Events and ​Professional Development


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.

2020 Pugh Lecture honoree: 

2020 Pugh Lecture honoree
Rosanne Altshuler

Rosanne Altshuler
Professor of Economics, Rutgers University
"The International Tax Landscape: Past, Present and Future"

Past Pugh Lecture honorees:   

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.


Tax Law Series Speakers 2019-2020

Christine Kim
Associate Professor
The University of Utah, College of Law
Paper: Digital Services Tax: A Crossborder Variation of Consumption Tax Debate 
Date: September 16, 2019

  Christine Kim

Michelle L. Drumbl
Clinical Professor of Law and Director, Tax Clinic
Washington & Lee University
Paper: Tax Credits for the Working Poor, A Call for Reform
Date: October 30, 2019

 Michelle Drumbl

Joshua D. Blank
Professor of Law, Faculty Director of Strategic Initiatives
University of California, Irvine Law
Paper: Progressive Tax Procedure
Date: November 14, 2019 

  Josh Blank

Jason Oh
Professor of Law
Paper: Celebrity Tax Avoidance: Transmuting Human Capital
Date: December 5, 2019 

  Jason Oh 

Erin Scharff
Professor of Law
Arizona State University, Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law
Paper: Constraining States and Protecting the Local Fisc
Date: February 10, 2020

Erin Scharff

Daniel Hemel
Asst. Professor of Law, Ronald H. Coase Research Scholar
University of Chicago Law School
Paper: Longevity and Inequality
Date: March 12, 2020 

  Daniel Hemel

Ruth Mason
Edwin S. Cohen Distinguished Professor of Law and Taxation
University of Virginia School of Law
Paper: Wynne, Wayfair, and Women on Corporate Boards
Date: April 7, 2020

 Ruth Mason


Tax Law Series Speakers 2018-2019

Susan Morse
Angus G. Wynne, Sr. Professor in Civil Jurisprudence
UT-Austin School of Law
Paper: International Cooperation and the 2017 Tax Act
Date: August 27, 2018

  Susan Morse photo

Kirk Stark
Barrall Family Professor of Tax Law and Policy
Paper: The Power Not to Tax
Date: September 26, 2018

  Kirk Stark photo

Leandra Lederman
William W. Oliver Professor of Tax Law
Director of Tax Programs
University of Indiana Maurer School of Law
Paper: Information Matters in Tax Enforcement
Date: October 15, 2018

   Leandra Lederman
Jacob Goldin
Assistant Professor of Law
Stanford Law School
Paper: Ironing Out the Tax Law
Date: November 6, 2018
  Jacob Goldin photo
Shu-Yi Oei
Professor and Dean's Distinguished Scholar
Boston College Law School
Paper: Post-Enactment Politicking
Date: January 22, 2019
  Shu-Yi Oei photo
Katherine (Katie) Pratt
Professor of Law and Sayre Macneil Fellow
Loyola Law School
Paper: True Tax Reform
Date: April 9, 2019
  Katie Pratt photo

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

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

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