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Pepperdine University School of Law

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Thursday, June 14, 2012

From the Tax Notes Vault: Mamas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Tax Lawyers

Tax Analysts In celebration of the 40th anniversary of the publication of its inaugural issue, Tax Notes is re-publishing memorable articles from its archives. I am delighted that Tax Notes this week re-published one of my articles, Mamas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Tax Lawyers, 135 Tax Notes 1358 (June 11. 2012):

This article, originally published July 18, 1994, was excerpted from Caron’s article, Tax Myopia, or Mamas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Tax Lawyers, which was published in 13 Va. Tax Rev. 517 (1994).  The article discussed two related myths that have a strong currency among law students, lawyers, and the public.

The first myth is that tax lawyers are somehow different from other lawyers.  Part I of the article chronicled the disparagement of tax lawyers in a light-hearted fashion and set the stage for the discussion of the second myth that tax law is somehow different from other areas of the law.

As suggested by the abstract reference to ‘‘tax myopia’’ in the title, the article contended that tax law too often is mistakenly viewed as a self-contained body of law.  Part II explained how that misperception has impaired the development of tax law by shielding it from other areas of law that should inform the tax debate. It also explained how other areas of law have been impoverished by the failure to consider how tax law can enrich their development.  The article advocated a synergistic relationship between tax and nontax law through which each benefits from the insights of the other.

The full article is available here.

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