TaxProf Blog

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

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Field: Experiential Learning in Tax Courses

Chris Brummer (Georgetown), Towards a Better Tax Law Student (and Professor):

Heather Field’s (UC-Hastings) delightful essay, Experiential Learning in a Lecture Class: Exposing Students to the Skill of Giving Useful Tax Advice, kicked off our corporate law camp with a welcome examination of how to improve courses such that students can translate theory into practice, and in doing so emerge from courses as not only better educated, but also better lawyers.  

This is, of course, a dilemma facing not only tax lawyers, but corporate professors as well, especially as we seek to improve our students’ prospects on what is at times a challenging legal market.  Professor Field focuses in the article on modules that can be incorporated into lecture courses in order to help students begin to see how they can turn their growing substantive knowledge into what she calls “useful tax advice.”  Specifically, she seeks to generate new forms of experiential learning whereby students can begin to provide, while in school, understandable advice that comprehensively addresses the client’s economic objectives (including, but not limited to the client’s tax objectives) and that gives the client a clear appreciation of the benefits and risks of a tax-related business decision.

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Good for her. This approach should be copied in many other areas.

Posted by: Woody | Jun 2, 2011 12:00:19 PM