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Students in the Tax Litigation 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 Tax Litigation 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 Audrey Patten

Audrey Patten

Interim Director; 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
Charles R. MarkhamEnrolled Agent, CPA, USTC

In the News

  • Featured image for Making a mark on the tax law landscape article

    Making a mark on the tax law landscape

    Just two weeks into her first clinical experience, Madison Wulf Elbich ‘24 could say that she had filed her first amicus brief—for the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, no less.   As a student in the Tax Litigation Clinic, Wulf Elbich worked in partnership with clinical instructor Audrey Patten to file an amicus brief in Jarrett et

    April 24, 2023

  • IRS Check Shouldn’t Nullify Crypto Tax Suit, 6th Circ. Told

    By Anna Scott Farrell Via Law360 Law360 (February 14, 2023, 4:30 PM EST) — A taxpayer advocacy group asked the Sixth Circuit to overturn a decision that a check sent by the Internal Revenue Service to a Tennessee couple rendered their challenge to taxes on cryptocurrency they obtained moot, saying a decision favoring the couple could help

    February 16, 2023

  • ‘The odds are long … but not impossible’

    Keith Fogg, clinical professor of law emeritus at Harvard Law School, says that IRS audits of two former FBI officials deserve an investigation, but he doubts tampering. By Rachel ReedVia Harvard Law Today An investigation by the New York Times in early July revealed that James B. Comey, the FBI director fired by Donald Trump

    July 21, 2022

  • LSC students, attorneys help 200+ Native Alaskans get much-need tax assistance

    Via LSC Blog The tax issues faced by Native Alaskan tribal members are unusually complex. Those complexities stem not only from the area’s chief economic driver – fishing – but also from how tribes are governed, and the multigenerational family structure of Native Alaskans in rural Alaska. This spring, LSC Tax Clinic 3L students Lydia

    June 1, 2022