In an article by Professor Douglas A. Kahn published by the American Bar Association, Mr. Kahn contends that the increase in experiential learning in law schools is leading to a decrease in law student enrollment in core doctrinal classes, such as tax courses. According to Professor Kahn, only one-third of the students who recently graduated from Michigan Law School took a tax class, and less than 10% of those students took either partnership or corporate taxation. Sadly, the situation at Michigan Law School is not unique.
Law itself is a demanding industry. It requires practitioners to constantly keep abreast with, and adapt to, legislative changes. It demands a keen eye with an attention to detail, as well as the ability to see how strategic plans fit within clients larger estate planning goals. Unlike other businesses, attorneys have strict advertising ethical guidelines to adhere to, hampering their ability to advocate for their services and compete with cheaper do-it-yourself legal solutions.
Nonprofits have always been regarded as important social safety nets, providing for individual and community needs that are not met by the US government. It’s no wonder charitable giving has been steadily increasing since the Great Recession. According to Giving USA, the combined donations of individuals, foundations, and corporations in 2016 exceeded $390 billion.
It’s highly likely your clients have already donated to charities and may wish to incorporate charitable giving into their estate planning legacy. Luckily, with some legal know-how and the proper resources, any estate planner can easily add charitable planning into their practice.