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Possible to learn Federal Income Tax in 3 days?

Posted: Tue Dec 11, 2012 3:55 am
by JCougar
I'm a 3L, so I'm basically gunning for median at this point. I learned Evidence in one night, and nearly hit median, but this seems a lot more complex.

Any supplements anyone recommends? I've read about 100 out of the 450 pages assigned in the casebook so far, but the cases seem to be a lot of BS. This is one I feel like I could learn with a good commercial outline and an E&E.

Supposedly, a third of the exam will be "policy." I don't know about anyone else, but policy concerns seem to matter the least in a field like this.

Dear god, please make this law school experience end. At this point its simply the tail end of a hazing ritual. I'm fatter, paler, less sane, more cynical, and more sleep-deprived than I've ever been in my life. But I loved my summer internship and my externship. I just want to work and not do this shit anymore. :)

Re: Possible to learn Federal Income Tax in 3 days?

Posted: Tue Dec 11, 2012 4:01 am
by ilovesf
I like the e&e a lot.

Re: Possible to learn Federal Income Tax in 3 days?

Posted: Tue Dec 11, 2012 4:55 am
by rad lulz
JCougar wrote:Supposedly, a third of the exam will be "policy." I don't know about anyone else, but policy concerns seem to matter the least in a field like this.

It matters a lot bro as the service makes a ton of policy about what's taxable and what's not through the regs, etc.

Re: Possible to learn Federal Income Tax in 3 days?

Posted: Tue Dec 11, 2012 5:27 am
by JCougar
rad lulz wrote:
JCougar wrote:Supposedly, a third of the exam will be "policy." I don't know about anyone else, but policy concerns seem to matter the least in a field like this.

It matters a lot bro as the service makes a ton of policy about what's taxable and what's not through the regs, etc.


But as a tax lawyer, you'd really just have to know the code.

I suppose if you were trying to get "creative" and thread the needle in some gray area, knowing policy would help you estimate what you could get away with, though.

Re: Possible to learn Federal Income Tax in 3 days?

Posted: Tue Dec 11, 2012 8:25 am
by Dostoevsky
E & E is good. Policy is important even though it seems flowery. PM me and I'll send you an outline.

Re: Possible to learn Federal Income Tax in 3 days?

Posted: Tue Dec 11, 2012 10:01 am
by lawyerdown27
Definitely possible. I didn't have any idea what was going on in tax until about 3 days before the exam, but I was able to absorb enough to at least be competent on my exam (we'll see how grades turn out though). E&E is helpful for most of the basic rules that you can just state and apply, although the examples aren't super challenging, so it might not help you with law school exam-type wrinkles that your prof might toss in. Q&A was helpful for more practice problems. Chirelstein is good for analysis/policy, but his discussions get deep at times, and some questions don't need to be answered with much more than applying the rules.

Also, we could check out the giant wall-sized tax map from the library, and that helped with going step by step and not leaving parts of the analysis out. Alternatively, I would just google anything I wasn't sure about, and more often than not one of the first results would be the Cornell LII website (that has the Code and regs online) pointing to a specific section.

Re: Possible to learn Federal Income Tax in 3 days?

Posted: Tue Dec 11, 2012 10:20 am
by Stanford4Me
I'm not sure how it relates to the practice, but in the ridiculous number of tax classes I've taken policy is always a big issue. It's also, as Rad already pointed out, a big issue for the IRS. For the most part, case law isn't as important for tax as it is for other areas of law (although there are a few cases that have important implications). I wish I could recommend a supplement. I should've used one for my class, would've made my life less stressful.

You should be able to learn it in 3 days and make median. I doubt you (or anyone else, to be clear) would be able to ace the class.

Re: Possible to learn Federal Income Tax in 3 days?

Posted: Wed Dec 12, 2012 5:01 am
by JCougar
Thanks, all. I am now encouraged.

I obtained an E&E and its helpful. Also, the cases seem like a lot of fluff that you can speed read through. I have a used casebook, so someone already highlighted the important parts (this doesn't always work, as a lot of times, I find that previous owners of textbooks highlight the wrong stuff, but the person who had mine before seems "on the ball."

Churned through 130 pages today with the corresponding E&E Chapters, and made an outline of such. Aiming for 200 tomorrow. That should leave me a light load for Thursday, with time for either a practice exam or a speed-read through the Chirelstein supplement.

Best part of this is that my professor was so long-winded that we didn't get to a good chunk of the syllabus. It was torture sitting through class and only covering 5-10 pages a day (hence my zoning out), but now I'm reaping the benefits.