As current chair of the Tax Section's Pro Bono Award Committee, it is my privilege to announce that this year's recipient of the Janet R. Spragens Pro Bono Award is Andrew R. Roberson with McDermott Will & Emery in Chicago, IL.
This award was established in 2002 to recognize one or more individuals or law firms for outstanding and sustained achievements in pro bono activities in tax law. In 2007, the award was renamed in honor of Janet R. Spragens, who received the award in 2006 in recognition to her dedication to the development of low-income taxpayer clinics throughout the United States.
Andy has set a high bar for others to follow in the giving of his time: he is a great role model for our Tax Section members who seek to volunteer their time to provide legal assistance to low-income taxpayers. Andy serves as the current chair of the Tax Section's Pro Bono and Tax Clinic Committee. In that capacity, Andy has developed the Partnering for Pro Bono initiative, a new program designed to pair law firms with Low Income Tax Clinics to provide much needed assistance. Andy is also actively involved in organizing and promoting opportunities for attorneys to provide pro bono tax work, as well as coordinating efforts to comment on issues that impact low-income taxpayers.
Andy and his firm have been instrumental in helping the U.S. Tax Court achieve 100% coverage for its Calendar Call program, providing coverage to areas where local bar associations and clinics have been unavailable. He regularly provides pro bono tax controversy representation through the LITC at Center for Economic Progress in Chicago, including successfully litigating the Rand case, which set an important precedent regarding the calculation of the accuracy-related penalty with respect to refundable credits.
ATT readers are invited to listen to Andy's acceptance remarks delivered during the Plenary Luncheon at the Midyear meeting here. ■