Professor Daniel Lathrope, Faculty since 2009

Tax Law by the Book

“Within the faculty, there is a core belief that every student counts. Students have a clear sense that this whole enterprise is collaborative. That gives them the confidence to go out in the professional world and achieve what they want to achieve.”

Professor Dan Lathrope literally wrote the book on how to teach tax law.

As co-author of three of the most widely used tax law books, Dan helped establish the way tax courses are taught in law schools across the country. But it’s at USF where his influence is the greatest, whether he’s teaching LLM students who are advancing their tax law careers or JD students who are taking an introductory course.

“What you’re trying to do in a tax class is develop skills that students will be able to translate into their professional lives,” Dan says. “The law’s not going to remain static, so you’re trying to make it so that in a 20- to 30-year career, an individual is going to have the ability to address new kinds of things, new issues. This teaching method gives them those skills, as opposed to just trying to convey straight-up knowledge.”

Dan has drawn on decades of tax law experience to expand USF’s programmatic offerings , which now include a tax certificate for JD students, an LLM in Tax for attorneys, and a Master of Legal Studies in Taxation (MLST) for non-lawyers. Dan’s a noted national expert in taxation, but for him, everything comes back to working with students.

“I’m always struck by the satisfaction and happiness of USF students. The students are wonderful. They have great attitudes. They’re committed to what they’re doing.”

“I’m always struck by the satisfaction and happiness of USF students,” Dan says. “The students are wonderful. They have great attitudes. They’re committed to what they’re doing.”

The faculty, Dan says, are committed not only to their areas of expertise, but also to the students.

“There is a lot of concern and a lot of emphasis on dealing with each student as an individual,” Dan says. “Within the faculty, there is a core belief that every student counts. That gets translated into the classroom, and I think the students feel that and it’s reciprocated. Students have a clear sense that this whole enterprise is collaborative. That gives them the confidence to go out in the professional world and achieve what they want to achieve.”

“There is a lot of concern and a lot of emphasis on dealing with each student as an individual. Within the faculty, there is a core belief that every student counts. That gets translated into the classroom, the environment, and I think the students feel that and it’s reciprocated. Students have a clear sense that this whole enterprise is collaborative. That gives them the confidence to go out in the professional world and achieve what they want to achieve.”

Dan’s research focuses on federal income tax and corporate and partnership tax. He’s authored multiple articles on those topics and written a treatise on the Alternative Minimum Tax. He has more to say.

“I have enough perspective and experience in the field now about that I want to engage in the debate about reforming our tax system,” Dan says. “In the mid-1980s, the United States got to a point at which the tax system was probably as fair and simple as it’s been since the infancy of the federal income tax. I’ve reflected quite a bit on what’s happened between then and now and how it unraveled. My goal is a simpler, fairer tax system.”