After graduating from MSL, Brittany Forgues took a job at a small civil litigation law firm in Andover. “Although I enjoyed the work and learned a lot in the short period of time I was there, my family has a background in tax and I found myself wanting to pursue a legal specialty in tax,” Forgues explained. She decided to go back to school, and immediately after completing the LL.M. in Taxation program at BU Law, she accepted her position at PricewaterhouseCoopers in the International Tax Group. “Our group at PricewaterhouseCoopers helps large multinational companies align their operational structure with strategic goals and manage their effective rate. There is no typical work week. We are here for the client, so we respond to their needs and requests accordingly,” she said.
One of the biggest challenges Forgues faces on the job is keeping up with changes in tax law. “The law [in the United States] changes almost daily and so do the laws in other jurisdictions. It can be hard to balance the daily workload of tasks while staying up to date with tax law changes not only in the United States but around the world,” she explained. Still, interacting with coworkers and clients around the world is a most rewarding part of Forgues’s job. “It is fascinating to learn how other countries manage their tax regimes and how they adapt to similar tax challenges that the U.S. faces,” she said.
“My favorite experience at MSL was being a part of the trial teams,” Forgues recounted. “I found this experience to be very rewarding. Preparing the mock cases allows you to incorporate and practice so many different principles that are taught in the traditional law classes. I will never forget winning the Northeast division. The final day of trials was long and exhausting, but our team presented the case very well and was rewarded for this.”
Forgues also stressed the importance of honing her writing skills as a law student. “I did not consider myself to be a very good writer when I started at MSL, so I enjoyed the opportunity to improve my writing skills,” she noted. “Having good writing is so important for a lawyer, so I was happy I took advantage of these classes. Civil Procedure is a classic course that I also really enjoyed. So many legal concepts are interwoven in Civil Procedure. I enjoyed learning how to operate in the court system, how to present myself as a lawyer and how to present legal ideas and concepts to the court in a clear and concise manner.”
Forgues would advise a student who wants to work in tax law to gain some experience while in law school. “Experience can come in many shapes and forms,” she explained, “so students should be creative and look for opportunities where they can learn concepts that can be applied to many different areas of tax law. In order to get an understanding of what experiences are important, students should reach out to alumni or other lawyers in the field.” Meeting face-to-face is important to ask questions and receive feedback, Forgues noted, adding that while she receives many emails every day, that is no substitute for in-person informational interviews.
“MSL taught me that good lawyers come from all different places and backgrounds,” Forgues said. “I loved MSL because it wasn’t a traditional law school. It gave me the flexibility to do different things while studying and ultimately preparing for the bar exam.”
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