Villanova Law’s nationally recognized tax program offers you an experience that few law schools can match, powerfully combining comprehensive course offerings with a renowned Federal Tax Clinic.
Students explore the breadth and depth of tax law with a variety of JD and graduate tax courses, including classes in business tax, tax controversy, estate planning, international tax, and employee benefits. The courses are taught by experienced adjunct faculty and nationally-known full-time faculty Leslie Book, J. Richard Harvey, Keith Fogg, James Maule, and Joy Sabino Mullane.
The Graduate Tax Program is an interdisciplinary, collaborative program offered through the Law School and the Villanova School of Business, providing students the opportunity to earn an MT or LL.M. degree. The Graduate Tax Program benefits from the input and teaching of Business School faculty, including Shelley Rhoades-Catanach, PhD, CPA, and Burke T. Ward, JD, LL.M.
“The tax program at Villanova is one of our crown jewels and enables students to maximize their education by specializing in tax at an early stage. Villanova Law’s connections to the public and private sectors offer the best of both worlds,” says Leslie M. Book, Professor of Law, Director of the Graduate Tax Program.
Book cites the tax litigation training course as an example of the law school’s dedication to public service with practical experience. Part distance, part on-site, the course draws legal students and tax practitioners from around the country. Designed by T. Keith Fogg, Professor of Law and Director of the Federal Tax Clinic, in partnership with IRS attorneys, it is offered at minimal cost to employees of public interest organizations. “It’s a program about creating change, and no one else is offering it,” Book explains.
In the Villanova Federal Tax Clinic, another facet of the program, students gain practical client experience while providing legal services to lower-income taxpayers with disputes before the IRS in federal courts. The clinic is one of only a handful to receive the maximum award of a $100,000 matching grant from the IRS in recognition of its valuable service. Fogg says the clinic creates lawyers who are more likely to perform pro bono work. “They get a taste of helping someone settle a crushing tax problem. Not all lawyers get to feel that satisfaction.” Typically 10 to 14 students per semester work in the tax clinic and represent about 100 clients. Cases typically last six to eight months and involve people without significant assets who have either a tax dispute about how much they owe or cannot afford the amount they owe.
“The IRS has a very powerful reputation so people come to us feeling helpless and distrustful. They would be unrepresented but for us. We’re providing a service for them and the IRS,” says Linda Love Vines, Assistant Director of the Graduate Tax Program, and Reuschlein Clinical Teaching Fellow, Villanova Federal Tax Clinic.