Tax Law

Tax lawyers represent clients in tax planning, tax compliance, and tax controversy matters. SMU has a rich curriculum of tax courses, due in part to the fact that SMU offers the LL.M. (Taxation) degree, and J.D. students generally may enroll in any of the tax offerings. If you are interested in taxation, you should take the Income Taxation course early in your law school curriculum, as the Income Taxation course is a prerequisite to many other tax courses.

NEW OPPORTUNITY! Students can earn both a J.D. and LL.M. (in Taxation) in only seven semesters of full-time study.
This dual degree program does not change the requirements for either degree, but it does allow students to count a limited number of classes toward satisfying both degrees. Learn more

Foundation Courses – Introducing the Basic Concepts

  • Income Taxation
  • Corporate Taxation
  • Estate, Gift & Income Tax

Advanced Taxation Courses

  • Tax Accounting
  • Taxation of Property Dispositions
  • Tax Practice & Professional Responsibility
  • State and Local Taxation
  • Federal Tax Procedure
  • Criminal Tax Fraud
  • Oil & Gas Taxation

Advanced Business Entity Taxation Courses

  • Advanced Corporate Taxation
  • Partnership Taxation
  • Corporate Planning
  • Non-Profit Organizations
  • Taxation of Professional and Closely Held Corporations
  • Private Equity & Hedge Fund Law

Advanced International Tax Courses

  • International Tax I
  • International Tax II

Employee Benefits Courses

  • Employee Benefits Law & ERISA Litigation
  • Taxation of Deferred Compensation

Advanced Transfer Taxation Courses

  • Trusts & Estates (the foundation)
  • Estate Planning & Practice

Policy Courses

  • Taxation and Fiscal Policy
  • Economic Analysis of Law


  • Federal Taxpayers Clinic
  • Small Business Clinic

Related Courses
In considering issues of taxation, it is also important to understand the legal nature of the entities involved. Students interested in taxation should therefore also consider courses related to some of those entities or types of property.

Business Entities

  • Business Enterprise
  • Corporate Finance & Acquisitions

Commercial Law

  • Sales
  • Payment Systems
  • Secured Transactions

Securities Law

  • Securities Regulation
  • Securities Litigation & Enforcement

Real Estate Planning

  • Real Estate Transactions
  • Commercial Real Estate Transactions Seminar

Intellectual Property

  • Copyright
  • Patent Law
  • Trademark & Business Torts
  • Franchising & Distribution Law
  • Intellectual Property Licensing


  • Creditors’ Rights
  • Advanced Bankruptcy


  • Department of Justice, Tax Division
  • Internal Revenue Service Regional Chief Counsel

Public Service Placements

  • VITA

Here are some of the full-time faculty and professional staff members who teach or have an interest in this area: