Tax Law Degree and Certificate Program Overviews

Oct 10, 2019

The most widely available educational options in tax law include programs that award a certificate and a Master of Law (LL.M.) in Tax Law. These programs teach students in the areas of estate, corporate and international taxation, as well as IRS policies.

Essential Information

A certificate program in tax law can be taken in conjunction with a Juris Doctor (J.D.) program, which could take up to four years. An LL.M. in Tax Law program is for students who already hold a J.D. degree. Though a certificate program supplements a standard law degree program, it addresses specialized content. Students learn portions of the IRS code, trends in state tax policy, auditing procedures and recent rulings on tax policy. Corporate, international and estate tax are among other potential areas of study.

A graduate tax law degree program touches on the economic objectives and social issues that drive tax policy decisions while examining the details and nuances of the tax code. Areas of tax law specialization may include local and state taxation, corporate tax planning and estate planning. Externships with state agencies or the IRS can be arranged, providing exposure to the working day practicalities of tax lawyers. Master's applicants must have a bachelor's and J.D. degree and meet writing and service requirements.

Certificate in Tax Law

The core curriculum covers taxation, and procedures. Potential tax law courses include:

  • Corporate tax law
  • Estate tax law
  • Federal tax law
  • State tax law
  • Partnership tax law

Master's Degree Program in Tax Law

These programs are organized into core courses covering tax fundamentals and electives that address a specific area of tax law. Possible courses include:

  • Employee tax law
  • Business tax planning
  • Real estate tax law
  • Estate planning
  • International tax law

Popular Career Options

Governments, businesses and individuals all purchase the advice and services of tax lawyers, creating multiple employment opportunities. The following are settings where a lawyer with a tax law certificate may find work:

  • Private practice
  • Law firm
  • State or federal tax agency
  • Corporation

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

Graduates of an LL.M. in Tax Law are qualified to offer specialized legal services as tax attorneys. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, projected that from 2018-2028, employment of lawyers may grow 6%, but does not provide figures for tax lawyers. These professionals made median salary of $120,910 in May 2018.

Certificate programs in tax law offer specialized units in auditing and taxation, and master's programs provide internship opportunities and classes in corporate and estate taxes.

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