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Best Taxation Schools And Tax Law Programs In California

Looking to dive into the world of tax law and taxation? California is your golden ticket! Home to some of the best taxation schools and tax law programs in the country, it’s where dreams meet opportunity.

California boasts prestigious tax education with top schools like the University of Southern California (USC) offering leading tax law programs, along with the University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley), and Loyola Law School, renowned for their comprehensive curriculums and expert faculties.

Let’s explore the top law schools of California to kick-start your career in tax!

Key Takeaway

  • Elite Programs: UCLA, USC Gould, and UC Berkeley boast national recognition for their JD programs with tax law specializations.
  • Specialized Options: University of San Diego offers Master’s programs in both Accountancy (Tax) and Tax Law for focused learning.
  • Location Advantage: California’s legal and financial hubs like Los Angeles and San Francisco provide ample opportunities for tax graduates.

1. Stanford University

Stanford University
  • National Ranking: 3
  • Tax Law Ranking: 15
  • Bar Passage Rates: 97.1 percent
  • Student-faculty Ratio: 4.4:1
  • Post-Graduation Salaries: $147,000 to $202,000
  • Acceptance Rate: 6.9 percent
  • LSAT: 170-176
  • Employment Rate: 98%
  • Price: $62,484

Stanford University was founded in 1891 by Leland and Jane Stanford in memory of their only child. It’s located in Stanford, California, near Palo Alto, right in the heart of Silicon Valley. 

The campus is huge, spreading over 8,180 acres, making it one of the largest in the United States. Stanford University shines in the tax education arena, offering robust tax programs through its Law School.

Stanford Law School offers 4 LLM (Master of Laws) degrees. Of these degrees, their Corporate Governance and Practice LLM program includes tax law areas like American Law, Global Capital market, corporate tax, etc. Their LLM program enrolls approximately 15-20 students each year.

This university also offers a . It is the most advanced law degree program, equivalent to PhD. This program helps students become tax experts, so they can work as high tax professionals. Very highly qualified students get a chance to study this program. 

This school’s student faculty ratio is 6.9:1. Graduates from Stanford University’s Law programs are highly sought after in various fields, including law firms, technology companies, government positions, and nonprofits. 

Their rigorous training in law, combined with the prestige of Stanford, opens doors to top-tier employment opportunities across the globe. 

2. University Of California–Los Angeles (UCLA)

University Of California--Los Angeles (UCLA)
  • National Ranking: 15
  • Tax Law Ranking: 6
  • Bar Passage Rates: 78 percent
  • Student-faculty Ratio: 5.5:1
  • Employment Rate:
  • Post-Graduation Salaries: $74,000 to $223,000
  • Acceptance Rate: 15.5%
  • LSAT: 166-172
  • Employment Rate: 97%
  • Price: $53,910

The University of California–Los Angeles (UCLA) was established in 1919, making it one of the oldest campuses in the University of California system. Located in the Westwood district of Los Angeles, it’s known for a vibrant campus life set within a sprawling urban area.

The University of California–Los Angeles (UCLA) stands out for its exceptional tax programs within the School of Law. 

At UCLA, aspiring tax professionals, like , tax advisors, or tax officers can dive deep into the world of tax law. The curriculum is designed to cover all facets of taxation, ensuring students emerge as well-rounded, expert tax professionals.

UCLA Law boasts a diverse and rich academic environment, offering students a wide range of topics including constitutional law, Critical Race Studies, tax and business law, entertainment law, immigration law, trial advocacy, technology and the law, etc. Students of this university can specialize in 7 major disciplines of their choice. 

Their tax law program is designed to nurture leading practitioners, guided by esteemed faculty and comprehensive institutes. Their program also emphasizes strong critical thinking, communication, research, and problem-solving skills valuable across various legal and non-legal professions.

UCLA Law graduates are in high demand, particularly within the legal field. Situated in Los Angeles, a major legal hub, UCLA Law graduates benefit from proximity to a vast pool of legal firms, corporations, and government agencies. 

3. University Of Southern California (Gould)

University Of Southern California (Gould)
  • National Ranking: 16
  • Tax Law Ranking: 15
  • Bar Passage Rates: 95.2 percent
  • Student-faculty Ratio: 6.2:1
  • Post-Graduation Salaries: $145,000 to $192,800
  • Acceptance Rate: 12.7 percent
  • LSAT: 165-169
  • Employment Rate: 87.6%
  • Price: $73,998.

The Gould School of Law at the University of Southern California (USC) was founded in 1896, making it one of the oldest law schools in California. Located in Los Angeles, the campus is part of USC’s larger university setting, known for its diverse and dynamic environment. 

Offering a comprehensive curriculum, USC Gould equips students with a deep understanding of tax law, blending theoretical knowledge with practical applications. 

This prepares graduates for successful careers as tax professionals, with skills highly valued in the competitive tax industry. The student-faculty ratio of this university is 6.5:1.

With renowned faculty members, a cooperative student community, interdisciplinary curriculum, and supportive alumni network, USC Gould is the prime choice of many students. This university offers a comprehensive master’s degree in the US legal systems. 

USC Gould’s Juris Doctor (JD) degree program makes the students expert on legal practice, business, government and public service.

Graduates from the University of Southern California’s Gould School of Law are well-prepared for a variety of job opportunities in the legal field and beyond. They often find employment in prestigious law firms, corporations, government agencies, and non-profit organizations.

4. University Of California, Berkeley

University Of California, Berkeley
  • National Ranking: 15
  • Tax Law Ranking: 20
  • Bar Passage Rates: 95 percent
  • Student-faculty Ratio: 5.5:1
  • Post-Graduation Salaries: $190,000 to $205, 000
  • Acceptance Rate: 12.5 percent
  • LSAT: 167-172
  • Employment Rate: 95.17%
  • Price: $59,306

The University of California, Berkeley, was established in 1868, marking it as the first campus of the University of California system. Over the years, UC Berkeley has earned a reputation for excellence in academia, innovation, and activism. 

This university’s LLM courses include a significant subject on tax, estates, and trusts that aims to teach students about taxation. Their J.D. program also makes students specialists of different areas of tax so that they become perfectly fit to work as a tax professional.

The law school offers a variety of courses on tax law, covering areas like federal income taxation, corporate taxation, estate and gift taxation, and international taxation. These courses delve into the intricacies of the U.S. tax code and its application to different scenarios.

UC Berkeley Law doesn’t offer a separate specialization in tax law. However, by taking a significant number of tax courses, students can develop a strong foundation in tax law.

Graduates from the University of California, Berkeley, especially in law, are expected to be in high demand due to the school’s strong reputation, comprehensive legal education, and the increasing need for legal expertise in various sectors including technology, environment, and international law.

5. University Of California–Irvine

University Of California--Irvine
  • National Ranking: 33
  • Tax Law Ranking: 8
  • Bar Passage Rates: 88.7 percent
  • Student-faculty Ratio: 5.8:1
  • Post-Graduation Salaries: $66,386 to $170,000
  • Acceptance Rate: 19.5 percent
  • LSAT: 162-168
  • Employment Rate: 90%
  • Price: $54,183

The University of California–Irvine (UC Irvine or UCI) was established in 1965. It’s located in Irvine, California, a city known for its safety and quality of life.

The UC Irvine School of Law is dedicated to nurturing future legal professionals with a strong emphasis on academic excellence, intellectual rigor, and a deep commitment to public service

This approach ensures students are well-equipped to make significant contributions to society through their legal careers.

The student-faculty ratio of this university is 5.2:1. Graduates of the University of California, Irvine School of Law have a wide range of career opportunities. They can work in various legal fields, including private law firms, public service, and corporations. 

The school’s emphasis on public service and intellectual rigor prepares students for impactful careers in advocacy, policy-making, and innovation.

Additionally, UCI Law’s strong network and support system help graduates secure positions in competitive environments, both nationally and internationally.

6. University Of California–Davis

University Of California--Davis
  • National Ranking: 60
  • Tax Law Ranking: 25
  • Bar Passage Rates: 79.8 percent
  • Student-faculty Ratio: 10.1:1
  • Post-Graduation Salaries: $95,500 to $205,000
  • Acceptance Rate: 25.2 percent
  • LSAT: 163-166
  • Employment Rate: 95.5%
  • Price: $53,086

The University of California, Davis (UC Davis) was established in 1905. Located in Davis, California, it’s known for a strong focus on research and education across various fields, including law. 

The School of Law at UC Davis offers specialized programs in tax law, preparing graduates for diverse careers in legal practice, policy, and academia. 

Graduates often pursue roles in private law firms, government agencies, and public interest organizations, benefiting from the school’s comprehensive curriculum and supportive professional network.

The Tax Law Certificate Program of this school offers students a comprehensive and advanced exposure to tax law, policy, and practice. There are 5 foundation taxation courses including corporate taxation, federal income taxation, international taxation, taxation of partnerships and LLCs, and taxation of business entities. 

This program also has a wide range of optional courses on different types of tax. This program is very helpful for students to pursue their career in tax law. 

The certificate of this program is given upon completion of at least 15 units of tax-related courses, and a substantial research paper on a tax-related topic.

7. University Of San Diego

University Of San Diego
  • National Ranking: 78
  • Tax Law Ranking: 20
  • Bar Passage Rates: 81.8 percent
  • Student-faculty Ratio: 9.1:1
  • Post-Graduation Salaries: $68,962 to $100,000
  • Acceptance Rate: 34.5 percent
  • LSAT: 157-163
  • Employment Rate: 96.3%
  • Price: $60,861

The University of San Diego (USD) was founded in 1949. It’s located in San Diego, California, offering a picturesque campus with ocean views. 

USD’s School of Law provides tax law programs that equip students with the skills needed for successful careers in this field. Tax law programs of this university lets students know about income tax, corporate tax, capital gains tax, tax and other policy, etc.

At this university, students can complete their degrees attending school either full or part time. First year courses must be taken in the evenings, if you’re a part time student. 

The LL.M. in Taxation at USD immerses students in advanced tax law topics, preparing them for specialized tax law careers or further enhancing their existing legal practice.

Graduates often find opportunities in legal practice, government, and corporate settings, where they will apply their specialized knowledge in tax law to advise clients and navigate .

8. Loyola Marymount University

Loyola Marymount University
  • National Ranking: 60
  • Tax Law Ranking: 13
  • Bar Passage Rates: 87.9 percent
  • Student-faculty Ratio: 8.9:1
  • Post-Graduation Salaries: $65,000 to $100,000
  • Acceptance Rate: 34.4 percent
  • LSAT: 157-163
  • Employment Rate: 93.11%
  • Price: $63,412

Loyola Marymount University (LMU) is a private Catholic university in Los Angeles, California. It was founded in 1911, which means it’s been around for over 100 years!

This university is a leading law school with high rankings for its tax law specialties. This university offers numerous tax related courses to let their students become an expert on different areas of taxation.

Master of Science in Taxation (MST) is for people who don’t have a law degree but want to learn about tax law. It helps them prepare for careers in tax accounting or even get a CPA license.

Master of Tax Law (MT) is designed for people who already have a law degree (JD) but want to specialize in tax law. It gives them the knowledge and skills to work as tax lawyers.

The student-faculty ratio of this university is 9.1:1. This school also offers intensive research programs for tax specialities. The law school operates a number of research centers and institutes, including the Cancer Legal Resource Center, the Sports Law Institute, etc.

LMU graduates with tax law degrees can find careers in many places, including Law firms that specialize in tax law, Corporate tax departments of big companies, Government agencies that deal with taxes, etc.

9. Santa Clara University

Santa Clara University
  • National Ranking: 158
  • Tax Law Ranking: 81
  • Bar Passage Rates: 67.4 percent
  • Student-faculty Ratio: 7.3:1
  • Post-Graduation Salaries: $62,200 to $87,300
  • Acceptance Rate: 52.3 percent
  • LSAT: 155-160
  • Employment Rate: 78.4%
  • Price: $42,336

Santa Clara University is a private Jesuit university located in Santa Clara, California. It was formed in the year 1851, making it the oldest institution of higher education in California. 

The university started as a boys’ preparatory school and has grown over the years into a comprehensive university offering various undergraduate and graduate programs. 

Santa Clara University offers programs in tax law as part of its School of Law. The tax law programs are designed to provide students with a deep understanding of tax codes, regulations, and policy. 

These programs often include courses in corporate tax, international tax, partnership tax, and tax policy, among others. Students can pursue a Master of Laws (LL.M) in Taxation, which is a postgraduate law degree for those who already have a first law degree.

Graduates of tax law from Santa Clara University have a wide range of career opportunities. They can work as tax attorneys, consultants, or advisors for law firms, corporations, non-profit organizations, or government agencies. The student-faculty ratio for this university is 8.5:1.

Their roles may involve advising on tax planning, compliance, and litigation. The demand for tax law professionals is steady, as tax laws and regulations are complex and constantly changing, requiring specialized knowledge to navigate.

10. University Of San Francisco

Chapman University (Fowler)
  • National Ranking: 165
  • Tax Law Ranking: 102
  • Bar Passage Rates: 65.8 percent
  • Student-faculty Ratio: 6.5:1
  • Employment Rate:
  • Post-Graduation Salaries: $61,669 to $70,400
  • Acceptance Rate: 46.4 percent
  • LSAT: 152-158
  • Employment Rate: 75.2%
  • Price: $52,660

The University of San Francisco (USF) is a university that was formed in 1855. It is located in San Francisco, California. USF has a long history that starts from the time it was established by the Jesuits as the first university in San Francisco. 

Over the years, it has grown and expanded, offering a wide range of programs in various fields.

One of the programs that USF offers is in tax law. Tax law is about the rules and policies that govern how taxes are collected and managed by the government. 

This program is designed for students who want to become experts in understanding and applying the laws related to taxes.

After graduating from a tax law program, there are many career paths available. Graduates from this university possess the potential to become tax lawyers, tax advisors, tax collectors, , and other tax professionals with their knowledge and experience. They also work for the government, helping to write and enforce tax laws. 

Other career options include working as a tax consultant, helping people and companies plan their finances to pay the least amount of taxes legally possible, or even working for non-profit organizations to manage their tax issues.

USF’s location in San Francisco offers unique opportunities for students, as the city is a major center for finance, innovation, and the tech industry, providing a dynamic environment for those interested in tax law and its applications in various sectors.

11. Chapman University (Fowler)

Chapman University (Fowler)
  • National Ranking: 109
  • Tax Law Ranking: 102
  • Bar Passage Rates: 78.3 percent
  • Student-faculty Ratio: 7.1:1
  • Post-Graduation Salaries: $61,669 to $70,400
  • Acceptance Rate: 28.7 percent
  • LSAT: 155-163
  • Employment Rate: 78%
  • Price: $59,500

Chapman University’s Fowler School of Law, commonly referred to as Chapman Law or Fowler, was established in 1995. It is a part of Chapman University, located in Orange, California, USA. 

The law school has grown significantly since its founding and is recognized for offering a wide range of programs, including those in tax law.

Fowler School of Law is situated in a historic area, providing a picturesque setting for its students. The location offers access to local courts, law firms, and businesses, making it an advantageous spot for students interested in various legal careers.

In terms of tax law programs, Chapman’s Fowler School of Law offers a comprehensive curriculum designed to prepare students for careers in tax law. This includes courses on federal income taxation, corporate taxation, international taxation, and tax policy. 

These programs are crafted to give students a deep understanding of tax law and its application in practice.

For graduates specializing in tax law, there are numerous career paths available. These can range from working as tax attorneys in law firms, serving in government agencies like the IRS (Internal Revenue Service), taking roles in corporate tax departments, to engaging in private practice specializing in tax planning and compliance for individuals and businesses. 

The demand for tax law experts is consistent, as tax laws and regulations are complex and constantly evolving, necessitating skilled professionals to navigate them.

Overall, Chapman University’s Fowler School of Law provides a solid foundation for those interested in pursuing a career in tax law, offering specialized education and practical experience opportunities in a supportive and resource-rich environment.


What Factors Should I Consider When Choosing A Tax Law School In California?

When choosing a tax law school in California, consider the school’s reputation, the expertise of its faculty in tax law, the curriculum’s diversity, opportunities for practical experience, the school’s network in the tax community, and the success rate of its graduates in finding employment.

Are California Tax Law Programs Better Than Tax Law Programs In New York?

Whether California’s tax law programs are better than New York’s depends on what you’re looking for and your career goal. California offers programs with ties to tech and international business, while have deep connections to Wall Street and international law firms.

What Are The Costs Associated With Attending A Tax Law School In California?

Attending a tax law school in California can be costly, involving tuition fees, books, and living expenses. Tuition varies widely between schools, with additional costs for health insurance, student services, and activities. Financial aid and scholarships are available to help offset these expenses.

Which Tax Law School In California Is Considered The Most Expensive?

Determining the most expensive tax law school in California requires comparing tuition fees across institutions. Private universities have higher tuition rates than public ones. Schools like Stanford University and the University of Southern California (USC) Gould School of Law are higher-priced.

Which Tax Law School In California Has The Highest Acceptance Rate?

The acceptance rate for tax law schools in California varies. Public universities typically have higher acceptance rates than private schools. However, specific rates change annually and differ significantly between institutions. Schools with broader program offerings have higher acceptance rates.

Which Tax Law School In California Is Considered The Easiest In Terms Of Admissions Requirements?

Identifying the “easiest” tax law school in California in terms of admissions isn’t straightforward as it varies by applicant pool and year. Public schools have slightly more lenient admissions criteria compared to the private schools. However, all accredited law schools maintain standards.

Are California Tax Law Programs Better Than Tax Law Programs In Arizona?

Whether California’s tax law programs are better than Arizona’s depends on your career goals and preferences. California schools have stronger connections to tech and entertainment industries, offering diverse opportunities. Tax law programs in Arizona focus more on regional needs and Native American law.

Is Pursuing A Tax Law Degree In California Worth The Investment?

Pursuing a tax law degree in California is worth the investment if you aim for a career in law, especially in sectors like technology, entertainment, or international business, which are prominent in California. The state’s law schools offer high-quality education and access to leading law firms.

What Job Prospects Are Available For Graduates Of Tax Law Schools In California?

Graduates of tax law schools in California have various job prospects in law firms, corporate legal departments, government agencies, and non-profit organizations. They can work as tax attorneys, consultants, or advisors, dealing with income tax, corporate tax, and international tax law.


California is a goldmine for aspiring tax professionals. With top-ranked schools, diverse tax law programs, and vast knowledge on , you can find the perfect fit to launch your tax career.

Research the schools that caught your eye, reach out to their admissions teams, and get ready to conquer the world of taxation! Remember, the key to success is taking that first step. So, what are you waiting for? Start your tax journey today!