Paul L. Caron

Saturday, June 2, 2007


The SMU Graduate Tax Program began more than 50 years ago and prospered under Dean Charles O. Galvin.  Today, U.S. News ranks SMU among the Top 20 law schools in tax and among the Top 10 graduate tax programs. In recent years, the SMU Law Review has published a special tax issue, including


In this five-part series, TaxProf Blog will profile SMU's full-time Graduate Tax Faculy. 


TateJoshua C. Tate

        • B.A. 1996, Pomono College
        • M.Phil. 1997, University of Cambridge
        • M.A. 2000, Yale
        • M.Phil. 2001, Yale
        • J.D. 2002, Yale
        • Ph.D. Candidate, Yale

Joshua C. Tate joined the SMU law faculty in 2005. He teaches courses on wills & trusts and property as well as legal history. In terms of scholarship, Josh divides his time between the modern law of gratuitous transfers and legal history. His most recent article, Conditional Love: Incentive Trusts and the Inflexibility Problem, appeared in the Fall 2006 issue of the Real Property, Probate, and Trust Journal.

Josh took several tax courses in law school, and the branch of tax most relevant to his research is estate and gift taxation. His work on dynasty trusts led him to study the GST tax and its generous exemption, which has been responsible for the abolition of the Rule Against Perpetuities in several states. Josh has argued that tax considerations are not the only reasons why dynasty trusts are being created, but he acknowledges that the tax advantages of such trusts are a primary consideration.

Josh is the son of an estate planner who still practices in southwest Colorado. Josh went to college intending to become a lawyer, but after taking several history courses he decided academia was more his style. He attended Yale Law School and worked as a summer associate at Jenner & Block in Chicago and Debevoise & Plimpton in New York, where he researched several tax matters. He was then selected as a Ribicoff fellow at Yale and a Golieb fellow at NYU, where he worked on his Ph.D. dissertation on the history of property rights (still in progress). Current research projects include an article on the inheritance rights of children and several legal history papers.

For prior SMU Graduate Tax Faculty Profiles, see:

Each Saturday, TaxProf Blog shines the spotlight on one of the 700+ tax professors in America's law schools. We hope to help bring the many individual stories of scholarly achievements, teaching innovations, public service, and career moves within the tax professorate to the attention of the broader tax community. Please email me suggestions for future Tax Prof Profiles. For prior Tax Prof Profiles, see here.

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