Let me tell you a quick story. When I was a second year law student, I had an idea about how to provide the perfect tax return by combining the expertise of a CPA and a lawyer to tackle the preparation process. I had my million-dollar idea! So I sat on my couch with my laptop and said, “Ok, time to make this work.” And then I came to the realization that I did not know the first thing about what it took to run a business or where to start. And then I came to another realization that, if I did not know the first thing about running a business, what made me qualified to give people legal and tax advice about how to run their business. I could not answer that, so I went to business school.
I am not saying that getting an MBA is a necessity for corporate/tax lawyers. You do your job long enough and you naturally pick up the tools you need to make you a successful attorney. However, business school taught me to approach legal and tax problems from the perspective of the enterprise and how their business is run. Certain things that make sense from a legal or tax perspective just simply do not make sense when placed in a business context. On the other side, certain decisions that business people make are not copacetic to good legal/tax decision making. In order to make the best decisions, you need to analyze potential solutions by taking all factors into considerations.
This business, law, and tax sandwich is my way of illustrating this approach to you, one that I feel is necessary to really solving problems. By looking at all sides of the issue, you are able to find the method that works the best in the context of the situation. This approach can also be applied to individual problems as well. When someone comes to me with a personal tax resolution issue or an audit, I start by looking at what solutions are best for them and their family personally (that is their business).
So (pardon the pun), but the bacon needs to be brought back to tackling the tax and legal challenges that people face. As lawyers, it is our job to find the best workable solutions, and we cannot do that if we are not sensitive the needs of the client enterprise. As a result, it is necessary for us to think outside of our legal box and train our minds to do what is in the best interest of our client. Better solutions leads to happier clients and more effective results.
Oh, and that perfect tax return idea, I finally did get it off the ground and running...click here.
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