Saturday, March 31, 2007
Christian Johnson (Loyola-Chicago)
- B.A. 1984, Utah
- M.Pr.A. 1985, Utah
- J.D. 1990, Columbia
I have always been interested in what tax does to a deal. After working for two years as a tax accountant at Price Waterhouse, however, I realized that tax lawyers did one hundred percent of the time, the work that I most enjoyed but only did twenty percent of the time. From there, it was an easy decision to attend Columbia Law School and practice tax law at Milbank Tweed in New York. Although I enjoyed the tax work, I was still fascinated, however, with the deal itself.
After moving to Chicago, I persuaded Mayer Brown that they should let me do deal work. I very much enjoyed banking and transaction work that I was doing at Mayer Brown, but found very little opportunity to apply and use my tax background. Fortunately, as I made the transition into teaching, I have been able to teach tax while at the same time pursue my scholarly interests in banking and corporate finance.
I have loved the mix of tax and corporate subjects during my twelve years at Loyola University Chicago. Because tax was a required course, Loyola has developed a very strong tax program. During my tenure, I have found myself teaching Federal Income Tax at least twice a year. I have also taught International Tax, Corporate Tax and Nonprofit Organizations, all of which have complimented my other teaching interests. I have found that my scholarship in corporate finance has only been improved and augmented by my continual teaching involvement in our tax program.
Although I love writing and discussing corporate finance, I realized from the beginning that the basic Federal Income Tax course was much more fun to teach than courses on banking and derivatives. Much to my student’s frequent surprise, Federal Income Tax is not the dry and deathly boring review of Internal Revenue Code that they anticipated, but instead a veritable smorgasbord of issues dealing with death, divorce, and home ownership, among others, that affects all aspects of their lives. Students that came to law to study child or criminal law will often approach me, and in an apologetic and conspiratorial manner, whisper that that they really like tax (although they appear terrified that one of their fellow students might overhear their confession).
Currently I am visiting at the University of Utah College of Law where I have been able to continue my love of teaching Federal Income Tax. I look forward, however, to returning in the Fall to Loyola and picking up with tax colleagues where I left off.
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