Tax Industry Expert Reflects Upon Her Villanova Education


After nearly 30 years in the tax industry, Lisa Shearman ’94 LLM still finds herself relying on skills from her Master of Laws in Taxation (LLM) at Villanova.

“I find myself recalling the knowledge I gained through my tax education in so many aspects of my job,” said Shearman. “My LLM degree from Villanova’s Graduate Tax Program helped me understand a better way to think and process things in the technical subject that is tax law.”

Initially focused on the corporate sector, Shearman developed an interest in tax law while attending the Widener University Delaware Law School in the early 1990s. Thanks to a professor’s mentorship, she began applying to taxation programs to further her legal education.

Out of all the graduate tax programs she considered, Villanova quickly became her top choice.

“When I first came to Villanova, I didn’t know exactly what area of tax law I wanted to go into, but that was the beauty of the program and what drew me to apply,” Shearman explains. “Their program allowed me to experience different types of tax subject matter throughout different areas of practice. It was a great way to determine what area I wanted to specialize in.”

Shearman began her career in business law with small and mid-size practice firms. She quickly evolved into a wealth management and planning specialist. Today, she is the principal and chair of the estates and trusts department at Hamburg, Rubin, Mullin, Maxwell & Lupin, PC in Landsdale, PA.

As an industry leader, Shearman’s expertise expands beyond the work in her firm. After four years of service as an officer, she will become president of the Montgomery Bar Association this upcoming January.

“I believe it is important to belong to a professional association for many reasons,” Shearman explained. “The ability to collaborate with fellow attorneys and create a strong relationship with those in your own area of practice is invaluable.”

As Shearman reflects on her career, she credits Villanova’s Graduate Tax Program as a critical factor in her success.    

“I have found that my LLM degree has opened a lot of doors for me that I would not have expected,” she says. “Everything I learned through the program offered a crucial jumpstart to my career. I find myself thankful every day for the education I received at Villanova.”