Graduate Tax Program

Joint Degree Tax Program

The JD/LLM program allows NYU JD students (and visiting JD students) to count up to 12 credits of advanced tax coursework towards the NYU LLM in Taxation. (We cannot not award credit for tax courses taken at other law schools.) If an NYU JD student earns 12+ advanced tax credits and is admitted to our LLM program, they only need complete 12 additional post-JD credits to meet the requirements for the Taxation LLM. These 12 credits can be taken in a single additional semester of full-time study, or several semesters of part-time study. Note below ("Period of Study") that there is a time limit as to when this must be done.

Taxation LLM Degree requirements: Normally, the Taxation LLM requires 24 credits to be taken, 20 of which are in advanced tax coursework.  The LLM is a valued credential in the tax field, and the JD/LLM program can allow one to earn it in less time and with less expense.

The degree requires a course each in tax procedure and tax policy. Full-time students take most of their courses on campus and part-time students must take at least 12 credits of on campus coursework. This "residency" requirement can be satisfied with advanced tax coursework taken during the JD program. We also have an Executive LLM in Taxation program which can be completed entirely online, for those students who have not taken many advanced tax credits and wish to study tax from afar.

The JD and LLM are earned in series, not in parallel--put another way, one completes the JD before enrolling as an LLM student. 

Timing and Location: Part-time students may take on-campus evening courses or online courses (the latter are typically asynchronous/pre-recorded courses).  Thus students can stay in New York after taking the bar exam to complete it, or can complete the LLM entirely remotely from another state if they have taken 12 credits of on campus advanced tax coursework already. Students who take fewer advanced credits in tax during their JD programs can receive credit for those during their LLM, but will need to take more than 12 post JD credits and will need to take some credits on campus or in a real-time remote format (if available). A directed research project can also count towards this residency requirement.

Period of study: The period of study for the LLM degree is five years, and all coursework must be completed within this window. This time limit begins when you take your first advanced tax course in your 2L or 3L year. The clock is not paused if you work for a year or two before commencing your LLM. While short extensions of 1-2 semesters can be entertained by the Vice Dean (in consultation with the tax program), this  means that one must make regular progress towards the LLM in order to be able to use the advanced tax credits taken during your JD.  For example, a 2010 JD graduate of NYU who took 15 credits of advanced tax coursework as a JD would not be able to use their tax coursework from 2008-2010 towards an LLM if they started an LLM 13 years later in 2023. 

Is part-time study for me? Part-time study is more difficult to balance with one's work and personal lives, but does give you a chance to take courses that are directly relevant to what you do every day. Most working part-time students find that 2-4 credits per semester is what they can juggle alongside their work and their home lives. A typical two credit course might take 5-7 hours each week to prepare for and participate in class (plus commuting time if you come on campus). This estimate can vary-for classes in which you already have deep pools of knowledge, it may take less time to get up to speed than a class in which you are new to the subject.

Which courses count? Upon completion of the JD and admission to the LLM in Taxation Program, the student will be given credit for up to 12 advanced tax courses which were completed during their JD. Advanced tax courses are all courses listed in the schedule  under the "Taxation" heading except for the basic Income Taxation class. The basic class "Income Taxation" cannot be counted towards any graduate tax degree program, even as an elective.

Course sequencing: Commonly, students take the basic income tax  in their 1L or 2L year. Next, they would ideally take corporate tax or another doctrinal tax class during their 2L year if they hope to work in their firm's tax group during their 2L summer. (Estate and Gift Tax or Partnership Tax might be other choices for a follow up to basic income tax.)  By the end of their JD, a student who is serious about working in transactional tax would ideally complete Corporate Tax I & II, International Tax I & II, Partnership Taxation, and some form of Tax Policy or Tax Procedure during their JD.  Other paths might focus on estate planning, state and local taxes, executive compensation, etc.  Students would then focus on advanced coursework in their post-JD LLM credits--eg, Taxation off Mergers and Acquisitions, Taxation of Private Equity Transactions, International Tax III (advanced topics in outbound tax), International Estate Planning, etc.

Applications: NYU School of Law students can apply for admission to the LLM program by submitting an abbreviated  application. Applications for the full-time program are generally due on or around April 1, and part-time applications are typically due around June 1 for a fall start. A small number of part-time students begin in the spring or summer semesters. 

Visiting students: Non-NYU School of Law students who wish to participate in the Joint Degree Program may apply to enter NYU for their third year beginning in the fall term. Candidates must have completed two full years (at least 55 credits) and need no more than 30 additional credits to complete requirements for a JD degree at their current law school. Special applications for admission to this program, the JD Nonmatriculant/LLM in Taxation Program, are available from the NYU School of Law Office of Admissions. The application deadline is on or near April 1 each year.

It is expected that admitted visiting students will have taken a course in basic income taxation at their home institutions, as many tax courses at NYU require that course  as a pre-requisite. Admitted students are considered non-matriculants at NYU School of Law for their third year of JD study and receive their JD degrees from their home institutions. Nonmatriculant Joint Degree candidates are expected to complete approximately 12 credits of advanced tax at NYU School of Law during the third year of their JD study and officially apply to the LLM in Taxation Program during their last semester at NYU. Upon completion of the JD and admission to the NYU School of Law LLM in Taxation Program, the non-NYU School of Law Joint Degree candidate will be given credit for up to 12 advanced tax credits taken at NYU School of Law.



If a participating NYU law student took 12 credits of advanced tax courses while pursuing her JD degree, she would need only 12 additional credits to complete the requirements of the LLM degree, for a total of 24 credits. At least eight of the 12 post-JD credits must be in advanced tax classes to satisfy the in-field requirement.

However, if a participating NYU law student took only 8 credits of advanced tax courses while pursuing her JD degree, she would need to complete 16 post-JD credits to complete the requirements of the LLM degree, for a total of 24 LLM credits. In this case, 12 of the 16 post-JD credits would have to be in advanced tax classes to satisfy the in-field requirement. Additionally, this students admission letter would mention the LLM program rather than the joint JD/LLM program. Regardless, we still count advanced tax credits (taken at NYU within the period of study) towards the LLM.

For this reason, joint-degree students must take at least 12 credits of advanced tax courses while a JD student.

Regardless of how many advanced tax courses a student takes while pursuing her JD degree, after being awarded the JD degree, she must take one additional semester of full-time study (or its equivalent, i.e., 12 credits) to earn the LLM (in Taxation). For example, if a student took 15 credits in advanced tax courses while a JD student, then she must still take 12 credits after receiving the JD However, only 5 of the remaining 12 would have to be in advanced tax classes to satisfy the in-field requirement.

Joint degree candidates are assigned a faculty advisor and may also consult the Executive Director of the Tax Program for assistance in course selection and advisement on other academic issues.