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by Nick Furtwengler, Law Student Division Liaison to the ABA Section of Taxation

If you are searching for a field of law that has job opportunities, even in the current economic climate, have you thought about tax law? As you have probably learned in law school, practically all legal transactions create a tax impact. There is always a need for tax attorneys to evaluate and strategically reduce that tax impact for the client. Joining the ABA Section of Taxation is a great way to determine if a career in tax law interests you, plus, it’s free for all law students!

Click here for the full Law Student Tax Perspective


The Tax Section has a Public Service Fellowship program to help fill the need for tax legal service assistance around the country, and to foster an interest in tax-related public service for those lawyers who participate. Each year, we accept applications from recent law school graduates or judicial clerks interested in working in tax-related public service organizations. To apply, you must secure employment with a public-interest, non-profit section 501(c)(3) organization that involves taxation or administration of tax law, and commit to a two-year term with that organization (your employment may be contingent upon award of the Fellowship).

For more information about the Public Service Fellowships and to learn how to apply, please go to http ://www.abanet.org/tax/awards/publicservice.

FEATURED TAX CAREER INTERVIEW: Corporate Lawyer Lisa Zarlenga, Partner, Steptoe & Johnson LLP.

Excerpts from the Lisa Zarlenga interview follow below. To read the interview in its entirety, click here.

Could you describe your current practice at Steptoe & Johnson? Are there any specific areas of tax law that you specialize in, or find particularly interesting?

My primary practice area is corporate transactions and tax planning, so I spend most of my time in the 300’s of the Internal Revenue Code, structuring and planning taxable and tax free acquisitions, dispositions, spin-offs, incorporations, and distributions. I also have the opportunity to dabble in tax controversy and litigation as well as a little lobbying and tax policy work. | More >>

What do you enjoy most about tax law?

I enjoy the intellectual challenge. Corporate tax planning is like a puzzle—you have this interlocking set of rules and based on your client’s goals, you try to structure the transaction to fit within the rules. And the fact that the law constantly changes adds a layer of complexity. I also like to be able to say that my job is to represent taxpayers against the IRS—lawyers who fight a common enemy seem to be less hated by the general public. | More >>

You clerked for a U.S. Tax Court judge after law school. What was that experience like?

I thoroughly enjoyed my clerkship experience. I primarily worked on writing opinions, so it really permitted me to practice my tax research and writing skills in a somewhat academic environment. It also allowed me to network with the other clerks and judges. | More >>

To read the interview in its entirety, click here.


picture of careers book coverCareers in Tax Law: Perspectives on the Tax Profession and What It Holds for You
Designed for those considering or beginning a career in tax law, this informative guide presents a series of offerings -- autobiographies in miniature -- by a broad cross section of working tax professionals. Over 75 contributors share their unique perspectives, knowledge, and experiences. Nowhere else will you find such an honest and entertaining portrayal of the tax profession and what it holds for you.


The Section has introduced an online job locator service , listing available tax opportunities around the country. If you are looking for a position in the area of tax law, please bookmark this site, add it to your ‘favorites’ list and check back on a regular basis. If you or your firm would like to post open positions, you may click here, and fill out the questionnaire listing the name of the firm and describing the responsibilities of the position.


As a law student member of the Section of Taxation, you are invited to attend the Section meetings free of charge! Tax Section meetings are a great way to learn about the latest news and regulations facing the practice of tax, and to meet practitioners in this area of the law. You’ll hear the latest updates on proposed regulations, legislation, and current issues from more than 100 government guests in attendance.

Watch this video to learn more about the benefits of attending Tax Section meetings.
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