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Law Clerk Program

Law Clerk Program Overview

A more challenged law clerk produces higher quality work. Every phase of the program is designed to enhance the Tribunal's mission: "[t]o render timely, clearly written, quality decisions. . . ." With every clerk, the Tribunal expands its legacy to Michigan taxpayers by developing more skilled tax practitioners and improving adjudication at the Tribunal.
Samantha M. Welton, Administrative Law Specialist Manager, supervises the Tribunal's Law Clerk Program. Ms. Welton works one-on-one with law clerks to ensure they receive practical hands-on experience necessary for achieving proficiency in various tax controversies. She also consults directly with law clerks to provide guidance with legal questions related to both property and state tax matters. 
The Tribunal trains clerks to prepare summaries for small claims hearings, and instructs clerks on drafting various legal documents in accordance with Tax Tribunal Rules and the Michigan Rules of Court. Further, the Tribunal recognizes the importance of active learning, allowing law clerks to become fully engaged in the legal process by encouraging them to observe hearings where they witness the procedural and evidentiary concepts taught in law school.
MISSION STATEMENT: To provide students the opportunities to actively participate in the adjudication of tax disputes and acquire an understanding of procedural rules and Michigan's tax laws.
VISION: To be a judicial resource program that provides future tax practitioners and support teams with an appreciation of tax laws and tax dispute resolution and, by the Tribunal's encouragement and excellence, provides the Tribunal with innovative and committed young professionals of the highest caliber.
VALUES: Integrity, Respect, Accountability, Teamwork and Trust. The program includes one session of substantive tax training. This training day is only the beginning of the formal and informal ongoing educational activities. Through an experiential and learning culture, students integrate classroom with application of tax law and adjudication. The Tribunal's priority is to take theory and law and apply them to the Tribunal's charge.
The Law Clerk Program guidelines, provided below, are regularly revised with the input from law clerks. However, the goal is always the same: provide a challenging, "real life," learning environment. 
Law Clerk Program Guidelines
All students are exposed to the normal professional workload of a Tribunal Member and Administrative Law Judge. Work is further assigned according to the student's area of study, education, i.e., J.D., L.L.M. in Taxation, and performance.

Law Students

Approximately 4-8 law students will be employed for the Law Clerk Program each semester.  

The Tribunal focuses its Law Clerk Program on students who are earning law school credit hours for their work at the Tribunal and work-study students.  The Tribunal has no specific limit to the number of externs that are hired for a clerkship. However, the Tribunal does limit the number of work-study and volunteer students retained per semester.

The Tribunal places emphasis on writing skills, general tax courses, tax procedure and litigation, and constitutional law applicable to state and local taxation matters. It is also preferred that prospective clerks have completed civil procedure and evidence courses.*

Prospective law clerks must have a cumulative GPA of 2.50 or better and have completed at least one research and writing course with a grade of at least 2.50. 

First Year Law Students

The Tribunal generally does not hire 1L students; however, 1L students   may   be considered for a law clerk position. The availability of these positions will vary semester to semester. 

*Other criteria may be considered depending on the work the student wishes to perform at the Tribunal.


How to Apply to the Law Clerk Program

Generally, the Tribunal fills its clerk positions well before the start of each semester: January, May-June, September. As such, the best time to think about working at the Tribunal is the semester before you wish to start. Candidates are encouraged to apply early and applications are accepted year-round.

Students applying for a law clerk position should submit the following information:

  1. Resume and cover letter,
  2. Law school transcript (this may be unofficial), and
  3. Writing sample.

If interested, you may talk to your school's externship, internship, or work-study coordinator or call the Tribunal.

Application packets may be emailed to the Tribunal at   or mailed to the Tribunal at:

Michigan Tax Tribunal
Attn: Samantha Welton
P.O. Box 30232
Lansing, Michigan 48909