- This practice area category focuses on the law as it relates to matters of taxation, including corporate tax matters, income tax, and taxes on capital gains.
- This work is divided up into federal and state/local tax.
- State tax attorneys deal with litigation-related issues (people looking for refunds or appealing an assessment).
- Federal attorneys deal with tax controversy (audit and litigation support) and transactional issues (cross-border transactions, M&A support, work for mutual funds, and so forth).
- Tax work in major law firms requires that an attorney gets an LL.M. to get extra exposure to various tax law issues.
Why Do Tax Attorneys Enjoy Their Jobs?
- Attorneys who enjoy this work are attracted to the intellectual nature of the work.
- The work often requires that attorneys think through complex scenarios very carefully to reach creative solutions.
- People who are introverts tend to enjoy tax-related work because there is very little client contact.
- Many tax attorneys enjoy being the "go to person" for advice on arcane issues of law.
- This is also a good practice area to go in-house with and most large companies have a stable of tax attorneys in their legal departments.
- The hours that tax attorneys work also tend to be predictable and most tax attorneys tend to have a more predictable schedule than other attorneys.
What Are the Difficulties of Being a Tax Attorney?
- This is a rule-intensive practice and attorneys need to be versed in rules that are changing almost daily.
- Attorneys who do not like this practice area are also often turned off by the fact that it can be very deadline intensive because corporate attorneys will contact tax attorneys for advice at the very last moment.
- Tax tends to be a small practice area within most firms which makes it difficult for attorneys to make partner.
How Easy Is It to Move Laterally as a Tax Attorney?
- This has traditionally been a very difficult area for attorneys to lateral between firms in.
- There are typically numerous applicants for each position in the market.
- There are a high number of tax LL.M.s and attorneys in accounting firms who are hungry for most positions.
- Since tax lawyers typically are in a supporting role for corporate attorneys and tend to be introverted, they often do not generate business at all, but a few get weeded out when they get more senior (this is a very difficult practice area to make partner in).
- Also, because the work is so specialized, the majority of the positions tend to be in major markets (New York City, in particular) and tax attorneys generally cannot move to smaller markets.
Tax Case Studies
- Experienced Mid-level to Senior Complex Litigator Placed at Elite Litigation Boutique in LA
- Big Law Litigator Placed at Prestigious Plaintiff-side Litigation Boutique in the OC
- Clerkship Candidate Lands Fantastic Position at Small Growing Firm in General Litigation
- The Silver Lining Shines Through for a Laid-Off Junior Litigator Returing to His Home Market
About Harrison Barnes
Harrison Barnes is a prominent figure in the legal placement industry, known for his expertise in attorney placements and his extensive knowledge of the legal profession.
With over 25 years of experience, he has established himself as a leading voice in the field and has helped thousands of lawyers and law students find their ideal career paths.
Barnes is a former federal law clerk and associate at Quinn Emanuel and a graduate of the University of Chicago College and the University of Virginia Law School. He was a Rhodes Scholar Finalist at the University of Chicago and a member of the University of Virginia Law Review. Early in his legal career, he enrolled in Stanford Business School but dropped out because he missed legal recruiting too much.
Barnes' approach to the legal industry is rooted in his commitment to helping lawyers achieve their full potential. He believes that the key to success in the legal profession is to be proactive, persistent, and disciplined in one's approach to work and life. He encourages lawyers to take ownership of their careers and to focus on developing their skills and expertise in a way that aligns with their passions and interests.
One of how Barnes provides support to lawyers is through his writing. On his blog, HarrisonBarnes.com, and BCGSearch.com, he regularly shares his insights and advice on a range of topics related to the legal profession. Through his writing, he aims to empower lawyers to control their careers and make informed decisions about their professional development.
One of Barnes's fundamental philosophies in his writing is the importance of networking. He believes that networking is a critical component of career success and that it is essential for lawyers to establish relationships with others in their field. He encourages lawyers to attend events, join organizations, and connect with others in the legal community to build their professional networks.
Another central theme in Barnes' writing is the importance of personal and professional development. He believes that lawyers should continuously strive to improve themselves and develop their skills to succeed in their careers. He encourages lawyers to pursue ongoing education and training actively, read widely, and seek new opportunities for growth and development.
In addition to his work in the legal industry, Barnes is also a fitness and lifestyle enthusiast. He sees fitness and wellness as integral to his personal and professional development and encourages others to adopt a similar mindset. He starts his day at 4:00 am and dedicates several daily hours to running, weightlifting, and pursuing spiritual disciplines.
Finally, Barnes is a strong advocate for community service and giving back. He volunteers for the University of Chicago, where he is the former area chair of Los Angeles for the University of Chicago Admissions Office. He also serves as the President of the Young Presidents Organization's Century City Los Angeles Chapter, where he works to support and connect young business leaders.
In conclusion, Harrison Barnes is a visionary legal industry leader committed to helping lawyers achieve their full potential. Through his work at BCG Attorney Search, writing, and community involvement, he empowers lawyers to take control of their careers, develop their skills continuously, and lead fulfilling and successful lives. His philosophy of being proactive, persistent, and disciplined, combined with his focus on personal and professional development, makes him a valuable resource for anyone looking to succeed in the legal profession.
About BCG Attorney Search
BCG Attorney Search matches attorneys and law firms with unparalleled expertise and drive, while achieving results. Known globally for its success in locating and placing attorneys in law firms of all sizes, BCG Attorney Search has placed thousands of attorneys in law firms in thousands of different law firms around the country. Unlike other legal placement firms, BCG Attorney Search brings massive resources of over 150 employees to its placement efforts locating positions and opportunities its competitors simply cannot. Every legal recruiter at BCG Attorney Search is a former successful attorney who attended a top law school, worked in top law firms and brought massive drive and commitment to their work. BCG Attorney Search legal recruiters take your legal career seriously and understand attorneys. For more information, please visit www.BCGSearch.com.
Harrison Barnes does a weekly free webinar with live Q&A for attorneys and law students each Wednesday at 10:00 am PST. You can attend anonymously and ask questions about your career, this article, or any other legal career-related topics. You can sign up for the weekly webinar here: Register on Zoom
Harrison also does a weekly free webinar with live Q&A for law firms, companies, and others who hire attorneys each Wednesday at 10:00 am PST. You can sign up for the weekly webinar here: Register on Zoom
You can browse a list of past webinars here: Webinar Replays
You can also listen to Harrison Barnes Podcasts here: Attorney Career Advice Podcasts
You can also read Harrison Barnes' articles and books here: Harrison's Perspectives
Harrison Barnes is the legal profession's mentor and may be the only person in your legal career who will tell you why you are not reaching your full potential and what you really need to do to grow as an attorney--regardless of how much it hurts. If you prefer truth to stagnation, growth to comfort, and actionable ideas instead of fluffy concepts, you and Harrison will get along just fine. If, however, you want to stay where you are, talk about your past successes, and feel comfortable, Harrison is not for you.
Truly great mentors are like parents, doctors, therapists, spiritual figures, and others because in order to help you they need to expose you to pain and expose your weaknesses. But suppose you act on the advice and pain created by a mentor. In that case, you will become better: a better attorney, better employees, a better boss, know where you are going, and appreciate where you have been--you will hopefully also become a happier and better person. As you learn from Harrison, he hopes he will become your mentor.
To read more career and life advice articles visit Harrison's personal blog.