Saturday, May 27, 2006
Reginald Mombrun (Florida A&M)
- B.S. 1985, Boston University
- J.D. 1988, North Carolina Central
- LL.M. (Taxation) 1989, Florida
My story into tax is not unlike the many tax profiles that I have read over the past two years. The only major twist is probably that I hail from Haiti, the second country in the Americas to achieve independence. Unfortunately, this fact has remained our peak achievement.
My parents settled in Boston, Massachusetts after migrating from Haiti. I graduated from Boston University with a degree in Business Administration and was debating between law school or getting an M.B.A. When I looked at sample questions for the GRE and the LSAT, I was fascinated by the LSAT questions, so I decided to try law school.
While in law school, I decided very early on that I was going to specialize in taxation--the major reason being that we had some extraordinarily gifted budding trial lawyers and I did not wish to go against them in a court of law. When I took my first tax class with Prof. Walter Nunnallle, I was completely hooked. This was the first class I had taken in law school that seemed to demand your complete attention. Additionally, Prof. Nunnallee's enthusiasm for tax law was infectious. After law school, I was fortunate to be accepted at the University of Florida's LL.M. program in taxation, where I graduated in 1989. The one year I spent there was the most challenging academic year of my life. They worked us to near exhaustion (some of us, past exhaustion) and we loved every minute of it. This was the first time that I was around so many people totally committed to tax law.
After tax school, I worked at the IRS and was fortunate to work under Eric Solomon, when he was head of the corporate division of the national office (Eric is now Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Treasury (Regulatory Affairs) and has recently been nominated to the position of Assistant Secretary for tax policy. Eric's passion for tax law infected us all at the office. I would like to think that I learned a thing or two from him. There are those who would disagree but that's my story and I'm sticking to it. I spent 14 years at the IRS during which time I was promoted to an assistant manager position and wrote many regulations, revenue rulings, procedures etc.. on corporate reorganizations, consolidated returns and other topics. On the side, I also wrote articles for Tax Notes, the Journal of Corporate Taxation, and other journals.
In 2003, while visiting a friend in Florida, the topic of law school teaching came up. That friend asked me if I ever thought about law school teaching and I confessed that I had not really thought about it. A few conversations later, I was filling out my application. I was voted on the faculty of the FAMU College of Law in 2004 and I have been there for the past two years.
It has been a rewarding experience. I now can devote a lot more time to writing. As a result (shameless plug), I recently published my first book (A Complete Introduction to Corporate Taxation (Carolina Academic Press, 2006) (with Gail Levin Richmond (Nova)). I am also presenting a paper on the repeal of the estate tax [Let's Protect Our Economy and Democracy from Paris Hilton: The Case for Keeping the Estate Tax] during the summer at the Law and Society tax panels. I also have other grand plans that will culminate, I am sure, with saving the world. To me, that is the beauty of teaching, it allows you to dream again. Practicing law is ... well... too practical.
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