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Just to make sure I get what you are saying, if the legal assistant got her law degree to become a lawyer and actually now practices law, she would be entitled to writeoff law school?

No - just the opposite. Go back and reread my post.

If so, in my case I am a 1st year MBA and had prior salary for tax year 2001. If my loans for the the fall totaled $20,000 let's say, can I write the $20K off and in 2003 notify the IRS that I did stay in the same career field and better'd myself with the MBA degree and a better job which required the MBA degree?

None of this is relevant in determining if your education leading to an MBA is deductible.

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