The Tax Clinic, first offered in 1981, is composed of two components. First, the clinic provides an opportunity for law students to represent low income taxpayers who have a controversy with the IRS. Representation can occur at audit, in the Appeals Office, in the collection process, before the U.S. Tax Court or, on occasion, before the U.S. District Court or 8th Circuit. In addition representation may also extend to controversies with the MN Department of Revenue. Clinic students do not prepare tax returns. The clinic receives client referrals from the IRS and Tax Court in addition to those that come from community organizations (such as free tax assistance sites). Students in the clinic are also asked to participate in community education and outreach, since approximately one-third of our clients speak English as a second language.
A clinic seminar meets weekly for both semesters. The seminar provides training in lawyering skills, such as interviewing, counseling, negotiation, and professional responsibility. In addition, guest speakers at the seminar from the IRS, the Minnesota Department of Revenue, and practicing bar provide useful information about the practice of tax law. Students must have taken (or be concurrently enrolled in) Federal Tax Procedure. Tax I is encouraged as well.
Each year three students are selected to serve as directors in the clinic during their third year. Each summer the Tax Clinic hires three students to work full-time in the clinic. If you are interested in serving as a director during your third year for academic credit or a summer job for pay, preference is given to students enrolled in the Tax Clinic (i.e., enroll in your second year to be eligible).