The Tax Section of the Philadelphia Bar Association launched its pilot mentorship program in Spring of 2021. The Tax Section partnered with Temple Law School to match members of the Tax Section leadership with 1L students who expressed an interest in tax law. Creating this mentorship program has long been a goal of the Tax Section, but it took on special significance over the past year when making connections and finding support were simultaneously more important and more difficult.
Taking both factors into consideration, the mentorship program is structured to allow each attorney-student pair to create a mentor-mentee relationship that best meets the students’ goals. In addition to meeting individually, the students and attorneys participated in a virtual game night. Attendees worked together in groups to solve a mystery and save Big Ben! The event provided an opportunity for participants in the mentorship program to connect and network beyond their student-lawyer pairing in an interactive, innovative way.
As we move into the summer, the Tax Section is planning three programs for students. The first program, “Finding a Job in Tax Law,” will provide students with advice on getting started in the tax field. The remaining two sessions will include a substantive tax law program and a panel offering students a glimpse into a “day in the life” of a tax lawyer.
Inspired by the success of the pilot program, the Tax Section is working to include other area law schools in the partnership. For the Fall 2021 cohort, the Tax Section will continue its partnership with Temple Law and begin its expansion with the inclusion of students from Villanova Law. To support the growth in the program, the mentor pool will also be extended beyond the Section leadership to include any member of the Tax Section interested in mentoring a student.
The Tax Section is committed to the mentorship program as an opportunity to support the Philadelphia legal community and area law schools, while helping to grow and diversify the tax profession. We are excited and willing to do the work!
Laurice I. Smith (LAW’10) is a practicing attorney at the City of Philadelphia Law Department where she works as a Deputy City Solicitor in the Tax & Revenue Unit. Laurice also has experience in a variety of civil legal areas, including landlord tenant, adoption, and civil forfeiture law.