In yesterday's House hearing, the Treasury Inspector-General was asked if he could list which organizations had been targeted by the IRS for delayed approval or harassing questions. He replied that he could not make that...
- Tax Foundation Law Clerkship Program
Tax Foundation Law Clerkship Program
We are currently accepting applications for the Summer 2013 and Fall 2013 clerkships.
About the Clerkship
As part of our Center for Legal Reform, the Tax Foundation hires law clerks each fall, spring, and summer. Supervised by our Tax Counsel, law clerk responsibilities include substantive research, authoring, and editing assistance in preparing amicus curiae briefs to appellate courts and special reports on important legal and economic issues relating to tax. Clerks have also authored pieces for publication.
Applicants should have completed at least one year of law school by the start of the clerkship, and should have some familiarity with economic principles. Applicants should also have demonstrated interest in federal and state constitutional law and tax law, particularly issues involving the Commerce Clause, the Due Process Clause, the Equal Protection Clause, and state uniformity clauses.
The clerkship is located at the Tax Foundation's office in Washington, D.C. (although some work may be done remotely). Spring and fall clerks work 10-20 hours per week and are compensated at a rate of $10 per hour; full-time summer clerks receive a stipend to cover transportation and housing costs of up to $1,600 per month. We have flexibility for clerks' schedule. We can assist in arranging course credit in lieu of the pay at the request of successful applicants.
Work by Past Clerks
Past and present clerks have contributed to the following amicus curiae filings by the Tax Foundation:
- Taxpayers Who Pay a Cancelled Tax Should Get Refunds: Armour v. City of Indianapolis, September 2011
- Ending the Nexus Guessing Game for Taxpayers: Lamtec Corp. v. Washington Department of Revenue, June 2011
- Virginia Constitution Requires Uniform Distribution of the Metrorail Tax Burden in Fairfax County: FFW Enterprises v. Fairfax County and the Board of Supervisors of Fairfax County, June 2010
- "Amazon Tax" Unconstitutional and Unwise: Amazon.com, LLC v. New York State Department of Taxation and Finance (NY App. Div.), September 2009
- The Dangers of Privatizing Tax Collection: Priceline.com, Inc. v. City of Anaheim (Cal. Ct. App.), June 2009
- Economic Incidence: Consumers May Not Remit Ohio’s Tax on Grocery Sales, But They Pay It: Ohio Grocers Association v. Wilkins (Ohio Sup. Ct.), May 2009
- Urging the California Court of Appeal to Rule that Charging Taxpayers for Tax Collection is a Tax: Weisblat v. City of San Diego, February 2009
- Urging California Court of Appeal to Permit Class Refund Actions in Challenges of Illegal Local Taxes-- Ardon v. City of Los Angeles, November 2008
- Urging North Carolina Courts to Hold Lottery Is a Tax -- Heatherly v. State, September 2008
- Urging Texas Court to Avoid Sparking an Interstate Tax War -- First American Title Ins. Co. v. Combs, August 2008
- Urging Indiana Court to Avoid Education Finance Mess—Bonner v. Indiana (Ind. Sup. Ct.), August 2008
- Urging a Stop to South Dakota's Discriminatory Insurance Taxes—Metropolitan Life Ins. Co. v. Kinsman (S.D. Sup. Ct.), April 2008
- Protecting Taxpayers from Fragmented State-by-State Interpretations of the Federal Tax Code—Centerior Energy Corp. v. Mikulski (U.S. Sup. Ct.), February 2008
- Virginia Supreme Court Considers Taxpayer Protections in NVTA Tax Case (Va. Sup. Ct.), February 2008
- Protecting Competitive Neutrality Before the Supreme Court—Kentucky Department of Revenue v. Davis (U.S. Sup. Ct.), September 2007
- Asking the U.S. Supreme Court to Rein in IRS Penalties on Struggling Businesses—Staff IT, Inc., v. United States (U.S. Sup. Ct.), September 2007
- Protecting Taxpayers From Discriminatory Taxes at the U.S. Supreme Court—CSX Transportation, Inc. v. State Board of Equalization of Georgia (U.S. Sup. Ct.), July 2007
- Defending Tax Competition in the U.S. Supreme Court—DaimlerChrysler Corp. v. Charlotte Cuno, et al. (U.S. Sup. Ct.), November 2005
About the Tax Foundation
Since its founding in 1937, the Tax Foundation has been looked to for non-partisan and principled research and analysis of tax issues at all levels of government. Best known for our annual calculation of "Tax Freedom Day," we work to raise economic awareness among taxpayers, lawmakers, and media.
While there are a number of Washington, D.C.-based public policy groups today that cover a broad range of policy issues, only the Tax Foundation provides a principled voice on the impact of tax and fiscal policy at the federal, state, and local levels.
About the Tax Foundation's Center for Legal Reform
The Tax Foundation's Center for Legal Reform cultivates, explains, and advocates for tax legal reform. We develop innovative pro-growth ideas in tax law with leading experts, educate the legal community and the public about economics and taxpayer protections, and advocate that judicial and policy decisions on tax law promote simple, neutral, transparent, and stable tax policies.
Courts play an important role in developing tax policy, by interpreting tax codes, applying sections in individual cases, and dealing with circumstances unforeseen when legislation was drafted. By explaining complex tax legal reform issues to policymakers, the media, state groups, and the public, we encourage judicial and policy decisions that protect taxpayers and promote sound tax policy in federal and state law.
Specifically, our legal team focuses on cases and issues involving one or more of the following areas:
- Scope of State Taxing Authority - States should not impair our national market with protectionist barriers. So long as tax systems are defined by geography, tax assessment and nexus must be based on physical presence within geographic lines. A single transaction should not be subject to multiple taxation or burdensome calculation, assessment, or payment obligations.
- Definition of "Tax" - Many states have additional taxpayer safeguards for legislation that raises taxes, but in an effort to evade these safeguards, politicians are playing a word game. Any assessment that raises money in excess of what is needed to defray costs is a tax.
- Economic Incidence - Constitutionally questionable taxes often are enacted using formal language that suggests they will not be damaging, but the real-world effect is precisely what the law is meant to prevent. By being presented with information about economic impacts, judges can resist the danger of simply accepting what the law says will happen instead of what really happens.
- Taxpayer Protections - Entities imposing taxes and fees should treat like parties alike, with rules that are simple, transparent, stable, and neutral. There should be taxpayer protection provisions and they should be followed. The focus of taxes must be on raising revenue, not micromanaging decisions made by free people in the marketplace.
Past and Present Law Clerks
- Allison B. Clements, Ave Maria Law School (Summer 2005)
- Joseph D. Henchman, George Washington University Law School (Fall 2005, Spring 2006, Summer 2006, Fall 2006, Spring 2007)
- Matthew S. Reddington, George Washington University Law School (Fall 2007, Spring 2008)
- Paul G. Galindo, Georgetown University Law Center (Summer 2008)
- Travis A. Greaves, Georgetown University Law Center (LL.M. program)/South Texas College of Law (J.D.) (Fall 2008, Spring 2009)
- Justin M. Burrows, George Washington University Law School (Summer 2009)
- Arushi Sharma, George Mason University Law School (Spring 2010, Summer 2010, Fall 2010, Spring 2011)
- Laura A. Lieberman, George Mason University Law School (Summer 2011, Fall 2011, Spring 2012)
Please fill out the application form below, which includes a box to paste cover letter text and a place to upload your resume.
The position is competitive, so the cover letter should demonstrate informed interest in the Tax Foundation's legal program, and address what the applicant can contribute to and gain from a clerkship with the Tax Foundation. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis until the positions are filled; please see the top of this page for latest updates.