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Students in the Federal Tax Clinic represent low-income taxpayers in controversies with the IRS, both before the IRS and in federal court. Students may also work on Massachusetts Department of Revenue cases in addition to their federal cases. Students will work individually and in teams to represent taxpayers involving examinations, administrative appeals, collection matters and cases before the United States Tax Court and Federal District Courts. Students will represent taxpayers with the goal of maximizing financial wellbeing and protecting taxpayer rights, including securing refunds and credits to which taxpayers are entitled, providing relief from joint and several liability for innocent spouses, and reducing tax liabilities through successful negotiated resolutions or compromises of liabilities based upon taxpayer financial hardship.

The Clinic provides a singular opportunity to have extensive client contact, to conduct fact investigation and legal research, and to develop, present, and argue cases on behalf of vulnerable taxpayers who would otherwise not have access to justice. Because the Clinic teaches lawyering skills applicable across numerous practice areas, students are encouraged to enroll whether they have an existing interest in tax law and practice or simply seek an immersive law practice experience through which they can learn valuable skills and provide pro bono representation to those in need.

In addition to representing local clients, the Clinic looks to comment on proposed rules and regulations impacting low income taxpayers, and it looks to litigate broadly on issues impacting this community as well as to file amicus briefs on issues of importance.

How to Register

The Federal Tax Clinic is offered in the Fall and Spring semesters. You can learn about the required clinical course component, clinical credits and the clinical registration process by reading the course catalog description and exploring the links in this section.

Meet the Instructors

headshot of Mandi Matlock

Mandi L. Matlock

Interim Director; Lecturer on Law

Mandi L. Matlock joined the Legal Services Center in 2022 to serve as Interim Director of the Federal Tax Clinic and Lecturer on Law. Before coming to LSC, she spent twenty years with Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, Inc. (TRLA), where she founded the Texas Taxpayer Assistance Project, a low-income taxpayer clinic dedicated to pursuing tax justice for indigent clients. There, she represented low-income taxpayers at all administrative levels of the Internal Revenue Service, in United States Tax Court, and in the United States District Courts. Mandi began her career at TRLA as an Equal Justice Works fellow in consumer and tax. She was previously Of Counsel to the National Consumer Law Center where she worked on policy and advocacy initiatives at the intersection of consumer rights and federal tax law. She recently took a two-year hiatus from TRLA to join the Taxpayer Advocate Service, an independent advocacy agency within the Internal Revenue Service, as the Local Taxpayer Advocate for Austin, Texas. Mandi earned her J.D. from the University of Texas School of Law and her B.A. in French, summa cum laude, from the University of Houston.

headshot of Audrey Patten

Audrey Patten

Interim Director (on leave); Clinical Instructor; Lecturer on Law

Audrey Patten joined the Legal Services Center in 2015 to represent survivors of domestic violence in consumer law cases, dealing primarily with debt collections and bankruptcy. Audrey then joined the Tax Clinic in 2017. Prior to working at the Legal Services Center, Audrey was a staff attorney at Northeast Legal Aid, Inc. in Lowell, Mass. Audrey graduated from Emory University School of Law in 2012, where she was a managing editor of the Emory International Law Review and a student in the International Humanitarian Law Clinic, the Barton Juvenile Defender Clinic, and the Emory Supreme Court Advocacy Project. She was also Emory’s recipient of the Clinical Legal Education Association’s Outstanding Student Award. Audrey holds an M.A. in Regional Studies – East Asia from Harvard University and a B.A. in International Relations from Brown University.

Staff Members

Diane WilsonEnrolled Agent and Paralegaldwilson@law.harvard.edu
Elizabeth SegovisAttorneyesegovis@law.harvard.edu
Charles R. MarkhamEnrolled Agent, CPA, USTC Practitionercmarkham@law.harvard.edu

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