Temple’s Tax Team Takes Second in National Competition
January 31, 2011 - There is a new tradition developing at Temple Law, and it’s another winning one. For the fourth year in a row, Temple students have medaled in the final round of the ABA Tax Challenge. The Challenge is the preeminent national tax competition for law students. Between the J.D. and LL.M. tax programs, Temple teams have brought home six trophies since 2008, including awards for Best Written Submission by a J.D. team (2008, 2009), first place J.D. team (2009), 2nd place J.D. team (2010), and 2nd place LL.M. team (2009, 2011).
This year’s competitors, Travis Wheeler and Jeanmarie Dunn-Kane, are both J.D. / LL.M. candidates. In addition, one half of the winning LL.M. team from Northwestern, John Goodell ’10, is a Temple Law J.D. graduate. Both Wheeler and Dunn-Kane have a history of success in the Tax Challenge. Dunn-Kane won the J.D. competition in 2009, and Wheeler took second in 2010.
Sponsored by the American Bar Association’s Tax section and held in Boca Raton, Florida, the Law Student Tax Challenge drew 31 teams of LL.M. students from around the country. Competitors were required to describe a series of complicated corporate reorganizations to their panel of judges. Competition judge William Alexander, Associate Chief Counsel at the IRS Office of Chief Counsel, described the Temple team’s analysis as extremely sophisticated and exactly what he would have recommended.
In order to earn an invitation to the Challenge, students were required to research the tax questions involved and submit technical memoranda and client letters with their solutions. The submissions were judged by tax practitioners from around the country, and the teams with the best written submissions were chosen to present their tax planning strategies before judges at the section’s midyear meeting.
Temple’s 2011 team was coached by Professors Andrea Monroe and Kathy Mandelbaum, Director of the LL.M. in Tax program.