Paul L. Caron

Wednesday, May 29, 2024

What A Decision On Affirmative Action Teaches About Taxation

Laura Snyder (Stop Extraterritorial American Taxation; Association of Americans Resident Overseas), What a Decision on Affirmative Action Teaches About Taxation, 51 Rutgers L. Rec. 102 (2023):

Rutgers law recordThe U.S. nationality-based tax system discriminates based on nationality (or country of origin). Of all persons living outside the United States, U.S. tax rules classify them based on nationality and subject U.S. nationals to far more onerous federal tax burdens as compared to those who are not U.S. nationals.

Most of those who assume the constitutionality of the current U.S. nationality-based tax system support their assumption by citing the 1924 U.S. Supreme Court decision Cook v. Tait. However, much has changed during the past century. Those changes include a dramatic transformation of our understanding of Equal Protection rights with respect to distinctions based on race and nationality. 

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May 29, 2024 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Daily, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

SMU Symposium: Students For Fair Admissions v. UNC

Symposium, Students for Fair Admissions v. UNC, 77 SMU L. Rev. 3-328 (2024): 

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May 29, 2024 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

McMahon: Moore Support For Tax Exceptionalism—Severability In Reconciliation

Stephanie Hunter McMahon (Cincinnati), Moore Support for Tax Exceptionalism: Severability in Reconciliation:

Moore v. United States provides the impetus to examine the likely result if the Supreme Court selectively invalidates a revenue-raising provision enacted as part of reconciliation legislation. When Congress uses the reconciliation process, it limits its own power to consider proposals that surpass a stated revenue threshold, and any tax that is included is a fundamental component of the resulting congressional compromise. Recognizing this self-imposed rule is critical because, under the severability doctrine, legislative intent is a necessary inquiry for determining whether an unconstitutional provision can be severed from a statute. Consequently, one of two results will occur if the Supreme Court declares the tax at issue in Moore unconstitutional. Either the Court recognizes that the elimination of a revenue-raising provision of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act nullifies the legislative agreement necessary for the bill’s passage and the entire statute falls or, if the Court fails to strike the statute, Moore fundamentally changes the doctrine of severability by cleaving legislative intent from its consideration of whether or not to sever. 

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May 29, 2024 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Daily, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

Frye: The New York Times Law School Rankings

Brian L. Frye (Kentucky; Google Scholar), The Gray Lady’s Guide to Legal Education:

For better or worse, the U.S. News & World Report law school ranking has dominated legal education for decades, by giving prospective law students information about the relative prestige of law schools. But in recent years, it has become largely irrelevant, as prospective law students have begun to look elsewhere when deciding which law school to attend [The Decline & Fall of the US News Rankings]. Apparently, we need a new law school ranking to provide useful information about prestige. This essay provides such a ranking. ...

The methodology of the NYT ranking is simple, but elegant. I created a list of 196 United States law schools by copying it from the U.S. News & World Report “Best Law Schools” 2024 ranking. I then searched for the official name of each law school in the New York Times archive and recorded how many times the law school had been mentioned by name in the past 12 months. I then ranked all 196 law schools according to the number of times they were mentioned by the New York Times in the last 12 months. The law school with the highest number of mentions was ranked number one, the law schools with no mentions were ranked last, and the rest of the law schools came in between.

NYT Law School Rankings

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May 29, 2024 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

SSRN Tax Professor Rankings

SSRN Logo (2018)SSRN has updated its monthly ranking 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.  Here is the new list (through May 1, 2024) 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 (Michigan)  232,561 1 Jonathan Choi (USC) 23,213
2 Daniel Hemel (NYU) 134,318 2 Amy Monahan (Minnesota) 13,095
3 Dan Shaviro (NYU) 129,007 3 Reuven Avi-Yonah (Michigan) 12,089
4 David Gamage (Missouri-Columbia) 129,006 4 Kristin Hickman (Minnesota) 7,125
5 Lily Batchelder (NYU) 128,275 5 Zachary Liscow (Yale) 5,358
6 Darien Shanske (UC-Davis) 120,561 6 David Gamage (Missouri-Columbia) 4,898
7 David Kamin (NYU) 115,088 7 Bridget Crawford (Pace) 4,323
8 Cliff Fleming (BYU)    109,004 8 Daniel Hemel (NYU) 4,195
9 Manoj Viswanathan (UC-SF) 105,212 9 Kim Clausing (UCLA)     3,909
10 Ari Glogower (Northwestern) 104,881 10 Kyle Rozema (Northwestern) 3,783
11 Rebecca Kysar (Fordham) 104,289 11 Louis Kaplow (Harvard) 3,610
12 D. Dharmapala (UC-Berkeley) 53,760 12 D. Dharmapala (UC-Berkeley) 3,567
13 Michael Simkovic (USC) 50,360 13 Darien Shanske (UC-Davis) 3,354
14 Louis Kaplow (Harvard) 43,625 14 Brad Borden (Brooklyn) 3,354
15 Paul Caron (Pepperdine) 42,260 15 Robert Sitkoff (Harvard) 3,018
16 Bridget Crawford (Pace) 40,257 16 Young Ran (Christine) Kim (Cardozo) 2,835
17 Richard Ainsworth (Boston Univ.) 40,063 17 Jordan Barry (USC) 2,798
18 Jonathan Choi (USC) 38,096 18 Ruth Mason (Virginia) 2,768
19 Robert Sitkoff (Harvard) 35,022 19 Michael Simkovic (USC) 2,689
20 Brad Borden (Brooklyn) 33,597 20 David Weisbach (Chicago) 2,626
21 Ruth Mason (Virginia) 32,417 21 John R. Brooks (Fordham) 2,622
22 Amy Monahan (Minnesota) 32,130 22 Richard Ainsworth (Boston Univ.) 2,540
23 Vic Fleischer (UC-Irvine) 31,035 23 Brian Galle (Georgetown) 2,476
24 Ed Kleinbard (USC) 30,265 24 Ellen Aprill (Loyola-L.A.) 2,225
25 Kim Clausing (UCLA) 30,039 25 Dan Shaviro (NYU) 2,144

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May 29, 2024 in Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Daily, Tax Prof Rankings | Permalink

University Of California Professor Quits After Learning Her TA Would Be Paid More Than She Was

Chronicle of Higher Education, After Learning Her TA Would Be Paid More Than She Was, This Lecturer Quit:

University of California LogoLast spring the University of California at Santa Cruz hired Amanda Reiterman to teach two 120-student lecture classes on classical texts and Greek history. Soon after, an administrator from the history department asked Reiterman if she had any suggestions for teaching assistants.

As the instructor for both classes, Reiterman would be responsible for designing the course content, lecturing, and creating lessons plans for discussion sections, while her TAs would provide support by helping with grading or leading discussion sections, for example.

Reiterman, who holds a Ph.D. and has taught as a part-time lecturer at the university since 2020, recommended a former student of hers who had just graduated with a bachelor’s degree and would be pursuing a master’s in education. But when administrators started the hiring process and copied Reiterman on the emails, she was shocked to learn that the teaching assistant would earn $3,236 per month — about $300 over Reiterman’s own monthly pay.

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May 29, 2024 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Disparate Impact In Taxation Meets Disparate Impact Jurisprudence: Burdens vs. Barriers

Steven M. Sheffrin (Tulane; Google Scholar), Disparate Impact in Taxation Meets Disparate Impact Jurisprudence: Burdens vs. Barriers, 43 Va. Tax Rev. 331 (2024):

Virginia tax reviewFollowing years of academic scholarship, the United States Treasury has now embraced disparate racial and ethnic impacts in taxation as an important policy issue. The academic literature highlighted the idea that certain structural features of tax law and the provision of certain benefits through the tax system — tax expenditures — had differential racial or ethnic impacts. This literature focused on the disparate tax burdens on racial and ethnic groups — an analysis of “who gets what” from the tax system.

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May 28, 2024 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Daily, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

Legal Ed News Roundup

When Gender-Affirming Healthcare Becomes Illegal, Will It (Still) Be Tax-Deductible?

Diane Kemker (Southern; Google Scholar), When Gender-Affirming Healthcare Becomes Illegal, Will It (Still) Be Tax-Deductible?, 25 Geo. J. Gender & L. 83 (2023):

Georgetown j of gender and the lawMore than twenty states currently limit or ban access to gender-affirming medical and surgical care for minors, and three more have bans that went into effect on January 1, 2024. For many transgender youths and their families, this will mean crossing state lines to obtain appropriate medical care and make this often-costly care even more expensive. This situation is not only a crisis for the civil rights of trans people; it also presents an undecided issue of federal income tax law. Since 2011, when the IRS acquiesced in O’Donnabhain v. Commissioner, the tax-deductibility of at least some gender-affirming healthcare has seemed secure. But a situation in which medical care deemed deductible for federal income tax purposes is illegal under the state law of the taxpayer’s residence is unprecedented. 

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May 28, 2024 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Daily, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

Frye & Ryan: Entering Law Students Do Not Rely On The U.S. News Rankings In Choosing A Law School

Update: Reuters, U.S. News & World Report's Law School Rankings 'Irrelevant' to Applicants, Study Finds

Brian L. Frye (Kentucky; Google Scholar) & CJ Ryan (Indiana-Maurer; Google Scholar), The Decline & Fall of the US News Rankings:

US News (2023)Have the U.S. News & World Report law school rankings become irrelevant? The ostensible purpose of the US News law school rankings is to give prospective law students convenient and reliable information about the relative quality of law schools and help them decide which law school to attend. Law schools care about the US News rankings because prospective law students care about the US News rankings. A ranking increase means more prestige and better credentialed students, while a ranking decrease means less prestige and students with worse credentials. Accordingly, law schools are jealous of their US News ranking.

Do prospective law students actually care about the US News rankings anymore? We compared changes in law school US News rankings to changes in prospective law student preferences the following year. Those variables should be strongly positively correlated. If a school’s US News ranking increases, prospective law students should prefer it more the following year, and if it decreases, they should prefer it less. But in fact, they were at best very weakly positively correlated, and often they are weakly negatively correlated. In other words, prospective law students appear to be largely indifferent to changes in a school’s US News ranking.

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May 28, 2024 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

Escajeda: Taxation Of Our Collective And Cumulative Cognitive Inheritance

Hilary G. Escajeda (Mississippi College; Google Scholar), Technology Justice: Taxation of Our Collective and Cumulative Cognitive Inheritance, 56 Loy. L. A. L. Rev. 1073 (2023): 

Loyola la law reviewAs artificial intelligence and robotic technologies accelerate economic transformation, outdated property and tax laws will increasingly fail American workers with ordinary skills that perform routine job functions. Because technology may render millions of workers redundant, U.S. policymakers must make significant social, economic, and legal structural changes to (1) improve the lives of average workers, (2) support the economy, and (3) maintain political stability. 

Inspired by Thomas Paine’s Agrarian Justice, this twenty-first century Article argues that “Technology Justice” requires that humans benefit from the cognitive endowment created by our ancestors’ minds.

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May 28, 2024 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Daily, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

WSJ: Civil Rights And Antisemitism At Columbia

Wall Street Journal Weekend Conversation:  Civil Rights and Antisemitism at Columbia University, by Abigail Shrier (A.B. 2000, Columbia; B.Phil. 2002, Oxford; J.D. 2005, Yale; Author, Bad Therapy: Why the Kids Aren’t Growing Up (2024)):

Columbia University (2023)A hostile environment for Jews could mean a cutoff of federal funding and liability under Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

If failure is the best teacher, several Ivy League schools are in contention for the title of 2023-24 Teacher of the Year. In December, Harvard and the University of Pennsylvania distinguished themselves when their presidents failed to give a straight answer to lawmakers who asked if advocating genocide of Jews violated their schools’ disciplinary codes; both presidents soon resigned. But this spring, Columbia might have outdone them.

Protesters set up an unauthorized encampment on South Lawn and defied the administration’s demands to shut it down. “We don’t want no Zionists here!” they screamed into bullhorns. “Globalize the intifada!” Jewish students said they were barred from clubs, assaulted, threatened and spat on for speaking Hebrew.

On April 30, dozens of protesters smashed windows and barricaded themselves inside Hamilton Hall until the New York City Police Department removed them. A week later the university canceled its main graduation ceremony, citing security concerns. ...

Yet maybe there’s hope. In December, Columbia impaneled a Task Force on Antisemitism. It’s a classic bureaucratic response to a crisis—other Ivies have done the same—but one of the panel’s three co-chairmen, David Schizer, speaks of the problem with clarity and force.

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May 28, 2024 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

TaxProf Blog Holiday Weekend Roundup

Monday, May 27, 2024

Happy Memorial Day From Pepperdine

Tom Knudsen (General Counsel, Pepperdine), A Special Memorial Day Message:

Pepperdine Flag

While there are competing claims as to the origins of Memorial Day, Congress has declared its birthplace as Waterloo, New York. There, on May 5, 1866, a year after its conclusion, a small ceremony was held to honor local residents who had fought in the Civil War. Businesses closed, flags were flown at half-staff, and flowers were draped on the graves of those who had fallen. Two years later, in 1868, John A. Logan, a former major general of the Union Army, declared that May 30 — a date supposedly chosen because "the choicest flowers of springtime" would be in bloom throughout the nation — would be a day to decorate "the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country.” In so doing, he stated, “We should guard their graves with sacred vigilance.... Let pleasant paths invite the coming and going of reverent visitors and fond mourners. Let no neglect, no ravages of time, testify to the present or to the coming generations that we have forgotten as a people the cost of a free and undivided republic.”

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May 27, 2024 in Faith, Legal Education, Pepperdine Legal Ed | Permalink

NY Times: Pro-Palestinian Activism Disrupts CUNY Law Graduation; School Says It's ‘Proud Of All 201 Members Of The Class Of 2024’

Following up on my previous posts (links below):  New York Times, Pro-Palestinian Activism Marks CUNY Law Graduation Despite Speaker Ban:

In some ways, a walkout by pro-Palestinian students at the City University of New York School of Law’s commencement on Thursday was part of the unique political moment that has marked the Class of 2024’s graduation season at so many universities.

But CUNY law students were also carrying on something of a graduation tradition at their school.

Students chanted pro-Palestinian messages, waved painted banners as they walked across the stage and turned their backs to the law school’s dean, Sudha Setty, during her remarks onstage at the Apollo Theater in Harlem. Then, after the last degrees had been conferred, dozens of students rose from their seats and walked out, joined by a handful of professors and guests. ...

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May 27, 2024 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

America The Divisible: Local Taxes And The SALT Subsidy

Matthew S. Johnson (J.D. 2023, BYU), Note, America the Divisible: Local Taxes and the SALT Subsidy, 48 BYU L. Rev. 687 (2022):

BYU Law ReviewThe state and local tax (SALT) deduction subsidizes localities in a way that has not fully been appreciated by policymakers, practitioners, or academics. While the state portion of the SALT deduction captures headlines and receives significant attention from academics, the local portion has been overlooked. Local taxes introduce concerns that are not relevant to state-levied taxes. The local tax deduction provides a greater subsidy, per capita, for wealthy localities than it does for economically heterogeneous or less wealthy localities. This Note is the first to quantify the subsidy received by localities through the SALT deduction. 

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May 27, 2024 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Daily, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

FIU Faculty Criticize Law School's Decision To Cut Mic Of Student Speaker At Commencement Who Expressed Political Opinion About Gaza

Jose Gabilondo (Florida Int'l; Google Scholar) & David Walter (Florida Int'l), Silencing of Law School Speaker “Distressing and Ironic”:

FIU Law (2022)As faculty members of the law school, we are disappointed that one of the two elected student speakers at the May 17th Commencement was unceremoniously silenced when he expressed a political opinion about Gaza. As per our tradition, the graduating class picks two speakers to represent the part-time program and the full-time program.  When the part-time speaker mentioned Gaza (to both cheers and boos from the audience), his microphone was cut off.  Whether that act violated the speaker’s Constitutional rights or those of the audience or of the students who had elected him, we cannot say; but the overt censorship of a designated student leader was distressing and ironic, given that legal training seeks to build advocacy skills and civic responsibility.

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May 27, 2024 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Sunday, May 26, 2024

NY Times Op-Ed: Harrison Butker’s Very American Catholic Traditionalism

New York Times Op-Ed:  Harrison Butker’s Very American Traditionalism, by Ross Douthat:

Butker 3Across almost two weeks of controversy over the commencement speech that Kansas City Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker gave at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kan., one of the most useful pieces of commentary came from Kevin Tierney, writing in Catholic World Report. Tierney neither defended nor attacked Butker’s sweeping condemnation of modern secular culture and lukewarm forms of Catholic faith. Instead he identified the kicker’s worldview as part of a distinctive tendency that Tierney calls “DIY traditionalism” — a form of Catholic piety that offers a “radical emphasis on personal accountability, is inherently populist, and has little direct connection to Church authorities.”

A little context: Butker is a Latin Mass Catholic as well as Travis Kelce’s teammate. Benedictine College is a conservative Catholic college that featured prominently in a recent Associated Press report on the rightward turn in American Catholic piety and practice. The most controversial portion of the kicker’s graduation speech, the part that zipped from social media to “The View,” urged the college’s female graduates to ignore the “diabolical lies” that emphasize “promotions and titles” over “your marriage and the children you will bring into this world.”

But the speech did more than just champion “one of the most important titles of all: homemaker” while denouncing “degenerate cultural values” in society at large. Butker also delivered a sweeping condemnation of the church’s bishops, whom he cast as weak-kneed bureaucrats and denounced especially for suspending Masses and disappearing from the lives of the faithful during the pandemic. He criticized priests for being “overly familiar” with their parishioners — “because as my teammate’s girlfriend says, familiarity breeds contempt.” ...

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May 26, 2024 in Faith, Legal Education | Permalink

A Year After Tim Keller's Death, His Humility And Self-Forgetfulness Are His Biggest Legacy For Us

Following up on my post, The Life, Death, And Legacy Of Tim Keller:  Christianity Today, Would Tim Keller Care If We Weren’t Still Talking About Him? Probably Not.:

Keller Memoriam[Tim Keller had] an indifference to fame and to curating an image—something many of us struggle with in the social media era. This is also part of why, I believe, he finished his race so well.

Finishing well in life and ministry has been historically difficult for believers, especially for those in positions of leadership. Think of Gideon or Solomon in the Old Testament, Demas in the New Testament, or, of course, the many church leaders today who have infamously failed to persevere.

The esteem that leaders receive from the Christian community can allow for hidden flaws to grow like rust on the hull of a ship, unnoticed and unaddressed at first. But as these leaders reach greater influence, greater weight is placed on these flaws—which can reach dangerous levels of corrosion—and can often be enough to sink the whole ship of their character and legacy. Yet Keller’s neither corroded nor sank.

As Keller wrote in his best-selling booklet on self-forgetfulness [The Freedom of Self Forgetfulness: The Path to True Christian Joy], “Friends, wouldn’t you want to be a person who does not need honor—nor is afraid of it? Someone who does not lust for recognition—nor, on the other hand, is frightened to death of it?” As someone who seemed neither to lust for recognition nor to be frightened by it, this description seemed to fit Keller well. ...

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May 26, 2024 in Faith, Legal Education | Permalink

WSJ Op-Ed: United Methodist Church Abandons Traditional Christian Teaching On Homosexuality And Marriage

Wall Street Journal Op-Ed: Methodists Keep Up With the Times, by Carl R. Trueman (Grove City College; Author, Crisis of Confidence: Reclaiming the Historic Faith in a Culture Consumed with Individualism and Identity (2024)):

CrisisThe United Methodist Church at its General Conference last week voted by large margins to lift its ban on practicing homosexual clergy and to eliminate from its “Social Principles” the statement that homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching. The decision is significant for what has long been one of the nation’s biggest religious groups, with more than five million members.

As with every other mainline Protestant denomination in America, there has been a long struggle over the church’s traditional teaching that homosexuality is wrong and that marriage is between a man and a woman. The UMC stood its ground for longer than many other denominations, even reaffirming its position and strengthening the penalties for breaking the rules in 2019. That, however, was also the year the UMC adopted a policy that allowed congregations to leave the denomination with their property. Traditionalists did so in droves, with more than 7,000 American churches departing in the past five years, preparing the way for the progressives’ triumph.

The recent changes weren’t surprising. Liberal Protestantism has always been a religious reflection of the broader culture. ... [T]he Methodist church adopted a statement about marriage. It affirms “marriage as a sacred, lifelong covenant that brings two people of faith (adult man and adult woman of consenting age or two adult persons of consenting age) into a union of one another and into deeper relationship with God and the religious community.” But what does “sacred” mean when divorced from the traditional theological and ethical beliefs that underpin Christianity? The description is nothing more than an aesthetic gloss to conceal what’s transpiring: the reduction of marriage to an emotional bond rather than the mysterious union of a man and woman that would normatively lead to the most sacred and godlike of events, the creation of new life.

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May 26, 2024 in Faith, Legal Education | Permalink

Pepperdine Caruso Law Celebrates The Class Of 2024

Commissioning Service:

Commissioning Prayer 2

Commissioning Service Program

Baccalaureate Service:

Baccalaureate 2024

Baccalaureate 2024 Photo 1


On Friday, May 17, the Pepperdine Caruso Law Class of 2024 gathered at Alumni Park to celebrate their commencement with their families, friends, and classmates. It was a joyous occasion for the 400 graduates who earned their Juris Doctor, Master of Laws, Master of Dispute Resolution, and Master of Legal Studies degrees. 

Commencement 2024 1

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May 26, 2024 in Faith, Legal Ed News, Legal Education, Pepperdine Legal Ed | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Top Five New Tax Papers

This week's list of the Top 5 Recent Tax Paper Downloads is the same as last week's list.

  1. SSRN Logo (2018) [884 Downloads]  Don't Blame the Victims: Individuals and the MRT, by Karen Alpert (FixTheTax, John Richardson ( & Laura Snyder (Association of Americans Resident Overseas)
  2. [576 Downloads]  No More Tax-Free Lunch for Billionaires: Closing the Borrowing Loophole, by Edward Fox (Michigan; Google Scholar) & Zachary Liscow (Yale; Google Scholar)
  3. [513 Downloads]  Taxing People, Not Residents, by Yariv Brauner (Florida, Google Scholar) (reviewed by Mirit Eyal-Cohen (Alabama; Google Scholar) here)
  4. [414 Downloads]  Combining VPFs and Tax-Aware Strategies to Diversify Low-Basis Stock, by Joseph Liberman & Nathan Sosner (AQR Capital Management)
  5. [328 Downloads]  Money Moves: Taxing the Wealthy at the State Level, by Brian Galle (Georgetown; Google Scholar), David Gamage (Missouri-Columbia; Google Scholar) & Darien Shanske (UC-Davis; Google Scholar)

May 26, 2024 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Daily, Tax Scholarship, Top 5 Downloads | Permalink

Saturday, May 25, 2024

This Week's Ten Most Popular TaxProf Blog Posts

Top 10 Taxprof Blog Posts - LinkedinLegal Education: 

  1. ABA Journal, Straight, White Female Alleges King & Spalding's Summer Associate Diversity Fellowship Violated Title VII
  2. Derek Muller (Notre Dame), Projected 2025-26 U.S. News Law School Rankings: The Biggest Winners And Losers
  3. New York Post, 6-Year-Old Girl Bravely Saves NYU Law Commencement With Hand-Drawn Purple Heart For Dean After Anti-Israel Protesters Disrupted Ceremony
  4. ABA Journal, ABA Endorses Licensing Of Attorneys Without Bar Exams
  5. Vivia Chen, Sullivan & Cromwell's New Hiring Policy Is Problematic
  6. ABA Journal, ABA Takes Another Step Toward Fully Online Law Schools
  7. Josh Blackman (South Texas), Judicial Boycotts Of Non-Elite Schools
  8. New York Times, CUNY Law School Cancels Student's Commencement Speech
  9. Legal Tech News, What Law Students Should Know About Generative AI Before Their Summer Jobs
  10. Reuters, LSAC Offers New Admissions Tool To Measure Socioeconomic Hurdles Overcome By Law School Applicants


  1. University of Alabama Law School, #12 Ranked Alabama Graduate Tax Program Will Not Offer Courses After Spring 2025
  2. Adam Cowing (UC-Irvine), Equity And Ownership In Affordable Housing
  3. Tracey Roberts (Cumberland), Review Of The Missing “T” in ESG By Chaim & Parchomovsky
  4. Diane Kemker (Southern), Do Black Taxpayers Matter? A Critical Tax Analysis Of IRS Audit Practices
  5. Bridget Crawford (Pace) et al.,  Step-Up in Basis: Policy Perspectives on a Longstanding Policy Loophole
  6. Sarah Lawsky (Northwestern), Reasoning With Formalized Statutes: The Case Of Capital Gains And Losses
  7. Harvey Gilmore (Hartford), The Kinder, Gentler IRS? Where?
  8. Eugene Volokh (UCLA), Nonprofits That Help Organize Protests That Break The Law Can Lose Their Tax Exemptions
  9. John Brooks (Fordham), The (Non)Taxation Of Student Debt Cancellation: Statutory Misinterpretation And Normative Conflict
  10. Amanda Parsons (Colorado), Cryptocurrency, Legibility, And Taxation


  1. Wall Street Journal Op-Ed (Ralph Reed), The Smear Campaign Against ‘Christian Nationalists’
  2. Pepperdine Caruso Law Surf Report, Religious Diversity At Pepperdine Caruso Law
  3. Christianity Today, Dallas Mavericks: The NBA Basketball Team Created To Represent God
  4. New York Times Op-Ed (Ross Douthat), Can Conservative And Liberal Catholics Coexist?
  5. Washington Post Op-Ed (Anne Lamott), Lifelong Lessons In Coping With Fear And Humiliation

May 25, 2024 in Legal Education, Tax, Tax Daily, Weekly Top 10 TaxProf Blog Posts | Permalink

Go-Getters Get Going At 5 A.M.: The Power Move Of Working The 5-To-9 Before The 9-To-5

Wall Street Journal, Go-Getters Get Going at 5 A.M.:

5 am (2024)The Power Move of Working the 5-to-9 Before the 9-to-5: Working a regular day, even into the evening, is for mere mortals. Those out to impress start well before dawn.

As a competitive rower in my long-ago prime I sometimes used a racing strategy called fly and die. Sprinting to an early lead often yielded a fast overall time, even if I couldn’t hold my torrid pace through the finish line.

Some professionals take a similar approach to their desk jobs, starting their workdays with a 5 a.m. to 9 a.m. shift. They are up before the sun—and, more important, before their co-workers—to get a jump on the workday and impress the boss.

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May 25, 2024 in Legal Education | Permalink

The Spin-Off Of PayPal From eBay: Taxable Or Tax-Free Reorganization?

Gretchen Lawrie (Cal State-LA) & John R. Cooper (Cal State-LA), Was the Spin-Off of PayPal from eBay a Taxable or a Tax-Free Reorganization?, 9 J. Case Rsch. & Inquiry 126 (2024):

Ebay Paypal LogoThis case study reviews the facts of eBay, Inc.’s spin-off of PayPal, Inc., which presents an opportunity to reinforce the student’s understanding of the complex US corporate reorganization provisions. The case study leads to the question: What would have been the US tax and non-tax consequences of eBay’s spin-off of PayPal for eBay, PayPal, and eBay’s shareholders?

In 1995, Pierre Omidyar launched AuctionWeb, a web-based online auction site where buyers and sellers could trade antiques, collectables, coins, and other goods. In 1997, AuctionWeb was renamed eBay, Inc. By 2014, eBay was “a global commerce leader with 149 million active buyers” with more than 700 million live listings at any given time (eBay 2014).

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May 25, 2024 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Daily, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

Friday, May 24, 2024

Weekly SSRN Tax Article Review And Roundup: Layser Reviews Cowing's Equity And Ownership In Affordable Housing

This week, Michelle Layser (San Diego; Google Scholar) reviews Adam Cowing (UC-Irvine), Equity and Ownership in Affordable Housing, 2024 U. Ill. L. Rev. 399.


In the U.S., homeownership is often essential for wealth building. For middle-income households, “home equity is the largest single financial asset,” and it accounts for 50-70% of net wealth. In 2022, the wealth gap between homeowners and renters reached a historic high, as the median wealth of homeowners rose to $85,000 and the median wealth of renters remained stable at $950. Tax-based homeownership subsidies are common (the mortgage interest deduction is one, and the exclusion of imputed rent is another), but none aim to make home ownership attainable for low-income families. Instead, tax subsidies like the Low-Income Housing Tax (LIHTC) credit (and proposed renters’ tax credits) have focused on providing affordable rental housing. Nevertheless, a new article by Professor Adam Cowing argues that the LIHTC has untapped potential to transform low-income tenants into homeowners.

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May 24, 2024 in Michelle Layser, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Daily, Tax Scholarship, Weekly SSRN Roundup, Weekly Tax Roundup | Permalink

Weekly Legal Education Roundup

Tax Policy In The Biden Administration

A BigLaw Suicide Survivor's Prescription For The Legal Profession's Mental Health Crisis

ABA Journal Op-Ed:  A BigLaw Suicide Survivor's Prescription for the Legal Profession's Mental Health Crisis, by Kent Halkett:

HalkettI was young, single, healthy, confident and “bulletproof” when I entered law school immediately after college in 1978. I did not have any personal experience with anyone suffering mental health challenges. Mental health education and services were the furthest things from my mind.

My blissful ignorance of the life and death issues presented by mental health came crashing down on me in the mid-1990s when, as a young partner in a BigLaw firm [Sidley Austin, Los Angeles], I was diagnosed with clinical depression. My condition drastically altered the arc of my career and, ultimately, culminated in my suicide attempt in mid-2015, as shared in “A BigLaw partner’s journey through clinical depression.”

I was completely blindsided by my clinical depression. At the outset, I did not have any idea what was happening to me. I did not know that help was available.

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May 24, 2024 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Alfani Presents Economic Inequality in Preindustrial Times Today At The Oxford-Virginia Legal Dialogs

Guido Alfani (Bocconi University; Google Scholar) presents Economic Inequality in Preindustrial Times: Europe and Beyond, 59 J. Econ. Lit. 3 (2021), today as part of the Oxford-Virginia Legal Dialogs hosted by Tsilly Dagan and Ruth Mason: 

Guido alfaniRecent literature has reconstructed estimates of wealth and income inequality for a range of preindustrial, mostly European, societies covering medieval and early modern times, occasionally reaching back to antiquity and even prehistory. These estimates have radically improved our knowledge of distributive dynamics in the past. It now seems clear that in the period circa 1300–1800, inequality of both income and wealth grew almost monotonically almost everywhere in Europe, with the exception of the century-long phase of inequality decline triggered by the Black Death of 1347–52. Regarding the causes of inequality growth, recent literature ruled out economic growth as the main one. Other possible factors include population growth (also as mediated by inheritance systems) and especially regressive fiscal institutions (also as connected to the unequal distribution of political power). The recently proposed theoretical framework of the inequality possibility frontier (IPF) lends a better understanding of the implications of the reconstructed trends. This article concludes by showing how connecting preindustrial trends to modern ones changes our perception of long-term inequality altogether.

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May 24, 2024 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Daily, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Sullivan & Cromwell's New Hiring Policy Is Problematic

Sullivan & Cromwell

Following up on my previous post, Sullivan & Cromwell To Ramp-Up Vetting Of New Hires Amid Wave Of Pro-Palestinian Protests:  Vivia Chen, Sullivan & Cromwell's New Hiring Policy Is Polarizing and Worrisome:

The esteemed law firm of Sullivan & Cromwell recently issued a statement about how it will vet prospective hires, and it is both curious and troubling.

Alarmed by the spread of student protests over Israel’s military actions in Gaza, the Wall Street firm said it will “review resumes for participation in pro-terrorist groups and other similar activities” and conduct a “thorough review of the candidate’s online presence, school website [and] news reports,” according to The American Lawyer.

What’s more, S&C will require submission of “lists of all campus organizations the student has been or is currently a part of and monitor activities from those groups that do not align with our ethical standards.” The firm also plans to hire third-party specialists to do background checks.

The firm’s chair Joe Shenker told Am Law: “What we have seen on campuses is antisemitic behavior, both physical and verbal. And that behavior doesn’t require context, just like a lynching doesn’t require context. It’s wrong, and we won’t tolerate it.” He added, “what is new is that there is a view that if that hate is directed at Jews, then it is different somehow. It is not.” 

Are you now, or have you ever been, a member of a terrorist group?

There’s a lot to unpack here but what got my immediate attention was the part about listing “all campus organizations the student has been or is currently a part of ....” It reminded me of Sen. Joseph McCarthy during the Red Scare when he badgered Americans by asking: “Are you now, or have you ever been, a member of the Communist Party?”

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May 24, 2024 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Thursday, May 23, 2024

Delmotte: Beyond The Wealth Tax

Charles Delmotte (Michigan State; Google Scholar), Beyond the Wealth Tax, 76 Ala. L. Rev. __ (2024):

Alabama law reviewThe increased emphasis on economic equality has led to a consensus on the desirability of a federal wealth tax. Prominent tax scholars and economists advocate imposing a 1% or 2% levy on households with assets exceeding a net worth of $50 million. A wealth tax attempts to tax capital owners on the market value of their assets and businesses in the absence of transactions that determine such value. The proposal thus rests upon a dominant underlying assumption: that determining the market value of assets worth trillions of dollars is a surmountable and administrable task. Yet in reality, wealth taxes fail to satisfy the goals of tax policy, namely administrability, efficiency, and equity.

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May 23, 2024 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Daily, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

Blackman: Judicial Boycotts Of Non-Elite Schools

Josh Blackman (South Texas; Google Scholar), Judicial Boycotts of Non-Elite Schools:

In April 2009, a law student at American University asked Justice Scalia how a student from her school could become "outrageously successful" without "connections and elite degrees." (The clip begins around 52:00.) Scalia laughed out loud. He answered, "Just work hard and be very good." But then he digressed to a story about Judge Jeff Sutton.

Let me tell you a story. By and large, unless I have a professor on the faculty who is a good friend and preferably a former law clerk of mine whose judgment I can trust–I'm going to be picking for Supreme Court law clerks, I can't afford a miss. I just can't. So I'm going to be picking from the law schools that are the hardest to get into, they admit the best and the brightest. They may not teach very well, but you can't make a sow's ear purse out of a silk purse. If they come in the best and the brightest, they are probably going to leave the best and the brightest. One of my former clerks [Judge Jeff Sutton] who I am the most most proud of, now sits on the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.  And I always refer to him as one of my former law clerks. He wasn't one of my former law clerks. [Sutton] was Lewis Powell's clerk. After Lewis took senior status, Lewis didn't have much work. [Sutton] worked full time for me. So I couldn't tell the difference between [Sutton] and my other clerks. But I wouldn't have hired Jeff Sutton. For God's sake, he went to Ohio State. [Scalia laughs.] And he is one of the very best law clerks I've ever had. He is just a brilliant guy. So don't tell me this stuff about "what do you have to do to be successful." You have to be good. I think we're done.

Scalia relayed this story several times over the years, and he was fond of telling it. The upshot is that under his own policy, he would have never hired one of his favorite law clerks.

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May 23, 2024 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

WSJ: The IRS Money Hole Gets Deeper

Wall Street Journal Editorial, The IRS Money Hole Gets Deeper:

IRS Logo (2023)The Internal Revenue Service can’t write its own checks, which means it has to ask Congress for funding like any other agency. But if lawmakers have been tracking its misspending, they’ll turn down the tax collectors’ new $104 billion budget request and demand an audit instead.

Commissioner Danny Werfel appeared before the House Appropriations Committee recently and told legislators that the IRS faces financial collapse. “Resources are limited,” he said, and the agency “will likely use them entirely before the funding expires.” In other words, the IRS doesn’t think the $60 billion bonus it received from Congress in 2022 is enough, though it is supposed to last through 2031.

The IRS has a brilliant solution for this cash burn: Add more to the pile. Instead of explaining where the money went, Mr. Werfel asked the House to look away and grant his team another massive funding boost, this time through 2034. The extended bonus he seeks would bring total supplementary funding to $104 billion over 10 years. ...

Missing from the IRS’s request was an accounting of how its last round of funding has been run down so quickly. The money it received in the 2022 Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) was meant to fund a strategic overhaul, but not much of the plan has been carried out. ...

[T]he agency ... howled in protest when House Republicans clawed back $20 billion from the original $80 billion Democrats gave the agency in the 2022 IRA. Despite his pleas, Mr. Werfel is making a strong case for stripping the remainder instead of adding another cent of additional cash.

May 23, 2024 in Congressional News, IRS News, Tax, Tax Daily, Tax News | Permalink

Students And Alumni Seek Court-Appointed Receiver In Last Ditch Effort To Save Golden Gate Law School

Reuters, Golden Gate Law School Needs a Receiver to Save It, Say Students and Alumni:

Golden Gate (2022)Beleaguered Golden Gate University School of Law could be saved under the control of a court-appointed receiver, a group of students and alumni argue in a new court filing, challenging the school’s planned closure.

The law school’s alumni association and four current students on Monday asked a San Francisco judge not to throw out their lawsuit against Golden Gate University, noting that Western State College of Law was poised to shut down in 2019 until a receiver secured a sale that saved the Southern California school.

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May 23, 2024 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

9th Annual Texas Tax Faculty Workshop

Tax workshop photoSMU hosted the 9th Annual Texas Tax Faculty Workshop on Monday:

Christopher Hanna (SMU), Taxing Carried Interest: A Reappraisal (with David Elkins (Netanya; Google Scholar)
Commenter: Susan Morse (Texas; Google Scholar)

Gary Lucas (Texas A&M; Google Scholar), Shaping Preferences with Pigouvian Taxes
Commenter: Johnny Buckles (Houston; Google Scholar)

Orly Mazur (SMU; Google Scholar), Beyond ChatGPT: Responsible AI and Government Innovation, 92 Tenn. L. Rev. __ (2025) (with Adam Thimmesch (Nebraska; Google Scholar))
Commenter: William Byrnes (Texas A&M; Google Scholar

Susan Morse (Texas; Google Scholar), The Truth About Safe Harbors, 92 Tenn. L. Rev. __ (2025)
Commenter: Dennis Drapkin (SMU)

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May 23, 2024 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Conferences, Tax Daily, Tax Profs, Tax Workshops | Permalink

LSAC Offers New Admissions Tool To Measure Socioeconomic Hurdles Overcome By Law School Applicants

Reuters, Law School Applicants' Socioeconomic Hurdles Measured by New Metric:

LSAC (2023)Law schools may soon have more information about the educational and economic challenges applicants have faced on their path to a law degree.

The Law School Admission Council (LSAC) is developing a new “environmental context” metric pertaining to colleges and universities based on factors such as institutional student spending, graduation rates, and the percentage of undergraduates who received federal need-based Pell Grants.

Officials at the LSAC, which administers the Law School Admission Test and maintains the central application system used by law schools, unveiled the project on Friday during a meeting of the American Bar Association’s legal education body. It is a collaboration with The College Board, which develops the SAT and now offers colleges a similar tool, contextualizing applicants’ neighborhoods and high schools.

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May 23, 2024 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Equity And Ownership In Affordable Housing

Adam Cowing (UC-Irvine), Equity and Ownership in Affordable Housing, 2024 U. Ill. L. Rev. 399: 

Illinois law reviewThe Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (“LIHTC”) is the nation’s largest affordable housing development program. From its inception, policymakers have seen the program’s potential path to homeownership as one of its advantages. In fact, the Internal Revenue Code anticipates tenant and cooperative purchases of LIHTC-financed affordable housing. But the program has never achieved significant homeownership for low-income families. Meanwhile, residents in increasing numbers of LIHTC developments face instability related to investor acquisitions of rental housing and the expiration of restrictions that keep rents affordable—instability that resident ownership could prevent. 

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May 22, 2024 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Daily, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

Big Law Recruiting Confronts Rising Student Activism

National Law Journal, Big Law Recruiting Confronts Rising Student Activism:

Student activism has surged in 2024 as pro-Palestine protests erupt on college campuses from Columbia University to UCLA. The Israel-Hamas war and the resulting death toll have now drawn more students out to protest than any event this century, according to several history professors interviewed for this article.

Count some law students among the activists. From Harvard Law students grilling Big Law partners about commitments to diversity and inclusion to a law student disrupting the dinner of a law school dean, the legal sector hasn’t been immune from the uproar.

Large law firms, each hiring dozens of first-year associates a year, are now confronting a young generation that feels more obligated to stand up to authority than its predecessors. Could that become an issue for an industry looking to hire professionals who can put their personal beliefs aside for the good of a firm and its clients?

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May 22, 2024 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

The Constitutional Meaning Of Financial Terms

Tomer Stein (Tennessee; Google Scholar) & Shelby Ponton (Stetson), The Constitutional Meaning of Financial Terms, 2025 Utah L. Rev. ___:

Utah law reviewThe Constitution has sixty-three financial terms. These financial terms include, for instance, “compensation,” “expenditures,” “debt,” “coin,” “revenue,” “securities,” and “bankruptcies”—all of which determine the elementary building blocks of our governmental makeup. When the Supreme Court interprets the meaning of these financial terms, it does so in isolation and without a consistent framework. This Article proposes a unified framework for the interpretation of financial terms in the Constitution, comprising of two fundamental canons of construction.

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May 22, 2024 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Daily, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

Projected 2025-26 U.S. News Law School Rankings: The Biggest Winners And Losers

Derek Muller (Notre Dame; Google Scholar), Projecting the 2025-2026 USNWR Law School Rankings (To Be Released March 2025 Or So)

US News (2023)Fifty-eight percent of the new USNWR law school rankings turn on three highly-volatile categories: employment 10 months after graduation[33%], first-time bar passage [18%], and ultimate bar passage [7%]. USNWR has tried to smooth these out by using a two-year average of these scores. (Next year, it might well use a three-year average or three-year weighted average.)

Because USNWR releases its rankings in the spring, at the same time the ABA releases new data on these categories, the USNWR law school rankings are always a year behind. This year’s data include the ultimate bar passage rate for the Classes of 2019 and 2020, the first-time bar passage rate for the Classes of 2021 and 2022, and the employment outcomes of the Classes of 2021 and 2022.

Derek projects the Top 100 schools in next year's 2025-26 rankings. Here are the largest projected increases among those schools:

Rank School Projected 2025-26 Rank Current  2024-25 Rank Difference
1 Maine 84 120 +36
2 Pittsburgh 65 91 +26
3 Catholic 71 94 +23
4 Penn State-Dickinson 58 75 +17
5 San Diego 56 68 +12
6 Florida State 37 48 +11
6 Louisiana State 80 91 +11
6 Nebraska 71 82 +11
9 Chapman 98 108 +10
9 Dayton 98 108 +10
9 Penn State-Univ. Park 58 68 +10
9 SUNY-Buffalo 98 108 +10
13 UC-Irvine 33 42 +9

Here are the largest projected decreases among those schools:

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May 22, 2024 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

Lawsky: Reasoning With Formalized Statutes — The Case Of Capital Gains And Losses

Sarah B. Lawsky (Northwestern; Google Scholar), Reasoning with Formalized Statutes: The Case of Capital Gains and Losses, 43 Va. Tax Rev. 361 (2024):

Virginia tax reviewThis article formalizes sections of the Internal Revenue Code — that is, represents them symbolically — and then reasons with these formalizations algebraically, graphically, and, in a novel approach for U.S. legal scholar-ship, using a computer program that proves theorems. Reasoning with the formalizations reveals previously overlooked errors in the statute, demonstrates equivalence between the actual law and facially dissimilar administrative implementations of the law, and uncovers technical corrections in these administrative implementations that the Internal Revenue Service has not openly acknowledged. The article thus shows how reasoning with formalized statutes leads to insights that may be otherwise obscured by the law’s complexity.

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May 22, 2024 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Daily, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

NY Times: CUNY Law School Cancels Student's Commencement Speech

Following up on my previous post, Students Sue CUNY Law School Over Ban On Commencement Speakers, Claiming Move Is Anti-Palestinian:  New York Times, After Anti-Israel Speeches, a Law School Curtails Graduation Traditions:

CUNYFor the past two years, commencement speakers at the City University of New York School of Law have made support for Palestinians and opposition to Israel a focus of their speeches.

The backlash was intense.

So this year, well before other campuses across the United States faced upheaval over pro-Palestinian student demonstrations, the CUNY law school administration took a new tack. In September, before the Hamas attack on Israel on Oct. 7, the school announced that there would be no student speaker at all at this year’s commencement ceremony.

The choice is now drawing its own backlash and has brought more controversy to the event.

This spring, several students at the school sued university officials, saying that the school was suppressing speech and infringing on their First Amendment rights by not allowing a student-elected speaker to give an address. Two guests who had been scheduled to speak — Deborah N. Archer, a civil rights lawyer and president of the American Civil Liberties Union, and Muhammad U. Faridi, a litigator — recently withdrew from the event.

The ceremony will now have no outside speakers and no keynote address, the law school said.

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May 22, 2024 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Bearer-Friend & Satterthwaite: Taxation & Inequalities—USA National Report

Jeremy Bearer-Friend (George Washington; Google Scholar) & Emily A. Satterthwaite (Georgetown; Google Scholar), Taxation & Inequalities: USA National Report:  

EATLP Logo (2013)As the U.S. Report for the 2024 Congress of the European Association of Tax Law Professors, this draft manuscript provides a survey of US tax law as it pertains to the conference theme, “Taxation and Inequalities.” The report is divided into three sections: constitutional underpinnings of taxation and inequality (Section I); national tax policy and inequality (Section II); and tax enforcement and inequality (Section III).

I. Taxation and Inequalities: Constitutional Underpinnings
1. Equality and Non-Discrimination Law in the United States ...

2. Constitutional Links between Equality and Taxation ...

II. Tax policy and income inequality
1. Tax Policy and Other Inequalities ...
2. Tax Competition and Inequality ...

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May 21, 2024 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Daily, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

Straight, White Female Alleges King & Spalding's Summer Associate Diversity Fellowship Violated Title VII

ABA Journal, Straight, White Female Alleges BigLaw Firm’s Job Ad For Diversity Program Violated Title VII:

Sarah SpitalnickKing & Spalding is the latest law firm targeted for a diversity fellowship alleged to discriminate against white heterosexual candidates.

In a May 9 lawsuit, plaintiff Sarah Spitalnick alleges she was deterred from applying for a summer-associate diversity fellowship at King & Spalding in February 2021 because of a job ad that restricted applicants.

The ad said candidates “must have an ethnically or culturally diverse background or be a member of the LGBT community,” according to the lawsuit, filed in federal court in Maryland.

At the time, Spitalnick was a first-year law student at the University of Baltimore School of Law. She is white and heterosexual. The summer internship paid $4,135 a week.

Law360, King & Spalding Accused Of Anti-White, Pro-LGBTQ Bias:

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May 21, 2024 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Brooks: The (Non)Taxation Of Student Debt Cancellation: Statutory Misinterpretation And Normative Conflict

John R. Brooks (Fordham; Google Scholar), The (Non)Taxation of Student Debt Cancellation: Statutory Misinterpretation and Normative Conflict, 77 Nat’l Tax J. __ (2024):

National tax journalStudent debt cancellation is an increasingly important form of subsidy for higher education and reflects a shift toward financing higher education with income-contingent loans. But the legal formalities of debt cancellation expose borrowers to the risk of taxation, especially after 2025. This paper shows that the IRS and Treasury's position that student debt cancellation is sometimes taxable is based on a misreading of the tax code and its history. I further argue that this misreading arises in part because of the conflicting norms of tax policy and non-tax social policy, a conflict that arises in other transfer contexts as well.

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May 21, 2024 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Daily, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

Journal Of Legal Education Publishes New Issue: International Perspectives On Legal Education

The Journal of Legal Education has published Vol. 72, No. 1 & 2 (Fall 2022-Winter 2023):

Journal of legal educationFrom the Editors


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May 21, 2024 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

Kemker: Do Black Taxpayers Matter? A Critical Tax Analysis Of IRS Audit Practices

Diane Kemker (Southern; Google Scholar), Do Black Taxpayers Matter? A Critical Tax Analysis of IRS Audit Practices, 20 Stan. J. C.R. & C.L. 133 (2024):

Stanford journal of civil rights and civil libertiesThe Earned Income Tax Credit, a federal anti-poverty program administered through the tax system, provides a total of about $65 billion a year in “refundable credits” (a payment in excess of tax liability) to more than 25 million working low-income taxpayers, who receive an average of about $2000 (the precise amount depends on their number of dependents).  Its complex eligibility rules produce persistently high error rates, which are in turn used to justify high audit rates and a grossly disproportionate share of IRS enforcement activity.  

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May 21, 2024 in Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Daily, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

ABA Takes Another Step Toward Fully Online Law Schools

ABA Journal, Journey Toward Fully Online Law Schools Inches Forward After ABA Legal Ed Council Vote:

ABA Legal Ed (2023)After receiving pushback from law school deans and with many logistical questions looming, the council of the ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar voted to continue examining what standards are necessary to start fully accrediting online-only law schools at its May 17 meeting in Chicago.

Currently, ABA standards state that only law schools with brick-and-mortar campuses can become accredited, and only fully accredited schools can apply to offer a fully online JD programs. That excludes online law schools starting from scratch.

In January, proposed revisions to Standards 102 and 306 drew the ire of 26 law school deans, including those from the Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law, the University of California at Berkeley School of Law and Penn State Dickinson Law, saying more information was needed regarding bar passage and employment rates of online law school graduates before moving forward.

Faculty and students at Purdue Global Law School, an online-only law school, however, had written in support. Proponents say fully online law schools could offer cheaper tuition than for online programs connected to a traditional school. The lower price plus flexibility would help create a more diverse student body and allow students in remote areas to attend, they say.

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May 21, 2024 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Monday, May 20, 2024

Kysar: The Global Tax Deal And The New International Economic Governance

Rebecca M. Kysar (Fordham; Google Scholar), The Global Tax Deal and the New International Economic Governance, 77 Tax L. Rev. __ (2024):

NYU Law (2016)The ethos of economic integration and trade liberation no longer reigns supreme. Instead of multilateral trade agreements, nations are turning towards protectionism and unilateralism. Yet in late 2021, nearly 140 countries agreed to a new global tax deal that is aimed at coordinating their tax systems to curtail tax competition and corporation profit shifting to tax havens, as well as constructing a new allocation of taxing rights among nations.

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May 20, 2024 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Daily, Tax Scholarship | Permalink