For Partner, Tax LLM Added Sophisticated Skillset
In 2007, S. Eva Wolf ’09 had already finished college and law school and was interested in pursuing a career as a trusts and estates attorney. She could have accomplished this goal without earning another degree, but as she says now, “I realized that to practice at the highest level, I would need to have a sophisticated knowledge of tax law.”
A decade into her career, Wolf has no regrets about her decision to take the extra time to get her Tax LL.M. at Loyola Law School, Los Angeles. In fact, Wolf believes that her Tax LL.M. proved vital to her success. As she explains, “Loyola has a more structured program than others. Although I was able to take courses in my particular area of interest, I was also required to take courses such as income tax, partnership tax and corporate tax, in order to graduate. These courses provided me with a solid foundation and understanding of tax law, which has benefited me throughout my career.”
Wolf remembers being impressed with her professors’ ability to articulate complex concepts and ground them in real world examples, gleaned from years of their own practical experience. She also appreciated her professors’ connections to the legal and accounting communities in Southern California. As Wolf notes, “Many of the professors are partners at the best law firms and accounting firms. Because Loyola’s program is small, I was able to make lasting connections with them and my classmates.”
Wolf especially praises Loyola Tax LL.M. Director Jennifer Kowal, whom she credits as a great source of career advice, and as someone who has helped her to build a strong professional network. “[Jennifer] is very good at keeping in touch, and she’s a terrific professor.”
Now a partner at Withers Bergman LLP, a global law firm where she works with successful individuals and families with respect to estate planning, trust administration, and related areas of tax law, Wolf remains pleased with her career choice, saying that it appeals to “the nerdy/academic side of my brain that likes math, as well as the part that enjoys developing long-term relationships and helping others.”
“Tax law is a puzzle, and every family is different. There are a lot of moving parts,” Wolf notes, adding that one of the most satisfying aspects of her job is developing strategies that fit the particular needs and desires of her clients, and which also take into account a variety of potential risks and protect against them.
Looking ahead, Wolf anticipates that her work will continue to present her with new challenges and opportunities. “Tax law changes constantly,” Wolf says. “So my practice is continually evolving.”