Experiential Learning in Tax
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The Low Income Taxpayer Clinic (LITC) is one of largest and well-established tax clinics in the country. The clinic is highly regarded in the community and is the preferred referral source for the U.S. Tax Court in Denver.
The LITC represents low income taxpayers before the Internal Revenue Service in audit, appeals, collections and Tax Court litigation. Students participating in the clinic gain valuable experience handling client matters, researching individual income tax issues and working directly with the Internal Revenue Service and Colorado Department of Revenue. Our clinic represents nearly 250 clients annually.
The United States Tax Court comes to Denver approximately four times each year. While the Tax Court is in town, students have an opportunity to attend a calendar call and trials, interact with IRS Office of Chief Counsel attorneys and Tax Court judges, and advise pro se taxpayers about the Tax Court process and their rights.
Additionally, the LITC hosts and participates in a variety of outreach presentations and events with taxpayers and community organizations throughout the year.
If you are enrolled in the Graduate Tax Program (as an M.T. or LL.M. student) or the Sturm College of Law you can participate in the LITC for credit or as a volunteer. Please contact Professors Erin Stearns (Director) or Samantha Galvin (Assistant Director) for additional information.
McKayla Johnson, '18
"Through participation in the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program and the Low Income Taxpayer Clinic (LITC) I have been able to give back to the community. Opportunities like this outside of the classroom have allowed me to take the knowledge I have acquired during the program and see how that translates and is applicable in a setting with direct client interaction."
National Tax Challenge, ABA Competition
Taxing the Competition
Sarah Rumsey and Anthony Garcia, 2017 Finalists Aaron Burton and Greg Janssen, 2016 Finalists
Students in the Graduate Tax Program have achieved remarkable success in national tax competitions. This tradition of excellence began in the Arthur Andersen (later Deloitte) Tax Challenge, where our teams dominated the field for many years.
In recent years, our students have competed in the ABA Law Student Tax Challenge (LL.M. division). Student teams participate through our Tax Research and Writing course and spend several months preparing their written submissions. In each of the last four years, a Graduate Tax Program team was selected as one of four national finalists and competed in the final round held as part of the ABA Tax Section meetings.
U.S. Court Clerkships
Many of our LL.M. students have been selected for a prestigious summer internship at the United States Tax Court in Washington, D.C. Students chosen for an internship can see firsthand how tax-related case law is made, improve their research and writing skills, and make valuable connections that will benefit them throughout their careers. Graduates also can apply for distinguished full-time clerkships with the Tax Court and join the ranks of several Graduate Tax Program alumni who have clerked for the Court in the last ten years.
Professional Mentoring and Externships
The mission of our Professional Mentoring and Externship programs is to provide an opportunity for students to reflect more deeply on their career objectives through a supervised experience. Students are given the opportunity to integrate substantive learning with tax law while gaining the confidence to succeed in actual practice. Our reputation with both accounting and law firms creates unique opportunities for practical experience, career enhancement and lifelong mentorships. Denver Law prides itself on the strong relationships it has built and maintained with firms and businesses both locally and globally. The Graduate Tax Program helps you plug into these relationships and build a network of professionals and mentors that will benefit you throughout your career.
Community Economic Development Clinic
Graduate Tax students have an opportunity to advise law students working in the Community Economic Development (CED) Clinic. CED teaches transactional practice skills to students through the representation of nonprofit corporations, community-based associations and enterprises, small businesses, and artists. The law students working in the clinic are drafting corporate formation documents; assisting nonprofit organizations with tax-exempt applications and maintenance of tax-exempt status; drafting and negotiating contracts; acting as general counsel to nonprofit corporations and small businesses; working with state and local government agencies; counseling related to intellectual property issues; and assisting with community-oriented real estate transactions and other transactions related to economic development and redevelopment projects. Our students offer assistance and advice to the law students, providing the tax context to these transactions and researching specific tax topics that emerge in the course of this work.