Law Student Tax Challenge
Quite simply, the law student tax challenge is a competition, open to two person teams to attempt to solve some of the current issues in business. In the same way that many law students become involved in mooting competitions, this is an opportunity to gain real life experience and, for some students to showcase their potential. The law student tax challenge is run by the American Bar Association aimed at law students in America.
In order to enter the law student tax challenge, each team must consist of students either on the JD (juris doctor) degree or on the LLM (masters) degree. There is no limit to the number of teams each law school can enter.
What is the Law Student Tax Challenge?
As part of the law student tax challenge, each team will be asked to submit written work on a specific problem. This will consist of a memo to a supervising partner as well as a letter to the client explaining the proposals. Those who are successful at this stage will be taken on to the next round in the law student tax challenge.
In total, six teams from the JD division and four teams from the LLM division will be taken to the conference (to be held in New Orleans in 2009) to make a written proposal. On average, there are approximately forty teams that enter the JD division and around twenty teams in the LLM division of the law student tax challenge.
The aim of the law student tax challenge is to give students the opportunity to come up with innovative, new solutions to genuine business problems. The judges of the law student tax challenge are renowned experts in their field and completing this task gives law students a genuine feel for the challenges that face practising lawyers, every day. To this end, the law student tax challenge aims to offer a real life experience and an opportunity for students to put their academic skills to the test.
Topics Covered by the Law Student Tax Challenge
As the law student tax challenge aims to deal with a range of realistic issues, the chosen topics will vary based on what is pertinent at the time of setting the question. Typical topics that have been the subject of the law student tax challenge in the past include structuring international split-offs, dealing with cancellation of debt in a management situation and merger and acquisition issues. For 2008, the law student tax challenge is to develop a strategy for a client to make the most of the tax credits currently available in New Orleans. It is easy to see from this example that the law student tax challenge really is based on current issues and problems faced by real life practitioners across the country.
Ways of Approaching the Law Student Tax Challenge
This is, of course, individual to every team; however, the real challenge for students is to think in a real life, non-academic way. The advice needs to be accurate, but it must also be realistic and practical in terms of execution. Before any team can begin to try and come up with suggestions for dealing with the problem before them, they must first gain an in depth understanding of the law itself. The law student tax challenge involves more than simply coming up with a solution to an insular tax problem; it is about understanding the law AND applying it to the situation and facts before them.
Most students who take part in the law student tax challenge will have a solid academic knowledge of the tax situation; it is learning to apply it to the facts that will pose the real challenge. Despite the often very complicated issues involved, law students entering the law student tax challenge would do well to return to first principles. Solutions to problems, even if they are very complicated, are almost invariably rooted in the underlying statutes. Whenever the scenario starts to become complicated, entrants into the law student tax challenge would do well to break everything back to the roots of the issues. This will also be vital when it comes to attempting to summarise the scheme to the clients themselves, who presumably do not have the legal background of the lawyers developing the scheme.
For those students who make it through to the finals of the law student tax challenge, they will be required to present their scheme orally. Without a full understanding of the building blocks of the scheme, this oral presentation will simply put too much of a strain on the entrants and the lack of understanding will become evident. To be successful at the law student tax challenge, a genuine and comprehensive understanding is necessary. For this reason, the simpler the scheme the more generally successful it will be.
Benefits of the Law Student Tax Challenge
For the entrants, the benefits of the law student tax challenge are clearly the fact that the individuals will gain exposure to some of the top practitioners in the world. Those who reach an advanced point in the law student tax challenge will have an unrivalled addition to their CV which would clearly set them aside from other students in the ever competitive world of securing a future legal position.
As well as the advantages to the overall careers of the participants in the law student tax challenge, there are the skills that they will hone during the competitive process. Law students in America go straight from being students to being qualified lawyers. Most will undertake a summer placement, but this is the only on the job training that they will receive. For this reason, one of the key problems facing law students in America is their lack of practical experience. The law student tax challenge is their opportunity to prove to potential employers that they are able to apply practically, the academic information that they have gleaned over several years of training.
The skills used by the entrants of the law student tax challenge will be useful in all future legal careers, whether they are in tax or some other area of law. For this reason, any entrant in the law student tax challenge is bound to benefit from their experience, no matter how far they progress in the competition.Get help with your essay today from our expert law essay writers...