Ethics and Service Shape Tax Career Path of JD/Tax LLM Student
Spending time as a volunteer in Costa Rica, Chile and Thailand, Loyola Law School, Los Angeles Joint JD/Tax LLM student Nicole Joens ’19 saw first-hand how countries’ varying policies impact their citizens. She set her sights on a path that would allow her to create and effect policy change.
“When I decided to go to law school, I wasn’t sure exactly how I would do that,” she says. “But after taking one tax course, I realized shaping tax policy would help me make a difference at a much larger scale than I ever imagined.”
Loyola’s combined Joint JD/Tax LLM program, the only one of its kind that allows students to graduate with both degrees in just three years, will fast-track Joens to that goal. “It’s a major boost to my resume. It really sets me apart from other students,” says Joens, who recently secured a coveted externship at the Internal Revenue Service’s Los Angeles office.
Joens saw firsthand how tax policy affects lives as a member of Loyola’s IRS Small Case Clinic, one of the six tax clinics in the Loyola Social Justice Law Clinic. There, she drafted motions and pleadings and conducted discovery on behalf of clients while under the supervision of senior attorneys from the IRS Office of Chief Counsel. “I was able to propose settlements and argue real cases before the United States Tax Court,” says Joens. “Not many clinical students have the opportunity to do that.”
Despite her busy schedule, Joens still takes time to give back to the community. She is a member of OutLaw, Loyola’s LGBTQ organization, recently signed up to be a mentor for first-year students and won Best Oralist honors at the Scott Moot Court championship this spring.
“Loyola demonstrated for me how service and ethics can be part of daily life,” says Joens, a recipient of the William H. Hannon Foundation Scholarship earmarked for graduates of Loyola Marymount University. “It’s inspired me to use what I’ve learned to help and give back to the community.”