Scott Michel Speaks to Law360 on Becoming Chair of ABA Tax Section
The newly appointed 2023-2024 chair of the American Bar Association Section of Taxation told Law360 on Wednesday that he will use the role to focus on the well-being of new and existing members and on expanding membership.
Scott D. Michel, a tax controversy veteran with Caplin & Drysdale, said that to increase membership, he will build on the work of his predecessor, C. Wells Hall III of Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP, who started a membership drive. The section, he said, will promote its "remarkable" networking opportunities and "best-in-class" continuing legal education, which now includes virtual offerings.
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To grow the membership, the section will focus on a new generation of tax practitioners who have been working in an "intensely active tax climate, where there's been a lot of legislation and guidance over the past few years," Michel told Law360.
"We're really trying to have people understand the notion that the tax section is a great add value for them if they join," he said.
To attract more diversity to the section, he said, he wants to "convey a very clear message that tax is a lot of fun."
"In my younger years, we were not a profession and a group that exhibited a lot of diversity because tax law wasn't an attractive option for lots of law students and lots of professionals," he said.
"A lot of people have this view that it's just sort of number crunching, but it really isn't," Michel said. "The tax system touches every component of a person's life and their business."
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"I think we all feel that over the past few years, the pace of life has increased. And you know, we're also coming out of a pandemic. People had to confront so many changes in their family lives and professional lives," he said.