ABA Section of Taxation Law Student Tax Challenge

The Section is pleased to announce the winners of the 17th Annual Law Student Tax Challenge, a contest designed to give students an opportunity to research, write about, and present their analyses of a real-life tax planning problem. The competition is open to both J.D. and LL.M. law students. Estevan Fernandez and Brizset Giles of Loyola Law School, Los Angeles were awarded first place in the J.D. Division. Their coach was Jennifer Kowal. Daniel Masciello and David Greenberg of Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law were awarded first place in the LL.M. Division. Their coach was Edward Liva. The teams presented oral arguments before a panel of distinguished tax lawyers and tax court judges attending the Section of Taxation 2018 Midyear Meeting in San Diego, California, with the winners honored at a reception during the meeting. The awardees from this year's competition include:

J.D. Division

1st Place:
Estevan Fernandez and Brizset Giles
Loyola Law School, Los Angeles

2nd Place:
Amber VanDyke and Kerry Heard
University of Montana Alexander Blewett III School of Law

3rd Place:
Shivani Verma and Claire Perna
Michigan State University College of Law

Best Written Submission:
Carley Newberry and Wendy Hoelting
University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law

LL.M Division

1st Place:
Daniel Masciello and David Greenberg
Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law

2nd Place:
Michael Foster and Gregory Neilsen
University of Florida Levin College of Law

Best Written Submission:
Michael Foster and Gregory Neilsen
University of Florida Levin College of Law

An alternative to traditional moot court competitions, the Law Student Tax Challenge (LSTC) is organized by the Section’s Young Lawyers Form. The LSTC asks two-person teams of students to solve a complex business problem that might arise in everyday tax practice. Teams are initially evaluated on two criteria: a memorandum to a senior partner and a letter to a client explaining the result. Based on the written work product, six teams from the J.D. Division and four teams from the LL.M. Division receive a free trip to the Section’s Midyear Meeting, where each team presents its submission before a panel of judges consisting of the country’s top tax practitioners and government officials, including tax court judges. The competition is a great way for law students to showcase their knowledge in a real-world setting and gain valuable exposure to the tax law community.

LSTC Listserve

Join the listserv to stay up-to-date on all competition news.  Competition updates will be communicated via listserv email and posted here.

To join the LSTC listserv:

  1. Log into your ABA account from the ABA Tax Section Homepage
  2. Click on "myABA"
  3. Under "Communications" on the left hand banner, click "Communications Preferences"
  4. Click "View Additional Lists"
  5. Scroll down and check "ABATax Law Student Tax Challenge" under the Section of Taxation

For all questions related to the LSTC or the ABA Tax Section, please contact taxmem@americanbar.org.


For examples of the "Best Written" winners from past competitions, please click here.

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