NYU Law to offer new online Master of Studies in Law in Taxation for non-lawyers

In January, the Law School will begin offering a new, entirely online degree for experienced accountants and other non-lawyer professionals—a Master of Studies in Law (M.S.L.) in Taxation.

The M.S.L. program will build on the success of existing online tax offerings. Since 2008, NYU Law has offered a large number of online tax courses through its Executive LL.M. in Taxation program, an entirely online degree for experienced attorneys. The Law School currently offers approximately 30 separate online tax courses, ranging from introductory corporate, partnership and international tax courses to advanced instruction in areas such as taxation of mergers and acquisitions, taxation of financial instruments, and estate planning. All professors are distinguished academics or leading practitioners from top law firms, accounting firms, and in-house tax departments at major corporations.

“Our new M.S.L. in Taxation extends the reach of our spectacular tax program, which already is second to none in the country,” said NYU Law Dean Trevor Morrison. “ It gives accomplished accountants and other financial professionals the opportunity to study tax at the highest level.” Professor of Tax Practice and Faculty Director of the Graduate Tax Program Joshua Blank, added, “Lawyers, accountants and economists interact much more closely today than in the past. The M.S.L. in Taxation responds to a growing number of calls we have received from large organizations to offer targeted legal instruction to individuals who are not lawyers, but who advise on the tax aspects of sophisticated business transactions.”

“Our attorneys have benefited from NYU Law School’s online tax program, so we’re delighted that NYU will now offer its high-quality instruction to our experienced accountants and financial professionals, many of whom work alongside our attorneys at ExxonMobil,” said Jaime Spellings, vice president and general tax counsel of Exxon Mobil Corporation.

The M.S.L. in Taxation, says Blank, is ideal for individuals who regularly encounter substantive tax issues in their professional work. To be considered for admission to the program, students will be required to hold a C.P.A. or substantially similar certification, or have received a master’s degree in accounting, taxation, economics, or finance from a U.S. university. In addition to the educational credential requirements, students will need to have a minimum of three years of work experience in U.S. tax issues.

Students in the M.S.L. program will view videos of courses offered on campus, interact with their professors and classmates using online discussion boards, and take a final exam at the end of each course. M.S.L. students will view the same lectures offered to tax LL.M. students, but will be evaluated separately and receive high pass/pass/fail grades rather than the traditional letter grades. They will be able to customize classwork around their work obligations by viewing the class videos at times that best suit their schedules. Students who already hold a master’s degree can complete the new M.S.L. in Taxation program in 24 credits on a part-time basis over a period of up to five years; for all other students, the degree requires 30 credits of study.

Anyone interested in obtaining information about the M.S.L. in Taxation can contact John Stephens, director of the Graduate Tax Program (john.stephens@nyu.edu ).

Posted on October 7, 2013