MSU College of Law’s hands-on opportunities opened the door to a career in tax law for Bryan Rimmke.
Rimmke, a tax consultant with Ernst & Young, specialized in tax law while at MSU Law and participated in the school’s Tax Law Clinic, which gives students the chance to work directly with clients from the local community. That experience proved critical when he interviewed for his first legal job with the Internal Revenue Service Office of Chief Counsel.
“As a student in the tax clinic, I got to do a lot of actual, hands-on work,” Rimmke says. “The government really liked that I did that; I was asked about it at every stage of the interview process. I had done other internships, but all with courts, which mostly involved writing memos. The clinic allowed me to work directly with clients on real cases, under the close supervision of the professors.”
Rimmke worked at the IRS for more than three years after graduation, writing tax law guidance in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Treasury. He says his experience at the Tax Law Clinic was invaluable in the work.
“One time I was in a negotiation on behalf of a client, and the IRS said they needed this documentation and that documentation. Well, my client lived in his car,” Rimmke says. “When you’re writing guidance, you’re generally thinking about the sophisticated taxpayer, but you also need to keep in mind that there are people who struggle just to fill out the forms.”
For Rimmke, the other stand-out element of his time at MSU was the faculty. “At the small liberal arts college I attended as an undergraduate, the professors really cared,” he says. “I was not expecting that at law school. But the professors really took an interest in me, and I don’t think it’s like that everywhere. It made the experience just tons better.”