A Tax Education with Lasting Impact

In celebration of the Graduate Tax Program’s 75th anniversary, four notable alumni explain how an NYU Law tax LLM provided the cornerstone for careers in a range of fields.

Charles Rettig
Charles Rettig

Making change at the IRS: Commissioner Charles Rettig LLM ’82

“I am not a typical pick,” says Charles Rettig LLM ’82, the first Internal Revenue Service commissioner since the 1990s to come to the role from a tax law rather than a business management career. In his more than 36 years at Hochman, Salkin, Rettig, Toscher & Perez in Los Angeles, Rettig was a name partner and represented high-profile clients such as CVP Financial Corporation and the estate of Michael Jackson. Read more about Charles Rettig.



Stephen Ross
Stephen Ross

A foundation for an entrepreneurial career: Stephen Ross LLM ’66

Stephen Ross LLM ’66 credits an understanding of tax law, particularly his year in NYU Law’s LLM program, with laying the groundwork for his success as a real estate developer and entrepreneur. Read more about Stephen Ross.




Donald Sturm
Donald Sturm

The road to success and the meaning of giving back: Donald Sturm LLM ’60

Native New Yorker Donald Sturm LLM ’60, the son of a waiter who lost his management job during the Great Depression, earned an LLM from NYU Law’s Graduate Tax Program six decades ago and went on to build a highly successful career, residing mainly in Omaha and Denver, in the construction, energy, banking, and real estate sectors. Read more about Donald Sturm.



Portrait of Leonard Wilf
Leonard Wilf

A real estate career shaped by tax expertise: Leonard Wilf LLM ’77

Leonard Wilf LLM ’77—now president of Garden Homes Development, co-owner and vice chairman of the Minnesota Vikings football team and co-owner of the Nashville SC soccer team—was waitlisted when he applied to NYU Law’s JD program. “I had only wanted to go to NYU Law, but I didn’t achieve my wish the first go-round,” Wilf says. “I did do it the second go-round.” Read more about Leonard Wilf.

Alumni Faculty Panel

During Reunion 2020, Professors Noël Cunningham LLM ’75, David Kamin ’09, Laurie Malman ’71, and Daniel Shaviro gathered online to reflect on the Graduate Tax Program’s history of forward thinking and community building. The panel discussion was moderated by then-faculty director Steven Dean.