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Congratulations to the Law Student Tax Challenge competitors

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Tax Challenge

Law students from 10 teams recently competed in the ABA Tax Section Law Student Tax Challenge (“LSTC”) at the Mid-Year Meeting in Orlando.  The LSTC is an alternative to traditional moot-court competitions and gives students the opportunity to research, write about, and present their findings on real-life tax issues.

The two-member teams are judged on a written submission and oral arguments before a panel of distinguished tax lawyers and tax court judges.  Prizes were awarded for the best written submission and best overall in the J.D. and LL.M. divisions.

J.D. Division

Tyler Johnson and Anna Peckjian of Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law were awarded first place in the J.D. Division.  Tyler and Anna were coached by Prof. Sarah Lawsky.

Tyler noted the LSTC was a fantastic event and certainly one of his favorite law school memories.  Tyler appreciated the opportunity to practice his oral advocacy skills in front of the highly respected tax attorneys and US Tax Court judges.  After graduating in May, Tyler will be clerking for the Hon. Tamara Ashford on the U.S. Tax Court.

The LSTC was also one of Anna’s favorite law school experiences and she noted the LSTC was a valuable experience that allowed her to apply her legal education to a practical setting.  Anna appreciated the opportunity to meet and network with top judges, attorneys and other competitors from across the nation.  Anna will be a summer associate in Chicago before beginning her 3L year at Northwestern this fall.

Joshua Jacobson and George “Chip” Gray of the University of Florida Levin College of Law received the Best Written Submission in the J.D. Division, and placed second in J.D. Division.  Joshua and Chip both noted they felt honored to be able to present to such an accomplished panel of tax lawyers and judges at the competition.  Joshua will begin a two-year clerkship with the U.S. District Court Judge Paul Byron this fall.  Chip, a former Green Beret and father of a 1-year-old son, will be attending the University of Florida Levin College of Law to obtain his LL.M. in Taxation this fall.

Other J.D. winners included:

 LL.M. Division

Samuel Hampton and Daniel Neumeyer of the University of Washington School of Law were awarded first place in the LL.M. Division.  Samuel and Daniel were coached by Professor Dwight Drake.  The team’s winning presentation can be viewed here.

Samuel brought the LSTC to Daniel’s attention and both were glad they decided to participate. Daniel enjoyed the opportunity to apply classroom learning to the challenging problem and was excited to meet practitioners from around the nation who are passionate about tax law.  Daniel has recently completed his LL.M. and will start work with Clifton Larson Allen this fall.

Other LL.M. winners included:

Takeaways

If you see any of the above-mentioned individuals on campus, take a moment to congratulate them.  The LSTC is a challenging competition requiring a combination of substantive tax knowledge and communication skills.  Despite the challenge, the LTSC is an extremely rewarding experience that benefits students in these areas.  If you are considering competing next year please contact the tax faculty at your school, join the listserve, (instructions here), or contact Jesse Tsai directly.  If you are interested in learning more about a career in tax law or becoming involved with the ABA Tax Section, feel free to contact  Scott Woody.

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Scott Woody Scott Woody is the 2016-2017 ABA Law Student Division Liaison to the Section of Taxation and a 3L J.D./MAcct candidate at the University of New Mexico. He is active in various student organizations, a citation editor on the UNM Natural Resources Journal, and a student board member for the Business Law Section of the New Mexico Bar.