April 18, 2008
The College of Law's Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic was recently presented with the President's Award for Community Service and Social Action.
The award recognizes students, faculty, community partners and university programs for their positive impact on the campus and surrounding community. It was developed by Georgia State University President Carl V. Patton and the Office of Civic Engagement.
The clinic was awarded the Outstanding University Program Award in a ceremony April 9.
Founded in 1992, the clinic helps low-income taxpayers resolve disputes with the Internal Revenue Service. Students work with clients to build case files and present them to revenue authorities. The clinic manages between 150 and 160 cases at a time, and according to Director Ron Blasi, is able to resolve about 80 percent in the client's favor.
Students, he said, learn how to work with clients and juggle multiple cases. They also, perhaps, meet people they might not otherwise have contact with.
“I'd really like to think that each student comes away with a sense of service to those who are less fortunate,” he said. “We'd like to keep them aware of that need in society.”
Law professor Anne Emanuel nominated the clinic for the award.
“Our clinic serves hardworking citizens who, despite their wages, are simply unable to afford legal representation,” she said. “It exemplifies President Patton's leadership and Georgia State's commitment to bettering the community we share.”