The series will bring leading tax law professionals to the School to examine current issues in taxation with students and faculty.
Boston University School of Law’s Graduate Tax Program (GTP) is curating a new lecture series focusing on current issues in taxation.
Organized by Director of the GTP Sara Marshall and Visiting Assistant Professor Natasha Varyani, the lecture series brings leading practitioners and alumni in the field of tax law to BU Law to speak on topics such as international tax law, state and local tax law, exempt organizations, estate planning, and financial products.
“With these topics, we’re trying to be thoughtful about getting a broad range so we can capture a large variety of interests both of students and practitioners,” says Varyani. “The goal is to have leaders in their field and draw in people from practice to help the students gain substantive knowledge.”
Varyani, who recently gave a lecture on her own research as part of the series, focuses her scholarship on the taxation of multijurisdictional entities, and the ways in which systems of taxation are evolving in response to changes in technology and commerce. She has spent approximately a decade in practice in large national and multinational law firms and accounting firms and in that capacity represented large and complex taxpayers.
She hopes the series, which is open to professionals around Boston, will give students and practitioners the opportunity to expand their knowledge and understanding of contemporary issues in tax law.
“Because these are hot areas of practice, we hope that by giving [the students] a background in exactly how these rules are being used and the new ways in which the law is developing, they’ll have a skillset or knowledge base that is marketable and will help them find a great job when they graduate,” says Varyani.
Marshall believes the series will give top practitioners the opportunity to experience what BU Law’s notable Graduate Tax Program has to offer.
“It helps with our exposure to the market place,” says Marshall. “It maintains the program as one of the top-recognized tax programs in the country, and provides a central place for the top practitioners in the area to come and teach. By bringing other people in, they can see what we are up to.”
While the series will give students an opportunity to hear from leaders in their field, Varyani also wants the series to help enlighten those students who are still deciding what field they want to specialize in.
“My hope is that students attend these lectures, and if there’s something that speaks to them then they might find an area of tax law that they really want to specialize in,” she says. “It will help them make connections with what they’re learning in the program and apply it in their career and hopefully build their network of other professionals in the field.”
Varyani began the series on October 20 by giving a lecture on the litigation revolving around multi-state tax compacts and how they affect large corporate tax payers. This semester, Ameek Ponda (LLM’96) will discuss the 385 Regulations, the US Treasury Department’s proposed regulations to prevent multinational corporations from engaging in corporate inversion and profit-stripping. Ken Monteiro (CAS’84, LAW’87), general counsel to the Ford Foundation, will give a lecture in January titled “Private Foundations: Avoiding Pitfalls of an Election Cycle.”
“I’m so personally excited about it,” says Varyani. “There is a lot of potential in this series. I think we’ll have a great first year and I can’t wait to see where it goes from here.”
Reported by Greg Yang (CAS’17)