Law Career Spotlight: Tax Attorney
December 23, 2015
Your dream is to be a… tax attorney?
If you ask a group of eager young kids what they want to be when they grow up, you’ll probably hear answers like this:
- the president!
- tax attorney!
Need to back up there? Okay, fine, so most people don’t list careers in law like “tax attorney” as their childhood dreams. But perhaps they should. Practicing tax law can make for an incredibly rewarding law career—both financially and intellectually.
1. You can dig deeply into tax law
Want to take an active role in a vast array of cases and claims involving various forms of taxation? As Rick Horne, a partner at Lowenstein Sandler in New York, points out in his interview with Marc Luber, tax law is a “deep and wide” field.
You might negotiate with the IRS on behalf of individuals who owe back taxes. You might help a small company examine its payroll procedures or restructure its business. You might work with a large corporation to develop global tax strategies to maximize international revenue. The possibilities of tax law are as endless as the federal tax codes sometimes seem to be!
2. Your law career path is wide open
Tax touches virtually every sector of the economy. As such, you can pursue just about any law career that interests you through tax law.
You could work in private practice as your own boss or join a large firm. You have the option of working with a non-profit or a multimillion-dollar corporation. Your schedule might be a traditional 9–5 job, or you can rack up the billable hours (and the related big bonuses).
3. Use both the left and right sides of your brain
After all, tax attorneys must be both logical and creative. They have to be extremely detail-oriented, able to analyze and parse large numbers of tax codes, and have a keen sense of numbers and figures. In addition, as Robert Wood points out in Forbes, people who pursue tax law jobs need to think innovatively and communicate effectively.
4. Pull in the salary of your dreams
According to Salary.com, the median annual salary for a tax attorney straight out of law school with less than two years of experience is $91,411, whereas those with two to five years of experience make $124,014 on average with a range usually between $98,765 and $134,158. These latter figures are higher than the median salary for lawyers across the board, which according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics was $114,970 in 2014. Data from Glassdoor suggests that the median salary for tax law jobs in 2014 might be even higher.
So, how do you become a tax attorney?
Earn that high LSAT score and submit polished applications to top-ranked law schools with a strength in tax law, such as NYU, the University of Florida (Levin), Georgetown, Northwestern, and Boston University. Then get ready to make all of those astronauts, ballerinas, firemen, and doctors jealous of your fabulous career!
Ready to jump-start your law career? Check out our LSAT prep options to get started.