STCL Houston–Sponsored Resources
Career Resource Center/STCL Houston
Visit the Career Resource Center to learn more about its services. Students can reach the CRC in person or online. The CRC is designed to assist students at any time during their journey through law school. It should be an integral part of every student’s Pathway to Practice.
Transactional Practice Certificate Program
The Certificate Program is one of the major programs of the Transactional Practice Center established to create and teach a core curriculum for training law students to become business lawyers. The Certificate Program is a multi-course sequencing of classes that allows students to develop a transactional practice concentration. The classes are comprised of core commercial law courses, a drafting course, and a capstone course built around a subject area and aimed at having students produce the documents that would form the transaction.
Any student interested in having a business planning and transactional practice should consider applying to participate in the Certificate Program after they have completed 30 credit hours and before they have completed 45 credit hours. A detailed description of the Certificate Program appears in the Student Handbook.
South Texas College of Law Houston offers numerous direct representation clinics and internship placements for credit.
Direct representation clinics offer students the opportunity to work on real-life issues and achieve resolution of a matter for actual clients. Some clinics are litigation-based and others are more transactional in nature. Students can hone lawyering skills that transcend a specific practice area. Additionally, students can learn about an area of practice, experience what it is like to appear before certain courts, and gauge whether they are truly interested in pursuing a career in a particular field.
Academic internships also offer students the opportunity to learn about practice in state and federal courts, governmental agencies, public interest groups, and non-profit and other non-governmental organizations. Additionally, academic internships can provide students with networking opportunities. Among the government agencies in which students can be placed for an academic internship is the IRS Office of Chief Counsel.
Clinics/Academic Internships relevant to this practice area include:
- Government Process Clinic/Academic Internship
- Public Interest Clinic/Academic Internship
South Texas College of Law Houston has a nationally renowned Advocacy Program that has won more competitions than any other law school in the nation. Participating in one of the numerous mock trial and moot court competitions is certainly beneficial for anyone seeking a career in litigation. Many competitions concern problems in specific fields of practice that are particularly useful for students interested in pursuing a career in that area. More broadly, competitions provide students with an opportunity to further refine their research, writing, and analytical skills, which are relevant to practice in general.
The Frank Evans Center for Conflict Resolution coordinates many competitions each year in the areas of negotiation, mediation, and arbitration. The program has developed a consistent track record of winning both domestic and international competitions, with more than ten first-place finishes in recent years. Students would benefit from participating in these competitions in the numerous fields of practice where alternative dispute resolution is regularly employed.
The Transactional Practice Center also coordinates several student competitions. These competitions are specifically geared to students who want to gain experience negotiating and drafting contracts, and learn about business transactions in general.
Law Reviews and Journals
Law reviews and journals provide tangible benefits on two fronts: acquiring skills and attaining employment. As to acquiring skills, law reviews and journals provide students with an opportunity to further refine their research and writing ability. Law reviews and journals can also help students secure employment because they serve as signaling devices for perceived research and writing skills—this is particularly true for large law firms, the judiciary, and certain government agencies. The student publications relevant to this practice area include:
- South Texas Law Review
- Texas Tax Lawyer
South Texas College of Law Houston has numerous student organizations that focus on specific areas of law. Participation in a student organization allows students to learn more about the subject matter of the field and about employment opportunities. The student organizations relevant to this practice area include:
- Tax Law Society
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program
Each spring, the Tax Law Society at STCL Houston operates a Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program in the Randall O. Sorrels Legal Clinics. Students who volunteer to participate receive training in the preparation of tax returns and prepare and file returns for individuals who need assistance in doing so.
Databases and links that focus on providing information about employment in this practice area:
- Austin Bar Association Career Network
- Federal Bar Association Legal Career Center
- Federal Employment – USA Jobs
- Houston Bar Association Career Center
- Law Crossing (fee-based service)
- Texas Bar Association Career Center
- Texas Government Employment – Texas Workforce Commission
Federal Employment Honors Programs
Many government agencies have so-called “honors programs” for recruiting and hiring new attorneys. Students should be mindful of the deadlines for applying to honors programs, which are often one year in advance of employment. The honors programs relevant to this practice area include:
Bar Associations and Organizations
Bar associations and organizations—local, state, and national—provide students with many services. Most offer access to information about the relevant areas of law. At the local level, students can also benefit from the opportunity to attend events and conferences. Importantly, these events and conferences provide students with chances to network in the profession, which may lead to employment opportunities. These organizations also provide information on continuing legal education (CLE) programs that may be relevant to practice in different areas of law. The bar associations and organizations relevant to this field include:
- ABA Section of Taxation
- International Fiscal Association – Houston Region
- State Bar of Texas Tax Section
- Tax Executives Institute – Houston Chapter
- Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants
Bar associations also provide students with opportunities to attend programs and network for free. Some bar associations have formal student sections that are free to join or they provide significant discounts to students. The relevant student pages include:
- ABA Law Student Division
- Austin Bar Association
- Houston Bar Association Law Student Center
- State Bar of Texas Law Student Information
- State Bar of Texas, Tax Section
Federal and state government websites relevant to this subject matter of the pathway include:
- Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts
- U.S. Congress, House Committee on Ways and Means
- U.S. Congress, Joint Committee on Taxation
- U.S. Congress, Senate Finance Committee
- U.S. Department of Justice, Tax Division
- U.S. Department of the Treasury, Office of Tax Policy
- U.S. Department of the Treasury, Internal Revenue Service
Blogs and Social Media
A listing of websites that provide information pertaining to this practice area, often from a practice-oriented perspective:
- Don’t Mess With Taxes
- IRS Problem Solvers Blog
- Our Taxing Times
- Procedurally Taxing
- Tax Analysts
- Tax Girl
- Tax Policy Blog
- Tax Policy Center: The Numbers
- Tax Problem Attorney Blog
- Taxable Talk
- TaxProf Blog
There are external competitions that focus on this practice area. Sometimes they have cash prizes or other forms of recognition for the winners.
- Albert R. Mugel National Moot Court Competitions (SUNY Buffalo Law School)
- ABA Section of Taxation Law Student Tax Challenge
- Florida Bar Section of Taxation National Tax Moot Court Competition
- International & European Tax Moot Court Competition
Some of the programs offering advanced education in this area are:
- Boston University School of Law
- Northwestern University
- SMU Dedman School of Law
- University of Florida, Levin College of Law
- University of Houston
- University of Miami