End of Semester
Your course grade is based on the following factors: professionalism, which includes your interaction with your clients, Internal Revenue Service personnel, fellow students and staff, appropriate dress when necessary and adherence to clinic administrative and other procedures including meeting all time sensitive deadlines; quality of service you render to your clients; accuracy and thoroughness of written documents and memoranda; progress of cases; and success in resolving cases, including timely closing of cases. Class participation, involvement in the clinic, meeting the minimum required clinic hours, special projects or assigned writing projects may also be factored in to your grade.
In particular, at the end of each term you should make every effort to close cases that have essentially been resolved. In addition, both at the end of the term and during the term you should close cases where your client has not responded to several attempts at contact. You should transition your remaining unresolved cases according to the procedures outlined below.
Normally, the end-of-term procedures must be completed by the last day of each term’s final exam period. Between the last day of classes and the last day of exams, you should primarily work on complying with these end-of-term procedures. Under special circumstances, students may request an extension at the end of the fall and summer semesters (not the spring). All requests for extensions must be directed to your supervisor. If an extension is granted, all procedures must be completed by 5 p.m. on the extended due date.
You will be given an incomplete in the clinic course until all procedures are properly completed.
If you are returning to the clinic in the next semester, you need not transition your cases, but the aforementioned goal of resolving cases by semester’s end is still applicable. All students, including those who are returning to the clinic the next semester, will also need to submit the End of Semester checklist, the personal perspective memo and clinic evaluation to the administrative coordinator.
End of Semester Procedures
(Applicable to all students, including returning students)
- All students must “check out” of the clinic before they will be considered to have concluded the term. “Checking out” involves the following:
- Completing all of the End of Semester Procedures, including but not limited to entering all hours, making sure all electronic and physical files are completely up to date, and making sure all electronic files are stored only in the client’s “I” drive folder
- Completing a Transition Report for all of your cases on the attached form (this is replacing the Transition Memo that students completed in prior semesters)
- Completing the clinic survey that will be sent to you in a separate e-mail
- Having a final “check out” meeting with your supervisor in which you indicate that it is your “check out” meeting, review all of your Transition Reports (which should be provided to your supervisor prior to the meeting), and receive approval from your supervisor to be “checked out.”
- Clean up your files by attaching all paper to the appropriate section in the file and ensure all key documents have been scanned in and named into the electronic file folder in the appropriate section: BasicData, ClientCorr, IRS-TC, Misc.; and
- Update the Amicus File Summary with any new factual information, deadlines, issues, actions taken, and suggested “next steps” for the new student attorney. Each year at issue should be set out separately and labeled using the correct “Status” and “Issues”
- Submit the end of semester checklist form signed and dated to the administrative coordinator.
(Applicable for non-returning students)
- As you finish up a case, please close it. Do not wait until the end of the semester. All cases that you are closing during the semester should be closed no later than one week prior to your clinic “check out.”
- Send a transition letter to each client along with two copies of the two-page power of attorney (POA) form for the client’s signature, if it is a new client. If the client is an existing client with a Power of Attorney with substitution authority already on file, you do not need to send the client a new POA to sign, unless the signature has become illegible. Include a business reply mail envelope for client. Personalize the letter and keep in mind the evaluation of you and the clinic your client will be asked to complete. Advise the client of the status of the case. Remind the client of any additional information or documents that the client is expected to send to the Tax Clinic. File the letter on the electronic folder “”ClientCorr” as TransLtr(month and year – i.e. 0509) and the paper copy in the “Client Correspondence” section of the paper file;
- Send a transition letter to each IRS representative with whom you have been working; however do not revoke the power of attorney. File the Transition Letter as TransLtrIRS (month and year such as 0509) in the electronic folder “IRS-TC” and the paper copy in the IRS part of the paper file;
- Post all time in Amicus.
- For offers you are assigned, if all that is left is to receive confirmation of payment of the offer amount, note that in the transition report. Prepare and sign (but do not fax) the revocation of the POA, the special OIC closing letter, and prepare the closing form and place it inside the file.
- If you have a Tax Court case and you are not continuing in the next semester, and all that remains is to await the notice of entry of the decision and nothing further is required (i.e. no OIC etc.) then prepare a closing letter (but do not mail it), a Revocation of POA, signed but not fax it, and closing sheet and place them inside the file.
- As you send off an OIC, Audit Reconsideration, OIC based on doubt as to liability or other Notebook, please indicate that in your transition report.
- Completing a Case Transition Report for all of your cases. (this replaces the Transition Memo that students completed in prior semesters). Place a copy of the form in Side I – Basic Data of the folder. You will turn in the original to your supervising attorney during your check-out meeting and provide a copy to the Clinic Fellow.
- If the file is remaining open, make sure you print off the Transcript of Account for each year at issue for the next student .
- If you have delayed closing a file because the client has been non responsive, close it. We can always reopen if the client again contacts us.
- IMPORTANT: If you have saved any of your documents somewhere other than on the” I” Drive under the client’s folder, please immediately transfer them to the client’s folder. Do not leave documents you prepared on your home computer or on a folder you may have created somewhere else. It is critical that we have the client’s entire file on the “I” Drive under his or her respective folder. The extra folder you may have created on the “I” Drive is not for saving of the client’s or your documents. Keep draft memoranda that you prepare on the “I“ Drive.
- New Clients: You may receive new clients during the end of the semester because, neither the IRS nor the clients make distinctions by semesters. Please, for new clients, at least contact them, attempt to determine if we can accept them and if so send them an
- Return all files to their respective place in the file cabinets.
Student Clinic Evaluation
Each student is required to complete the anonymous electronic evaluation of the clinic and the personnel to include a written one-page confidential memorandum in the evaluation’s comments section that contains suggestions, criticism etc. for the clinic in future semesters. The link will be furnished via e-mail.