Thoughts on going to law school after practicing tax for 5 years?

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You will definitely develop analytical and problem solving skills that your peers won’t necessarily have. It will also generally improve credibility and set yourself apart. What it won’t do, is guarantee you higher salary than your peers. I did it 5 years Into my career, at night and it took 4.5 years of serious commitment. You will incur a ton of debt and be forced to give up your social life. I would also suggest making sure your firm is on board with it because you won’t be able to work normal busy season hours. Basically your life will be hell for a few years. Would I do it again, absolutely

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I could be wrong about this but I don’t think you can get an LLM without having a JD. plus if you already have an MST the LLM would be redundant and I don’t think much value. The MST will be more valuable in PA. Personally I think having the JD is more valuable but it kind of depends on your career aspirations and type of area you will be practicing.

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I have a JD. But I’m not sure I understand your question. Completing law school will afford you a Juris Doctor degree. Ironically most accredited law schools don’t have tax as part of their normal curriculum largely because it is not tested on the bar exam. An advanced law degree, an LLM, can be in a specific subject area such as tax. But if that’s the only reason you are going you’d be better off just getting a masters in taxation

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You can’t get into an LLM program without a law degree.

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I would not suggest going to law school at this point if you simply want to stay in tax. You’ll be better off 3-4 years from now (which would make 8-9 years experience in PA for you) just working and continuing to learn on the job while making money. If you want to do something else, then it’s worth considering

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Agree with the above. I’m a lawyer and you’ll just spend 4 years in school to come out and basically have the same job you do now but with lots more debt. Unless paying $2,000-3,000 a month in loans appeals to you.

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It depends. You could get a great job coming out having that manager title beforehand. Firms and schools really like practical, real world experience. But you’re basically having to start over, still.

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It entirely depends on which law school you get into. If you get into a T-14 school and do well, you’ll be interviewing at AM100 law firms that pay first year associates 180k plus bonus. You’ll have more options with a JD and possibly an LLM. It’s worth it. Even with the student loans, I would do it all over again. Good luck!

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Caveat....I would not suggest taking 3 years off to do it if you plan to stay in PA. It will not necessarily make you more marketable and you will likely go back to PA at the same level you left

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Did you do a full JD or tax law? I am thinking of doing tax law. Any thoughts?

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I had 5 years in tax and am now done with my first year of law school. I had always wanted to go to law school but it is definitely a hard call on staying in PA. I think of probably come out ahead financially if I had not gone back to school but I definitely needed a break from PA and thiught law school was a good investment in myself. I may do tax law at the end of the day but I'm trying to use school to reset and take a look around at what is out there in the legal field. But I will say I do miss the paycheck...living with an ever declining bank balance after working so long has been a mental adjustment.

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Would not suggest. Just stick it out in PA and get into a more specialized group like IT. You’ll make just as much money, be ahead of peers that did go to law school, and be able to retire younger. Law school would most likely be a huge mistake unless you want to switch fields

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And thanks for replying!

I am referring to doing a LLM. I already did a MS in tax. So you think it’s more beneficial to do a JD?

RSM 1 is correct. A Masters in Tax is essentially the same as an LLM in tax, it’s just that people with a JD get the LLM and people with undergrad or other masters degrees get the Masters in Tax. I did mine at Villanova and it was literally the same curriculum; JDs and non JDs took classes together, but we received different degrees in the end

So without having to read paragraphs of detail. 5 years of work + 3 (or 4) years of law school = 8 or 9 years in the future. As someone whose gone into post education it will take up all of your time. But if you want it go then shoot for the stars!

I agree with the previous posts though...law school has little in the way of tax classes...most ppl doing tax would get an LLM so you'd be better served by a master's to save the expense of law school just to qualify for an LLM. But if you truly want to do law school go for it...it's just a huge commitment that may or may not put you further ahead than you were. From my perspective though I look at my old job as my insurance plan...something I can fall back on if my legal ambitions fail.

Getting a JD as an investment in your PA career is about as much rationalization as a country club membership for business Development and place to take the kids to the pool.....not saying their isn’t value in both.....just don’t expect a return on investment....if you do it do it for yourself. I skipped the JD and got the county club membership......haven’t looked back....

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