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Adjunct Professor Deanna Newton (JD '17) Hosts Panel on Tax Careers

Pepperdine Caruso Law adjunct professor and alumna Deanna Newton (JD '17) hosted a panel on tax careers in her Federal Income Taxation class on November 15. Professor Newton was inspired by her Caruso Law tax professors and earned a tax LLM ('18) from Northwestern Pritzker School of Law. She now a senior tax associate in international tax at KPMG in Los Angeles.

Professor Newton presented the panel to demonstrate that tax law intersects with all areas of law, thus, tax law attorneys can practice any area. She gave her students a glimpse of what it is like to be a tax attorney by  seeing tax professionals in different areas of law (i.e. , estate planning, corporate tax, private equity, executive compensation, sole practitioner, tax controversy, professor/clinic director, entrepreneur, etc.). Professor Newton introduced each panelist and discussed whether they pursued an LLM and any other previous tax experiences.

The panelists were:

  • Ryan Anderson (JD '17 Pepperdine, Tax LLM '18, Georgetown), Grain Management LLC
  • Isai Cortez (JD Penn State, LLM UCLA), Pepperdine Low Income Taxpayer Clinic
  • Mike Desmond (JD '94 Catholic University), Gibson Dunn; Former IRS Chief Counsel
  • Rhonda Dinkins (JD '15 Maryland, Tax LLM '18 Northwestern), Kirkland & Ellis
  • Abosede Odunsi (JD '04 Wisconsin, Tax LLM '18 Northwestern), Hoogendoorn & Talbot
  • Cassie Routh (JD '18 Pepperdine, Tax LLM '20 Northwestern), Skadden Arps
  • Chelsea Rubio (JD '17 Pepperdine, Tax LLM '20 Georgetown), Venable LLP

Professor Newton then asked the panelists how they became interested in tax law and about their respective careers in tax law. The students engaged and asked the panelists various questions and the panelists offered real and practical advice. The students were excited to see diversity in the panel and younger tax professionals from different walks of life.

At Caruso Law, Dean Paul Caron was Professor Newton's first tax professor for Federal Income Taxation, and Professor Krista McCarden was her professor for International Tax. While a student, Professor Newton started the low income taxpayer clinic with Professor Brittany Stringfellow Otey. Professor Isai Cortez took over the clinic in Professor Newton's second year of law school. Professor Newton credits Professor Jeff Baker and the Pepperdine Caruso Law clinics for building her confidence to pursue tax law.