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Tax Law

Outside the Classroom

Lewis & Clark Law School offers many tax-related educational experiences beyond traditional coursework and formal clinical experience. For example, tax research, writing, and client counseling skills are sharpened through our annual tax moot court program. Students are invited to participate in the American Bar Association Taxation Section’s Law Student Tax Challenge, a national tax planning and client-counseling competition designed to more closely reflect everyday tax practice than traditional moot court competitions. Participants work in teams of two to produce a memorandum and client correspondence on the tax consequences of a complex business-planning problem. The competition provides students with the opportunity to research “real-life” tax planning issues and to demonstrate their acquired tax knowledge through their writing skills. If a Lewis & Clark team is chosen as a semifinalist, members of the team compete at a national event, where they orally defend their written work before a panel of nationally known tax experts. In 2006, the law school’s first team in the competition did so, and it won the national prize for the best written submission.

Lewis & Clark has excelled in national tax moot court programs since its earliest entries in the 1990’s. In two consecutive years, Lewis & Clark was the only law school to take home honors in both the written and oral portions of the National Tax Moot Court Competition sponsored by the Florida bar.

Law students also volunteer each spring in a income tax assistance program, which helps taxpayers outside the law school community in filing their state and federal income tax returns. Recognizing the special challenges that international students and scholars face in complying with U.S. tax laws, the volunteer program has for more than a decade focused on the needs of international students at Lewis & Clark College. The volunteer program has also successfully lobbied the IRS to simplify tax compliance for international students.

Students may gain additional practical tax experience through an externship, which involves full-time work in the legal profession over an entire semester, a substantial research paper, and a special seminar. Taxation is among the many spheres in which a student may attain specific practical skills and a deeper understanding of substantive laws by developing an individualized externship experience. In recent years, Lewis & Clark law students have also served as interns at the Oregon Tax Court, and several of its recent graduates have served as law clerks to that court.

Life after law school

Jennifer Woodhouse, Schwabe/WilliamsonLewis & Clark alumni are employed in various organizations and fields related to tax law.

Jennifer L. Woodhouse, class of 2008, focuses her practice in the area of tax controversy and estate planning for Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt where she assists estate planning clients with probate, trust administration and the preparation of wills, trusts, advance directives and powers of attorney.

Jennifer was recently honored as a 2014 Rising Star by the Lewis and Clark Law School. She also received an Up & Coming Lawyer for 2012 by the Daily Journal of Commerce of Oregon; a distinction that recognizes outstanding commitment to both the legal profession and the community.

Lewis & Clark teams have won many prizes in national tax competitions in recent years, and the students who have excelled in these contests have often gone on to success in tax practice, and other types of law practice.