College of Law

Michelle Kwon

Associate Professor of Law

Phone: 865-974-9207

Office: Room 272

Kwon, Michelle


BBA, 1990, University of Texas

JD summa cum laude, 1998, Texas Tech University School of Law


Curriculum Vitae

Professor Kwon joined the UT faculty in 2011 after three years at Texas Tech University School of Law. Before entering academia, she was an associate, and eventually a partner, in the Dallas, Texas office of Thompson & Knight LLP, where she concentrated her practice in corporate tax planning.

She was also a senior attorney in the IRS’s Office of Chief Counsel for two years where she represented the IRS in U.S. Tax Court with specific emphasis on cases involving foreign currency option tax shelters and cases of individuals and small businesses. Professor Kwon is admitted to practice in Texas and before the U.S. Tax Court.

Professor Kwon speaks and writes about the ability of the IRS to effectively administer the tax system and enforce the tax laws as well as tax ethics issues. Her scholarship has been published in the Virginia Tax Review, Tax Analysts’ Tax Notes, the Cardozo Public Law, Policy & Ethics Journal, and the Tax Lawyer.

Professor Kwon was honored to receive the Texas Tech University 2009-10 Hemphill-Wells New Professor Excellence in Teaching Award, which is presented to only one recipient for the entire university. She was also named a Texas Rising Star in tax law by Texas Monthly for 2004-2007, a designation given to no more than 2.5% of Texas lawyers 40 years old or younger or in practice for less 10 years or less.

Michelle received her J.D., summa cum laude, from Texas Tech University School of Law in 1998 where she was the Lead Articles Editor of the Texas Tech Law Review and was elected to the Order of the Coif.


Articles & Other Works

  • Dysfunction Junction: Reasonable Cause and Good Faith Reliance on Tax Advisors with Conflicts of Interest, 67 TAX LAWYER 403 (2014) (examines nebulous common law rule that prohibits taxpayers from relying on conflicted tax advisors to avoid accuracy-related penalties and proposes several regulatory changes to mitigate advisor conflicts of interest).
  • Tax Considerations in Choice of Entity Decision, 16 BUS. ENTITIES 4 (2014) (co-authored) (discusses the tax considerations in the choice of entity decision by comparing C corporations, S corporations, limited liability companies taxed as partnerships, limited partnerships, and general partnerships).
  • Scratching our Heads over Cooper v. Commissioner, 132 TAX NOTES 1275 (2011) (critically analyzes the Tax Court’s exercise of jurisdiction in a whistleblower case even though the IRS declined to pursue the whistleblower’s tip and failed to collect any proceeds).
  • The Tax Man’s Ethics: Four of the Hardest Ethical Questions for an IRS Lawyer, 9 CARDOZO PUB. L., POL’Y & ETHICS J. 371 (2011) (explores the ethical responsibilities of lawyers of the IRS Office of Chief Counsel in the context of four hypothetical situations to describe an approach to legal ethics that simultaneously serves the interest of the agency-client and the public interest).
  • Whistling Dixie About the IRS Whistleblower Act Thanks to the IRC Confidentiality Restrictions, 29 VA. TAX REV. 447-503 (2010) (examines the tension between the confidentiality provisions in Internal Revenue Code section 6103 and the IRS’s whistleblower program and recommends that the section 6103 restrictions be relaxed to the extent necessary so that whistleblowers may receive status updates, collaborate with the IRS, and have a meaningful appeal right to the Tax Court).