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Friday, October 22, 2010

Things You Oughta Know If You Teach Tax

As a new tax professor, you have joined an active and friendly community. Tax law professors are a diverse bunch, but because we are bound together by a love incomprehensible to many others--love of the tax code, of course--we are, I think, an unusually cohesive and supportive group.

You will find many resources for tax professors on the internet.

The most important set of tax prof internet resources is maintained by Paul Caron, of the University of Cincinnati. Because of Paul, you can:

  • Read TaxProf Blog. In addition to providing constant updates on the most current tax news and tax scholarship, TaxProf Blog offers many useful links, including a list of the blogs of various tax professors and of tax colloquia around the country.
  • Join the active (and almost always on point) TaxProf mailing list.
  • Draw on the resources of the TaxProf exam bank.
  • Examine other tax professors' syllabi in the TaxProf syllabi bank.

More generally, as you probably already know, the weekly publication Tax Notes, and its daily counterpart, Tax Notes Today, are incredible resources for tax news. The website is by subscription only, but I believe you can also access Tax Notes through Lexis (or perhaps you can ask your library to subscribe to the Tax Notes website). Tax Notes also keeps an amazing and free tax history archive, which includes many presidential tax returns. I find these to be not only fascinating browsing, but also useful for teaching.

In the real world:

You might want to check out the ABA Section of Taxation's Committee on Teaching Taxation. This active committee has nearly 300 members and sponsors various programs at ABA meetings throughout the year.

Try to sign up for the Junior Tax Scholars' Workshop, which is held every summer. The number of participants is limited, but people get tenure every year, so there are always slots opening up. You get to talk tax nonstop for two days, plus it's a great way to get to know your fellow junior tax scholars. (Here is the call for papers for the most recent workshop, and here are the two days' schedules.) 

Finally, you should take every opportunity to talk to other tax professors, especially local tax profs. You might find out, for example, that tax folks in your area meet for informal lunches every now and then, or that a regional tax prof conference meets a few times a year. Or maybe there's a local coffee shop that has a special tax professor discount (or maybe not).

Anyhow, welcome to the tax professor community. As our numbers grow, we come ever closer to world domination which, is, of course, our ultimate goal. So we're happy you're on board!

(I look forward to corrections and additions in the comments.)

Posted by Sarah Lawsky on October 22, 2010 at 12:29 PM in Tax, Teaching Law, Things You Oughta Know if You Teach X | Permalink

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