Saturday, December 18, 2004
The UCLA School of Law made one of the largest leaps in the latest US News survey of tax programs, moving from #25 in 2002 to #6 in 2004. In large part, this move was fueled by the unprecedented hiring of three tax professors in 2003, joining the four tax professors already on the faculty to form one of the strongest tax faculties in the country.
The resurgence of UCLA’s tax program is evident in its many activities planned for this year, including its Tax Policy and Public Finance Colloquium this Spring, the UCLA Law Review's Symposium on Rethinking Redistribution: Tax Policy in an Era of Rising Inequality in January, UCLA’s Institute on Tax Aspects of Mergers and Acquisitions in May, and the hosting of a Conference on Historical Perspectives on Tax Law & Policy in July. Moreover, because of the combination of an expanded tax faculty and substantial student interest, the UCLA Program in Business Law and Policy will offer a separate tax track in its business law concentration starting next year.
In a seven-part series, TaxProf Blog will spotlight the tax professors who make up the heart of UCLA’s tax program.
Bill Klein is a senior member of the UCLA tax faculty and has been with the law school since 1971. After receiving his law degree from Harvard in 1957, Bill clerked for Judge David L. Bazelon of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. He then worked at the U.S. Department of Justice, a Boston law firm, and the Chief Counsel’s Office of the Internal Revenue Service, before teaching tax at the University of Wisconsin for ten years. At UCLA Bill has taught tax and business associations and, despite his “retirement” in 1994, continues to teach. Bill currently teaches Elements of Economic Organization, which is a joint class between UCLA School of Law and UCLA Anderson School of Management where both law and business students examine the structure of business transactions. In addition, Bill is a nationally recognized scholar and a prolific writer who continues his work on some of the leading casebooks and treatises in tax and corporate law, such as his Federal Income Taxation (with Joe Bankman and Dan Shaviro), Business Associations, Cases and Materials on Agency, Partnership, and Corporations (with Steve Bainbridge and Mark Ramseyer), Agency, Partnerships, and Limited Liability Entities (with Steve Bainbridge and Mark Ramseyer), and Business Organization and Finance treatise (with Jack Coffee), as well as occasional articles (with Eric Zolt, Kirk Stark, and Mitu Gulati). His principal scholarly interest has to do with organization of economic activity — business deals and how people make them work — with an occasional foray back into tax theory.
“Over the past decade,” he says, “UCLA has built strong faculties in tax and in business associations, as well as in other fields. I have been extremely fortunate to have been able to work with some very smart and very interesting and congenial people, and to exchange ideas with them informally — and to be able to continue to do so. With all the faculty seminars and workshops, as well as the first-rate, friendly colleagues, I now count my time at the law school as stimulating entertainment, though I don’t allow it to interfere with my flyfishing, skiing, general travel, and other activities. As a bonus, I have lunch regularly with some of the old timers from economics — Harold Demsetz, Jack Hirschleifer, Al Harberger, and others, occasionally joined by some of the younger law school people. So it’s an exciting place to be.”
Bill and his wife also like to spend time with their children and grandchildren in Sacramento, Boulder, New York City, and Portland, Maine.
For prior UCLA tax faculty profiles, see:
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. For prior Tax Prof Profiles, see here.