Matthew T. James has joined Temple University Beasley School of Law as the inaugural Director of the Low Income Taxpayer Clinic (LITC) and a Visiting Practice Professor of Law. The new Low Income Taxpayer Clinic will add to the activities of Temple Law’s Center for Tax Law and Public Policy and will operate out of the Law School’s North Philadelphia campus, serving taxpayers in both North Philadelphia and Northeastern Pennsylvania.
As the Clinic Director, Professor James will establish and operate the LITC. He will instruct and supervise students as they represent low-income individuals in a wide variety of issues before the IRS and the U.S. Tax Court. In addition, together with the students, he will advise pro se litigants in the U.S. Tax Court through its Calendar Call program, conduct taxpayer education and outreach events throughout Philadelphia and Northeastern Pennsylvania, and engage in systemic advocacy in collaboration with tax professionals and other LITCs nationwide.
“I am very excited to join such an esteemed faculty at this renowned university and I look forward to getting the Low Income Taxpayer Clinic off the ground and open to students and the community,” said Professor James. “The LITC will provide students the opportunity to advocate for individuals that may not otherwise have access to representation. Our mission is to ensure the fairness and integrity of the tax system for low income taxpayers and those that speak English as a second language through pro bono representation, education, and systemic advocacy.”
Alice Abreu, Professor of Law and the Director of Temple Law’s Center for Tax Law and Public Policy expressed her delight, commenting that Professor James is “the perfect person for the job.”
Before joining the faculty, Professor James was the Director of the LITC at North Carolina Central University School of Law, where he also regularly taught doctrinal courses such as Fundamentals of Federal Income Tax. Professor James frequently presents on tax topics related to individuals, self-employed persons, and pass-through entities. He volunteers with several local and national non-profit organizations as a member, supervising attorney, and co-chair. He was awarded the NCCU School of Law Pro Bono Program Pro Bono Attorney of the Year award in 2018 and 2019.
“Not only does Professor James have experience starting and then directing an academic LITC that receives matching funds from the IRS,” Professor Abreu noted, “but he is a rising star in the low income taxpayer world. Matthew is a frequent speaker in national conferences, including the conference the IRS organizes and requires all of the LITCs to attend, and later this year he will also speak at the 5th International Conference on Taxpayer Rights. Thanks to the pandemic he won’t have to travel to Athens, where the conference was to be held if it could have been in person, but his participation will still bring international recognition to the strength of Temple Tax, which his joining our community will so significantly enhance.”