​Career Advancement and Professional Development

Career Advancement

  • Candidates work closely with the academic advisor to design a program that fulfills not only the degree requirements, but also the attorney's professional goals
  • Our Career and Professional Development Office offers individualized career counseling appointments, as well as many other resources ranging from networking events to practical workshops to information about specific job opportunities
  • Each year our LLM in Taxation candidates are invited to attend the California State Bar Tax Section Annual Meeting and network with hundreds of attorneys and tax practitioners
  • The extensive alumni network includes graduates practicing in areas including corporate tax, estate planning, international tax, employment benefits and corporate counsel, as well as with state and federal government agencies and large accounting firms

Professional Development

United States Tax Court

  • Each fall, judges from the United States Tax Court request, consider and interview University of San Diego School of Law LLM in Taxation candidates for clerking positions with the U.S. Tax Court upon completion of their degree
  • USD is proud to count a number of former U.S. Tax Court clerks among our alumni

Young Tax Lawyers

  • The University of San Diego School of Law is home to the San Diego Chapter of the Young Tax Lawyers Committee of the State Bar of California Taxation Section
  • The monthly meetings are held in the law school and are open to students as well as professionals
  • Students have the opportunity to hear interesting and topically substantive programs, as well as meet current and future colleagues from the state and local tax community

Richard Crawford Pugh Lecture on Tax Law and Policy

The Richard Crawford Pugh Lecture on Tax Law & Policy brings a distinguished practitioner, judge or government official who has played a significant role in shaping U.S. and international tax policy to USD each year to discuss current and developing tax law and policy trends.

The endowed lecture was established in 2009 in honor of the long and illustrious career of USD's Distinguished Professor of Law, Richard Crawford Pugh. Before coming to USD, Pugh was a professor at Columbia Law School, a deputy assistant U.S. attorney general (Tax Division), and a partner at the international law firm of Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton.

Recent honorees include:

Tax Law Speaker Series

Our tax law speaker series brings high-profile tax scholars to USD to present papers on topics of current research interest:


  • Willard B. Taylor (Of Counsel, Sullivan & Cromwell LLP)
  • Joseph Bankman (Stanford University Law School)
  • J. Clifton Fleming (J. Reuben Clark Law School, Brigham Young University)
  • Brian Galle (Boston College Law School)
  • Roberta Mann (University of Oregon School of Law)
  • Richard Schmalbeck (Duke University School of Law)


  • Adam S. Chodorow (Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law, Arizona State University)
  • Susan C. Morse (UC Hastings College of the Law)
  • Howard E. Abrams (Emory University School of Law)
  • Karen B. Brown (The George Washington University Law School)
  • Dennis J. Ventry, Jr. (UC Davis School of Law)
  • Calvin H. Johnson (The University of Texas School of Law)


  • Sarah B. Lawsky (University of California, Irvine School of Law)
  • Bradley W. Joondeph (Santa Clara University School of Law)
  • Michael B. Lang (Chapman University School of Law)
  • Leandra Lederman (Indiana University Maurer School of Law)
  • Edward D. Kleinbard (University of Southern California Gould School of Law)
  • Bryan Camp (Texas Tech University School of Law)


  • Adam S. Chodorow (Arizona State University Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law)
  • Steven A. Bank (University of California Los Angeles School of Law)
  • George Mundstock (University of Miami School of Law)
  • Stephen Schwarz (University of California Hastings College of Law)
  • Jeffrey H. Kahn (Washington and Lee School of Law)
  • Joshua D. Blank (New York University School of Law)


  • Leandra Lederman (Indiana University Maurer School of Law)
  • Ellen P. Aprill (Loyola Law School - Los Angeles)
  • Tanina Rostain (New York Law School)
  • Reuven S. Avi-Yonah (University of Michigan Law School)
  • David G. Duff (University of British Columbia Faculty of Law)
  • Roberta Mann (University of Oregon School of Law)
  • David A. Weisbach (University of Chicago Law School)


  • Karen Brown (George Washington University Law School)
  • Miranda Fleischer (University of Illinois College of Law)
  • Victor Fleischer (University of Illinois College of Law)
  • Robert Peroni (University of Texas at Austin)
  • Dennis Ventry (University of California at Davis School of Law)
  • George K. Yin (University of Virginia School of Law)

Procopio International Tax Institute

  • Founded in 2004, the Procopio International Tax Institute at the University of San Diego School of Law was developed to educate and inform foreign individuals and international companies seeking to do business in the United States
  • With the goal of increasing access to international tax knowledge and promoting cross-border education and cooperation between tax attorneys, accountants, financial experts and other interested business and tax groups, the institute presents an annual conference focusing on various tax related topics relevant to its international audience
  • Interested LLM students are asked to serve as conference volunteers, and are eligible to attend the rest of the conference free of charge

The California Tax Bars

  • Historically, the Graduate Tax Program at the University of San Diego School of Law has been a sponsor of the Annual Meeting of the California Tax Bar and Policy Conference
  • Students have the opportunity to meet and network with current and future colleagues while attending the many educational sessions on current topics relevant to tax law and policy at a significantly reduced fee
  • Graduate Tax Program students are also eligible to participate in the Tax Bar's annual Washington DC Delegation, to present research on pertinent tax issues to legislators
  • LLM candidates can also participate in the Annual Tax Writing Competition sponsored by the Tax Bar's California Tax Lawyer publication

The Federal Tax Clinic

  • The University of San Diego School of Law is pleased to be one of a select number of institutions receiving funding from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for a Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic
  • Participation in the clinic offers students a unique opportunity to gain federal tax controversy experience by assisting low income taxpayers in resolving disputes with the IRS, both in administrative proceedings and in the U.S. Tax Court
  • Guest lecturers for the classroom component of the clinic include members of the U.S. Tax Court, tax professionals from national accounting firms, IRS district counsel, IRS appeals officers, IRS special agents from the Criminal Investigation Division and IRS revenue agents who perform mock audits

The California State Tax Clinics

  • The School of Law offers a State Income Tax Clinic and a State Sales and Use Tax Clinic
  • The Tax Appeals Assistance Program is a joint effort between the USD Legal Clinics and the California State Board of Equalization
  • Under the supervision of an attorney from the California Taxpayers' Rights Advocate Office, students assist taxpayers with state tax appeals and other issues concerning the Franchise Tax Board
  • Students receive practical training in legal skills including interviewing clients, identifying evidence, drafting appeals briefs and representing clients in negotiations with the State Board and at hearings