Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Apparently Tax Professors Do Actual Work

Mauled Again has a particularly timely post today about what Professor Maule goes through in preparing to teach his classes each semester. It is timely because one of the classes for which he describes his preparations is the same one that I just began yesterday -- Introduction to the Taxation of Business Entities (called Tax II at my law school.) After reading through the 27 steps required for Professor Maul to prepare to teach a class, I do have a much greater appreciation of what my professors must do to make such seemingly effortless presentations day after day. However, as a former management consultant I question the efficiency in the ordering and repetition of some of the steps on Professor Maule's checklist. For instance, it appears that he might want to wait until after he has reviewed the most recent addition of his casebook (step 13) before compiling supplemental materials (steps 4 - 7).

Anyhow, I thank Professor Maule for this post as I am sure that I am not the only law student who found it illuminating.


  1. If I wait for the new casebook to arrive before doing steps 4-7 there would be too little time remaining. Sometimes the book shows up just before classes begin. So there is an inefficiency in the process for the sake of efficiency of time decompression. --JEM

  2. I stand corrected -- I suppose it would indeed be a bad idea to put off preparation in hopes that the editors have done the work for you. This is why you are the professor and I the student.

    Thanks again for providing such insight about what goes on on your side of the podium, and thanks doubly for taking the time to set me straight.