Texas A&M University School of Law first-year students participated in a poverty simulation during orientation last week. Conducted by the Texas Access to Justice Commission, the simulation's purpose, according to the Commission, was to give students a "small taste of what life is like on a limited income." Participants faced challenges that frequently plague families with limited resources, and they were asked to note thoughts and emotions for a discussion following the simulation.
TAMU Law's senior lecturer and director of the low income tax clinic, Bob Probasco, is the principal drafter for comments submitted to the U.S. Tax Court by the Tax Section of the State Bar. He and current law clinic students are advocating for change to the Tax Court’s Rules of Practice and Procedure, to provide for entries of limited appearance by pro bono volunteers. Probasco says this change would allow clinics to provide even more help to taxpayers.
The ABA (American Bar Association) Section of Taxation: Pro Bono and Tax Clinics Committee submitted similar comments in October. The State Bar Tax Section agrees with the TAMU Law clinic’s goal but, wrote separately, to suggest an alternative process that might be more effective. Probasco says the Court has already begun looking at the issue and hopefully will benefit from the law clinic’s input.