Villanova Online LLM in Tax Student Spotlight: Ed McNamara
In a short question-and-answer session, we asked Ed about the value of earning his Master of Laws (LLM) in Taxation degree online at Villanova:
Q: What is your professional background?
A: My business experience spans several decades including partnership in one 1099 tax software company and participation as the marketing director of another. I have been self-employed – as the partner of one company or another in various industries – for the past 19 years. Before that I was the Systems and Administrative Services Director of a Fortune 100 company. My general background has covered all aspects of owning and running several small businesses. I went back to law school in 2009, while continuing to operate my most recent business as a military sales and marketing consultant. I obtained my JD degree from Concord University Law School in California in 2013 and my Enrolled Agent credential in early 2014.
Q: Why did you choose Villanova for your Master of Laws (LLM) in Taxation degree?
A: The Villanova ground program for tax has a great reputation and I read several great reviews in the course of my research. I needed the ability to complete the program online – and I assumed that the structure and instructional level of the online program would be of similar quality. Villanova also represented the best mix of reputation and cost for me. The costs of the program were very reasonable when compared to other comparable online LLM tax programs.
Q: Why did you choose to complete a program online?
A: My son Danny (19) has Cerebral Palsy. He isn’t able to walk or talk and requires a significant amount of care. I’m his primary guardian. I’ve partnered in several small companies over the years since Danny was born and have worked mostly at home or remotely since a “traditional” corporate career track did not afford me the time and flexibility I needed to take care of Danny and raise my other two children. Given the uncertainty of care responsibilities, I absolutely needed to find an online option. The Villanova program has afforded me the opportunity to get a top level education and the flexibility to plan my study time around my other life responsibilities – which are significant with three teenagers.
Q: Why did you choose to pursue the LLM in Taxation degree?
A: In 2009, I decided to go back to law school and pursue a retirement career as a Tax Attorney/CPA. I completed my JD degree in 2013, obtained my EA early last year and am currently working on passing the CPA exam. The LLM program was a critical addition in developing a sound base for tax practice and the proper credential for consulting. When I’m done with my plan, I’ll have a CPA, EA and JD/LLM, which should provide enough credentials for various remote consulting opportunities in the tax world.
Q: How has your experience been in the online LLM in Taxation program so far?
A: The faculty is very knowledgeable and eager to help in any way they can. The program has been demanding – there is quite a bit of reading to complete in any given week with the text and ancillary materials provided. Professors have assigned cases that are on point to the material covered and have certainly helped to demonstrate the concepts and enhance the learning experience. The students in my group span quite a bit of experience in a wide array of areas (corporate, government, private).
Q: How are you applying what you’ve learned in the program?
A: I am in the process of completing my CPA credential. The coursework that we have completed to date has been particularly helpful in preparing for the REG portion of the exam.
Q: How are you planning to use your LLM in Taxation degree in the future?
A: I am planning to work as a remote consulting resource for smaller law and accounting firms who don’t have a dedicated tax function or open a small tax practice of my own. The additional credential of an LLM is crucial in the tax area to show that you have the formal knowledge base to address the most complicated tax situations. The specialty nature of tax and the general trend toward outsourcing provide the right combination of market factors, in my opinion, for opportunities now and in the future.
Q: Anything else you’d like potential students in the program to know?
A: The most compelling part of the Villanova program so far has been the faculty and staff. There is an open door policy to ask questions and to reach professors any time after hours. Questions are always answered promptly, and the faculty is genuinely interested in engaging in the learning experience. By following the program structure – completing the assigned reading, weekly questions and assessments – my detailed knowledge of the material has been greatly enhanced. The program has certainly turned out to be everything I was looking for.
Join students like Ed and you can complete your LLM in Taxation degree online in as few as 18 months. Call an enrollment advisor at 1-866-803-9714 with any questions about the online LLM program.