Martin Burke — School of Law
Nothing is sure in life except death and taxes, and UM law Professor Martin Burke would have it no other way. The tax part, at least.
Burke picks up his pen with wonder, not annoyance, at tax time. “It’s a marvelous window on our society,” he says. “You can learn a lot about who we are.”
In his own words, Burke teaches in “the wonderful world of federal tax law.” Step into his office and it’s clear that he’s in love with a subject most people find frightening and bewildering. “I recognized as a young lawyer that knowledge of tax was critical,” he says. “Whether you’re interested in history, politics or economics, tax is front and center.”
Burke has taught for 31 years at the UM School of Law – his alma mater and a school that has sent its moot court teams to the national championship rounds for 10 straight years. He has earned national respect in the academic world of taxation law. The innovative text he wrote with Michael Friel is one of the field’s leading casebooks, now in its eighth edition. He serves alongside the chief justices of Arizona and Utah and prominent jurists, academics, lawyers and other professionals on the national accrediting body for U.S. law schools.
Burke was named a Regents Professor in 2004 and stepped down from a five-year term as law school dean so that he could teach more. For 24 years, he also has directed the annual UM Tax Institute.
Burke says the intimacy of the law school keeps him at UM. “In terms of an impact, there’s much to be said about loyalty to an institution. I love our law school. I love our size. There’s something wonderful about teaching at a small school.”