Madeline Obler-Grill, Class of 2014

Building a career in tax law through multi-faceted experience

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Elon Law student Madeline Obler-Grill '14

Pursuing a Master of Laws (LL.M.) in Taxation at Georgetown Law, Washington, D.C.

Recent news: 
Starting in January, working as a law clerk to the Honorable John O. Colvin of the United States Tax Court. 

Leadership highlights:
Editor-in-Chief, Elon Law Review

Hometown: Boca Raton, Fl.

What I’ve enjoyed most about law school…
I’ve really loved the people I’ve met at Elon. It’s such a positive environment, and that’s unique to law school. I’ve made amazing friends that will take me through my professional career.

Internships and externships…
Elon’s been integral in every single internship and externship that I’ve held. Working with Professor Eric Fink sharpened my writing and research skills. I was hired as a summer associate in Raleigh at Smith Debnam law firm. They entrench you, and you are a supervised attorney for the summer. You write memos and briefs, and you go to court. They absorb you into that whole process—practical experience you can’t get in the classroom. Then Professor Andy Haile encouraged me to apply for an externship with the honorable Judge Gale in the North Carolina Business Court—the best mentor you could ask for!

Business Court…
There’s a courtroom in our law school, and I don’t think many law schools can say that. Judge Gale has an open door policy. As long as those curtains are open, you can come in sweatpants if you want to observe what’s happening in court. Even if you have just 20 minutes, that’s better than nothing. It puts things into place that may not click in the classroom. That’s hugely beneficial.

What’s in my future…
I’m enjoying the LLM Tax program at Georgetown. It's exciting to live in D.C. for a year, and apply these skills I’ve learned in the courtroom, in my office or wherever I may be. I’d like to work in corporate tax law. I’ll be taking the Maryland Bar, so I’ll be practicing there.

The impact of tax law…
If you have a family, if you’re running a business on the side, if you’re going to school–people need assistance with tax attorneys. Having a tax law attorney who can explain these problems effectively and represent you well is necessary.


• Yoga
• Exercise DVDs
• Hiking
• Cooking

Why I chose Elon…
You need a school that can continue to produce students who are meeting the needs of what the law requires today. Elon is making changes every year to their program to make sure it meets the needs of the community.

Why attend Elon…
Elon has amazing professors who go above and beyond. You’ll get practical experience. Most people are looking for a law student who’s had practical experience, and many law schools are completely overlooking this. Elon not only emphasizes it, but gives you ways to fit it into your schedule. It’s such a great community, such a positive environment— from the administration to the students.