Learn About William & Mary’s Federal Tax Clinic

by Bridget Claycomb, Class of 2016

It’s getting to be that time of year again: Tax Season. While that might have some of us groaning, the students in the William and Mary Tax Law Clinic are probably ecstatic! The admissions ambassadors had a chance to talk with two students, Jack and Natalia, who took the Tax Law Clinic during Fall Semester . Both third year law students highly recommended the clinic to other William and Mary law students.

Natalia is from Russia and transferred to William and Mary Law School for her second year. She worked as an accountant for four years before she decided that she wanted to pursue law instead of accounting. She hesitated to explore tax law, but after an internship with the IRS, she realized tax law was just the kind of structured challenge she was looking for. She decided to sign-up for the Tax Law Clinic.

Jack is from North Carolina and chose William and Mary for its history and its reputation as being a great law school. He decided to sign-up for the Tax Law Clinic after taking the Federal Income Tax course during his second year of law school. The director of the clinic, Craig Bell, came in to encourage students to apply, and Jack thought it sounded like a great opportunity to gain practical experience and help clients who really needed it.

Craig Bell, Adjunct Professor of Law & Managing Attorney William & Mary's Federal Tax Clinic

Craig Bell, Adjunct Professor of Law & Managing Attorney William & Mary’s Federal Tax Clinic

Natalia and Jack couldn’t say enough good things about Director Craig Bell. Natalia said, “Craig is a nationally recognized tax attorney who has been practicing tax law for thirty years. Learning from him is an invaluable experience for students interested in tax law.” Jack agrees, “Craig is a great teacher that fosters corroboration between the student teams and seeks to build the class into a firm. Craig is also a successful attorney that has a wealth of practical experience to convey to the students which take the clinic.”

The clinic has both classroom and practical elements. Students are taught strategies and knowledge that they can apply to their cases and clients. Both students stressed how valuable it is to participate in clinics during law school. Jack said, “Some people complain that law school lacks the practical experience necessary to practice law; taking a clinic is a great way to gain practical experience in law school.” Natalia agrees, “ The Clinic gave me real perspective and showed me how I would apply the knowledge and theory I am learning in class to the real world.” “I met and conferenced with a client. I had a real opportunity to help a real client with a real problem,” says Natalia. Jack adds, “The clinic allows us to help people in need of legal services that otherwise would not be able to afford said services.”

For more information on the tax law clinic, click here.

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