UMKC Law Teams Advance to Final Round in ABA Tax Challenge


Two UMKC School of Law teams advanced to the final round of the ABA Section of Taxation Law Student Tax Challenge and both teams placed. Out of 22 submissions for the LL.M division , only four teams are chosen as finalists, and two of those teams were from UMKC Law. Jake Allison and Andrew Ralls placed second, overall, and Lindsey Holcumbrink and Brynne Brown placed first in written submission. 

The Law Student Tax Challenge asks two-person teams to solve a complex business problem that might arise in everyday tax practice. Six teams from the J.D. division and four teams from the LL.M. division advance to the Section of Taxation 2017 Midyear Meeting in Orlando, FL., where the teams will defend their submissions before a panel of judges consisting of the country’s top tax practitioners and government officials.

When UMKC Law students take the Tax Practicum course for two credits, they are required to enroll in the Tax Challenge as well. Holcumbrink, Brown, Ralls, and Allison competed in the LL.M. division.

Back in September, the student teams were presented with the prompt and had around 10 weeks to research and complete the problem. The teams were asked to write a 10-page memorandum to a senior partner and a 4-5-page letter to the client, explaining the results in less-technical terms. For the course, Professor Judith Wiseman required the students to track their research. Wiseman initially met with the students to review the research process and point the students in the right direction.

In November, both teams submitted their memos and letters for review and in mid-December, found out they had been chosen as finalists.

“I had never written a paper like that with someone else before,” Brown said, noting how she and Holcumbrink used Google Docs to edit a live document. “It was a good experience for future practice.”

The Tax Challenge provides a great way for law students to gain exposure to the tax law community and showcase their knowledge in a real-world setting.

On January 20, the students competed in the oral defense and presentation against the other two teams in Orlando, FL. Jake Allison and Andrew Ralls took second place overall and the team of Lindsey Holcumbrink and Brynne Brown took first place in written submission. 

“We were so excited to have been selected and to make UMKC and Professor Wiseman proud, “said Brown.

*Photo credit: The above photo does not reflect any of our student teams. It is copyright of the ABA.
Published: Feb 7, 2017