FIU Law takes second place in 13th Annual Law Student Tax Challenge

FIU Law’s two-person taxation team, made up of fourth-year law student and team captain Alex Martini and recent graduate Sam Gonas took home second place in the 13th Annual Law Student Tax Challenge presented by the ABA Section of Taxation. Eighty-eight teams entered the J.D. division of the competition which began with a written component back in November 2013. From there, six teams advanced to the oral rounds which were held on January 24 in Phoenix, Arizona.

The multi-month competition provided the team with extensive hands-on training in tax law. ”It was a great experience to meet and receive feedback from some of the top tax attorneys in the country, including IRS Chief Counsel officials, Tax Court judges, and practitioners and we take pride in the fact that we were able to bring home the first award that FIU has ever received in this competition,” Martini commented.

The challenge is an alternative to traditional moot court competitions. The Law Student Tax Challenge requires that two-person teams solve a cutting-edge and complex business problem that might arise in everyday tax practice. The competition offers law students the opportunity to showcase their knowledge in a real-world setting and gain valuable exposure to the tax law community. For Sam Gonas, sparking interest in tax law was part of the appeal of the competition. “It was a wonderful experience competing against so many quality opponents from around the country. I’m grateful for the support of Professors Gabilondo and Rickard and it is my hope that future FIU law students will take advantage of their support and represent FIU in the upcoming years,” he stated.

The FIU Law team was among other finalists who came from law schools which have more established tax programs. Despite being the first team from FIU Law to represent the College at the competition, Martini and Gonas proved that there is a bright future for students interested in tax law at FIU Law!

Photo from left to right: Sam Gonas and Alex Martini.

 

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