Michelle Drumbl

Washington & Lee University
Robert O. Bentley Professor of Law / Director, Tax Clinic

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Michelle Lyon Drumbl is the Director of the Tax Clinic and Robert O. Bentley Professor of Law at Washington and Lee University.  Her teaching and research interests focus on federal income taxation of individuals, tax procedure, and tax policy.

As Director of the Tax Clinic, Professor Drumbl oversees students as they provide pro bono representation for low-income taxpayers who have post-filing controversies with the Internal Revenue Service and educate taxpayers about their tax rights and responsibilities. Under Professor Drumbl's supervision, clinic students represent clients before the IRS in examinations, collections, appeals, and a variety of other matters. The Tax Clinic also represents clients in deficiency cases in U.S. Tax Court and tax refund litigation in Federal District Court.  Since 2008, the Tax Clinic has been awarded more than $800,000 in federal funds from the Internal Revenue Service's Low Income Taxpayer Clinic grant program.

Professor Drumbl's scholarship focuses on the intersection of low-income taxpayers and fiscal policy, exploring such issues as filing status, innocent spouse relief, and return preparer fraud. Her book, Tax Credits for the Working Poor: A Call for Reform (Cambridge University Press, 2019) identifies shortcomings in how the United States delivers social benefits through its tax system and gazes elsewhere - to programs abroad - to reimagine possibilities for improving administration of the earned income tax credit and bolstering the credit's effectiveness.

Her articles have appeared or are forthcoming in the Temple Law ReviewTax Notes, the Florida Tax Review, the Columbia Journal of Tax Law, the Pittsburgh Tax Review, and the eJournal of Tax Research.  Her article examining the nature and nuance of earned income tax credit noncompliance, Beyond Polemics: Poverty, Taxes, and Noncompliance, was awarded the Cedric Sandford Medal for best paper at the 12th International Conference on Tax Administration in Sydney.

Professor Drumbl is a guest blogger on Procedurally Taxing, has contributed as a chapter author in several editions of the American Bar Association Section of Taxation's practitioner reference book, Effectively Representing Your Client Before the IRS, and co-authored Skills & Values: Federal Income Taxation (LexisNexis, 2011).

Professor Drumbl received an LL.M. in Taxation from New York University, a J.D. with honors from George Washington University, and a B.A. in Political Science from Emory University.  Prior to the joining the faculty, Professor Drumbl was an attorney at the IRS Office of Chief Counsel, where her work focused on the legal interpretation of bilateral income tax treaties and other cross-border taxation issues for the U.S. government.  Her prior private practice experience includes tax controversy work and tax planning.  She is a member of the bar in Virginia and Arkansas.

About Us:

One of the smallest of the nation's top-tier law schools, Washington and Lee School of Law is located in a college town in the majestic Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, a three-hour drive from Washington, DC and within an hour of several other metropolitan areas.

The Washington and Lee University School of Law seeks to cultivate broad-minded, highly skilled, and honorable practitioners of law. We do so within a diverse and collaborative intellectual community exemplifying rigor, trust, and civility.

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Date RecordedApril 14, 2021  CostFREE  Course Length1.0 hour  Subject AreaTaxes  Course LevelBasic  Instructional MethodGroup Internet Based  PrerequisitesNone  Advanced PreparationNone     Who should attend?Attorney, CPA - small firm, CPA - medium firm, CPA - large firm, Other