Paul L. Caron
Dean





Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Bank Reviews Rebellion, Rascals, And Revenue: Tax Follies And Wisdom Through The Ages

Steven A. Bank (UCLA), Taxation’s Summer Blockbuster (reviewing Michael Keen (IMF) & Joel Slemrod (Michigan; Google Scholar), Rebellion, Rascals, and Revenue: Tax Follies and Wisdom through the Ages (Princeton University Press 2021)):

RascalsIn Rebellion, Rascals, and Revenue, Michael Keen and Joel Slemrod have written a fantastic book that collects and loosely organizes a treasure trove of anecdotes about tax systems, trivia, and events around the world and throughout history. In many respects the book, which endeavors to include stories about any type of tax, in any type of tax system, in any period in history, is overly ambitious. Nevertheless, Keen and Mick identify several common themes that persist over time. More contextualization might have revealed an omitted theme – the effect of societal changes on the development and adaptation of tax systems – but the book’s main contribution is in taking readers on a raucous ride through tax history that will leave them convinced that taxation is not only important, but exciting as well. In Rebellion, Rascals, and Revenue, Michael Keen and Joel Slemrod, two public finance economists from the International Monetary Fund and the University of Michigan, respectively, have written a fantastic book that collects and loosely organizes a treasure trove of anecdotes about tax systems, trivia, and events around the world and throughout history.

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May 5, 2021 in Book Club, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

Regional Variation In Tax Compliance And The Role Of Culture

Alice Guerra (Bologna, Google Scholar) & Brooke Harrington (Dartmouth, Google Scholar), Regional Variation in Tax Compliance and the Role of Culture:

To address a debate in the literature concerning the impact of culture on tax compliance, we examine a case where extreme disparities in the two variables coincide, and test for a causal relationship. Our research design isolates the role of culture by focusing on regional differences within a single country: Italy. Southern Italy has long been a focus of research interest, not only for its extremely high rates of tax evasion, but for a host of other social and political ills, all usually attributed to regional culture.

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May 5, 2021 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

Trends In Law School Enrollment Since The Great Recession

Goodwin Liu (Associate Justice, California Supreme Court), Miranda Li (J.D. 2019, Yale) & Phillip Yao (J.D. 2019, Yale), Who's Going to Law School? Trends in Law School Enrollment Since the Great Recession, 54 U.C. Davis L. Rev. 613 (2020):

This study provides a comprehensive analysis of recent U.S. law school enrollment trends. With two sets of JD enrollment data from 1999 to 2019, we discuss how the demographic composition of law students has changed since the Great Recession. We examine enrollment data by gender, race, ethnicity, and nationality, with particular attention to Asian Americans, who too often remain an invisible minority in contemporary discourse on diversity. We also undertake a novel analysis of enrollment demographics by law school ranking. Our findings include the following:

  • Total enrollment has declined almost 25% since the recession and, despite a recent increase, seems unlikely to rebound to pre-recession levels.
  • Women have outnumbered men in law school since 2016; the recent uptick in total enrollment is entirely attributable to more women pursuing law.
  • Since the recession, Asian Americans and Whites have comprised a smaller share of enrollment; African Americans and Hispanics have comprised a larger share.

Liu 1

  • Women, African American students, and Hispanic students are disproportionately enrolled in lower-ranked schools with lower rates of bar passage and post-graduation employment. It is thus unclear to what extent the changing diversity of law students will translate into greater diversity in the legal profession.

Liu 2

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May 5, 2021 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

The Role Of Lawyers And Law Schools In Fostering Civil Public Debate

Vikram D. Amar (Dean, Illinois) & Jennifer K. Robbennolt (Illinois; Google Scholar), The Role of Lawyers and Law Schools in Fostering Civil Public Debate, 52 Conn. L. Rev. 1093 (2021):

Partisanship can make policy discussion and civil debate difficult. Partisan differences in how facts and policies are understood contribute to the escalation of conflict and a lack of cooperation. Lawyers are not immune from these human tendencies. But good lawyers have, and good law schools teach, values, knowledge, and skills that can aid in fostering and modeling more productive debate and resolution of conflict.

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May 5, 2021 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink

San Diego Provost Rejects Student Demand That Tenured Law Professor Be Fired Over Blog Post

Following up on my previous post, San Diego Law School Launches Investigation Of Tenured Professor's Blog Post; Student Petition Calls For Professor's Termination:

USD Law (2021)Gail F. Baker (Vice President and Provost, University of San Diego):

Dear USD Community:
We recently received complaints relating to a post by USD Law Professor Tom Smith on his personal blog concerning the causes of COVID-19. The complaints alleged violations of various university and School of Law policies.

As a threshold matter, we sought to determine whether the blog post at issue was protected by our policy on academic freedom. After a thorough legal review, it was determined that the expression was protected by that policy.

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May 5, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Low-Income Taxpayers And The Affordable Care Act

Christine Speidel (Villanova), Low-Income Taxpayers and the Affordable Care Act (in Effectively Representing Your Client Before the IRS:

ABA What is the connection between taxes and health insurance? Why do advocates for low-income taxpayers need to know about the Affordable Care Act? The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) contains dozens of tax provisions. The ACA introduced a major new tax credit and a major new tax penalty for 2014. It also imported tax concepts into Medicaid. All told, the ACA will have a major impact on low-income taxpayers. Health care advocates are already in the thick of helping people get and maintain health insurance coverage. Tax advocates at Low-Income Taxpayer Clinics (LITCs) may not see ACA-related examinations and collection controversies until 2015, but now is the time many of our clients are making decisions that will seriously impact their lives and shape future tax controversies. Education, issue-spotting, and early guidance could make a positive difference. All advocates working with low-income taxpayers should educate their clients, particularly those in English as-a-second-language (ESL) communities, about their new rights and responsibilities. This article serves as an introduction and reference on the ACA for legal advocates and policymakers, with a focus on tax provisions affecting lower-income individuals. The article summarizes the major health care reform developments affecting low-income taxpayers from October 2013 through mid-2015, and introduces key ACA concepts. It then focuses in detail on the two ACA tax provisions that most concern low-income individuals: the Premium Tax Credit and the individual shared responsibility payment.

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May 5, 2021 in Book Club, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

There Are Now 27 Black Women Law School Deans

From Catherine Smith (Denver):

There are now 27 Black Women Law Deans:

  1. Dean Michèle Alexandre (Stetson)
  2. Dean Patricia Bennett (Mississippi College)
  3. Dean Karen Bravo (Indiana University-McKinney)
  4. Dean Lolita Buckner Innis (incoming, University of Colorado)
  5. Dean Joan Bullock (Texas Southern)
  6. Dean Marcilynn Burke (Oregon)
  7. Dean Danielle Conway (Penn State-Dickinson)
  8. Dean Camille Davidson (Southern Illinois)
  9. Dean Felicia Epps (UNT-Dallas)
  10. Dean Linda Greene (Michigan State)
  11. Dean Cassandra Hill (Northern Illinois)
  12. Dean Renee Hutchins (University of the District of Columbia)
  13. Dean Danielle Holley-Walker (Howard)
  14. Dean Jelani Jefferson Exum (incoming, Detroit Mercy)
  15. Dean Diedre Keller (Florida A & M)
  16. Dean Tamara Lawson (St. Thomas)
  17. Dean Dayna Bowen Matthew (George Washington)
  18. Dean Browne Lewis (North Carolina Central)
  19. Dean Kim Mutcherson (Rutgers-Camden)
  20. Dean Camille Nelson (Hawaii)
  21. Dean Eboni Nelson (Connecticut)
  22. Dean Angela Onwuachi-Willig (Boston University)
  23. Dean Carla Pratt (Washburn)
  24. Dean LaVonda Reed (incoming, Georgia State University)
  25. Dean Song Richardson (outgoing, UC-Irvine. incoming President of Colorado College)
  26. Dean Sean Scott (California Western)
  27. Dean Verna Williams (Cincinnati)

May 5, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Former IRS Chief Counsel Michael Desmond Joins Gibson Dunn

Former IRS Chief Counsel Michael Desmond Joins Gibson Dunn’s Los Angeles and D.C. Offices:

Desmond 3Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP is pleased to announce that Michael J. Desmond has joined the firm as a partner in the Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. offices.  Desmond, who recently served as the Chief Counsel of the U.S. Internal Revenue Service and Assistant General Counsel in the U.S. Department of the Treasury, will focus on tax controversy matters.

“We are delighted that Michael has joined the firm,” said Barbara Becker, Chair and Managing Partner of Gibson Dunn.  “As a nationally prominent, deeply experienced tax litigator, he adds significant capability to our elite tax and litigation practices.  Our clients will benefit from the invaluable insight that he gained during his tenure at the IRS, where he was involved in the agency’s most important guidance and enforcement actions.”

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May 5, 2021 in Legal Education, Tax | Permalink

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Shobe: Subsidizing Economic Segregation Through The State And Local Tax Deduction

Gladriel Shobe (BYU; Google Scholar), Subsidizing Economic Segregation Through the State and Local Tax Deduction, 11 UC Irvine L. Rev. 539 (2020) (reviewed by Ariel Jurow Kleiman (San Diego; moving to Loyola-L.A.; Google Scholar) here): 

Economic segregation has increased over the past half-century. The trend of rich localities getting richer while poor localities get poorer is particularly concerning because it limits upward mobility and perpetuates intergenerational income inequality. This Article makes the novel argument that the state and local tax deduction subsidizes economic segregation. It arrives at that conclusion by showing that the “local tax deduction” provides a greater subsidy, per capita, for wealthy, economically segregated localities because only those localities have a critical mass of wealthy taxpayers who claim the deduction. This allows wealthy localities, but not poor localities, to provide services at a cost less than face value to their residents. This Article argues that the deduction’s subsidy for wealthy localities rewards and likely contributes to economic segregation because it provides an incentive for the wealthy to segregate into wealthy, subsidized localities over less segregated and less subsidized localities.

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May 4, 2021 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

Soled: The Need To Reduce The Federal Estate Tax Exemption

Jay A. Soled (Rutgers; Google Scholar), The Federal Estate Tax Exemption and the Need for Its Reduction, 47 Fla. L. Rev. 649 (2020):

One of the central components of the nation’s transfer tax system is the federal estate tax exemption. This is the amount that taxpayers can pass free of transfer tax imposition. While over the last 100 years the size of this exemption has fluctuated, Congress most recently increased it exponentially, jeopardizing the vitality of the entire transfer tax regime and potentially sapping it of its strength. To enhance the nation’s fiscal solvency and to reduce wealth inequality, this analysis contends that Congress must reduce the estate tax exemption (and, along with it, the gift and generation-skipping transfer tax exemptions). Furthermore, it proposes ways for Congress to efficiently and equitably accomplish this goal.

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May 4, 2021 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

Why I No Longer Grade Class Participation

Chronicle of Higher Education op-ed:  Should We Stop Grading Class Participation?, by James M. Lang (Assumption University):

I no longer grade class participation. I seem to be in the minority on that, based on my conversations with other faculty members. But I have come to believe that grading student participation is a poor pedagogical choice, and that a better alternative exists. Here I’ll explain why — and how I cultivate participation in my courses, even without hanging a grade-based incentive over my students’ heads.

What drove me away from grading student participation was an uneasy feeling — and it grew each year — that grades were not something that should be fudged based on my hunches and instincts, or influenced in any way by my informal observations and memories. In retrospect, it seems ridiculous to believe that I could accurately measure how much every student participated in all my courses during a 15-week semester.

Such a “system” is subject to every kind of bias imaginable. In addition to whatever unconscious biases I might be carrying toward students based on their identities, I might find myself looking more favorably on a student whose comments or demeanor remind me a little of myself — or unfavorably on a student who reminds me of someone I dislike.

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May 4, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education, Teaching | Permalink

CSI: Law School. Forensic Science In Legal Education

Brandon L. Garrett (Duke), Glinda Cooper (Yeshiva) & Quinn Beckham (Duke), Forensic Science in Legal Education:

In criminal cases, forensic science reports and expert testimony play an increasingly important role in adjudication. More states now follow a federal reliability standard, following Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals and Rule 702, which call upon judges to assess the reliability and validity of such scientific evidence. Little is known about what education law schools provide regarding forensic and scientific evidence, or what types of specialized training they receive on scientific methods or evidence. Whether law schools have added forensic science courses to their curricula in recent years was not known. In order to better understand the answers to those questions, in late 2019 and Spring 2020, we conducted searches to identify course offerings in forensic sciences at U.S. law schools and then surveyed their instructors, asking for syllabi and information concerning how the courses are offered, how regularly, and with what coverage.

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May 4, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Teaching | Permalink

University Of Illinois Symposium: President Biden’s First 100 Days

Symposium, President Biden’s First 100 Days, 2021 U. Ill. L. Rev. Online 1-219:

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May 4, 2021 in Conferences, Legal Education, Tax, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

Graduating Law School In The Time of COVID? Be Patient And Persistent.

Law.com, Graduating Law School in the Time of COVID? Be Patient and Persistent.:

Are you about to graduate law school into a, well, interesting economy? I’ve been there. I graduated from law school during the Great Recession. In my experience, there was nothing great about it. When I graduated, the employment rate for new lawyers was at an all-time low. The chance of making the income you once expected had vanished. Suddenly, you were willing to do work for free just to get experience. It was a horrible time to be a law school graduate, but, as is commonly said, you grow from each challenge.

For you 3L students and recent graduates, I am sorry that you are in a similar boat. But, there is a bright side.

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May 4, 2021 in Legal Education | Permalink

Zero Economic Value Humans?

Hilary G. Escajeda (Denver), Zero Economic Value Humans?, 10 Wake Forest J.L. & Pol'y 129 (2020):

The decades ahead will bring forth a convergence of increasingly capable technologies, such as artificial intelligence and robotics, that will fundamentally reshape and transform work environments by replacing average humans with ordinary job skills. Klaus Schwab, Founder of the World Economic Forum and author of The Fourth Industrial Revolution, perceptively identifies this impending paradigm shift and argues these technologies will challenge policymakers to “think strategically about the forces of disruption and innovation shaping our future.”

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May 4, 2021 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

IRS Seeks Grant Applications For Funding Low Income Taxpayer Clinics

LITC

The IRS has announced (IR-2021-100) that it is accepting grant applications through June 18 for Low Income Taxpayer Clinics for the 2022 grant cycle (Jan. 1 - Dec. 31, 2022):

The LITC Program is a federal grant program administered by the Office of the Taxpayer Advocate at the IRS, which is led by National Taxpayer Advocate (NTA) Erin M. Collins. LITCs can make a tremendous impact on the lives of taxpayers, as detailed in this recent blog from the NTA:  Not all Superheroes Wear Capes: Join the Low Income Taxpayer Clinic Community and Be a Hero to Taxpayers Most in Need.

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May 4, 2021 in IRS News, Tax | Permalink

Monday, May 3, 2021

Layser: A Spatial Analysis Of Place-Based Tax Incentives

Michelle D. Layser (Illinois; Google Scholar), Subsidizing Gentrification: A Spatial Analysis of Place-Based Tax Incentives, 11 UC Irvine L. Rev. ___ (2021):

Place-based tax incentives, such as the New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) and Opportunity Zones incentives, are often used to promote investment in low-income neighborhoods. However, not all low-income neighborhoods have an equal need for investment subsidies. Subsidies for investment in already gentrifying neighborhoods, for example, may reflect inefficient inframarginal investment, and they may lead to inequitable outcomes. Critics fear that when gentrifying neighborhoods are eligible for tax incentives, they will draw investment away from the neighborhoods that need it most. However, few studies have provided empirical analysis to assess whether these concerns have merit. Through a novel geospatial analysis of the location patterns of tax-subsidized projects, this Article provides new evidence that critics’ concerns are justified.

This Article analyzes 15 years of NMTC data to explore the location patterns of tax-subsidized projects in 20 U.S. cities.

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May 3, 2021 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

The Wealth Hoarders: How Billionaires Pay Millions To Hide Trillions

Chuck Collins (Institute for Policy Studies), The Wealth Hoarders: How Billionaires Pay Millions to Hide Trillions (2021):

Wealth Horders 3For decades, a secret army of tax attorneys, accountants and wealth managers has been developing into the shadowy Wealth Defense Industry. These “agents of inequality” are paid millions to hide trillions for the richest 0.01%.

In this book, inequality expert Chuck Collins interviews the leading players and gives a unique insider account of how this industry is doing everything it can to create and entrench hereditary dynasties of wealth and power. He exposes the inner workings of these “agents of inequality,” showing how they deploy anonymous shell companies, family offices, offshore accounts, opaque trusts, and sham transactions to ensure the world’s richest pay next to no tax. He ends by outlining a robust set of policies that democratic nations can implement to shut down the Wealth Defense Industry for good.

This shocking exposé of the insidious machinery of inequality is essential reading for anyone wanting the inside story of our age of plutocratic plunder and stashed cash.

It is no great surprise anymore that we are facing the greatest crisis in income and wealth inequality that we have seen since the 1920s. What is shocking is the sprawling system of corruption that the ultra-rich have designed in order to hoard their unimaginable wealth at the expense of everyone else. Chuck's book reveals not only the inner workings of this elaborate scheme to hide more than $20 trillion in wealth, it offers us a blueprint for reversing this obscene inequality so we can take back our democracy and ensure that our government works for everybody—not just the billionaire class and wealthy campaign contributors.
Senator Bernie Sanders

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May 3, 2021 in Book Club, Tax, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

NCBE Sets The Record Straight On Future Bar Exams And Online Proctoring

Hulett H. Askew, Judith A. Gundersen, Suzanne K. Richards & Hon. Cynthia L. Martin (NCBE), Future Bar Exams and Online Proctoring—Setting the Record Straight:

In response to a recent Insight, we want to clarify how future bar exams will be administered. As widely publicized earlier this year, and as reported by Bloomberg Law, the National Conference of Bar Examiners’ (NCBE) testing task force has made clear that the next generation of the bar exam will be administered in-person on computers and monitored live by on-site proctors.

For reference, “remote” and “online” testing both refer to a method of test administration in which applicants take an exam on their own computers at home (or in another private location, such as a law school or office). Remote testing, as NCBE uses the term, requires an internet connection only at certain times—for example, to enter the exam password and take an identity verification photograph at the beginning of the exam, or to upload exam answer files and monitoring videos at the end of the exam—while online testing requires internet connectivity throughout an exam.

“Computer-based” testing means only that the exam itself can be taken on a computer instead of with paper and pencil. The next generation of the bar exam will be a computer-based test administered either at computer testing centers managed by a suitable vendor or on candidates’ laptops at jurisdiction-managed test sites. ...

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May 3, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

NY Times: Debate Erupts At Rutgers Law School After White Student Quotes Racial Slur In Full Version Of Case Assigned In Excerpted Form By Professor

New York Times, Debate Erupts at N.J. Law School After White Student Quotes Racial Slur:

Rutgers (2021)The controversy over the use of a racial slur that has embroiled a public law school in New Jersey began with a student quoting from case law during a professor’s virtual office hours.

The first-year student at Rutgers Law School in Newark, who is white, repeated a line from a 1993 legal opinion, including the epithet, when discussing a case.

What followed has jolted the state institution, unleashing a polarizing debate over the constitutional right to free speech on campus and the power of a hateful word at a moment of intense national introspection over race, equity and systemic bias.

The tension comes at a time of heightened sensitivity to offensive words on college and law school campuses, where recent uses of slurs by professors during lessons have resulted in discipline and dismissal.

In early April, in response to the incident, a group of Black first-year students at Rutgers Law began circulating a petition calling for the creation of a policy on racial slurs and formal, public apologies from the student and the professor, Vera Bergelson.

“At the height of a ‘racial reckoning,’ a responsible adult should know not to use a racial slur regardless of its use in a 1993 opinion,” states the petition, which has been signed by law school students and campus organizations across the country.

“We vehemently condemn the use of the N-word by the student and the acquiescence of its usage,” the petition says. ...

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May 3, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Early Signs Portend A Continued Law School Admissions Boom In Fall 2022

Following up on last week's post on the booming Fall 2021 law school admissions season:  Mike Spivey (Spivey Consulting), Brief Application Volume/LSAT Update and a Glimpse at Next Cycle:

We also have our first glimpse of the 2021-2022 application cycle. Or rather, our first solid data-based glimpse. June 2021 LSAT registrations closed as of midnight yesterday. 42,321 people are signed up to take the test. That's a heck of a lot [a 300% increase over the final June 2020 registrants]. Now obviously many of them will drop out, and that number will go down — potentially a good deal. Still, even if one in three registrants drop out, June 2021 will be the largest June LSAT since 2010. . . .  [S]uch a large number of potential June takers could be an ominous sign for 2021-2022 applicants, and an encouraging one for law schools hopeful that this wasn't a one year blip in applicant volume.

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May 3, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Kennedy & Volokh: The New Taboo — Quoting Epithets In The Classroom And Beyond

Randall Kennedy (Harvard) & Eugene Volokh (UCLA), The New Taboo: Quoting Epithets in the Classroom and Beyond, 49 Cap. U. L. Rev. 1 (2021):

Is it wrong for professors to quote epithets in class or in other educational settings? In law schools, this question has arisen as to [the n-word] when a [Wake Forest] professor quoted the defendants’ speech from a leading First Amendment case in a First Amendment class; a [UCLA] professor (one of us) quoted the facts in a rare example of a hate speech prosecution, also in a First Amendment class; a [UC-Irvine] professor teaching a class on legal problem-solving quoted the word in a discussion of Facebook’s implementation of its “hate speech” policy; a [Emory] professor teaching a torts class quoted the facts of a case involving emotional distress and wrongful discharge claims; a [Stanford] professor teaching a class about legal history quoted a statement attributed to Patrick Henry; a [DePaul] professor posed a hypothetical about provocation and self-defense in a criminal law class; a guest [Stanford] lecturer in a class on tobacco regulation displayed and quoted copies of racist advertising; and a professor at Emory University, in discussing discrimination against Native Americans, mentioned that ... had been used as slurs against them. ...

Moved by a recognition that the prevalence of the slurs in American life is an indication of how common hatred of blacks and gays has been and continues to be, and apprehensive about the slurs’ toxicity even in the classroom, some students, professors, and administrators maintain that any enunciation of them is wrongful no matter the context or the intention of the speaker. They maintain that giving voice to those epithets is so hurtful to some that no pedagogical aim is worth the pain inflicted. Thus, some teachers never vocalize the terms, either talking around them or substituting a euphemism such as “the n-word.” ...

There are, however, other words with toxic associations: KKK. Lynching. Nazi. Auschwitz. Genocide. Rape. They are not epithets, but much in life is worse than epithets. Indeed, one reason sometimes given for eschewing any vocalizing of epithets is precisely their association with bigoted violence. The words we just mentioned are at least as clearly associated with the cruelest forms of violence. Yet they are routinely discussed without expurgation or euphemism, especially in the university (and in our own department, law).

We believe the same should be true for epithets. The academy, we believe, should be a place where people discuss the facts—whether of a controversy, a historical document, or a precedent—as they have actually occurred.

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May 3, 2021 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink

Lesson From The Tax Court: The Multiple Paths For Loss Deductions

Camp (2017)Section 165 permits certain groups of taxpayers to deduct certain losses of capital under certain circumstances.  I emphasize to my students that §165 is, at bottom, a capital recovery provision.  There is no deduction for lost opportunities, lost profits, or lost pets.  It's only for losses of capital “sustained during the taxable year and not compensated for by insurance or otherwise.” §165(a).

Ronnie S. Baum and Teresa K. Baum v. Commissioner, T.C. Memo. 2021-46 (Apr. 27, 2021) (Judge Kerrigan) teaches a nice basic lesson on the multiple ways taxpayers can deduct the loss of money under §165.  There the taxpayers claimed to have lost money in a stock purchase deal gone bad.  They tried to claim a theft loss deduction of $300,000 for tax year 2015.  The Tax Court said no.  The lesson I see is not so much about the rules for theft losses.  Rather, the reasons why these taxpayers lost gives a nice lesson in the various options taxpayers have in deducting losses.  It's a woulda-coulda-shoulda lesson.  In fact, I think the Baums may still be able to get the deduction, for a different reason in a different year.  I may be wrong!  I invite your thoughts below the fold.

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May 3, 2021 in Bryan Camp, New Cases, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Practice And Procedure, Tax Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (1)

TaxProf Blog Weekend Roundup

Sunday, May 2, 2021

Notre Dame Law School Dean Defends Exploding Deposit Deadline For Incoming 1Ls

Following up on my previous post, A ‘Bank Run’ At Notre Dame Law School:  Indiana Lawyer, Notre Dame Law Dean Embraces Admission Practice Others Call ‘Unnecessary, Callous’:

Notre Dame Law (2020)In response to criticism about its 2021 admission process, which has been dubbed by one social media user as the “seat deposit scandal,” Notre Dame Law School Dean G. Marcus Cole is calling the approach a success and praising the process as yielding an incoming class that is strongly committed to the institution.

“This was so successful and worked so well, we’re going to maintain this exact same approach to our admissions from now on,” Cole told Indiana Lawyer.

According to the dean, the class of 2024 will be the most diverse in the law school’s history with about a third being students of color. Also, the class has a median LSAT score of 168, which is three points higher than the median 165 recorded just two years ago.

Describing the admission process as a “roaring success,” Cole said, “We are very pleased with the composition of the incoming class.”

However, the approach created a stir on social media. Applicants vented their dismay when they discovered the deadline for submitting their deposits had passed and despite having been admitted with scholarship offers, they found themselves on the wait list.

In turn, Kyle McEntee, executive direct of Law School Transparency, wrote about the situation for Above the Law in an article entitled “Chaos Reigns.”  Other articles followed in Inside Higher Ed and on Law.com.

Cole asserted the articles are “completely inaccurate.”

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May 2, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Renewal: Anticipating The New Thing God Is Doing

TaxProf Blog op-ed:  Renewal Series: Anticipating the New Thing God is Doing, by Chalak Richards (Pepperdine) (originally published in Pepperdine Spiritual Life Blogcast):

Chalak"If you say you are grateful one more time, I'm going to reach through this screen and grab you!"

I couldn't believe I said those words to one of my dearest friends, but I did. I knew things hadn't gone the way she wanted: a year into a pandemic that kept us separated from family and friends, another celebration through a screen. I wanted us to be real — to acknowledge that this year has felt like exile and captivity.

In the middle of these feelings, I've felt more empathy towards the ancient, exiled Israelites than ever before. I've come to understand in a different way the feelings of loneliness and desperation that come with being so far away from the people we love, the places that bring comfort, and even more, the visions we have for our lives. I've been told that deliverance is coming, but it seems slow.

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May 2, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

48 Cardozo Law Professors Urge Parent Yeshiva University To Reverse Its 'Wrong And Unlawful' Ban On LGBTQ+ Student Group

Letter From 48 Cardozo Law Professors To Yeshiva University President (Apr. 27, 2021):

Cardozo (2015)As members of the Yeshiva University community, the forty-eight undersigned faculty members of Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law write to express our dismay at the University’s continued refusal not to allow undergraduate students to form a group devoted to building community and support for LGBTQ+ students. We appreciate your expressions of empathy and, as described in a fall 2020 memo “Fostering an Inclusive Community,” the establishment of measures to address issues of diversity and inclusion. But the continued refusal to recognize the student organization is hurtful to our students and other community members and will seriously damage the reputation of the University’s graduate and undergraduate programs. It is also wrong and unlawful.

Discrimination against a student organization solely because of its focus on LGBTQ+ issues has no place in a University that holds itself out as a community committed to the flourishing and equal dignity of all its members. We have a collective obligation to ensure that each student is supported and given the opportunity to thrive, and refusing to extend access to University facilities to this student group on the same terms all other student groups enjoy will prevent LGBTQ+ students, together with their allies, from creating the space to find that support. Particularly as our students grapple already with the effects of a catastrophic public health crisis and deepening racial divide, insisting that LGBTQ+ students bear this avoidable additional insult is hard to fathom. Indeed, at Cardozo, where LGBTQ+ students are a vital part of our community, with an active and engaged student group, no such discrimination is practiced or tolerated. We find it unacceptable that our parent University would adopt such a hurtful policy towards the undergraduate student body.

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May 2, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

The Top Five New Tax Papers

There is a bit of movement in this week's list of the Top 5 Recent Tax Paper Downloads, with a new paper debuting on the list at #1:

  1. SSRN Logo (2018)[461 Downloads]  Taxing the American Emigrant, by Laura Snyder (Taxpayer Advocacy Panel)
  2. [400 Downloads]  Ten Truths About Tax Havens — Inclusion And The ‘Liberia’ Problem, by Steven Dean (Brooklyn) & Attiya Waris (Nairobi)
  3. [354 Downloads]  Tax Treaty Entitlement and Fiscally Transparent Entities: Improvements or Unnecessary Complications?, by Leopoldo Parada (University of Leeds; Google Scholar)
  4. [337 Downloads]  Insider Giving, by Sureyya Burcu Avci (Sabanci University; Google Scholar), Cindy A. Schipani (Michigan; Google Scholar), H. Nejat Seyhun (Michigan; Google Scholar) & Andrew Verstein (UCLA; Google Scholar),
  5. [250 Downloads]  Redistribution For Realists, by Zachary Liscow (Yale; Google Scholar)

May 2, 2021 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Top 5 Downloads | Permalink

Saturday, May 1, 2021

This Week's Ten Most Popular TaxProf Blog Posts

Human Rights Watch Fires General Counsel After She Used N-word In Columbia Class

Law.com, Human Rights Watch GC Loses Her Job After Using the N-Word Repeatedly in a Lecture:

Columbia Human RightsIt’s happened again. Another in-house lawyer has lost her job after using the N-word during an academic hate speech discussion.

This time it was Dinah PoKempner, a prominent human rights lawyer and the now-former general counsel for Human Rights Watch, a New York-based international research and advocacy agency.

While serving as an adjunct professor at the Institute for the Study of Human Rights at Columbia University, PoKempner, who is white, repeatedly used the N-word while discussing “comparative legal treatment of hate speech” during a Zoom lecture. ...

The incident occurred April 1, and Human Rights Watch terminated PoKempner on April 11. ...

Asked if Berman would continue teaching at Columbia, a university representative noted that adjunct professors do not have continued employment when a semester ends. The semester ended last week.

“A student complaint filed with our Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action is under review. We are very clear that classroom discussions must be conducted with civility, tolerance and respect,” stated the representative, who did not provide additional comment. ...

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May 1, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Morse: Important Developments In Federal Income Taxation (2020)

Edward A. Morse (Creighton), Important Developments in Federal Income Taxation (2020) (142 pages):

This outline covers significant developments in federal income taxation arising during the past year. It offers a selective treatment focusing on items likely to interest practitioners and advisors within a broad range of professional practices.Tax Court decisions (regular and memorandum) and appellate cases receive greater attention on account of their legal significance; Tax Court summary opinions and unreported appellate cases are omitted. Other trial decisions in the district court and claims court receive only limited attention due to their comparatively limited impact on tax law development. A few noteworthy administrative developments are also included, but such discussion is not comprehensive.

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May 1, 2021 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

Why Has My University Thrived During COVID-19? We Have A Long-Serving Dean And Provost

Chronicle of Higher Education op-ed:  The Relief of Consistent Leadership, by Terry McGlynn (California State University-Dominguez Hills):

Dean ProvostSo much about 2020-21 has been so difficult, yet from my perspective as a professor, our campus seems more effective and functional than ever.

How can that be? The pandemic has stretched us thin, remote teaching and learning has innumerable drawbacks and challenges, and, like many institutions across higher education, we are looking at enrollment declines that might spell budgetary disaster. Those circumstances don’t exactly convey that we’re in our salad days.

Nevertheless, there’s one big reason I am upbeat: My university is finally experiencing a stretch of consistent leadership. After a decade of constant administrative turnover, we’ve had the same dean for five years and the same provost for four. They are both student centered and good at their jobs. It’s an odd feeling — we’re just not used to having good leaders stick around.

Like so many other regional public universities, my institution has been chronically plagued by administrators who have treated the place — and its students, staff, and faculty members — as a personal step ladder for their own careers. Either they were looking to break things as soon as possible so they could proclaim victory and quickly move on, or they only planned to stay around long enough to get a bigger retirement check.

Three years ago, when I wrote about this problem in The Chronicle — “Why Relentless Administrative Turnover Makes It Hard for Us to Do Our Jobs” — I felt exhausted by our revolving leadership door. At that point, we had seen eight provosts over the course of 10 years (including the interim ones, some of whom lasted longer than the actual hires) and four “permanent” deans in my college.

It’s hard to assess whether any of the short-timers actually could have been good at the job, because they weren’t focused on the long term. Every fall convocation would bring a new set of initiatives. The experienced folks knew to wait for those plans to wilt and be replaced when yet another new administration took office. Even when the plans were good, we knew they wouldn’t be around long enough to become institutionalized.

Our current administration, however, started out on a different tack. The new provost and dean — recognizing that it takes a few years for strategic plans to yield genuine dividends — opted to keep the most effective ideas of their predecessors and then steadily build on those successes.

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May 1, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Friday, April 30, 2021

Weekly SSRN Tax Article Review And Roundup: Layser Reviews Work Hours And Income Tax Cuts By Simkovic And Allen

This week, Michelle Layser (Illinois; Google Scholar) reviews Michael Simkovic (USC; Google Scholar) and Eric J. Allen (UC-Riverside; Google Scholar), Work Hours & Income Tax Cuts: Evidence from Federal-State Tax Interactions, 25 Fla Tax Rev. __ (2021).

Layser (2018)

When the Biden Administration announced its plans to increase both capital gains tax rates and ordinary income tax rates on high-income earners, opponents predictably responded that doing so would reduce economic growth. This objection is supported, in part, by the familiar theory that taxpayers respond to increased taxes on labor by simply working less. Conversely, tax cuts are expected to increase labor effort since the after-tax returns are greater. But the reality is more complicated. As Professors Michael Simkovic and Eric J. Allen explain, “[t]he effect of an income tax cut on work hours can be difficult to predict because tax cuts often produce two opposite effects: a substitution effect, which encourages work, and an income or wealth effect which discourages work.”

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April 30, 2021 in Michelle Layser, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Weekly SSRN Roundup, Weekly Tax Roundup | Permalink

Tax Policy In The Biden Administration

Weekly Legal Education Roundup

ABA Rejects Florida Coastal Law School's Teach-Out Plan

Following up on my previous post, U.S. Department Of Education Terminates Florida Coastal Law School's Eligibility For Federal Student Loans; ABA Demands Teach-Out Plan:  ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar, Notice of Executive Committee Decision — Florida Coastal School of Law Teach-Out Plan (April 2021):

Florida Coastal (2017)At a meeting on April 21, 2021, the Executive Committee of the Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar of the American Bar Association (the “Executive Committee”) considered the Teach-Out Plan submitted by the Florida Coastal School of Law (the “Law School”).

After careful review of the Law School’s submission, the Executive Committee rejected the TeachOut Plan as filed because the Law School did not include several required items and did not provide sufficient detail as to other items.

As provided by Rule 29(k)(2), the Law School is directed to revise and resubmit the Teach-Out Plan on or before May 7, 2021. The revised Teach-Out Plan will be considered by the Council at its May 13-15, 2021, meeting.

ABA Journal, Florida Coastal’s Proposed Teach-Out Plan Dinged by ABA's Legal Ed Section Because of Lack of Details:

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April 30, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

At Least 38 Law Schools (Thus Far) Are Requiring Students To Be Vaccinated To Be On Campus In The Fall

Karen Sloan (Law.com), Returning to Campus in the Fall Will Require COVID-19 Vaccine at Many Law Schools:

If you’re a law student who wants to return to campus next fall, there’s a good chance you’ll need to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

More than 100 colleges and universities have announced vaccine mandates for all students in recent weeks, and that list is expanding rapidly. Among the institutions that have already made the call to require students to be vaccinated before they can attend in-person next academic year, at least 38 are home to American Bar Association-accredited law schools. They include Yale, Stanford, Columbia, New York University, Georgetown, George Washington, the University of Pennsylvania, Emory and the University of Michigan.

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April 30, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

ITPF Hosts Conference Today On A New International Tax Architecture Based On The OECD Blueprints

The International Tax Policy Forum hosts a conference today on "Whither International Taxation: A New International Tax Architecture Based on the OECD Blueprints?" (program):

ITPFThe architecture for international tax relations among developed economies was established almost 100 years ago by the League of Nations. Over the last few years, however, historic concepts regarding jurisdiction to tax, attribution of profits to permanent establishments, and arm’s-length pricing have come under pressure. Notable developments include: the UK diverted profits tax, digital services taxes and levies enacted or proposed in over 40 countries, and the US Base Erosion and Anti-abuse Tax (BEAT).

In October of last year, the OECD/G20 Inclusive Framework on Base Erosion and Profit Shifting released two Blueprints proposing new guidelines for the taxation of multinational enterprises (MNEs). The Pillar One Blueprint reallocates the right to tax certain high-margin income of MNEs on the basis of sales or users. Pillar Two sets forth a model minimum tax on the income of foreign subsidiaries along with rules for denying deductions (or imposing withholding tax) on payments not subject to a minimum rate of tax in the payee jurisdiction. The Biden Administration has endorsed the OECD/G20 project and agreement on open issues is targeted for the middle of this year.

This conference brings together experts from academia, government, and private practice to share their views on challenges to the international tax architecture and the OECD Blueprints. 

Overview of the OECD Blueprints:

  • Mary Bennett (Baker McKenzie)

Are New Rules Needed for Taxing International Income?:

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April 30, 2021 in Conferences, Tax, Tax Conferences, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

60% Of Colleges Won't Require The SAT Or ACT Next Year

1,400+ Accredited, 4-Year Colleges & Universities with ACT/SAT-Optional Testing Policies for Fall, 2022 Admissions:

This list includes bachelor degree granting institutions that do not require recent U.S. high school graduates applying to start classes in fall 2022 to submit ACT/SAT results.

Inside Higher Ed, 1,400 4-Year Colleges Won't Require SAT or ACT Next Year:

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April 30, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Difficulty Of Care: Aligning Tax And Health Care Policy For Family Caregiving

Christine Speidel (Villanova), Difficulty of Care: Aligning Tax and Health Care Policy for Family Caregiving, 52 Loy. U. Chi. L.J. 503 (2021):

In the United States millions of people live with disabilities, many of whom require assistance with activities of daily life to remain in their homes and communities. However, financial support for this assistance is limited. Many caregivers forgo working outside the home in order to provide care to a family member. And while state and federal programs provide some compensation for caregiving, caregivers frequently face problems including poverty, lack of health insurance, lack of Social Security and Medicare credits, and lack of retirement savings. Our nation’s paltry support for caregiving threatens the practical ability of people with disabilities to choose community integration over institutional living.

This Essay examines the little-known and little-used “difficulty of care” gross income exclusion under I.R.C. § 131 as a possible vehicle to improve this picture. While § 131 originated as an exclusion for foster payments, it was reinterpreted in IRS Notice 2014-7 to apply to contemporary programs for in-home services and supports. Unfortunately, the impact of this reinterpretation was complicated and hotly contested. This Essay juxtaposes the evolution of home and community-based health care services, the Affordable Care Act, and the evolution of tax expenditures for low-income taxpayers to explain how the tax and health care systems collided in the aftermath of Notice 2014-7.

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April 30, 2021 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

Thursday, April 29, 2021

Hemel Presents Regulation And Redistribution With Lives In The Balance Virtually Today At Penn State

Daniel Hemel (Chicago; Google Scholar) presents Regulation and Redistribution with Lives in the Balance, 88 U. Chi. L. Rev. __ (2021), virtually at Penn State-University Park today as part of its Faculty Works in Progress Series:

Hemel_daniel (1)A central question in law and economics is whether non-tax legal rules should be designed solely to maximize efficiency or whether they also should account for concerns about the distribution of income. This question takes on particular importance in the context of cost-benefit analysis. Federal agencies apply cost-benefit analysis when writing regulations that generate multibillion dollar impacts on the US economy and profound effects on millions of Americans’ lives. In the past, agency cost-benefit analyses typically have ignored the income-distributive consequences of those regulations. That may soon change: On his first day in office, President Biden instructed his Office of Management and Budget to propose procedures for incorporating distributive considerations into cost-benefit analysis, thus bringing renewed relevance to a long-running law-and-economics debate.

This article explores what it might mean in practice for agencies to incorporate distributive considerations into cost-benefit analysis.

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April 29, 2021 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Blank Presents Automated Legal Guidance Virtually Today At Queen Mary

Joshua Blank (UC-Irvine; Google Scholar) presents Automated Legal Guidance (with Leigh Osofsky (North Carolina; Google Scholar)), 106 Cornell L. Rev. 179 (2020), virtually at the Institute of Tax Law at the Centre for Commercial Law at Queen Mary University of London School of Law today hosted by Bernard Scheider and Christiana HJI Panayi:

Blank520Through online tools, virtual assistants, and other technology, governments increasingly rely on artificial intelligence to help the public understand and apply the law. The Internal Revenue Service, for example, encourages taxpayers to seek answers regarding various tax credits and deductions through its online “Interactive Tax Assistant.” The U.S. Army directs individuals with questions about enlistment to its virtual guide, “Sgt. Star.” And the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services suggests that potential green card holders and citizens speak with its interactive chatbot, “Emma.” Through such automated legal guidance, the government seeks to provide advice to the public at a fraction of the cost of employing human beings to perform these same tasks.

This Article offers one of the first critiques of these new systems of artificial intelligence.

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April 29, 2021 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Oei & Ring: 'Slack' In The Data Age

Shu-Yi Oei (Boston College; Google Scholar) & Diane M. Ring (Boston College; Google Scholar), 'Slack' in the Data Age, 73 Ala. L. Rev. ___ (2021):

This Article examines how increasingly ubiquitous data and information affect the role of “slack” in the law. Slack is the informal latitude to break the law without sanction. Pockets of slack exist for various reasons, including information imperfections, enforcement resource constraints, deliberate nonenforcement of problematic laws, politics, biases, and luck. Slack is important in allowing flexibility and forbearance in the legal system, but it also risks enabling selective and uneven enforcement. Increasingly available data is now upending slack, causing it to contract and exacerbating the risks of unfair enforcement.

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April 29, 2021 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

Pushing The Envelope: How A Handful Of Innovative Law Professors Delivered Distance Education In The Age Of Langdell

Bernard J. Hibbitts (Pittsburgh), Pushing the Envelope: How a Handful of Innovative Law Professors Delivered Distance Education in the Age of Langdell:

This is the introduction and first section of a much longer paper on university law professors’ brief and ultimately doomed dalliance with correspondence legal education in the 1870s and 1880s before multiple for-profit concerns enthusiastically adopted the method in the 1890s. In this segment I outline the trajectory of the paper and then discuss the legal, social and educational circumstances that led a few maverick law professors at Yale and later Columbia to entertain the radical notion of teaching non-resident students by mail at roughly the same time that Christopher Columbus Langdell was developing the case method at Harvard.

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April 29, 2021 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink

Challenges And Opportunities: Intersectional Leadership In Law Schools

Sudha Setty (Dean, Western New England; Google Scholar), Challenges and Opportunities: Intersectional Leadership in Law Schools, 23 U. Pa. J.L. & Soc. Change 363 (2020):

In 2019, the Author organized with Maria Isabel Medina and participated as a panelist in the Roundtable on Intersectionality and Strengths and Challenges in Leadership at the Fourth National People of Color Legal Scholarship Conference. This Essay is one of four in the cited article.

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April 29, 2021 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink

Kuehn: Implementation Of The ABA’s New Experiential Training Requirement

TaxProf Blog op-ed:  Implementation of the ABA’s New Experiential Training Requirement: More Whimper Than Bang, by Robert Kuehn (Associate Dean for Clinical Education, Washington University):

Kuehn (2019)When the ABA adopted a new experiential training requirement in 2014, there was hope it would spur law schools to significantly change the way they prepared students for legal practice. The new six-credit requirement in ABA Standard 303(a)(3) was less than the fifteen credits proposed by some educators and did not include a mandate for a law clinic or externship experience. Nonetheless, the six credits were an improvement over the ABA’s previous “substantial instruction” in professional skills requirement.[1] But data from the initial implementation of the new experiential requirement suggest its effect has been more of a whimper than the bang some hoped for, with little evidence it has spurred legal education to enhance the ability of students to get hands-on training in professional skills.

Law schools are required to report annually to the ABA on the number of seats simply “available” to students in law clinic and simulation courses and the number of field placement/externship positions actually “filled.”[2] Data from the first two years of the new six-credit requirement in 2019 and 2020 show no increase in the positions available to students in clinics or simulations and even a decrease in actual enrollment in field placement courses, when normalized to address fluctuations in nationwide law school enrollment. While some law schools have made important changes to their curriculum, the graph below indicates that, on average, schools have not reported positive changes in law clinic, field placement, or simulation data since the ABA’s adoption of the new experiential standard in 2014. The number of clinic seats available per J.D. student in 2014 was 0.27 and still only 0.28 in 2020; field placements decreased from 0.26 in 2014 to 0.24 in 2020; and seats available in simulations likewise decreased over the six-year period from 1.22 to 1.12 per student.

Kuehn 1

Source: ABA 509 Required Disclosures

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April 29, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Which Is More Difficult: The CPA Exam Or The Bar Exam?

Accounting Today, Which Is More Difficult: The CPA Exam or the Bar?:

You might not believe this, but some accountants and attorneys compete for who had the tougher journey to pass their credentialing exam. I sat for the Bar Exam a few years ago and passed on my first try after finishing law school at the age of 58. However, my master’s degree is in accounting, so two years after passing the bar, I decided I might as well try to obtain my CPA license by sitting for the CPA Exam as well. Of course, everyone thought I was a bit crazy, and that is something I expected. What I did not expect was the debate surrounding which exam is harder. ...

It had not occurred to me that sitting for both exams would create a competition among my highly educated colleagues as to who had it worse in their path toward licensure. But it did. So, here is my honest assessment of the two exams. ...

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April 29, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education, Tax, Tax News | Permalink

Race Becomes Crisis Point At University Of Memphis Law School

Memphis Flyer, Race Becomes Crisis Point at U of M Law School:

Memphis Logo (2021)A major potential revolt is brewing in the University of Memphis Law School, based on what Black students and a senior African-American faculty member see as continuing racial injustice on the part of the institution.

The disaffected faculty member is Alena Allen, the wife of Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris, and she has announced an intention to resign to underscore her dissatisfaction with a system in which she says “[f]aculty-favored Black candidates have been denied opportunities to lead.”

Allen’s pending resignation has prompted the University chapter of the National Black Law Students Association to charge the university with “racial bias” and to put forth a series of demands of the administration. This document drew a further reproach in the form of an anonymous email from a “concerned faculty member” who calls upon the rest of the faculty to support the student demands so as to avoid “a catastrophic crisis at the law school.

In her letter of resignation — written, she said, “in the wake of George Floyd’s murder” — Allen, an associate professor and director of faculty research, reviews several instances in which she says credentialed Black applicants were bypassed for promotion and, in one case, for the position of dean, in favor of less well-qualified white applicants.

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April 29, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Stanley Surrey, The 1981 US Model, And The Single Tax Principle

Reuven S. Avi-Yonah (Michigan; Google Scholar) & Gianluca Mazzoni (S.J.D. (International Tax) 2020, Michigan), Stanley Surrey, the 1981 US Model, and the Single Tax Principle:

2021 marks the 40th anniversary of the 1981 U.S. Model Tax Treaty as well as the 5th anniversary of the 2016 US Model Tax Treaty. The first author has repeatedly argued that the 1981 Model gave life to the single tax principle (“STP”). The 2016 Model updates effectively implemented the principle that cross-border income should be taxed once – that is not more and but also not less than once. For example, the 2016 Model does not reduce withholding taxes on payments of highly mobile income that are made to related persons that enjoy low or no taxation with respect to that income under a preferential tax regime. The aim of this article is to identify with relative certainty the origins of the STP. The purpose is to give a systematic and historical interpretation of the STP by looking at the context during which it was purportedly founded.

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April 29, 2021 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Corporate Taxes: Rates Down, Revenues Up

Chris Edwards (Cato Institute), Corporate Taxes: Rates Down, Revenues Up:

U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen recently complained about a “30-year race to the bottom on corporate tax rates,” and is pushing for a higher U.S. rate and a global minimum rate. Yellen wants to make sure that corporate taxes “raise sufficient revenue to invest in essential public goods and respond to crises.” Economist Gabriel Zucman approved of the proposed tax hike, saying corporations should “pay more in taxes, instead of them paying less and less."

Zucman’s claim about “less and less” is incorrect when looking across the major economies in recent decades. ... The chart below shows the average corporate tax rate and average corporate tax revenues as a percent of GDP for 22 countries. The average rate fell from 47 percent in 1980 to 25 percent in 2019. As a consequence, Yellen or Zucman might think that corporate tax revenues would have fallen. But corporate tax revenues are up substantially since the 1980s. Corporate tax revenues for the 22 countries rose from 2.2 percent in 1980 to 3.0 percent in 2019.

Edwards

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April 28, 2021 in Tax, Tax News, Think Tank Reports | Permalink