Tax attorneys play a vital role in a variety of settings, from helping individuals, businesses and charitable organizations navigate increasingly complex tax laws, to working for governmental agencies tasked with enforcement of statutes and regulations.

Curriculum and Requirements

Tax Law Concentration


To receive the certificate for this concentration, you must earn 21 tax law-related credits (consisting of 18 credits in tax coursework and 3 credits of clinical/externship work) and meet all of the other concentration requirements. In addition, you must take Federal Income Tax (LAWS 305) as one of your core electives. Credits for LAWS 305 do not count toward the 21-credit concentration requirement, but the grade in this prerequisite does count toward the GPA requirement for honors. 

1. Required Coursework

In addition to Federal Income Tax (LAWS 305) (credits for which do not count toward the 21-credit requirement), you must take at least 18 credits from the following lists of courses, all of which count toward the 21-credit requirement for the concentration.

Tax Courses

At least 12 of the credits used for the concentration must come from the following list of tax courses. (Note: Not all of these courses are offered every year.)

LAWS 292Independent Research Project W 12
LAWS 293Independent Research Project W 13
LAWS 309Estate and Gift Taxation2
LAWS 313Advanced Individual Income Tax3
LAWS 314Employee Benefits2
LAWS 393Business Planning4
LAWS 450Nonprofit Organizations2
LAWS 477International Tax2
LAWS 504Tax Policy- S, W2
LAWS 580Taxation of Bus. Enterprises4
LAWS 581Tax Research - S,W 12
LAWS 631Financial Planning: Principles and Taxat2-3

Independent research with tax emphasis (with written approval of concentration director and supervising professor).

Related Courses

Up to 6 credits used for the concentration may come from the following list of related courses. (Note: Not all of these courses are offered every year.)

LAWS 205Business Organizations4
LAWS 307Trusts and Estates3
LAWS 355Corporate Finance3
LAWS 369Real Estate Transactions3
LAWS 370Family Law2-3
LAWS 435Advanced Family Law I - S2
LAWS 505Mergers & Acquisitions2
LAWS 516International Business Trans.3

2. Clinical Requirement

At least 3 credits must be earned through participation in the Tax Clinic and/or externship placement approved by the concentration director. No more than 3 credits count toward the 21-credit requirement for the concentration, except with permission of the concentration director in consultation with the director of the clinic or externship. The director of the clinic may waive IRC as a requirement for the Tax Clinic.

If a student does enroll in IRC, credits for it will not count toward the clinical requirement. If a student meets this requirement through an externship placement, the seminar portion of the externship does not count toward the 3 required clinical credits. If a student meets this requirement through the Tax Clinic, 1 credit of the seminar portion of the externship counts toward the 3 required clinical credits.

The concentration director may waive the clinical requirement if the student has substantial tax law work experience. If the concentration director waives the clinical requirement, the student must earn additional credits in tax courses (or any related courses specifically allowed by the concentration director) to qualify for the concentration.

3. Writing Requirement

A student must write a substantial paper – or a series of shorter writings that together comprise a substantial amount of written work – on a topic or topics related to tax. (If a student writes a substantial paper, the student may use that paper to satisfy the law school's advanced writing requirement, provided that the paper meets the guidelines set forth in the Academic Regulations, section I.D.) The concentration director must approve the topic or topics for the written work used to satisfy this requirement. A paper written for a journal may qualify, if the concentration director approves the topic. 

4. Honors

Students who achieve a GPA of 3.2 or better in the coursework used for the concentration will receive the certificate for the concentration with honors. A student may designate any course or paper as not counting toward the concentration, so long as it is not specifically required for the concentration, and the student meets the concentration requirements with another course or paper. 

5. Waiver

The concentration director and the associate dean for academic affairs may waive any requirements for the concentration (other than the GPA requirement), if they both agree to do so.