For The Record

In a newly offered course this past fall, 10 Richmond Law students dug into a messy hypothetical case, a bank-financed business deal complicated by cryptocurrency trading, Schedule C losses, and unreported income. The task: Research the relevant tax law, write a memorandum and client letter with recommendations, and submit the work product to the American Bar Association’s annual Law Student Tax Challenge to be judged against other law students nationwide.

Law professor Hayes Holderness, who specializes in tax law, taught the tax lab. He divided the students into two-person teams, brought in colleague Joyce Manna Janto to talk about research skills, and invited local tax attorneys and accountants to describe how they approach real-life tax problems.

None of the Richmond teams advanced to the ABA’s semifinal round, but the students still benefited, said Holderness: “They got a deeper dive into tax law, had a chance to develop their research and writing skills, and added some quality writing samples to their portfolio.”