Alumnus Fast Tracks Career with Estate Planning LL.M.




Tom Van Ness

Thomas “Tom” M. VanNess III

LL.M. graduates of Miami Law's Estate Planning LL.M. program consistently attribute their professional success to the network, career opportunities and knowledge they secured during their time at the University of Miami.

One such alumnus is Thomas “Tom” M. VanNess III, a 2017 graduate of the Heckerling Graduate Program in Estate Planning. VanNess works at Ellis Law Group in Boca Raton, Florida and specializes in sophisticated and effective wealth transfer strategies for his clients. 

How has your LL.M. assisted you in your career path? 

“Being what I would consider the only true LL.M. in Estate Planning in the country, the program exposed me to a wealth of knowledge from practical planning techniques to cutting edge ideas. It gave me both the confidence and skill to implement complex estate and tax strategies. It also provided me with a network of top-level professionals as resources and referral sources.”

What made you decide to do the LL.M. in Estate Planning?

“Sophisticated estate planning is an exceptionally challenging area of law which requires years of experience and mentoring to become competent. After practicing in Trusts & Estates for a few years and being exposed to some of the complexities involved I realized that if I wanted to be successful in this area of law without having 20 plus years of experience I would need an educational foundation in the subject matter.“
Were there any professors that had a particular impact? 

“I cannot speak to anyone course in particular because I believe they are all equally important but I can speak to the curriculum as a whole. The courses are taught by the best in the business, and each professor is a subject matter expert and actual practicing attorney which makes the information taught very practical and up to date. Much of what is taught throughout the program is very difficult to learn or non-existent through available legal resources. The professors do a great job of making the information understandable and easy to apply in practice.”

More on Miami Law’s Estate Planning LL.M.