Professor of Law and Joseph F. Rosenfield Fellow in Law
Joined Iowa Law: 2011
Hometown: I grew up in California, in a suburb about 20 minutes south of Oakland.
J.D., University of Michigan
LL.M., in taxation Georgetown University
B.A., Williams College
What did you do before joining Iowa Law? Before starting at Iowa, I taught for two years at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State, where some of my colleagues were transplants from the Iowa faculty, including Bob Bartels and Robert Clinton. And before ASU, I worked at Skadden Arps in Washington D.C., where I was an associate in the tax group.
Courses: Basic tax, partnership tax, international tax, estate tax, and tax administration.
What does your scholarship entail? I research how questions of tax law may be informed by principles of administrative law or statutory interpretation.
How did you decide to join the legal profession? I decided to go to law school for the same reason many others do – I didn’t know what else to do with my life. In college, I had an ill-considered desire to work on Wall Street, but luckily the financial sector was in a recession when I was a college senior, and the jobs weren’t there, so I filled out law school applications instead.
What do you enjoy most about working in a higher education/law school setting? The fresh faces that come to campus every year and which reinvigorate the faculty.
What makes you passionate about teaching? I really enjoy the interpretive puzzles posed by complex statutes like the tax code, and working through those puzzles with students is always fun, especially because they often see things that I don’t.
Take us through your most memorable (surprising/rewarding/unique) day at the university. Not sure this counts, but when I came to Iowa, I moved into a house very close to Kinnick. The first football weekend was memorable in its own, special way.
What’s the biggest risk you’ve ever taken—and did it pay off? Going to law school without knowing any lawyers and without knowing much about the practice of law was a big risk, though I would encourage future students to do more homework than I did. Luckily, things worked out great for me. I enjoyed practicing tax law and enjoy teaching it even more.
What’s your favorite book, or what are you reading right now & why do you enjoy it? It’s a tough call between Lonesome Dove (a Pulitzer-Prize winning novel by Larry McMurty) and the Internal Revenue Code. One is obviously more exciting than the other, but Lonesome Dove has its merits, too.
Name some of your favorite things.
- Sunny days on the PedMall
- Playing guitar (poorly)
- Playing golf (even more poorly)
Is there anything else you want alums to know about you? I always love hearing from former students about how their legal careers are going, and I wish that more students would stay in touch. What might seem like a mundane career development to them is frequently a source of pride for me and the others on the faculty here.