March 12, 2021 Young Lawyers Corner

Winners of the 20th Annual Law Student Tax Challenge

The Section is pleased to announce the winners of the 20th 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. For the first time in the 20-year history of the competition, each team presented their oral arguments virtually before a panel of distinguished tax lawyers and tax court judges, with the winners announced at a virtual awards ceremony. Louis Couture and Michael Rios of Temple University Beasley School of Law were awarded first place in the J.D. Division. Their coach was Alice Abreu. Isaac Leon and Stefanie Pupkiewicz of the University of Denver Sturm College of Law were awarded first place in the LL.M. Division. Their coach was Sabrina Strand.

The other awardees from this year’s competition include:

J.D. Division

1st Place:
Louis Couture and Michael Rios
Temple University Beasley School of Law

2nd Place (tie):
Casey Bond and Brooks Lindberg
University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law

3rd Place:
Steven Cooper and Tyler Eddington
University of Oregon School of Law

Best Written Submission:
Casey Bond and Brooks Lindberg
University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law

Semi-Finalists:
Brett Emanuel and Allison Marshall
University of Nebraska College of Law

Minas Myrtidis and Jimmy Pham
University of Florida Levin College of Law

Baylee Beeman and Christopher Ryan
University of San Diego School of Law

LL.M. Division

1st Place:
Isaac Leon and Stefanie Pupkiewicz
University of Denver Sturm College of Law

2nd Place:
Marquita Trotter and Heidi Weelborg
Boston University School of Law

Best Written:
Marquita Trotter and Heidi Weelborg
Boston University School of Law

Finalists:
Mariam Khvistani and Inri Panajoti
Boston University School of Law

Elizabeth Bachmann and Zachary DeJoode
University of Missouri- Kansas City School 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. For more information about the LSTC, go to https://www.americanbar.org/groups/taxation/awards/law_student_tax_challenge/

2nd Place (tie):
Casey Bond and Brooks Lindberg
University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law