Saturday, September 24, 2005
This week's Tax Prof Spotlight continues our series of profiles of folks starting their careers this fall as tax professors at American law schools. We hope the profiles will help introduce our newest colleagues to the tax community. [If you are, or know of someone who is, a beginning tax professor, please email me here to be included in the series.]
Miranda Perry (Colorado)
- B.A. 1993, Duke
- J.D. 1996, Chicago
- LL.M. (Taxation) 2003, NYU
Even back in high school, I was interested in the role of government and how our society’s benefits and burdens should be apportioned. I therefore attended the University of Chicago law school, with the hopes of becoming a con law/ad law professor. The notion that studying tax was really about studying those issues never crossed my mind, until I took basic income tax from Beth Garrett as a 3L. I immediately fell in love with tax and began kicking myself for not having taken it sooner!
By then, however, my path as a constitutional lawyer was well underway. I clerked for Judge Buzz Arnold on the Eighth Circuit, and then did public interest litigation at the Institute for Justice. While there, I successfully represented African-American hair-braiders in California and a group of casket sellers in Tennessee who were challenging arbitrary licensing laws that prevented them from earning an honest living. I also worked on Swedenburg v. Kelly, one of the cases in which the Supreme Court recently ruled that states cannot prevent the inter-state shipment of wine directly to consumers.
IJ re-ignited my interest in tax. While there, I saw the importance of charitable giving and the tax rules surrounding such giving and surrounding the governing of exempt organizations. This interest led me to a large firm in Washington, D.C., where I practiced estate planning, charitable giving, and exempt-organizations. Knowing I needed a broader tax background to be successful in those areas, I left D.C. to attend NYU’s LL.M. program.
At NYU, I rediscovered my interest in academia, and after graduating, stayed on for two more years as an Acting Assistant Professor. All the NYU tax profs were wonderful mentors, and my NYU experience made going on the market that much easier.
I chose to join Colorado’s faculty for several reasons. The faculty is enthusiastic and welcoming, and I am looking forward to working with tax profs Mike Waggoner, Wayne Gazur, and Ed Gac. I also wanted to be in a small but sophisticated town, and you can’t beat Boulder in that department. This year I’m teaching estate and gift tax and the basic tax class; next year I will create a class on non-profits and charitable giving. My non-profit days continue to shape my interests; my research focuses on the estate tax, charitable giving, and non-profits.
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.