September 1, 2007
Cheyañna Jaffke (Western State)
- A.B. 1993, Idaho
- J.D. 1996, Idaho
- LL.M. (Tax) 1997, University of Washington
“Federal Income Tax saved me from dropping out of law school.” After my first year of law school at the University of Idaho, I did not think that law school was for me. But I decided to stick it out for one more semester and one of my classes that semester was Federal Income Tax with John Miller. Finally, a class in law school that I could understand and seemed black and white. I had a code book that I could find the answers in. I did not understand why my classmates thought the class was hard.
That summer I interned with the District Counsel’s office of the IRS in Seattle. I then got my LL.M. in Tax from the University of Washington, because my professor, Jeff Maine told me that "an LL.M. in Tax will open doors for you."
Almost immediately upon graduation a door was opened, I started teaching as a visitor at Western State University. I was the entire tax department. After a year, I was offered a tenure-track position. I started a Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program on campus that won awards from the ABA for several years.
I have also managed to have a small tax practice handling a handful of clients, some I have had since I graduated law school.
I also volunteer by teaching fourth, fifth and sixth graders in the Children’s ministry at my church. I am planning a trip to Israel in May 2008. I am hoping to do some geo-caching while I am there.
But my true claim to fame is that I went to high school with Jamie Foxx. Although, I knew him as Eric Bishop and he was a year ahead of me.
I was appointed by the Secretary of the Treasury to serve on the Taxpayer Advocacy Panel. I was Chair of the California Committee, which represents California taxpayers in grassroots efforts by identifying taxpayer’s issue and making recommendations to improve customer service at the IRS. I authored changes to the Offer in Compromise form that was adopted by the IRS.
When I am not reading the tax code for fun, I love to go geo-caching. I have partnered up with another law professor and we use a GPS receiver to hunt for secret caches that other have hidden. A typical cache is a small waterproof container containing a logbook and "treasure," usually toys or trinkets. I have heard stories of others finding goodies, like concert tickets, but we have not had that luck. We hid a cache with a lottery ticket in it, but no word on if it was a winner.
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