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Monday, November 12, 2018

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Professor emeritus takes Texas tax title


The State Bar of Texas has honored a UH Law Center professor emeritus as Outstanding Texas Tax Lawyer for 2013.

Ira Shepard became the 10th recipient of this prestigious award along with others who are considered masters in tax law such as Vester Hughes and Buford B. Perry.

Elizabeth Copeland, chair-elect of the Section of Taxation of the State Bar of Texas, and also one of the several to nominate Shepard, repeatedly said how amazed she was at Shepard’s ability to maneuver so effectively through a field of taxes which she found to be very complex.

“Ira is an iconic figure in tax law,” Copeland said. “It is very rare to find someone who can compete with Ira’s knowledge and wittiness. He really is larger than life.”

Shepard, who taught at UH from 1975 to 2011, played a large role in establishing the school’s LL. M.  Taxation Program. The program ranked nationally in U.S. News and World Report’s latest survey.

Shepard has chaired the Continuing Legal Education and Research Committee of the American Bar Association as well.

Shepard said he was humbled about winning the award.

“The nomination came completely out of the blue,” Shepard said. “I was very surprised and incredibly gratified. I am grateful for the years of support that I received from the law center.”

Shepard said how happy teaching made him, and that it is what he always wanted to do. When talking about his accomplishments, he said how he was able to teach thousands of students about a topic he loves — tax law. He suggests that all students can and should pursue their passions, even if it isn’t related to taxes.

“I have always told my students, for years, that their primary goal in life should be to understand the idea that you can do whatever you want to do, and still get paid for it,” he said.

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