PrefaceVol. 1, No. 1


Suyash Paliwal1,

Kathryn Kelly1

1 Columbia Law School

Sixteen months ago in a comment during office hours, we raised the idea for a journal at Columbia Law School dedicated to tax law and policy. Within a few weeks, student interest grew in support of the idea and sparked active discussion. Over the course of last year, the proposal that developed brought together the perspectives of the faculty, administration, library, alumni and colleagues outside of academia, and students pursuing tax as their field of focus. It is our pleasure to introduce the Inaugural Issue of the Columbia Journal of Tax Law, the culmination of over a year and a half’s preparation.

The field of tax has the attribute of attracting a diverse collection of backgrounds and perspective among the individuals who participate in its lively debates. It is a great asset of this field, and one of our principal sources of inspiration as we crafted the vision for this Journal. The readers and authors of the scholarship in our pages draw from at least three distinct groups within the field of tax. They include the policymakers in federal, state, and foreign governments, practitioners in the private sector, and professors in academia. As we join an esteemed collection of academic and practitioner journals in tax, our endeavor is to be the first that serves as the single forum for these three main constituents. It is a need in the marketplace of tax discourse that is presently unmet, and one that we hope to fulfill.

To that end, we have carefully selected the scholarship for the Inaugural Issue to bridge across these groupings within the tax audience. Professor Burke’s article is heavily informed by her extensive involvement with the Congressional debate on carried interest reform. Professor Cui has been involved with, and continues active engagement in, the academic, practitioner, and policymaking areas of the field of tax in China, and sheds light on a topic actively sought out by investors and their advisors here in the U.S. Professor Zelenak presents an insightful policy commentary and academic perspective on computational complexity in the tax code. As we proceed to further issues and volumes, we will continue our endeavor to integrate the rich perspectives that the three constituents of the tax audience add to the discourse.

Bringing this Journal to fruition was an enjoyable and invigorating task. We are the first new Journal to receive the approval of the Faculty of Columbia Law School in at least ten years. It is a source of great pride for us, and a testament to the near and long-term viability of this Journal’s vision. As we join Columbia’s family of scholarly law journals, we are humbled by the tradition they have established.

We owe a very special thanks to Prof. Alex Raskolnikov for his help in our efforts to cultivate and launch this Journal. We have enjoyed his longstanding support and guidance ranging from the most mundane to the crucially challenging aspects of this Journal’s development. We are additionally grateful to the Founding Editorial Board and Staff for their unwavering dedication in building this Journal, developing its processes, and maintaining the entrepreneurial spirit vital to an endeavor of this nature.

We hope this Journal provides an informative and enjoyable read.

Suyash G. Paliwal Kathryn A. Kelly
Editor-in-Chief Executive Editor
Columbia Law School February 2010