Movies have distorted reality a bit when it comes to legal drama. I mean, who didn't want to become a lawyer after seeing Elle Woods absolutely slay her trial speech to prove the defendant innocent (while showing up her ex in the process)?
Practicing law IRL is much less juicy and much more nuanced (and first-year law students would never be allowed to question a witness on the stand). Some lawyers may never see the inside of a courtroom, first of all, and discerning what kind of law suits you is a more complex process.
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WHAT SKILLS DO YOU NEED TO BECOME A TAX ATTORNEY?
Tax attorneys must possess comprehensive knowledge of the federal tax code and other tax laws. They also must understand business and financial strategies. Law school covers much of this subject matter, particularly for students focusing on tax and business law. The following section discusses other skills needed to successfully practice tax law.
This page outlines the skills and education needed to become a tax attorney, covering the process of becoming one, how long it takes, and details regarding credentials, licensing, and continuing education credits. The page concludes with a list of career and professional resources for aspiring and current tax lawyers.
Tax lawyers must have familiarity with tax laws to properly advise clients on how to take advantage of tax credits, communicate on behalf of clients with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and practice in tax court. Some tax attorneys work in the area of estate planning, in which they counsel clients on how to structure wills and trusts for maximum tax benefits.
Law school teaches students to think like lawyers, synthesize complicated laws, and express themselves effectively orally and in writing. Tax attorneys boasting the following skills can expect to excel in their careers:
Accounting and Math
Students typically gain these skills before entering law school through undergraduate classes in math or accounting. Tax attorneys need a solid understanding of both.
Despite the tax code’s complexities, attorneys must know how to explain it to their clients in plain, understandable language to help them make decisions. Attorneys must hone clear writing and articulate speaking skills.
Critical-thinking and Analysis
Attorneys need skills to read statutes and case law and accurately analyze and apply these laws to their clients’ situations.
The tax code constantly changes, so attorneys need strong research skills to provide current advice to their clients.