TaxProf Blog

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

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Spotlight On The AALS Tax Section

AALS (2019)AALS News, Spotlight on Sections: Taxation:

The AALS Section on Taxation promotes the communication of ideas, interests, and activities among members and makes recommendations on matters of interest in the teaching and improvement of the law relating to taxation. AALS News caught up with Larry Zelenak (now Immediate Past Chair) and Shu-Yi Oei (Chair) onsite at the 2018 Annual Meeting in San Diego.

How do your section members interact and collaborate outside of the AALS Annual Meeting?

LZ: The National Tax Association’s annual conference has become almost like a second annual meeting for us in terms of having a place to meet other tax law professors. Most of us are not economists, but there’s a lot you can learn as a consumer of tax and economic research without having to be one yourself. Historically, there has been a tendency for tax law professors to be doubly siloed: within law schools but also within tax. Maybe that’s why we’re such a tight group among ourselves. We haven’t traditionally talked a lot to accountants or economists. We are becoming much less siloed in both respects.

Other than that: a lot of email. We mostly use the tax prof listserv rather than our AALS Section listserv, because it was already running before the AALS one existed.

SO: The listserv and the tax prof blog are generally how tax law professors get together outside of the meeting. There’s also the Law and Society Conference, which has a number of tax panels.

Other questions:

  • What can you tell me about your members and the kind of work you do?
  • What are the important conversations happening right now in legal education regarding taxation? ...
  • Can you tell us more about tax and social sciences methods?
  • It’s interesting to hear these modern methods being applied to an area and system that, from the outside, seems so convoluted and archaic.
  • If the tax base is the biggest issue of the last several decades, what do you think is the big issue of the future?
  • What was it like to teach last semester, as the tax law was moving through government?
  • Did the experience change the way you taught? Do you think the new tax law will affect your teaching in the future?
  • How does your section support the scholarship of its members?
  • What is your vision for the section, this year and in the years to come? What new initiatives, project-based or ongoing, would you like to see as part of the section?

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