March 22, 2024

Professor Sarah Lora Co-Authors Textbook Chapter on Clinical Tax Education

Sarah Lora, Clinical Professor in the Low Income Taxpayer Clinic, co-authored a book chapter on Tax Advocacy, published in the International Handbook on Clinical Tax Education.

Professor Sarah Lora, Director of the Low Income Taxpayer Clinic (LITC), shared her expertise on teaching tax advocacy to clinical students in a book chapter in the International Handbook on Clinical Tax Education. The chapter is co-authored by Professor Christine Speidel of Villanova University.

“Introducing Tax Advocacy to Students,” discusses the opportunities and direct advocacy experience for students who are engaged in clinical tax work. Highlighting the essential public interest nature of low-income tax law, the chapter guides the reader through the student experience of navigating the powerful advocacy opportunities and exposure to the professional world provided to students through this work. Outlining key curriculum components of multicultural lawyering, developing a reflective practice, and working with community members, the chapter also serves as a blueprint for expanding clinical public interest work to law schools everywhere.

At Lewis & Clark, this important work is already in practice. The LITC, of which Professor Lora is the Director, provides free, need-based legal representation to local low-income taxpayers, allowing students the opportunity to gain exposure to public interest advocacy work. Under Professor Lora’s supervision, clinical students represent taxpayers before the Internal Revenue Service and the Oregon Department of Revenue, providing students with opportunities to gain experience in audits, appeals, trials, and hearings, among other things. In 2023, the LITC doubled its budget from $200,000 to $400,000 through a 100% matching grant, allowing the clinic to expand its services and better serve the community.

Prior to joining the faculty at Lewis & Clark, Professor Lora worked as an attorney at Legal Aid Services of Oregon, providing service to low-income communities for sixteen years. Since then, she has specialized in immigrant and refugee tax issues. She currently serves as a Vice Chair for the American Bar Association Tax Section Pro Bono and Tax Clinic Committee, as well as a member of the Oregon State Bar Tax Section Executive Committee.

“Professor Lora has a profound dedication to one-on-one mentorship with her students and cultivates an uplifting and collegial environment in clinic, empowering students to take charge of their caseloads with expert guidance,” said Rianka Macwan, graduating 3L in the LITC. “Countless students, myself included, initially enter the clinic seeking legal experience with the intention of entering other fields, only to emerge as future tax attorneys. I can’t thank her enough for the impact she and the clinic experience have had on me.”

To learn more about clinical tax work and read Professor Lora’s book chapter, please visit the website for the University of London Press here.