MLS Tax Clinic

Subject offered Semester 1 and Semester 2 in 2024

What is the MLS Tax Clinic?

The MLS Tax Clinic provides students with the opportunity to undertake advice and representation work for vulnerable taxpayers (individuals, not-for-profits and small businesses). Students attend a regular morning and afternoon clinic each week of semester which incorporates a briefing and debriefing sessions with a MLS academic. The Clinic is part of an Australia-wide program of University tax clinics, generously supported by the Australian Taxation Office.

I saw that the Tax Clinic would enable application of knowledge in real-life situations. It was incredible how much just educating the clients about areas of the law actually meant to them. James Tucker, MLS Tax Clinic alumni

View  Handbook entry

What will I learn?

Students enrolled in MLS Tax Clinic will:

  • Work under the guidance and supervision of the Clinic Supervisor and members of the tax and legal professions to advise and resolve issues presented by vulnerable taxpayer clients of the Clinic.
  • Learn how to interact with a wide range of real clients, provide advice and prepare and manage client files.
  • Conduct real interviews / consultations with members of the public (clients of the MLS Tax Clinic) to help understand their tax law issues and help them resolve those issues
  • Learn fundamental key practical legal skills such as letter/advice/memo drafting, professional and research skills and other soft skills.
  • Enhance their understanding of taxation law and practice.
  • Develop fundamental practical legal skills such as client interviewing, file and practice management and miscellaneous written and verbal communication skills
  • Debrief with an academic staff member and student colleagues to evaluate their progress and discuss their perceptions of the law in practice.

What will I do in the clinic?

Students are required to take part in two sessions each week:

  • a two-hour non-client facing (morning) session where students will work with each other and the Clinic Supervisor to:
    • review potential applicant files
    • conduct research
    • draft letters
    • draft advices
    • prepare file notes
    • prepare for client interviews.
  • a half-day client-facing (afternoon) session where students will work with each other, the clinic supervisor and volunteer tax and legal practitioners as they:
    • meet real clients of the MLS Tax Clinic
    • conduct 3-4 interviews/consultations and assist clients with their taxation obligations and queries
    • attend a formal brief and debrief with the clinic supervisor
    • network with and discuss live tax issues with volunteer practitioners.
Julian Panetta
Julian Panetta

About your coordinator

Julian Panetta is an enthusiastic and passionate Teaching Academic with experience teaching in undergraduate, post-graduate and master's programs.

He holds an LLB (Hons) and BCom (Acc) from the University of Adelaide, a GDip (Leg Prac) from Australian National University recently completed the Melbourne Teaching Certificate from the University of Melbourne.

Julian moved from Adelaide and joined Melbourne Law School in 2013 as a sessional tutor and was appointed as a Teaching Academic (Law) in 2016. Prior to his appointment at the University of Melbourne, Julian tutored at Monash University and the University of Adelaide in Law and Commerce disciplines.

In addition to Julian's academic career, he is a practicing commercial solicitor with extensive and varied legal practice experience. Julian has worked as a specialised litigator for the ATO and as a commercial lawyer in private practice and in-house legal roles.

How do I apply?

For students

Information sessions and application details will be announced on the Canvas LMS JD Community.

Login to the LMS

For members of the public

Members of the public who would like to access the Clinic’s services can check their eligibility and apply via the link below.

Public applications