August 11, 2007
Mona L. Hymel (Arizona)
- B.B.A. 1981, Texas
- J.D. 1992, Texas
I started preparing tax returns when I was about 15 years old. My father owned a small accounting business in South Texas, and I earned extra money working for him. All of his clients worked in the Shrimping Industry, so I worked mostly on Sub S and individual tax returns. I got my accounting degree from the University of Texas and went to work for Arthur Young (one of the Big 8 then) in Houston after college. After a year as an auditor, I moved to tax. I found tax work much more interesting and challenging. From Arthur Young, I moved to a large real estate developer and a multinational construction contractor where I continued to working in tax compliance. Although the work was interesting, I did not feel challenged.
After working as a CPA in Houston for 8 years, I decided to return to law school. Preparing tax returns had lost its appeal. OK – it never had appeal. Tax policy issues were endless and infinitely more interesting. My decision to become a professor stemmed from my love of academics and writing. I spent three years at the University of Texas badgering my professors for advice on how to become a law professor. With great mentoring and lots of luck, I ended up at the University of Arizona in 1995.
Although the years preparing tax returns did not hold my favorite career experiences, much of my research passion stems from those days working in Houston. Much of my work was dominated by oil and gas and real estate interests. My research on the use of taxes to stimulate the oil and gas industry, as well as my interest in environmental taxes stems from experiences working in this area. My interest in the regulation of lawyers also stems from my curiosity over the professional differences between CPAs and attorneys that provide tax advice and planning services to clients. Multidisciplinary practice issues continue to interest me, and I believe that boundaries between professionals will always be contentious.
Despite my children growing up too fast and the truth about gravity, I feel pretty lucky to have such a great career.
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