The Clinical Legal Education Association (CLEA) awarded Samantha Jose (J.D. ’17) its Outstanding Student Award.
Clinical Assistant Professor and Assistant Director of the Philip C. Cook Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic Tameka E. Lester nominated Jose for the award, which honors one student per law school who has excelled in a clinical course.
“Samantha quickly distinguished herself as a superstar after joining the tax clinic in January,” Lester said. “Her highly organized and proactive nature allowed her to effectively prioritize her cases and identify the best course of action for resolving issues with little assistance. She also was very attentive to her clients, establishing a genuine rapport.”
The CLEA award is based on three criteria: a student’s excellence in the fieldwork and seminar components of the clinical course, as well as “the nature and extent” of their contribution to the law school’s clinical community. Jose was “hard working, detail oriented and thorough” while working with the clinic, Lester said.
“We have 250 to 300 cases at any given time, and our students are given a generous case load to manage. This requires them to get up to speed on administrative procedures very quickly, as well as do a substantial amount of tax procedure research,” Lester said. “This is no small feat; however, Samantha took it with ease. Most students complete up to three written products for clients during the semester, Samantha completed six while never sacrificing quality for quantity. Her work will ultimately save our clients thousands of dollars in taxes owed to the IRS.”
Jose considers it an honor to be nominated for and to receive the CLEA award, but views her experience working in the clinic as one of the greatest rewards. She joined the clinic because she plans to pursue tax law and thought it was a great opportunity to get practical experience.
“Working in the clinic has been the best and most unique experience I have had in law school,” she said. “It was extremely rewarding to ease clients’ anxieties while assisting them in navigating a daunting process and advocating on their behalf. Also, the tax clinic professors are fantastic mentors who are committed to teaching student attorneys how to be ethical, empathetic and efficient in representing low-income taxpayer clients.”
Learn more about the Philip C. Cook Low-Income Taxypayer Tax Clinic>>