» LL.M. in Taxation Program

The Chapman University Fowler School of Law offers an LL.M degree in taxation with comprehensive course work that exposes students to a wide variety of specialized tax and estate planning courses.  Tax law covers income tax, federal tax procedure, corporate tax, ethics, as well as a variety of electives.  In addition to the traditional personal and business related tax law courses, Chapman has made a particular effort to include an extensive array of advanced estate planning and advanced business and personal tax planning courses.  

Faculty

The full-time professors in the tax law program include casebook authors and leaders in committees of the tax section of the American Bar Association as well as respected adjunct professors who bring a real-world dynamic to the classroom.

Clinics and Real World Experience

Chapman is the only law school in the nation with both trial and appellate tax clinics where students handle actual cases while in school. Additionally, an estate planning clinic and externship opportunities with the State Board of Equalization, the IRS Office of Chief Counsel and the Department of Justice Tax Division are available.

Please note: Federal Income Tax Requirement

Our tax program is unique from many other programs in that all of our LL.M. candidates are presumed to have already completed a basic course in Federal Income Taxation at the JD level prior to matriculation at Chapman. If you have not completed a JD level course in federal income tax before matriculation, you will be required to complete it during your first semester in the program. This may impact your ability to complete the program in one-year.

Learn more about LL.M. admission requirements, program requirements, and cost of attendance.

+ - Courses

Our tax program is unique from many other programs in that all of our LL.M. candidates are presumed to have already completed a basic course in federal income taxation at the JD level prior to matriculation at Chapman.*

This benefits you because it allows you to focus more of your time on upper division coursework in specialized courses that interest you.  It also benefits Chapman, because it drives motivated candidates who are already sure of their desire to complete post-graduate work in tax and estate planning.

We offer advanced courses in both business and estate planning fields. All required courses are offered at least once a year, so you may complete the program in nine months on a full-time basis.  The most popular elective courses are offered annually, and the more select advanced topic seminars are typically offered every other year or as occasional summer courses.

  • Note: If you have not completed a JD level course in federal income tax before matriculation, you will be required to complete it during your first semester in the program.  This may impact your ability to complete the program in one-year.


Required Courses

  • CORPORATE TAX I (3 credits)
  • ETHICS IN TAX PRACTICE (2 credits)
  • FEDERAL TAX PROCEDURE (3 credits)
  • FEDERAL TAX RESEARCH (2 credits)
  • INCOME TAXATION FOR LL.M. STUDENTS (3 credits)
  • PARTNERSHIP TAX (3 credits)

Elective Courses

  • ELDER LAW (1 credit)
  • ESTATE AND GIFT TAXATION (3 credits)
  • ESTATE PLANNING (2 credits)
  • ESTATE PLANNING TECHNIQUES FOR THE HIGH NET WORTH INDIVIDUAL (1 credits)
  • INCOME TAXATION OF TRUSTS, ESTATES AND BENEFICIARIES (2 credits)
  • QUALIFIED PENSION AND PROFIT-SHARING PLANS (2 credits)
  • REAL ESTATE TAX PLANNING (2 credits)
  • STATE AND LOCAL TAXATION (2 credits)
  • TAX-EXEMPT ORGANIZATIONS (2 credits)
  • U.S. TAXATION OF INTERNATIONAL INCOME (3 credits)
  • OTHER COURSES - with permission of the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, credit may be given for other courses including Tax Externships, Tax Clinic work and other courses with a sufficient nexus to the program.
  • TRANSFER COURSES -complete details on our policy for accepting transfer units are listed under Program Requirements, but to summarize, a non-Chapman J.D. may receive up to 6 credits and a Chapman J.D. may receive up to 12 units towards the degree for qualifying coursework. In unusual cases, a student may petition to request additional transfer credits.

+ - Learning Outcomes

The law school faculty have identified the following learning outcomes as critical to a law degree and to developing the skills needed to become a proficient attorney.

  1. Understanding American Law – LL.M. students with foreign law degrees will demonstrate an understanding of the legal system of the United States by applying (1) the common law and case method, (2) basic principles of legal procedure, and (3) specific content areas relevant to their area of emphasis to propose, assess, justify, and/or recommend resolutions to simulated and real-world legal issues.
  2. Emphasis-Appropriate Content and Analysis – LL.M. students should demonstrate subject matter knowledge and information appropriate to their area of emphasis and their personal and program goals. Students should apply legal rules and information appropriate to their area of emphasis to formulate clear and effective legal analysis and to prepare and recommend solutions to legal problems.
  3. Emphasis-Appropriate Skills – LL.M. students should develop essential skills appropriate to their area of emphasis and their personal and program goals.
-- For Trial Advocacy emphasis students, this primarily means skills appropriate to trial practice.
-- For Business Law emphasis students, this primarily means practice-related legal research and writing, as well as skills such as Negotiation and Mediation for students with those focus
-- For International & Comparative emphasis students, this primarily means academic legal writing (Directed Research/Thesis).
-- For Entertainment Emphasis students, it primarily means real-world negotiating and drafting media-related legal instruments via the Entertainment Law
-- For Tax emphasis students, this primarily means tax-related practice skills and legal research/writing.
 

+ - Faculty

Chapman currently has 52 full-time faculty including a Nobel Laureate and four former U.S. Supreme Court clerks.  Our full time tax faculty includes leaders in various tax sections and committees of the American Bar Association and scholars including casebook authors.

Courses in the LL.M. programs are taught by a mixture of the full-time tax professors and leading practitioners who bring extensive experience in very specialized areas of legal practice.

Biographies of the faculty teaching within the program may be found by clicking on the links below.

Full-Time Tax Faculty

Adjunct Tax Faculty

  • Paul Battista, Founder at The Law Office of Paul Battista
  • Bruce Bulloch, Capital Consulting Group, LLC
  • Patrick Connolly, Senior Tax Manager at First American Financial Corporation
  • LaDonna Kienitz, Founder at Law Offices of LaDonna T. Kienitz
  • R. Zebulon Law, Partner at Law & Lewis, LLP
  • Jonathan Mintz, Partner at Matsen Voorhees Mintz LLP
  • Lisa O. Nelson, Partner at Law Offices of A. Lavar Taylor LLP
  • Carol P. Schaner, Partner at Gordon & Rees LLP
  • A. Lavar Taylor, Founder at Law Offices of A. Lavar Taylor LLP
  • David Warner, Office of Chief Counsel, IRS

+ - Contact Us

For more information, please feel free to contact us.

Chapman University Fowler School of Law
Attn: LL.M. in Taxation
One University Drive
Orange, CA 92866
Phone: (714) 628-2635
Email: taxllm@chapman.edu

+ - Program Requirements

The general program requirements for the LL.M. in Taxation program mirror the requirements of the general LL.M at Chapman University Fowler School of Law. Learn more about the LL.M. program requirements. However, in addition to the general program requirements, the LL.M. in Taxation also requires the below criteria.

Federal Income Tax

Our tax program is unique from many other programs in that all of our LL.M. candidates are presumed to have already completed a basic course in federal income taxation at the J.D. level prior to matriculation at Chapman. If you have not completed a J.D. level course in federal income tax before matriculation, you will be required to complete it during your first semester in the program.

This may impact your ability to complete the program in one-year.

Credits

A student must complete 27 LL.M. credits with grades of at least C (2.0) or better and have an LL.M. grade point average of at least C (2.0) in order to receive the LL.M. in Taxation degree.

Required Courses

15 of the required 27 credits must be for the following 6 courses:

  • Corporate Tax
  • Ethics in Tax Practice
  • Federal Tax Procedure
  • Federal Tax Research
  • Income Taxation for LL.M. Students
  • Partnership Tax

The school of law currently plans to offer each of these courses at least once during each year. With the approval of the Director, any of these required courses may be waived if the student has sufficient previous background or experience in the area. In addition, the course in Tax Policy, when offered, may, with the Director's approval, be substituted for the Federal Tax Research course.

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