How To Prepare for a Career in Tax Law

Tax Scholarships and Fellowships

At the end of your 2L year, you may apply for a Tax Law Review Scholarship for your 3L year. The recipients of these scholarships serve as Graduate Editors of the Tax Law Review, the premier law school journal for tax policy scholarship in the United States. Recipients of this scholarship receive half-tuition scholarships for the 3L year and the LLM semester. The other editors are Tax LLM students. The Graduate Editors assist in cite-checking and proofreading the journal. The selection of new student editors occurs each spring.

To apply, please submit the following items to Professor Deborah Schenk in Vanderbilt Room 416 by the end of spring semester classes of your 2L year: (1) a letter indicating your interest; (2) a resume; (3) transcript of grades (an unofficial transcript is fine); and (4) a writing sample. The writing sample can be a lawyering assignment, a memo written for a summer job, a paper written for class, etc. For further information, contact Professor Schenk at

In addition, under the Tax Policy Internship and Fellowship Program, one or two 3L JD/LLM (in Taxation) candidates will be selected to spend six months as an intern at The US Dept. of the Treasury or the Staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) during the summer and fall after the JD degree is awarded. Each fellow receives a stipend to cover living expenses during the four to six months of the internship. The stipend has traditionally been $20,000 for a full 26 weeks, though the stipend is reduced (pro-rated) for shorter internships. The typical internship is often 4-5 months, as students take the bar exam over the summer and begin the internship in August. The candidate will then complete the LLM (in Taxation) during the spring of the year following her JD graduation and must enroll in the Tax Policy Colloquium during that semester. Students who complete the colloquium during their JD studies are sometimes able to arrange to complete the bar in the summer, the LLM semester in the fall, and then work for a full six months during the spring semester.

The tax policy fellow pays no tuition during the LLM semester and will receive a living support stipend during the LLM semester. Registration, health insurance, and other fees are not covered. Tax Policy Fellows apply in the spring semester of their 3L year and are chosen based on academic record, interest in tax policy, and ability to work well at the Treasury or the JCT.

To apply, 3Ls must first apply to the full-time JD/LLM program, and then submit the following items to John Stephens, the Director of the Graduate Tax Program, in Furman Room 344: (1) a letter indicating your interest, including your preference in agency; (2) a resume; and (3) a transcript of grades. An unofficial transcript is acceptable. The fellowships have been very competitive in recent years. The deadline to submit your packet to Mr. Stephens is the same as the deadline to apply to the full-time program, in early April each spring. We welcome students to submit materials earlier. You can submit by email at or you can stop by Furman 344 to drop off your packet if you have any questions.