

 

  Class of 2013 Class of 2012
TOTAL GRADUATES 113 111 
Employed  105 (92.9%) 100 (90.1%)
Unemployed - Seeking 8* 11*

*Three students from the Class of 2013 and three students from the Class of 2012 who have obtained contract/temporary or non-legal work are included in the “unemployed” category, as they are still seeking permanent legal employment.

EMPLOYMENT TYPES OF EMPLOYED GRADUATES 
  Class of 2013 Class of 2012
Law Firm 44.8% 63%
Solo Practice 1% 0%
2 to 10 attorneys 7.6% 12%
11 to 25 attorneys 4.8% 6%
26 to 50 attorneys 1% 7%
51 to 100 attorneys 1.9% 7%
101 to 250 attorneys 3.8% 3%
251 to 500 attorneys 2.8% 8%
501 or more attorneys 21.9% 19%
Firm size unknown 0% 1%
Business and Industry (Includes Accounting Firms) 39% 27%
“Big Four”Accounting Firms 33.3% 24%
Government 3.8% 0%
Public Interest/Non-Profit 1.9% 1%
Judicial Clerkship 9.5% 9%
Federal 9.5% 9%
State & Local 0% 0%
Other 0% 0%
Academia 1% 0%
Military 0% 0%

 

GEOGRAPHIC DESTINATIONS OF EMPLOYED GRADUATES
  Class of 2013 Class of 2012

Northeast
(CT, ME, MA, NH, RI, VT)

4.8% 2%

Mid-Atlantic
(NY, NJ, PA)

38.1% 34%
New York 35.2% 28%

East North Central
(IL, IN, MI, OH, WI)

2.8% 5%

West North Central
(IA, KS, MN, MO, NE, SD, ND)

2.8% 2%

South Atlantic
(DE, DC, FL, GA, MD, NC, SC, VA, WV)

23.8% 17%
Washington, DC 13.3% 7%

East South Central
(AL, KY, MS, TN)

2.8% 1%

West South Central
(AR, LA, OK, TX)

9.5% 15%

Mountain
(AZ, CO, ID, MT, NV, NM, UT, WY)

1% 3%

Pacific
(AK, CA, WA, HI, OR)

10.5% 16%
International 3.8% 4%

 

METHOD OF EMPLOYMENT
  Class of 2013 Class of 2012
Day at the Tax Court 6.7% 5%
Fall/Spring On Campus Interview 14.3% 14%
Taxation Interview Program 17.1% 9%
Job Listing/ Resume Collection 11.4% 19%
Resume Book 1% 0%
Networking/ Referral from Friend/ Colleague/ Professor 17.1% 14%
Other/ Unknown 28.6% 31%
Returned to Pre-LLM Employer 3.8% 8%