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ABA Tax Section Law Student Challenge

Posted on May 19, 2020

The ABA Tax Section is beginning its planning for this year’s Law Student Tax Challenge and is looking for law school faculty who would be interested in providing feedback to the drafting committee. The commitment is not burdensome and is really important in helping ensure that the problems are pitched at the right level for students!

The general experience has been that law school faculty have a good feel for the level of difficulty that is appropriate, and that even after one or two years in practice, tax lawyers may not realize how much they have learned in practice since they graduated from law school.

If you are interested in helping out on this — or would just like to learn more — please contact Diane Ring  (

If you want to know more about the law student challenge, here is a link describing this year’s winners, the challenge itself and winners from past years.  The first year I taught in a law school I was a visiting professor at the University of Arizona with about 12 years of experience as a Chief Counsel attorney.  I will never forget the shock of reading the exams after that semester and realizing how little I seemed to have imparted to my students.  I spoke shortly thereafter to one of my former law school professors who said reading the exams could be an existential experience that made you question your existence.  I mention this only to reinforce Diane’s point that working with students really does give you a sense of what is realistic to expect from them.  While it’s always nice to be surprised, remembering their limitations, as well as your own as a professor, is helpful.  I encourage you to assist in this project.  The students who participate are always excited at the challenge.

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