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Law Courses Catalog

Tax Clinic

NOTE: Please read carefully as this course description contains differing information depending on the semester of interest (Fall, Spring, Summer).

Fall and Spring

LIMIT: 7 students

The tax clinic (clinic) represents low income taxpayers who have controversies with the Internal Revenue Service. The students “first chair” the cases, and as a result, the clinic gives students the opportunity to handle all phases of a tax case while in a supervised and supportive atmosphere. A student does not need substantive tax knowledge in order to participate in the tax clinic. That is, in a tax controversy case the IRS has already picked out the issue or problem, and handling such a case involves dealing with the IRS on that issue or problem. No prior experience is required, and 2Ls and 3Ls are encouraged to participate.

The clinic handles all phases of a tax case from audit, through the IRS appeals process, trial in U.S. Tax Court, appeal to the Ninth Circuit where appropriate, and through the IRS collection process. Students will interview and interact with clients, interview potential witnesses, gather evidence, communicate with IRS personnel, draft documents and pleadings, negotiate settlement, and where settlement fails, try the case in U.S. Tax Court, This is all done under the supervision of Jan Pierce, Clinical Professor.

The clinic is located in downtown Portland. A free shuttle service to/from the law school may be available. The tax clinic offers an excellent opportunity to determine what it is like to participate in the representation of clients while in a structured, supervised, and supportive atmosphere. The clinic is a pass/no pass course, with no final examination and no paper. Under normal circumstances students will satisfy their WIE writing requirement at clinic. The clinic will not satisfy the student’s professional responsibility requirement.

The clinic is a three semester hour class. Due to ABA requirements, there is a classroom component for first time students. That is, there is a two hour class on one morning per week, and a requirement that the student put in eight hours per week on case work.

The classroom component will be Wednesday morning 9:00AM to 11:00AM at the clinic office downtown.

Students may choose their own schedule of what days to “work” Monday through Friday, and what hours on those days between 9:00AM and 5:00PM, with the approval of the professor. There are only two limitations: (1) the student’s schedule must include at least two days per week at the clinic, not one; and (2) the student must commit to a consistent schedule for the semester. There are procedures to adjust one’s schedule as necessary.

During the first week of clinic, there are no clinic classes during the week. Instead, there is an all day, 9:00AM to 5:00PM orientation on the Friday of the first week. The orientation is necessary in order to give the student the opportunity and basic knowledge to start “representing” clients the following week.

There is a limit to the number of students who may register for the tax clinic and early registration is encouraged. The clinic normally accepts seven first time students each semester and two advanced students, i.e., those who have already taken clinic once. The Registrar will maintain a wait list for students enrolling for clinic.

The clinic office is located in the Board of Trade Building, 310 SW Fourth Av, Tenth Floor, Portland. Jan Pierce, the clinic director, can be reached at pierce@lclark.edu

Summer

LIMIT: 4 students

The tax clinic (clinic) represents low income taxpayers who have controversies with the Internal Revenue Service. While the students “first chair” the cases, the clinic gives students the opportunity to handle all phases of a tax case while in a supervised and supportive atmosphere.

The clinic handles all phases of a tax case from audit, through the IRS Appeals Division, trial in U.S. Tax Court, appeal to the Ninth Circuit where appropriate, and dealing with the IRS concerning collection of the tax. As stated, the students first chair the cases. This means they interview and interact with the clients, interview witnesses, gather evidence, communicate with IRS personnel, draft documents, negotiate cases, and try cases in U.S. Tax Court, all under supervision of Jan Pierce, Clinical Professor.

The clinic is located in downtown Portland. The tax clinic offers an excellent opportunity to determine what it is like to participate in the representation of clients while in a structured, supervised, and supportive atmosphere.

The tax clinic is a pass/no pass course, with no final examination and no paper. Under normal circumstances students will satisfy their WIE writing requirement at clinic. The clinic will not satisfy the student’s professional responsibility requirement.

The tax clinic can only be taken for four hours during summer school. Students are present at the clinic from 9:00 am to 3:30 pm Monday through Thursday for five weeks beginning Tuesday May 29th through June 28th, where the Memorial holiday is made-up on Friday June 1st.

There is a limit to the number of students who may register for the tax clinic and early registration is encouraged. The Registrar will maintain a wait list for students enrolling for clinic.

The clinic office is located in the Board of Trade Building, 310 SW Fourth Av, Tenth Floor, Portland. The telephone number is 503-768-6500. Jan Pierce runs the tax clinic and his e-mail is pierce@lclark.edu