TaxProf Blog

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

Sunday, December 16, 2018

51% Of Law Schools Increased Their Median LSATs, 60% Increased Their Median GPAs

Following up on my previous posts:

Spivey Consulting, Breaking Down the 2018 Law School Data:

You can see the full data here.

LSAT median changes for the fall 2018 entering class:

  No Change 1 point increase 2 point increase 3+ point increase Decrease
Top 14 Ranked Schools 8 (57%) 6 (42%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%)
Top 20 Ranked Schools 10 (50%) 10 (50%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%)
Top 100 Ranked Schools 39 (39%) 50 (50%) 5 (5%) 0 (0%) 6 (6%)
Top 150 Ranked Schools 62 (41%) 68 (45%) 6 (4%) 3 (2%) 10 (7%)
All ABA Accredited Law Schools 81 (40%) 84 (41%) 15 (7%) 6 (3%) 12 (6%)

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December 16, 2018 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

IRS Releases New Shorter Form 1040 For 2018, With Six New Schedules

IRS, About Form 1040, U.S. Individual Income Tax Return:

For Tax Year 2018, you will no longer use Form 1040A or Form 1040EZ, but instead will use the redesigned Form 1040. Many people will only need to file Form 1040 and no schedules.

Page 1:
1040

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December 16, 2018 in IRS News, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Catholic University Fires Tenured Professor For Sexual Relationship With His Graduate Student Assistant

Catholic University (2018)Catholic University of America, Statement on Dismissal of Professor Stephen J. McKenna:

The Board of Trustees of The Catholic University of America has dismissed Stephen J. McKenna, a tenured associate professor in the Department of Media and Communication Studies, for engaging in a sexual relationship with an employee under his supervision in violation of University policy.

The Board of Trustees has the sole authority to dismiss for cause a tenured faculty member. Its decision marked the end of a lengthy review process by the University that began in 2017.

The Faculty Handbook defines the grounds for dismissal of tenured faculty to include “demonstrable incompetence or dishonesty in teaching or research, . . . manifest neglect of duty, or . . . other adequate cause” (Sec. II-G-7.188).

Since 2008, the University has consistently prohibited all dating and sexual relationships between faculty and employees they supervise, regardless of consent, and provided for sanctions including dismissal. The version of the policy in effect in 2013 can be found here.

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December 16, 2018 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Top Five New Tax Papers

SSRN Logo (2018)This week's list of the Top 5 Recent Tax Paper Downloads is the same as last week's list:

  1. [282 Downloads]   Profit Shifting Before and After the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, by Kimberly Clausing (Reed)
  2. [270 Downloads]  The Illegality of Digital Services Taxes Under EU Law: Size Matters, by Ruth Mason (Virginia) & Leopoldo Parada (Turin)
  3. [189 Downloads]  Double Non-Taxation and the Use of Hybrid Entities: An Alternative Approach in the New Era of BEPS, by Leopoldo Parada (Turin)
  4. [181 Downloads]  The Digital Services Tax: A Conceptual Defense, by Wei Cui (British Columbia)
  5. [159 Downloads]  GoTaxMe: Crowdfunding and Gifts, by Jeffrey Kahn (Florida State) (review by Hayes Holderness (Richmond))

December 16, 2018 in Scholarship, Tax, Top 5 Downloads | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, December 15, 2018

This Week's Ten Most Popular TaxProf Blog Posts

1L Enrollment Increased 3%, Non-JD Enrollment Surged 8% In Fall 2018

Following up on yesterday's post, ABA Releases Data On All 203 Law Schools:  the ABA has released 2018 Standard 509 Information Report Data Overview. Although LSAT test-takers increased 18.1% this cycle and law school applicants increased 8.1%, Fall 2018 1L enrollment increased only 2.9%. Interestingly, non-JD enrollment continues to surge, up 8.2% this year.  In Law School JD Enrollment Inches Upward as Non-JD Enrollment Continues to Soar, Derek Muller again has great charts showing multi-year trends in total 1L enrollment (1973-74 to 2018-19), total JD enrollment (1973-74 to 2018-19), non-JD enrollment (1986-87 to 2018-19), non-JD enrollment as percentage of total enrollment (1986-87 to 2018-19), and non-JD enrollment, traditional v. online (2013-14 to 2018), as well as this chart showing the law schools with the highest non-JD enrollment as a percentage of total law school enrollment:

Muller

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December 15, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Tax Code Shift That’s Changing Liberal Activism

AtlanticDavid Pozen (Columbia), The Tax-Code Shift That’s Changing Liberal Activism:

The “resistance” to President Donald Trump has shaken up American politics on a highly public stage. Across the nation, impassioned protesters have held hundreds of marches; record numbers of progressive women are heading to the House; a Democrat even won a Senate seat in Alabama. But resistance groups have also been transforming American politics behind the curtains, through the choices they are making about their place within the tax code. This seemingly dry legal development could turn out to be one of the movement’s most significant legacies, as it presages a new model of liberal activism for the age of Trump and beyond. Nonprofit groups that used to focus their energies on litigation and education are increasingly structuring themselves to be political players.

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December 15, 2018 in Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Bar-Ilan University Hosts Book Event For Tsilly Dagan's International Tax Policy

Dagan BookBar-Ilan University (Israel) hosted a book event for Tsilly Dagan, International Tax Policy: Between Competition and Cooperation (Cambridge University Press 2018), with these discussants:

  • Ofer Groskopf (Israel Supreme Court)
  • Yiran Margalioth (Tel Aviv) 
  • Daniel Shaviro (NYU)
  • Linda Sugin (Fordam)

Bringing a unique voice to international taxation, this book argues against the conventional support of multilateral co-operation in favour of structured competition as a way to promote both justice and efficiency in international tax policy. Tsilly Dagan analyses international taxation as a decentralised market, where governments have increasingly become strategic actors. While many of the challenges of the current international tax regime derive from this decentralised competitive structure, Dagan argues that curtailing competition through centralisation is not necessarily the answer.

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December 15, 2018 in Book Club, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, December 14, 2018

Weekly SSRN Tax Article Review And Roundup: Kim Reviews Morse's International Cooperation And The 2017 Tax Act

This week, Young Ran (Christine) Kim (Utah) reviews a new work by Susan Morse (Texas), International Cooperation and the 2017 Tax Act, 128 Yale L.J. F. 362 (2018).

KimAmong all the topics addressed in the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (the “TCJA”), provisions regarding international tax law might be the most challenging provisions for non-experts. For those who simply expected that the worldwide tax system would be converted to the territorial tax system, the provisions introduced by the TCJA must have been somewhat puzzling, especially because the discussion after the reform has been focused more on a few more new acronyms that might not even be relevant to the territorial tax system. Susan Morse's new article, International Cooperation and the 2017 Tax Act, is an excellent guide that assists readers in understanding the important international tax provisions in the TCJA and the rationale behind the provisions. One of the great things about the article is that it explains the new rules against the backdrop of the ongoing dynamics in international tax policy — that is, the interplay between competitiveness and cooperation among the players. 

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December 14, 2018 in Scholarship, Tax, Weekly SSRN Roundup | Permalink | Comments (0)

Weekly Legal Education Roundup

Tax Policy In The Trump Administration

ABA Releases Data On All 203 Law Schools

ABA Logo (2016)ABA Website Updates Data on Law School Admissions, Tuition and Other Matters:

Information about admissions and other matters reported by American Bar Association-approved law schools to the ABA Section on Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar and required to be made public under Standard 509 of the Standards and Rules of Procedure for Approval of Law Schools is now publicly available by clicking here.

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December 14, 2018 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Is Getting A Tax LL.M. A Good Idea?

LLM 2Above the Law, Is Getting A Tax LL.M. A Good Idea?:

Many law students and even some experienced lawyers probably at one point considered getting an LL.M., a post-J.D. degree known as the Master of Laws. However, an informal acronym for the LL.M. is “Lawyers Losing Money.” This is primarily because the vast majority of LL.M.s do not provide better career outcomes to those who did not do well in law school while piling on an additional year of law school debt. Also, most LL.M. courses can be taken as a J.D. law student and experienced practitioners can learn the material in cheaper CLE presentations or from treatises and practice guides. Some LL.M. programs are so dubious that they are the butt end of jokes.

The one exception is the Tax LL.M. This is probably because the degree is very compatible since tax laws interact with just about every other law at some level. Also, tax laws constantly change, sometimes for the better, usually for the worse, so people think that there will always be work for tax lawyers. Finally, some firms highly recommend or even require a Tax LL.M. for their tax positions.

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December 14, 2018 in Legal Education, Tax | Permalink | Comments (2)

George Yin's Holiday Reading Picks

Thimmesch, Shanske & Gamage: Wayfair, Marketplaces, And Foreign Vendors

Adam Thimmesch (Nebraska), Darien Shanske (UC-Davis) & David Gamage (Indiana), Wayfair: Marketplaces and Foreign Vendors, 90 State Tax Notes 111 (Oct. 8, 2018):

This is the third of a series of essays wherein we analyze the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in South Dakota v. Wayfair. In this essay, we address issues related to state taxation of internet marketplaces and of foreign vendors.

December 14, 2018 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

NALP Loosens Reins On Summer Associate Recruiting, But Does Not Expect 'Wild West'

NALP New LogoLaw.com, NALP Loosens the Reins on Summer Associate Recruiting:

The law firm summer associate recruiting system got a big shake-up Wednesday when the National Association of Law Placement announced a major overhaul of its guidelines for on-campus recruiting.

Gone are the recommendations that firms give students 28 days to decide whether to accept a summer associate offer and that they wait until December of the 1L year to begin recruiting law students. In their place are a broader, more flexible set of guidelines that emphasize fairness and transparency without proscribing specific dates or timelines.

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December 14, 2018 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Repetti: The Tax Cuts And Jobs Act Kneecaps American Factory Workers

The Hill op-ed:  The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Kneecaps American Factory Workers, by Jim Repetti (Boston College):

As Congress considers new tax legislation, item one on its agenda should be to eliminate the harm to U.S. manufacturing jobs contained in the Tax Jobs and Cuts Act (TJCA).

Many were surprised by General Motors recent announcement that it would trim production in the U.S. by closing plants in Ohio and Michigan and laying off 14,000 workers. But anyone paying close attention to TJCA should recognize that it encourages U.S. companies to move their factories overseas. ... [A] close examination of TJCA shows the opposite. TJCA contains three provisions that encourage U.S. companies to pull factories out of the U.S.

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December 13, 2018 in Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Stanford Law Faculty End-Of-Year Reading List

2018 Tannenwald Tax Writing Competition Winners

Tannenwald (2016)The Theodore Tannenwald, Jr. Foundation for Excellence in Tax Scholarship has announced the winners of the 2018 tax writing competition:

First Prize ($5,000):
Colin T. Halpin (Washburn), A Step in the Right Direction: The Effects of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act on the Alternative Minimum Tax and the Need for Further Reform
Faculty Sponsor:  Lori McMillan

Second Prize ($2,000):
Betting on an Uncertain Future: The Tax Consequences of Large Third-Party Litigation Financing
Faculty Sponsor:  Gregg Polsky

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December 13, 2018 in ABA Tax Section, Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax, Teaching | Permalink | Comments (0)

Vermont's Tenured Faculty Purge Is Part Of Anti-Tenure Trend In Higher Ed 

Vermont Law School Logo (2017)Following up on my previous posts (links below):  Seven Days, Tenuous Tenure: Fewer Profs at Vermont Colleges Enjoy the Status

Vermont Law School professor Peter Teachout said he knew the institution's financial condition was dire but still felt "total shock" when the school presented him and other faculty with a stark choice in May: Give up tenure and accept a two-year contract with a large pay cut, or be fired July 1.

Teachout accepted the controversial deal, which stripped tenure from 14 of the 19 professors who possessed the coveted status at the small private law school in South Royalton.

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December 13, 2018 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

SSRN Tax Professor Rankings

SSRN Logo (2018)SSRN has updated its monthly rankings of 750 American and international law school faculties and 3,000 law professors by (among other things) the number of paper downloads from the SSRN database.  This ranking includes downloads from two 30- and 35-page papers by 12 tax professors on the new tax legislation that garnered a lot of media attention (including the New York Times and Washington Post) and generated a massive amount of downloads (the papers are the most downloaded papers over the past 12 months across all of SSRN and the most downloaded tax papers of all-time by over 200%).  See Brian Leiter (Chicago), 11 Tax Profs Blow Up The SSRN Download Rankings. (For some reason, Mitchell Kane (NYU) — the twelfth academic co-author of the two papers — is not included in the SSRN download rankings (although the downloads are included on his individual author page)).  Here is the new list (through December 1, 2018) of the Top 25 U.S. Tax Professors in two of the SSRN categories: all-time downloads and recent downloads (within the past 12 months):

 

 

All-Time

 

Recent

1

Reuven Avi-Yonah (Mich.)

180,090

Reuven Avi-Yonah (Mich.)

105,640

2

Dan Shaviro (NYU)

115,632

Daniel Hemel (Chicago)

103,692

3

David Gamage (Indiana)

111,291

David Gamage (Indiana)

98,213

4

Lily Batchelder (NYU)

109,240

Darien Shanske (UC-Davis) 

97,990

5

Daniel Hemel (Chicago)

108,810

Manoj Viswanathan (Hastings)

97,473

6

Darien Shanske (UC-Davis)

105,360

Dan Shaviro (NYU)

97,434

7

Cliff Fleming (BYU)

100,916

Lily Batchelder (NYU)

95,225

8

Manoj Viswanathan (Hastings)

97,798

David Kamin (NYU)

95,179

9

David Kamin (NYU)

97,788

Cliff Fleming (BYU)

94,845

10

Rebecca Kysar (Fordham)

97,086

Ari Glogower (Ohio State) 

94,836

11

Ari Glogower (Ohio State)

95,334

Rebecca Kysar (Fordham) 

94,704

12

Michael Simkovic (USC)

41,662

Jacob Goldin (Stanford)   3,995

13

D. Dharmapala (Chicago)

35,716

Michael Simkovic (USC)

3,567

14

Paul Caron (Pepperdine)

34,869

Richard Ainsworth (BU)

3,527

15

Louis Kaplow (Harvard)

30,560

Joe Bankman (Stanford) 

3,494

16

Richard Ainsworth (BU)

26,217

Kirk Stark (UCLA)

3,454

17

Ed Kleinbard (USC)

25,314

D. Dharmapala (Chicago)

3,110

18

Vic Fleischer (UC-Irvine)

25,088

Dennis Ventry (UC-Davis) 

3,090

19

Jim Hines (Michigan)

24,084

Ruth Mason (Virginia) 

2,608

20

Gladriel Shobe (BYU)

23,798

Sam Donaldson (Georgia St.)

2,510

21

Richard Kaplan (Illinois)

23,190

Brad Borden (Brooklyn)

2,406

22

Ted Seto (Loyola-L.A.)

23,033

Kyle Rozema (Chicago)

2,272

23

Katie Pratt (Loyola-L.A.)

21,590

Hugh Ault (Boston College) 

2,103

24

Robert Sitkoff (Harvard)

21,424

Omri Marian (UC-Irvine)

1,935

25

David Weisbach (Chicago)

20,597

Shu-Yi Oei (Boston College)

1,878

Note that this ranking includes full-time tax professors with at least one tax paper on SSRN, and all papers (including non-tax papers) by these tax professors are included in the SSRN data.

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December 13, 2018 in Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Prof Rankings | Permalink | Comments (0)

2018 Is Best Year For Law Firms In A Decade

ABA Journal, Law Firms Are Having the Best Financial-Growth Year in About a Decade, Two Reports Conclude:

Law firms increased revenues this year, posting gains during the first three quarters that are the best in about a decade, according to two new reports.

The numbers differed slightly, but the conclusion was the same: 2018 is shaping up to be a good year, thanks to higher billing rates and higher demand for legal services.

Wells Fargo Private Bank’s Legal Specialty Group found revenue growth of 7 percent among its surveyed law firms, while Citi Private Bank’s Law Firm Group reported revenue growth of 6.3 percent.

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December 13, 2018 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Johnson: Altera's Bonkers Accounting — Stock Compensation Really Is A Cost

Calvin Johnson (Texas), Altera's Bonkers Accounting: Stock Compensation Really is a Cost, 161 Tax Notes 339 (Oct. 15, 2018):

In this article, Johnson discusses Altera v. Commissioner, 145 T.C. 91 (2015), on appeal in the Ninth Circuit and the regulations that would match the costs of stock compensation to foreign income under a qualified cost-sharing agreement, and he argues that there is no merit to professor Joseph A. Grundfest’s claims that stock compensation has no cost.

December 13, 2018 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

LSAC: There Is No 'Asian Crisis' In Legal Education

LSAC (2018)Law.com, An Asian Crisis in Legal Education? Not So, Says New Report From LSAT Maker:

A widely discussed 2017 report on Asian Americans in the legal profession painted a grim portrait of the pipeline, concluding that first-year Asian-American law school enrollment declined significantly more than other groups from 2009 to 2016.

But a new study from researchers at the Law School Admission Council concludes that it’s not yet time to hit the panic button. The number of Asians applying to law school has not declined more than the wider—largely white—applicant pool, according to the latest study, titled, “Application, Admission, and Matriculation Trends: Asian and Non-Asian Law School Candidates.” And Asian students tend to enroll at top law schools, the researchers found.

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December 13, 2018 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

A 2019 Tax Strategy For Democrats

Victor Thuronyi, A 2019 Tax Strategy for Democrats:

Nancy Pelosi said after the mid-terms: “We have a responsibility to find common ground where we can. If not, we stand our ground.” How do these principles apply to the tax cut Act passed by Republicans at the end of 2017 (commonly referred to as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, or TCJA)? ...

Democrats will not get all they would like in terms of rolling back this tax cut for the wealthy and corporations. Democrats simply do not have the votes to roll TCJA back completely, given the composition of the Senate, where they are in the minority. Particularly if Republicans refuse to legislate, Democrats can use tax reform as a campaign issue in 2020, reminding voters that Republicans favor tax cuts for the wealthy while Democrats favor those with low and middle incomes. The larger debate over tax policy will have to be deferred until a time when Democrats have more power in the Senate and the White House, because a complete rollback of the TCJA is not in the cards, at least during the upcoming Congress. ...

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December 12, 2018 in Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Women Faculty, Deans Sue University Of Arizona Alleging Pay Discrimination

ArizonaInside Higher Ed, Gender, Pay and a 'Black Box':

The Arizona Board of Regents is once again being sued for pervasive gender discrimination at the University of Arizona.

In a new federal lawsuit, Katrina Miranda, an associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry at Arizona, alleges that women in the College of Science are consistently underpaid and passed over for promotions with respect to their male colleagues. She is seeking class action status to represent the women across the college.

Miranda, who has been at Arizona since 2002, says that she and other women in her department have not received raises since 2011, while men in the department have seen their pay increase. Miranda also says that she was denied a promotion to full professor in 2016 by her dean and provost, even though her faculty colleagues recommended her for advancement.

That’s also despite the fact that she’s been assessed to have exceeded or “far exceeded” expectations in each of her routine reviews, and despite her many accomplishments, such as being honored as fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, in 2013.

The lawsuit alleges that such decisions at the administrative level are “completely disconnected from standards or metrics and are thus completely opaque,” and that the college dean, in particular, “exercises pay-setting authority in a black box.” ...

Miranda earned between $97,000 and $100,000 annually between 2105-16 and 2017-18. By contrast, Arizona paid a male professor of chemistry who was hired and tenured at the same time as Miranda $130,500 annually for the last two years. Another male professor of chemistry who was hired just one year earlier than Miranda received a base salary of about $136,000 for each of the last two years.

Miranda says that she has a stronger publication record than both men and has done as much service work as they have, if not more. Her research impact H-index score is almost double theirs, she says. Miranda also served as an assistant chair, while neither man has held a department leadership role, according to the complaint. ...

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December 12, 2018 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Group Led By Thomas Piketty Proposes Huge Tax Increases For 'A Fairer Europe'

The Guardian, Group Led by Thomas Piketty Presents Plan for 'A Fairer Europe':

A group of progressive Europeans led by the economist and author Thomas Piketty has drawn up a bold new blueprint for a fairer Europe to address the division, disenchantment, inequality and rightwing populism sweeping the continent.

The plan, crafted by more than 50 economists, historians and former politicians from half a dozen countries, includes huge levies on multinationals, millionaires and carbon emissions to generate funds to tackle the most urgent issues of the day, including poverty, migration, climate change and the EU’s so-called democratic deficit.

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December 12, 2018 in Tax | Permalink | Comments (4)

An Apple Store For Online Degrees

Apple StoreInside Higher Ed, An Apple Store for Online Degrees:

Georgia Institute of Technology is considering creating brick-and-mortar "storefronts" for prospective and current students to sample its course offerings, listen to lectures and network.

The effort is part of Georgia Tech's plans to make its online degrees and professional education certificates more appealing to the nontraditional students of tomorrow, who the institution predicts will expect "flexible learning experiences."

“We know that students are happy with the online delivery, but we have found that they still have the desire, and in many cases the need, to connect physically with us,” said Rafael Bras, the university's provost.

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December 12, 2018 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Golden Age Of Rich People Not Paying Their Taxes

AtlanticThe Atlantic, The Golden Age of Rich People Not Paying Their Taxes:

An eight-year campaign to slash the IRS’s budget has left the agency understaffed, hamstrung, and operating with archaic equipment. The result: a hundred-billion-dollar heist. ...

Had the billions in budget reductions occurred all at once, with tens of thousands of auditors, collectors, and customer-service representatives streaming out of government buildings in a single day, the collapse of the IRS might have gotten more attention. But there have been no mass layoffs or dramatic announcements. Instead, it’s taken eight years to bring the agency that funds the government this low. Over time, the IRS has slowly transformed, one employee departure at a time.

The result is a bureaucracy on life support and tens of billions in lost government revenue. ProPublica estimates a toll of at least $18 billion every year, but the true cost could easily run tens of billions of dollars higher.

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December 12, 2018 in Tax | Permalink | Comments (4)

California Chief Justice: Bar Exam Results Are 'Frightening', But There Are No Plans To Lower The Cut Score

California Bar ExamThe Recorder, 'Frightening' Bar Exam Results, but No Plans to Lower Passing Score: California Chief Justice:

Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye said Tuesday the state Supreme Court has no immediate plans to reconsider the passing score on the California bar exam despite a historically low success rate on the July test.

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December 12, 2018 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (18)

U.S. Income More Equal Than Advertised

Wall Street Journal, U.S. Income More Equal than Advertised:

Remember the 2014 bestseller “Capital in the Twenty-First Century” by French economist Thomas Piketty? ... The dismal tale of exploding inequality and capitalist failure has been a recurring theme in political chatter ever since. But a new report highlights just how poorly Mr. Piketty’s thesis has held up under further study.

This column should note that some scholars saw problems right from the start. ... Chris Giles of the UK’s Financial Times examined Mr. Piketty’s work and found that “the rock-star French economist appears to have got his sums wrong.” ...

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December 12, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (7)

Columbia Law School Students Are Turning Into Legal Tech Developers

Columbia (2017)Law.com, Columbia Law School Students Are Turning Into Legal Tech Developers:

Columbia Law School students are using a software program to create apps to help various legal organizations’ clients automate the drafting of legal documents. The project came after Columbia Law School Legal Technology Association, a student-led association seeking to expose members to the broad scope of legal technology, and HelpSelf Legal teamed up in the spring 2018 semester to offer HelpSelf’s document automation builder software for worthy causes.

These Columbia students join a growing group of law students across the U.S. using their burgeoning legal knowledge to create user-friendly apps to help automatize services for legal aid organizations’ clients.

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December 12, 2018 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Shaviro Presents The New Non-Territorial U.S. International Tax System Today At Bar-Ilan

Shaviro (2018)Daniel N. Shaviro (NYU) presents The New Non-Territorial U.S. International Tax System, Part 1, 160 Tax Notes 57 (July 2, 2018), and Part 2, 160 Tax Notes 171 (July 9, 2018) (reviewed by David Elkins (Netanya) here), at Bar-Ilan University Faculty of Law in Tel Aviv, Israel:

These papers, published in Tax Notes, examine and analyze the three main international provisions in the 2017 tax act. Part 1 of this report discusses how one could more crisply, comprehensively, and accurately conceptualize international tax policy than through the outdated and unhelpful language of “worldwide versus territorial.” It also explores the reasons for several key margins’ normative ambiguity, which include the tension between what I call unilateral and strategic approaches to international tax policymaking. Only the latter involves considering how a given country’s international tax policy choices might subsequently affect other countries’ behavior. Thus, for example, engaging in tax competition is not inherently strategic in my sense of the term. Indeed, tax competition fails to be strategic if it involves overlooking how one’s own tax law changes might affect what other countries later do. Unfortunately, although all sophisticated actors in international tax policy should consider the strategic aspect, it tends to make the underlying policy choices even harder to parse confidently. Strategic interactions are often unpredictable, and even more so when they involve government actors who are subject to the vagaries of domestic politics.

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December 11, 2018 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Princeton Singing Group Will No Longer Perform Kiss The Girl From The Little Mermaid After Complaints That It Makes Audiences 'Uncomfortable'

MermaidInside Higher Ed, Princeton A Cappella Group Won't Sing Kiss the Girl From The Little Mermaid After Complaints That Its Performance Made Audience Members Uncomfortable:

In its typical performance of “Kiss the Girl” from The Little Mermaid, one of Princeton University’s all-male a cappella groups, the Princeton Tigertones, selects a woman from the audience.

The singers will playfully dance with her for a bit, and right before the number wraps up, they’ll pick a man from the audience, too. They might pretend to groom him, and spin him around, and then pull the duo together. And at the end, they declare that, in a node to the song's title, they should kiss -- and the couple will comply, sometimes on with a peck on the cheek, sometimes briefly on the lips.

The entire ritual appears harmless and lasts no more than three minutes, a usual and relatively well-liked selection in the group’s repertoire. But complaints over whether the encounter is consensual and appropriate has prompted the Tigertones to discontinue the song until the members can perform it in a way that’s comfortable for the entire audience, the group said.

Last week, a sophomore student, Noa Wollstein, wrote to the student newspaper The Daily Princetonian that the song was misogynistic and “dismissive” of consent. This was the first time the issue was raised publicly, though the group noted that audience members have expressed discomfort over the performance before.

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December 11, 2018 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Senate President Outlines Path To Rename Florida State Law School To Distance Itself From Segregationist Past

Florida State logoFlorida Politics, Bill Galvano Outlines Path to Rename FSU Law School:

The new leader of the Florida Senate wants to afford more freedom to state universities wishing to rename buildings previously designated by the state Legislature.

Senate President Bill Galvano, after assuming the chamber’s top spot last week, told reporters that he supports “a framework for universities to do their naming and having flexibility, instead of having the Legislature micromanage that issue.”

That means legislation likely won’t specifically address Florida State University’s law school building. It currently is named after the late Florida Supreme Court Chief Justice B.K. Roberts.

Instead, expect any forthcoming bills to target naming decisions as a whole.

FSU President John Thrasher announced in July that the university would seek to rename the law school building after a special panel recommended the change.

Roberts wrote the state Supreme Court’s 1957 majority opinion to deny law school admission to an African-American student, Virgil Hawkins.

The opinion is considered a pro-segregation action that defines a “more troublesome legacy” than his “instrumental role” in spawning the university’s law school, Thrasher wrote.

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December 11, 2018 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

Treasury Softens Parking-Tax Hit For Churches, Nonprofits

IRS Logo 2Following up on my previous posts (linkis below):  Wall Street Journal, Treasury Softens Parking-Tax Hit for Churches, Nonprofits:

The Treasury Department offered relaxed rules for nonprofits on Monday, easing a new tax burden for churches and charities that offer employee parking [IR-2018-247 (Dec. 10, 2018), IRS Issues Guidance for Determining Nondeductible Amount of Parking Fringe Expenses and Unrelated Business Taxable Income; Provides Penalty Relief to Tax-Exempt Organizations; Notice 2018-99].

Congress had imposed the new rules in last year’s tax law, radically altering the tax treatment of employer-provided parking and transportation benefits and prompting complaints from nonprofits.

A senior Treasury official said the administration couldn’t delay or repeal the tax on its own. Instead, Treasury offered guidance that will let many churches and nonprofits reduce or eliminate their tax bills while Congress considers changing the provision.

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December 11, 2018 in Tax | Permalink | Comments (1)

Penn Is First Elite Law School To Require Training In Attorney Well-Being

Penn (2017)Penn Law to Launch Unique Pilot Program Incorporating Attorney Well-being Into Professional Responsibility Curriculum:

In January 2019, the University of Pennsylvania Law School will launch a groundbreaking pilot program that will incorporate a session on attorney well-being into every section of the mandatory Professional Responsibility course. The first such program at a top law school, this curricular module will expose students to the latest data about risks to health and career satisfaction among practicing lawyers, and equip them with tools to promote awareness and well-being in their future careers.

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December 11, 2018 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (4)

Azam & Mazur: How To Tax The Digital Economy

Florida Tax Review (2018)Rifat Azam (Radzyner) & Orly Mazur (SMU), Cloudy with a Chance of Taxation, 21 Fla. Tax Rev. ___ (2018):

The growth of the digital economy, and, in particular, cloud computing, has put a significant strain on sales taxation and other consumption tax systems. The borderless, anonymous, and digital nature of cloud computing raises questions about the paradigm used to determine the character of the transaction and the location where consumption, and therefore, taxation occurs. From an American perspective, the effective resolution of these issues continues to grow in importance in light of the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision in South Dakota v. Wayfair and the growing number of U.S. businesses transacting overseas in jurisdictions that impose value-added taxes (VATs).

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December 11, 2018 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Indiana Commission to Examine Bar Exam Cut Score; California Asked to Take 'Fresh Look' At Its Exam

ABA Journal, Indiana Commission to Examine Bar Exam Cut Score; California Asked to Take 'Fresh Look' At Its Exam:

Following a July 2018 bar exam pass rate of 65 percent, the Indiana Supreme Court has assembled a special commission to review the test’s format and content and consider whether the cut score should be changed.

The court issued the order Tuesday, the Indiana Lawyer reports. Currently, raw scores for test takers’ Multistate Performance Test and Indiana Essay Exam are scaled to the Multistate Bar Exam, according to the Indiana Supreme Court’s Board of Bar Examiners website. One needs a combined scaled score of at least 264 to pass, with the 20 percent of the score coming from the MPT, 30 percent from the essay portion and 50 percent from the MBE.

Besides considering whether the cut score should be changed, the Indiana bar exam commission is looking at whether the state should adopt the Uniform Bar Exam. ...

Although many states saw pass rate declines for the July 2018 bar exam, Judith Gundersen, president and CEO of the National Conference of Bar Examiners, told the ABA Journal that she does not know of any other jurisdictions in 2018 that are considering a cut score change following July bar exam results. Between June 2016 and November 2017 four states—Idaho, Montana, Nevada and Oregon—lowered their bar exam cut scores, she told the ABA Journal last year.

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December 11, 2018 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Technology And The Role Of Corporate, Competition, And Tax Law

John Armour, Luca Enriques, Ariel Ezrachi & John Vella (Oxford), Putting Technology to Good Use for Society: The Role of Corporate, Competition and Tax Law, ECGI Working Paper 427 (2018):

Innovation and its main output, technology, are changing the way we work, socialise, vote, and live. New technologies have improved our lives and made firms more productive, overall raising living standards across the world. Thanks to progress in information technology, the rate of change is accelerating. Disruption and disequilibrium are the new normal. In this essay, prepared as a chapter for the first phase of the British Academy ‘The Future of the Corporation’ initiative, we reflect upon the role that corporate, competition and tax law can play both to facilitate innovation and simultaneously assuage emergent societal risks arising from new technologies.

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December 11, 2018 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, December 10, 2018

UC-Irvine And UNLV Law Schools Celebrate Anniversaries

UCI 10 YearDefying Expectations: Celebrating 10 Years (videos):

The University of California, Irvine School of Law is the culmination of several generations of revolutionary dreamers. Those not satisfied with the status quo who wanted to redefine, reimagine and reinvent legal education. Celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2018, the University of California, Irvine School of Law begins its second decade a larger, stronger, more dynamic academic institution than its founders could have ever imagined. UCI Law provides an innovative and comprehensive curriculum, and prioritizes public service and a commitment to diversity within the legal profession. UCI Law students have completed more than 80,000 hours of pro bono work in the past decade. Forty-five percent of UCI Law’s graduates are students of color. The collaborative and interdisciplinary community at UCI Law includes extraordinary students, world-renowned faculty, engaged alumni, and enthusiastic supporters. UCI Law continues to rank highly, including: The National Jurist ranks UCI Law No. 4 in the nation for practical training; U.S. News & World Report ranks UCI Law No. 21 in the nation overall out of 194 law schools, and ranks UCI Law’s robust clinical program No. 13 in the nation. We look forward to continuing our remarkable journey with our faculty, staff, students, alumni and community partners!

UNLVHow Nevada Finally Got a Law School:

An oral history on the creation of Nevada's first state-supported, fully accredited law school, and its humble beginnings inside a renovated elementary school.

The young man who would go on to become one of Nevada’s most respected and successful casino moguls didn’t have a choice. Neither did the future Nevada governor. Or the future majority leader of the United States Senate. Or the managing partner of one of Nevada’s most prominent philanthropic family companies.

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December 10, 2018 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Mann & Roberts: Tax Law And The Environment

Tax Law and the EnvironmentTax Law and the Environment: A Multidisciplinary and Worldwide Perspective (Roberta F. Mann (Oregon) &  Tracey M. Roberts (Samford) eds. 2018):

Tax Law and the Environment: A Multidisciplinary and Worldwide Perspective takes a multidisciplinary approach to explore the ways how tax policy can is used solve environmental problems throughout the world, using a multi-jurisdictional and multidisciplinary approach. Environmental taxation involves using taxes to impose a cost on environmentally harmful activities or tax subsidies to provide preferred tax treatment to more sustainable alternatives to those harmful activities. This book provides a detailed analysis of environmental taxation, with examples from around the world. As the extraction, processing and use of energy use resources is has been a major cause of environmental harm, this book explores the taxation and subsidization of both fossil fuels and renewable energy. Its analysis of the past, present, and future potential of environmental taxation will help policymakers move economies toward sustainability, as well as and informing students, academics, and citizens about tax solutions for pressing environmental issues.

Reviews:

 

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December 10, 2018 in Book Club, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Trump’s Tax Promise Of Trillions Back To U.S. Fails To Materialize

Bloomberg, Trump’s Tax Promise of Trillions Back to U.S. Fails to Materialize:

The amount of offshore cash U.S. corporations have returned home so far this year is just a fraction of what President Donald Trump had promised.

A Morgan Stanley report released Thursday estimates companies brought back from $50 billion to $100 billion in the third quarter -- which would bring the total repatriated back to the U.S. to as little as $514 billion, based on previously released figures for the first and second quarters from the Commerce Department. The tax overhaul signed into law by Trump in December gave companies incentives to bring money back to the U.S. by offering a one-time low tax on repatriated profits.

Morgan Stanley

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December 10, 2018 in Tax | Permalink | Comments (1)

Economics Prof Banned From Campus After Publishing Article Critical Of His Colleagues' Publications In 'Predatory' Journals To Resume Teaching In January

Inside Higher Ed, Pointing the Finger at Colleagues:

Derek Pyne, an associate professor of economics at Thompson Rivers University in British Columbia, Canada, says he wasn’t trying to make his colleagues look bad when he used them as his data set for research on predatory publications. Nevertheless, he found that the majority of the School of Business and Economics faculty had published in these open-access journals, which have low to nonexistent quality standards and charge authors fees.

As a result of that 2017 paper [The Rewards of Predatory Publications at a Small Business School] and the media attention that followed, Pyne says, he’s been effectively banned from campus since May. He may visit only for a short list of reasons, such as health care. Teaching is out and so, too, is the library. It’s unclear when, or if, Pyne will be allowed to resume his normal duties. ...

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December 10, 2018 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (4)

Steven Dean To Leave Brooklyn On Jan. 1 To Be Faculty Director Of NYU's #1 Ranked Graduate Tax Program

Dean (2015)Steven Dean to join NYU Law as Faculty Director of the Graduate Tax Program:

Steven Dean will join NYU Law on January 1, 2019, as the new faculty director of the Graduate Tax Program, Dean Trevor Morrison announced this week. Dean is currently vice dean and professor of law at Brooklyn Law School. 

“Steven is a gifted teacher, an accomplished scholar, and an excellent administrator,” Morrison said. “We’re delighted to welcome him to NYU Law.”

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December 10, 2018 in Legal Education, Tax | Permalink | Comments (1)

Oxford Conference On International Tax Cooperation

OxfordTax Prof paper presentations at the Oxford Conference on International Tax Cooperation: The Challenges and Opportunities of Multilateralism include:

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December 10, 2018 in Conferences, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Absence Of Income Effects At The Onset Of Child Tax Benefits

Jacob Mortenson (Joint Committee on Taxation), Heidi Schramm (Joint Committee on Taxation), Andrew Whitten (U.S. Treasury Department, Office of Tax Analysis) & Lin Xu (Joint Committee on Taxation), The Absence of Income Effects at the Onset of Child Tax Benefits:

We study the effects of quasi-random variation in unearned income on labor force participation, earnings, business income, capital gains realizations, retirement savings, and unemployment compensation. To identify these income effects, we exploit an age discontinuity in the federal tax system: parents whose children are born in December of year t-1 can claim child-related tax benefits for that year, whereas otherwise-similar parents whose children are born in January of year t cannot. We use a panel of administrative tax data comprised of the universe of married households with a child born in December or January in years 2001 through 2013.

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December 10, 2018 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

TaxProf Blog Weekend Roundup

Sunday, December 9, 2018

University of Illinois-Chicago/John Marshall Merger Is Approved, Creating Chicago's First Public Law School

Michael Cohen And Theories Of Deterrence In Tax Evasion Cases

Government's Sentencing Memorandum (United States v. Cohen, No. 18 Cr. 602 (S.D.N.Y. Dec. 7, 2018)):

Between tax years 2012 and 2016, Cohen evaded taxes by failing to report more than $4 million in income to the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”), which resulted in the avoidance of more than $1.4 million due to the United States Treasury Department. Specifically, Cohen failed to report several different streams of income on his tax returns, which he swore were true and accurate. ...

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December 9, 2018 in Tax | Permalink | Comments (1)