Wednesday, August 25, 2010
- A 40-Step Guide to Structuring the Basic Tax Course (Sept. 3, 2007)
- A 27-Step Guide to Teaching a Tax Course (Jan. 15, 2009)
Jim's latest contribution is a series of twenty posts on structuring the Introduction to Taxation of Business Entities course. From his opening post (July 2, 2010):
Because only so much can be cut, and students need to be prepared to walk into the practice world with substantive tax exposure, analytical skills, and problem-solving abilities that match their counterparts graduating from law schools with two 3-credit courses, a good argument can be made, and has been made, that this 3-credit course is actually a 4-credit course. It is. It also has the reputation of being the most difficult course in the J.D. curriculum. It very well may be. But this area of taxation may very well be one of the most difficult areas of law practice. Despite some griping at the outset, by the end of the semester, almost all of the students – who are self-selected tax and business types and thus a very different group from those who are in the basic tax courses “because it’s on the bar exam” – conclude that despite the requisite diligence, they have learned far more than they expected and have acquired a good sense of what awaits them when they reach the practice world.
From his concluding post (Aug. 16, 2010):
When students leave the course, assuming they have been diligent and have learned what I intend for them to learn, they are capable not only of doing simple corporate and partnership tax returns but also of understanding basic planning questions, figuring out how to find answers to more advanced questions, and taking with them a solid foundation for more tax courses. It’s a difficult area of taxation, thanks to the Congress, it’s essential that students get a firm grip on the material, and it has always been my principal goal to put them in a position to succeed in practice even though that requires demanding assignments, intense concentration, and voluminous coverage.