Alvin L. Storrs Low-Income Tax Clinic
Honoring the Memory of Professor Alvin L. Storrs
Thanks to the exceptional efforts of the late Professor Alvin L. Storrs, tax law is compelling, meaningful, and it has a human face. Over 90 colleagues, family, friends and students gathered to honor Professor Storrs for the re-naming of the Alvin L. Storrs Low-Income Tax Clinic on Tuesday, April 10, 2012.
Professor Storrs, who passed away in 2010, was a highly respected member of the MSU College of Law faculty and chair of the Taxation Law concentration program. In 1999, he led the effort to obtain funding through the Internal Revenue Service to establish the Tax Law Clinic. He soon reached out to Eric Nemeth, ’89, who joined his former professor and mentor to develop the clinic’s curriculum and teach the classes.
“Al felt that students needed an opportunity to apply what they were learning,” Nemeth says of Storrs’ motivation for founding the clinic. “Studying tax law doesn’t mean anything until you see the practical impact—how you deal with an agency, how you deal with the court system. Al said that, even if students do just a little bit of government service during law school, their practice always will have some element of it and maybe they’ll be more willing to take on pro bono clients. He was very, very excited about the clinic.”
Storrs eventually moved to the clinic’s board, joining other members he’d helped recruit, while continuing to teach at the Law College. Nemeth, now in private practice in Novi, remains a guest lecturer.
“Al had a vision,” says Michele Halloran, who currently runs the Tax Law Clinic and serves as overall director of clinical programs at MSU Law. “He knew there were people whose plights were such that we could help them in very positive ways—people who have been caught in the system. They have no job, they’re elderly, they’re sick, they have huge debt and no ability to pay it. I’ve had people call me and cry on the phone as they describe the impact the Tax Law Clinic has had on their lives.”Through the support of generous alumni, friends and faculty, the Alvin L. Storrs Tax Law Clinic will continue to provide future MSU Law students with valuable experience and community members with important tax services that otherwise would be unavailable.
You can help support the naming by contributing to the $150,000 goal at any level. Donations to name the Alvin L. Storrs Tax Law Clinic may be made by completing the online form at www.law.msu.edu/donate or calling the Office of Advancement at 517-432-6840.