The taxation section of the American Bar Association recently announced winners in the 2006 Law Student Tax Challenge, an annual event drawing law student participants from around the country. On average, approximately 40 two-person teams enter the competition each year. Both J.D. and LL.M. degree candidates are eligible to enter, and winners are chosen from both divisions of candidates. Some schools offer their students academic credit for participation in the Challenge.
This year’s first place winners, who each receive a $500 monetary award in addition to free membership and meeting registration in the ABA Tax Section for three years after graduation, are Jason Frederick Maus and Julie Ann Camden from Michigan State University College of Law in the J.D. division, and Matt McNeill and Stacey Olsen from Loyola Law School Los Angeles in the LL.M. division.
The Law Student Tax Challenge presents students with the opportunity to write a solution to a complex business tax problem. For the 2006 competition, the problem focused on a business acquisition and the related tax, stock ownership, business structure, and compensation issues. Students were asked to write a memorandum to a senior partner and a letter to the client (the acquiring company) explaining the results to the problem.
Issues that the tax law students were asked to consider include helping the acquiring company achieve its goals by choosing the proper business structure of either a corporation or an LLC, structuring the acquisition so that it would be tax-free to both the acquiring company and the shareholders of the company being acquired, considering the tax ramifications of offering cash rather than stock to the founder and primary shareholder of the company being acquired, and analyzing the possible tax consequences and alternatives for compensating the other main shareholder and head of the research and development department at the company being acquired.
The complete list of winners:
- 1st place: Jason Frederick Maus, Julie Ann Camden, Michigan State University College of Law
- 2nd place: Sarah L. Pendergraft, Jason McIntosh, University of Virginia School of Law
- 3rd place: Jody Beilke, Martha Krohe, Northern Illinois University College of Law
- Best Written Submission: Joseph A. Myska, Bonnie J. Wright, Santa Clara University School of Law
- 1st place and Best Written Submission: Matt McNeill, Stacey Olsen, Loyola Law School Los Angeles
- 2nd place: Megan Stombock, James Saling, Georgetown University Law Center