· Overview of the Clinical Fellow’s Work and Responsibilities: The Fellow selected to work at the MSU College of Law Tax Clinic will have significant responsibility in supervising the work performed by law students enrolled in the Tax Clinic who primarily represent persons in controversy with the Internal Revenue Service, and will be physically present at the Tax Clinic for a substantial component of his or her working time. The Fellow will be the primary attorney in contact with most of the Tax Clinic’s clients, as well as with the Internal Revenue Service, the Michigan Department of Treasury, and other taxing authorities. The Fellow additionally will participate in special projects and research affecting Tax Clinic clients, may teach some substantive tax and tax procedure law to student clinicians each semester, will be responsible to suggest ways to improve the Clinic’s administrative functions, and will focus on the development of student clinicians’ professional skills in areas such as client interviewing and counseling, case file management, and other general law practice management issues. The Fellow will work under the direct supervision of the Tax Clinic Director, and will regularly report on his or her activities to the Director.
In addition, the Tax Clinical Fellow will be engaged in a variety of community-based outreach projects to educate English-as-a-second language taxpayers about their rights and responsibilities under the Internal Revenue Code; to generally inform persons within the community about the existence of the Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic; and, more specifically, to invite low-income persons to take advantage of the Tax Clinic as a resource to solve their existing federal income tax controversies. The Clinical Fellow dedicated to the Tax Clinic will achieve these goals: 1) by providing written materials and community-education presentations to low-income and ESL taxpayers; 2) coordinating, preparing, and directing participation in many outreach projects ranging from oral presentations to appearances at places at which ESL and low-income taxpayer in need of the Tax Clinic’s services gather (e.g., the local Salvation Army; homeless shelters, and community events); and 3) providing legal assistance in tax controversy cases and tax return preparation that is ancillary to those tax controversies. The Fellow will pay particular attention to taxpayers who are eligible for, but may not know about, important federal tax credits such as the earned income credit and the child and additional child tax credits.
The Tax Clinic Fellow will work through models of outreach and clinic publicity that, in part, have been developed by previous Fellows, and will be encouraged to bring into play his or her creative skills and experience in modifying these existing models or in creating wholly new models. This Fellow also will work aggressively to improve economic conditions for low-income taxpayers by increasing the visibility of tax refund opportunities available and communicating this information to them directly, as well as by seeking out and providing legal and counseling assistance to them.
The Fellow must have a good driving record and must secure a Michigan Chauffeur’s License from the Michigan Secretary of State so that she or he can drive the Mobile Law Clinic to various outreach sites.
Required Educational Background: The ideal Clinical Fellow will have acquired familiarity with the work performed by the Tax Clinic through his or her own past association as a noteworthy student tax clinician in an academic Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic funded by the Taxpayer Advocate Service. Preference will be given to applicants who have successfully completed work as a student in MSU College of Law’s Tax Clinic, and particular preference will be given to former MSU Law tax clinicians who have successfully completed both Tax Clinic I and II. The Clinical Fellow must have completed his or her law school education at an accredited law school, and either must have taken and passed the Michigan bar examination before assuming responsibilities as the Clinical Fellow, must be eligible to be waived in to practice in Michigan before assuming clinical responsibilities, or must have applied or be ready to take the Michigan bar examination on the next date the examination is offered following the Fellow’s start date, and is expected to pass the bar at that time. If the Fellow does not pass the bar on the first available testing date after assuming his or her clinic duties, it is within the discretion of the Clinic Director to retain or immediately terminate the Fellow; if the Fellow is retained after failing his or her first Michigan bar examination attempt, he or she must take the Michigan bar examination on the next available testing date and must pass the exam to continue to work at the Tax Clinic. Full-time, permanent employees of MSU College of Law are ineligible to apply for a position as a Clinical Fellow in the Tax Clinic, as are individuals who previously held a post-graduate, law-related, fellowship. The Law College applies a non-discriminatory policy in selecting the Tax Clinic’s Clinical Fellow.
Commitment of the Clinical Fellow: This Fellowship lasts for a period of two years from the determined date of appointment. If the Fellow does not perform outlined responsibilities as expected by the Tax Clinic Director, or does not satisfy the bar passage requirements outlined above, this two-year period may/will be shortened at the Director’s discretion. Except for highly unusual circumstances and the assent of the Law College’s Director of Clinical Programs, no Fellowship will last for more than two years. In addition, the duration of the Fellow’s position may be shorter than two years if grant funding made available for the position is withdrawn or is not renewed.
Salary & Benefits: The starting salary for this position is $40,000 annually, together with benefits (including healthcare, dental, contribution to retirement annuity, term life insurance, long-term disability coverage, payment of basic Bar dues once the Fellow is admitted to the Bar, and sick, personal, and vacation time).
How to Apply: By no later than Monday, July 1, 2011, email all of the following items to Professor Michele L. Halloran, Director of Clinical Programs and Director, Tax Clinic (firstname.lastname@example.org):
§ A written statement – no longer than three (3) pages double-spaced in length with 12 point font – indicating each of the following:
· Why you are interested in the Fellow position;
· What contribution you can make to the Tax Clinic
· What your vision of what the Tax Clinic will be/accomplish by the mid-2013; and
· Why you believe you should be selected for this position.
§ Your current resume
§ A copy of your law college transcript
§ A writing sample that you will prepare, consisting of a synopsis of the following case: Manella v Commissioner, decided by the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals on January 19, 2011. Your synopsis cannot exceed two (2) pages double-spaced in length with 12 point font.
§ Two (2) letters of recommendation.
After July 1, 2011, all applicants will be notified as to whether they have been selected for an interview for this position.