Dedman School of Law has a long tradition of strength in the area of federal taxation. The LL.M. (taxation) program, for full-time or part-time students, is a comprehensive, advanced-degree program designed for attorneys intending to specialize in tax practice. It focuses not only on technical mastery of the tax laws but also on wider issues of tax and fiscal policy. Most of the courses in the curriculum provide survey-level instruction in subjects typically not addressed in J.D.-level tax courses. In addition, advanced courses develop in-depth, practice-oriented expertise.
Courses are taught by Dedman School of Law faculty and by adjunct professors and lecturers who are experienced, practicing tax specialists in Dallas area law firms and corporate law departments.
Accelerated Tax LL.M. Option
Students enrolled in the JD Program have the option to earn both a J.D. and LL.M. (in Taxation) in only seven semesters of full-time study. This dual degree program does not change the requirements for either degree, but it does allow students to count a limited number of classes toward satisfying both degrees.
The existing LL.M. (in Taxation) degree requires 24 credit hours, taken after completion of the J.D. degree. The dual degree program allows students enrolled in the J.D. program at the SMU Dedman School of Law, either as a candidate for an SMU degree or as a visiting student from other ABA-accredited American law schools, to count up to 12 credits of specialized tax courses, taken at SMU while a candidate for the J.D. degree, toward the LL.M. (in Taxation) degree. Students participating in the J.D./LL.M. (in Taxation) Program must complete at least 12 credits of study as matriculated LL.M. students after completion of their J.D. degrees. Students interested in this program should meet with the Dean of Graduate and International Programs early in their academic career to be sure they are meeting the requirements of the dual degree.
Admission to this program is by selection. An applicant for admission to the LL.M. (taxation) degree program must hold a J.D. degree from an American Bar Association-accredited law school. Students with a law degree from a foreign country and a strong background in tax may also be considered for admission. Students may attend either full time or part time.
Applicants must include with their applications a letter stating why they are interested in entering the graduate degree program, two letters of recommendation and official transcripts from both their undergraduate and law schools.
Applications for the fall term should be received by the Office of Graduate Legal Studies by April 15 of the year of intended enrollment and for the spring term by December 1 of the year preceding enrollment. The Law School makes admissions decisions on a rolling basis and will accept applications after these dates; however, it strongly encourages applicants to apply within these deadlines.
The Robert Hickman Smellage, Sr. Memorial Fund provides scholarship assistance to a limited number of graduate students. In addition, the SMU Office of Financial Aid is available to assist U.S. students in obtaining student loans.