Student Opportunities

The UNC Tax Law Program provides multiple ways for students to gain knowledge and hands-on experience to supplement what they learn in classes.

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA)

This student-run organization is open to faculty and students. It provides free income tax assistance to low and middle-income taxpayers in Chapel Hill and Carrboro, North Carolina. In order to prepare returns, volunteers are required to pass the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) certification tests.

Externships with the IRS

Through the school’s externship program, students have the opportunity to work at the IRS where they conduct conferences with taxpayers, issue and respond to discovery, subpoena witnesses and assist with trial preparations. Student also research and write suit and defense letters as well as advisory memoranda on various tax, collection, bankruptcy, and/or criminal topics.

Research Assistant Opportunities

The UNC Tax Law Program faculty typically hire one to three research assistants to support the work of the program during the summer and throughout the school year. These positions provide rising 2Ls potential summer employment where they will broaden their knowledge of tax law and assist with research that informs tax policy and analysis.


Millard S. Breckenridge Prize in Law

Named for a former Carolina Law faculty member, the Millard S. Breckenridge Prize in Law is presented to a graduating 3L who has demonstrated excellence in the study of tax law. This honor is accompanied by a $2,550 monetary award. The recipient is chosen by the tax law faculty and awarded to a student with outstanding overall performance in tax law courses.


Tannenwald Tax Writing Competition

The Theodore Tannenwald Jr. Foundation for Excellence in Tax Scholarship in partnership with the American College of Tax Counsel produces an annual law student writing competition. Papers must be sponsored by a faculty member. Learn more about the competition and criteria.

ABA Tax Law Section Law Student Challenge

This competition is an alternative to traditional moot court competitions and involves two-person teams of students to solve a hypothetical complex business problem that could occur in everyday tax practice. Learn more about the challenge and criteria.