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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 and Oregon Department of Revenue. 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. 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 settlements, and where settlement fails, try the case in U.S. Tax Court. This is all done under the supervision of the Director of the clinic, Sarah Lora.

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 in litigation while in a structured, supervised, and supportive atmosphere. The clinic is a credit/no credit 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.  Students are required to have 8 clinic hours per week plus attend a 2 hour per week seminar course.

The seminar is Wednesday mornings from 9:00AM to 11:00AM at the clinic office downtown. For 3 of the 13 seminars, we will meet Fridays together with the Small Business Legal Clinic.

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. Sarah Lora, the clinic director, can be reached at sarahlora@lclark.edu

Summer

LIMIT: 4 students

The tax clinic (clinic) represents low income taxpayers who have controversies with the Internal Revenue Service and the Oregon Department of Revenue. Students “first chair” the cases.   

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. Students handle all aspects of  the case including: 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 the clinic director, Sarah Lora.

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 in litigation while in a structured, supervised, and supportive atmosphere.

The tax clinic is a credit/no credit 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.

Students are present at the clinic from 9:00 am to 3:30 pm Monday through Thursday for five weeks beginning Tuesday May 26th through June 25th.

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 Ave., Tenth Floor, Portland. The telephone number is 503-768-6500. Sarah Lora, the clinic director, can be reached at sarahlora@lclark.edu