Saturday, September 12, 2009

About the Blog Editor—Part 2: Professional Journey

Both my husband and I come from fairly humble backgrounds. Our parents were all public school teachers. And as school teachers, they were the professionals in their families. Many of our relatives never had the opportunity to go to college. After undergraduate school, I idealistically followed my parents into teaching. By choice, I taught in schools situated in tough neighborhoods, where students had few prospects. I think that I aspired to live out the film Stand and Deliver, but that did not quite happen. Having grown somewhat disillusioned, I decided that becoming a lawyer would be more interesting. In particular, I was interested in some type of international business law. It was the late 1990s, and my thought was that one could best bring economic justice to the downtrodden by bringing commerce to their communities.

Law school was extremely hard. It was one of the most difficult, but ultimately most rewarding challenges of my life. Had I not gone to law school, I’m not sure who I would have become. My work ethic and my confidence in my own abilities were deepened tremendously. After completing a student clerkship, I was fortunate to get a terrific offer to work after graduation as an in-house corporate tax lawyer for a large multinational in the petroleum industry. The work was fascinating in many respects.

After a number of years, however, I eventually began to feel the pull of academia. I love to write and explore policy issues. But of course one does not get a chance to do that much in the corporate world. I also thought I had a lot I could share with would-be lawyers and could do some good by helping people transition into the legal profession. In 2008, after about eight years of corporate tax practice, I became a professor. I currently teach courses on Federal Income Tax and Criminal Law. I particularly enjoy working with first year students who are getting acclimated to the challenges law school, as well as upper division students who have seen the light and understand the ubiquitous importance of tax law to any legal practice. My scholarship interests include the application of evidentiary privileges in the tax context, children and the law, and the role of religion in shaping law (particularly the scope of criminal law).

1 Corinthians 4:12 (New International Version)

"We work hard with our own hands. When we are cursed, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure it."