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Saturday, September 25, 2004

Tax Prof Spotlight: Ethan Yale

Saturday, September 25, 2004

This week's Tax Prof Spotlight of Ethan Yale (Georgetown) continues our series of profiles of folks starting their careers this fall as tenure-track tax professors at American law schools. We hope the profiles will help introduce our newest tax colleagues to the academic tax community.

Photo of Professor Yale

Ethan Yale comes to Georgetown off a stint as Acting Assistant Professor at NYU Law School. Yale points to the outstanding faculty when asked why he joined Georgetown this fall. "I was impressed by the collegial atmosphere and the strong faculty, particularly in my area--the tax department here at Georgetown is among the strongest in the country."

His fellow faculty members are not the only reason Professor Yale decided to make the move from New York City. "I have a strong interest in tax policy, so coming to Washington, DC was a natural move."
Prior to his teaching at NYU, Yale practiced tax law for the New York firm of Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz and clerked for Judge Jacques Wiener Jr. of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. He decided to become a law professor because he really liked the classroom atmosphere and enjoyed having the time to read and write in areas of his interest. "I want to concentrate on those areas of tax law I find to be most interesting and important, and for as long as I’m interested. In practice, sometimes that coincided with my clients problems, but usually not."

While he liked practice, Yale explains that he has no regrets in becoming a professor. "I enjoy all aspects of being a professor, aside from grading exams!" It seems obvious why Yale, who earned his undergraduate degree from Cornell, would enjoy law school. He finished first in his Tulane Law School graduating class of 305 students.

At NYU, Yale taught tax policy, corporate tax, advanced corporate tax problems, timing issues and the income tax, and tax procedure. At Georgetown, his current class repertoire includes Corporate Tax and a tax policy seminar focusing on abusive tax shelters.

Yale's teaching approach includes both influences of his private practice as well his research. When asked for any advice he would give students taking his classes, Yale emphasizes that class should be a positive experience. "My approach in teaching is collaborative. I tell students taking my class to be very well prepared and to enjoy themselves. Class should be fun."

While Professor Yale is currently focusing his research efforts on abusive tax shelters as well as capitalization and depreciation issues, he also enjoys spending time with his one month old daughter, Natalie, and when time permits, enjoying a game of pickup hockey.

Each Saturday, TaxProf Blog shines the spotlight on one of the 700+ tax professors in America's law schools. We hope to help bring the many individual stories of scholarly achievements, teaching innovations, public service, and career moves within the tax professorate to the attention of the broader tax community. Please email me suggestions for future Tax Prof Profiles, particularly for our series on new tax professors. For prior Tax Prof Profiles, see here.

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