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Editor: Paul L. Caron
Pepperdine University School of Law

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Saturday, September 29, 2007

This week's Tax Prof Spotlight continues a series of profiles of folks starting their careers this fall as law school tax professors. I hope the profiles will help introduce our newest colleagues to the tax community.

Spotlight_1_1David Gamage (UC-Berkeley)

        • B.A. 1998, Stanford
        • M.A. 2000, Stanford
        • J.D. 2005, Yale

          

   

GamageTwo years ago, Paul asked me to submit a Tax Prof Profile just as I was beginning a fellowship teaching tax courses at the University of Texas at Austin. Now that I have completed that fellowship and have joined the University of California at Berkeley (Boalt Hall) as a tenure-track professor, my old profile strikes me as something written by a much younger, adolescent-like, version of myself.

If there is any truth to my self-perception of having grown significantly as a scholar, the credit lies primarily with the kindness and mentoring I received while at the University of Texas. I owe a profound debt to the Texas faculty – and in particular to Bob Peroni, without whom I might not have survived the job market.

Throughout my academic career, I have been blessed with wonderful mentors. As an undergraduate and graduate student at Stanford, I was lucky enough to work individually with giants like Mark Granovetter and Mitch Polinsky. At Yale, Dan Markovits, Anne Alstott, and Bruce Ackerman got me started thinking about taxation and in developing my first legal writings. Upon arriving at Texas, my work improved tremendously through the assistance of Mark Gergen, Calvin Johnson, Bob Peroni and many others. Although I have only been at Berkeley for a few weeks, I have been overwhelmed by the generosity shown to me by my new colleagues in both the law school and the economics department. I feel truly blessed to be welcomed by such eminent scholars.

I remain as interested in tax lawmaking and in the use (and abuse) of economic theory in tax scholarship as I was two years ago. But I have also developed a strong interest in how these issues play out at the state and local levels. In addition to teaching Federal Income Taxation and Corporate Taxation, I expect to add State and Local Government Law and possibly also State and Local Taxation to my course package.

Now that I actually have a job, I suppose I can admit to having a personal life as well. I live with my fiancée and our two cats. We will be formally married in June, following which we are planning to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro for our honeymoon. I’ve been joking for months about wishing I had asked for a yak to pull me to the top as part of my employment contract.

Each Saturday, TaxProf Blog shines the spotlight on one of the 700+ tax professors in America's law schools or on one of our international tax colleagues. 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.

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