ยป Tax Law Emphasis Program

chapman tax law studentsChapman University Fowler School of Law offers a tax law emphasis as part of the Juris Doctor program, which gives students a solid foundation in an area of law that impacts both individuals and businesses. Attorneys from many diverse practice areas encounter tax-related issues when representing their clients, and Chapman’s tax law emphasis program is designed to expose students to a variety of tax issues encountered in practice.  Graduates who satisfy the tax law emphasis requirements earn a notation on their transcript and receive a certificate upon graduation.

In addition, an LL.M. in Taxation degree is offered at Chapman, giving students who wish to pursue further specialization in tax the opportunity to earn an advanced degree.  For J.D. students, the program offers the chance to interact with practicing tax lawyers and access to comprehensive tax law resources.  Students who complete prescribed tax law courses while pursuing the J.D. degree will also be able to get a head start towards the LL.M. in Taxation degree.  Between J.D. and LL.M. tax courses, a student may receive up to 12 units of credit towards their LL.M. in Taxation at Chapman. This represents close to half of the 27 required credits to earn the degree, and can significantly reduce the time and expense of obtaining your LL.M.

Real-World Experience

Chapman is the only law school in the nation to offer both trial and appellate level tax clinic courses.  In the trial level clinics, students represent taxpayers before the Internal Revenue Service or in the U.S. Tax Court on a pro-bono basis. Students gain valuable client interviewing skills and apply negotiation, advocacy and trial litigation techniques while providing a service to taxpayers who might otherwise lack legal representation. In the years that the program has been in existence, students involved in the clinics have served hundreds of unrepresented taxpayers, saving them hundreds of thousands of dollars. In the appellate level course, students focus on writing appellate amicus curiae briefs in cases that have a novel or as yet unsettled tax consequences. In the appellate level course, students concentrate on writing amicus curiae briefs in a novel or complex cases that impact tax law.

Our extensive tax program has allowed law students and graduates to be placed in permanent and summer positions with prestigious law firms, the Internal Revenue Service, and the tax law departments of major accounting firms. Students may also participate in externships with the Internal Revenue Service, the Department of Justice Tax Division and the California State Board of Equalization.


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"Many lawyers have told me how disappointed they are that they did not take a basic federal income tax course while in law school. As practitioners, they have experienced the shell shock of not having been exposed to basic federal income tax law when called upon to apply tax law in practices such as family law, commercial law, real estate, and even civil litigation. That is one reason why Chapman requires all students to take the course."

-George Willis, Director, Tax Law Emphasis Program

Our legal clinics provide pro bono services and real world legal experience for students.

Resources


Students have access to an extensive tax law collection in the law library, including tax law case reporters, treatises, and periodicals. A smaller, satellite tax library is also available to students in the tax clinic conference room through the courtesy of PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP. Students are also provided with free access to tax specific electronic research tools through the courtesy of RIA and Tax Analysts while at Chapman.