Stephen Olsen ’07 JD, ’09 LLM Appointed Faculty Director of the Villanova University Graduate Tax Program


Villanova University announced the appointment of Stephen Olsen ’07 JD, ’09 LLM, as associate professor of practice and faculty director of its Graduate Tax Program. Olsen joins Villanova from Gawthrop Greenwood, PC, a West Chester, PA and Wilmington, DE-based law firm, where he will continue to work as of counsel assisting the firm’s clients. In his new role at Villanova, Olsen will oversee the University’s nationally recognized graduate tax program, which offers both online and in-person courses.

"I am thrilled to welcome Steve back to Villanova as faculty director of the Graduate Tax Program,” said Mark C. Alexander, The Arthur J. Kania Dean, Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law. “His legal experience, along with his tax expertise and business background, combine to make him the perfect leader of the program. Steve will be an incredible asset to our students, and I know he will continue to innovate and grow the program for years to come.”

Following his graduation from Villanova Law in 2007, Olsen joined Gawthrop Greenwood, PC in West Chester, PA, where he grew his career and eventually became partner and head of the Tax, Trust and Estates department. At the firm he also served as treasurer, overseeing the budgeting processes and assisting in financial matters. In 2009, while working for Gawthrop Greenwood, Olsen earned his LLM in Taxation from the Villanova Graduate Tax Program.

In addition to his practice at Gawthrop, from 2017 until 2019, Olsen served as general counsel, chief compliance officer, and eventual chief executive officer for one of the first 12 growers and processors of medical marijuana in Pennsylvania. His expertise in this niche area of law has included providing legal services for medical marijuana operators and executives, and providing due diligence services for potential investors, as well as support in employment law, workplace issues, advising fiduciaries on investing in marijuana companies and advising nonprofits in accepting donations from marijuana companies.

“The Graduate Tax Program had a huge impact on my life and it set me on a productive path in my career,” said Olsen. “The ability to come back to Villanova and give back to the program in a meaningful way is a dream opportunity. I look forward to working with faculty, students and staff, and sharing my unique skillset and experiences. I am honored to become the faculty director of Villanova’s Graduate Tax Program and I am thrilled to continue the history of this rigorous and exceptional program.”

Olsen, along with Villanova Law Professor Leslie Book, is also a co-founder and editor of the acclaimed legal tax procedure blog, Procedurally Taxing, a place for readers to learn about important developments in federal tax procedure and tax administration. Olsen is also a contributing author and editor for IRS Practice & Procedure, a seminal tax treatise published by Thomson Reuters.

In addition to his JD and LLM in Taxation from Villanova, Olsen also holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Lycoming College.