Prof. Sakinah Tillman

UDC Law, a pioneer of legal clinical education, welcomed Professor Sakinah Tillman as our new Tax Clinic Director beginning Fall 2022. Prior to joining faculty at UDC Law, Professor Tillman was a Clinical Fellow at the Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic at University of Baltimore School of Law, where she supervised students representing low-income clients before the IRS and in federal tax litigation in U.S. Tax Court. Professor Tillman has received several awards for her tax work, including the Donald A. Thigpen Rising Star Award, which is awarded to an attorney who has made great contributions to the legal profession and to the Washington Bar Association during an attorney’s first year of practice.  

Under Professor Tillman’s supervision, the UDC Law Tax Clinic provides certified student attorneys with hands-on experience representing low-income taxpayers in the D.C. Metro area. Clinic students assist in a wide range of matters, including claiming family-based tax credits, resolving tax return audits and addressing the denial or suspension of tax refunds. Students may also work on federal and D.C. tax policy matters as well as conduct community outreach and assist in the delivery of technical tax advice to community organizations. 

Yesterday, the UDC Tax Clinic participated in the United States Tax Court Calendar Call where they assisted several petitioners in prosecuting their cases in this court. Some bar associations, integrated bars and other professional organizations administer bar-sponsored calendar call programs through which volunteer tax practitioners provide free legal assistance to self-represented petitioners. The court recognizes the important assistance calendar call programs provide to self-represented petitioners. 

Tax Clinic students at the United States Tax Court for Calendar Call. From left, Chadrick Hudson, Andrea De La Torre, Prof. Sakinah Tillman, Beth Brodsky and Yaman Shalabi

In the classroom seminar, Professor Tillman covers relevant tax doctrine, tax practice and procedure and tax policy issues. Clinic students interview and counsel clients to provide effective and ethical legal representation in tax litigation, poverty law practice and policy work. 

“Professor Tillman brings a wealth of knowledge about tax controversy to UDC Law. In addition, we are very fortunate to benefit from her dedication to holistic training of the next generation of attorneys, focusing on professionalism, client communication and written advocacy skills,” said Clinic student Andrea de la Torre

“Professor Tillman brings with her immense knowledge and expertise not only in Tax Law but also in teaching,” said Clinic student Yaman Shalabi. “Her years of experience – both professionally and personally – make her the perfect advocate for her students. We leave Clinic every week believing issues involving tax controversy are fun and manageable, which is a testament to her ability to distill a complex area of law.”  

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