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
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.
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In the News
Keith Fogg, Clinical Professor of Law and Avid Advocate for Low-Income Taxpayers, Retires
By Olivia Klein, Harvard Law Today As a teacher at Harvard Law School, Keith Fogg says that he sees himself like the Wizard of Oz: “I’m standing behind the curtain, telling the students that they have … Keith Fogg, Clinical Professor of Law and Avid Advocate for Low-Income Taxpayers, Retires Read More » The post […]
June 15, 2022
LSC Tax Clinic Intern Eshika Kaul Awarded Truman Scholarship
Eshika Kaul ’23, who was an intern in LSC’s Federal Tax Clinic, was recently named as a recipient of the prestigious Truman Scholarship. Read more below about Eshika and her work assisting low-income taxpayers, and … LSC Tax Clinic Intern Eshika Kaul Awarded Truman Scholarship Read More » The post LSC Tax Clinic Intern […]
June 10, 2022
LSC Team Helps 200 Native Alaskans Get Much-Needed Tax Assistance
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 … LSC Team Helps 200 Native Alaskans Get Much-Needed Tax Assistance Read More » The post LSC Team Helps […]
May 18, 2022
Supreme Court Rules Unanimously In Favor of Tax Clinic Position on Whether Filing Deadlines Are Jurisdictional or Mere “Claims Processing Rules” that Can Be Tolled
Although the Supreme Court has been sharply divided on a host of issues this term, it ruled unanimously this spring in Boechler P.C. v. Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service. That ruling affirmed a position … Supreme Court Rules Unanimously In Favor of Tax Clinic Position on Whether Filing Deadlines Are Jurisdictional or Mere […]
April 25, 2022