Tax Foundation Law Clerkship Program
We are accepting applications for the spring 2017 and summer 2017 programs. All are considered on a rolling basis, and the summer 2017 program application deadline was December 1, 2016.
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 $13 per hour; full-time summer clerks receive a stipend to cover transportation and housing costs of up to $1,040 per half-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 nearly all of our amicus curiae filings in federal and state courts.
About the Tax Foundation
The Tax Foundation is the nation’s leading independent tax policy nonprofit. Since 1937, our principled research, insightful analysis, and engaged experts have improved lives through smarter tax policy. We believe that tax reform isn’t just about growing the economy, or raising revenue; it’s about making people better off. That’s why we’re so passionate about achieving our vision: a world where the tax code doesn’t stand in the way of success.
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)
- Daniel R. Borchert, William & Mary Law School (Summer 2012)
- Christopher D. Saddock, Georgetown University Law Center (LL.M. program)/Southern Methodist University (J.D.) (Fall 2012, Spring 2013)
- Christopher L. Stephens, University of Maryland Carey School of Law (Summer 2013, Fall 2013, Spring 2014)
- James W. Kennedy, Wake Forest University School of Law (Spring 2015)
- Eric M. Carlson, Syracuse University College of Law (Summer 2015)
- James F. Kelly, University of Wisconsin Law School (Summer 2015)
- Thomas P. Crowley, University of Maryland Carey School of Law (Summer 2016)
- Kavya Rajasekar, George Washington University Law School (Fall 2016)
Please fill out the application form at the link below, which includes a box to paste cover letter text and a place to upload your resume. Address the cover letter to Mr. Joseph Henchman, Vice President, Legal Projects, Tax Foundation.
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.