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May 29, 2020 Special Feature

Thriving Partnership of The Tax Lawyer with Northwestern Tax Program

By Keith Fogg, Clinical Professor of Law, Harvard Law School, Jamaica Plain, MA, and Vice-Chair, Publications, ABA Tax Section

Nearing completion of its second year, The Tax Lawyer partnership with the Northwestern Tax Program provides excellent student editing for the journal’s authors and readers. Under the guidance of faculty editor David Cameron, Professor of Practice and Associate Director of the Tax Program, a team of Northwestern Tax LL.M. students serves as the journal’s student editorial board.

“The importance of Northwestern to us,” notes associate editor-in-chief William Lyons, “is that they have people who are interested in tax law, people who have experience as practical tax lawyers, and people who are getting a wonderful education at the Northwestern graduate tax program.” Another huge benefit to The Tax Lawyer is that the students Northwestern selects as editors have already had valuable editorial experience during their J.D. years. The combination of their prior editorial experience with their tax-focused training makes them the premier group of student editors in the country for tax articles.

Each year, the Northwestern Tax Program selects 5 or 6 incoming tax LL.M. students to constitute the student editorial board, and in August these students begin their editorial work on The Tax Lawyer, with support from an editorial staff of other Northwestern tax LL.M. students. The students prepare every article, reviewing all footnotes for citation accuracy, checking citations for relevance, and reviewing the text for style compliance.

“We’re particularly pleased to have established this relationship with the ABA and The Tax Lawyer principally because it’s such a complement to the work that our students are doing in the classroom,” says Cameron. “The Tax Lawyer publishes articles on corporate tax, international tax, estate planning, state and local tax, tax controversy: these are all subjects our students are studying in their classes. So it’s a great connection from the classroom setting to the real-world professional setting.”

In the first two years of the partnership, The Tax Lawyer has been able to publish on schedule. That has been made possible because of the timely editing by the LL.M. students at Northwestern and Northwestern’s use of a word-processor macro that allows rapid generation of page proofs. This process, implemented in spring 2019, saves the journal time and expense, as it streamlines the editorial process. The purchase and use of the new macro resulted from a suggestion made by students in the first year of the partnership. They had used the macro in the law reviews on which they worked in law school. This is a clear example of the benefit of the partnership with the Northwestern LL.M. students.

“We are just thrilled about our recent partnership with Northwestern University,” says Lindsay LaCava, associate editor-in-chief, state and local tax. “Through this partnership, we’ve had the opportunity to work with a student editorial board consisting of tax LL.M. students who have a dedicated interest in the field of taxation.”

Because The Tax Lawyer published one of my articles in the Spring 2020 issue, I had the experience of working with the students as an author rather than merely as chair of the Publications Committee. The article had numerous unusual cites to old Supreme Court oral arguments and briefs. The students were easy to work with during the editing process. I cannot think of another article I have published in which the student interaction was better and added more value. I am very grateful to Professor Cameron and Northwestern for building such a great team to assist the authors of our publication.

To learn more about the partnership, view the video at