TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
Pepperdine University School of Law

Thursday, December 20, 2007

How Cool Is Your Tax Prof?

The Tax Girl asks:  How Cool is Your Tax Prof?

How cool is your tax professor?  I’m going to be adding some reader-generated interviews to my “Getting to Know You Thursday” feature - and I’m specifically looking for great tax professors. If you know one (or are one), send me a quick blurb with a name, law school and why they’re great. Maybe you’ll see your fave on taxgirl!

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I nominate Karen Brown at GW Law.

Posted by: EB Guy | Dec 20, 2007 12:18:17 PM

Noel Cunningham at NYU is very cool!

Posted by: Francine Lipman | Dec 20, 2007 1:25:25 PM

I took a course from Noel and second it. His Mentor when Noel was a student at NYU was Bill Hutton, now at U.C. Hastings. Bill Hutton is and was a classic, gentlemanly, but demanding professor. He’s an expert fly fisher, past yo-yo champion, eminence grise in the Land Trust field, and always open to an invitation to lunch and a chat. He is why I, and probably Noel, and many others, became involved in tax and a person to emulate.

Prof. Hutton and the other professors at UC Hastings created a “Tax Concentration” which fills up the otherwise worthless 3d year with rigorous tax seminars, solution oriented exercises and a thesis. It operates as a mini-LLM. Plus, there were many social events that bred a collegiality in otherwise competitive students. Bill Hutton and the Tax Concentration mae UC Hastings an outstanding experience.

Posted by: guy in the veal calf office | Dec 20, 2007 2:22:50 PM

I have two nominees: Dennis Calfee and Steve Willis at the University of Florida. Both great tax minds and great profs.

When I was at UF all of us tax geeks who took Prof Calfee's Subchapter J class called him the Tax Tiger, because you never knew when he would pounce on one of us helpless villagers. And woe unto you if you should bait the Tax Tiger (Silly Villager, tempt not the Tax Tiger with your insignificant undergraduate accounting tax knowledge, for it is merely tasty treat in his sight and serves only to whet his appetite). But he was always really kind and very funny. And he had a contagious and unbridled excitement for the material that infected all of us villagers/students.

Prof Willis, on the other hand, fed us our daily bread from baby tax to Partnership, always with humorous home-spunish hypotheticals and examples. He would break down complex inside versus outside basis questions in a way that all of us could understand. He was also quite techno-savy and incorporated multimedia in his teaching style and materials well before any of his contemporaries at the school. AND, most importantly, every year he threw (throws?) the BEST Mardi Gras party in Gainesville!

These two profs made tax law interesting, fun and very cool, and quite of few of their students went on to get LL.M.s at Florida and elsewhere (myself included).

Posted by: Palm Beach T&E Atty | Dec 20, 2007 5:53:13 PM

I would definitely have to nominate Alex Raskolnikov at Columbia Law School (whom you have profiled here on these pages). An amazing teacher and hilarious to boot. None of my law school classes were as interesting, entertaining and informative as his. I owe my love of tax law to him.

Posted by: CLS Alum | Dec 21, 2007 7:20:21 AM

Dennis Ventry at Washington College of Law is a nice guy, funny, entertaining and rigorous in class, and very well-dressed: he sports Nantucket red. Hands down the coolest prof at the school. Props to DJVJ.

Posted by: WCL 2L | Dec 21, 2007 9:21:36 AM