VOL. 128 | NO. 169 | Thursday, August 29, 2013
Memphis Law Talk
Kasser Tackling Tax Law With Glankler Brown
RICHARD J. ALLEY | Special to The Daily News
Jake Kasser has joined the firm of Glankler Brown PLLC as an associate.
A Germantown High School graduate and the son of parents in the medical field, Kasser entered The University of Memphis as a walk-on safety for the Tigers football team. The advisers he worked with guided him toward his chosen field of accounting, and by his sophomore year he’d garnered an athletic scholarship.
Upon graduating, Kasser went on to get a master’s degree in accounting with a concentration in tax.
“When I was in grad school, (law school) was a thought,” he said. “I talked to my parents about maybe doing that. I think my mom suggested it at some point, and that’s when I started to give it some real thought.”
He earned a CPA license and, after graduate school, worked a brief time for the accounting firm of Whitehorn Tankersley & Davis. Then Kasser decided that if he was going to go on to law school, “that would be the best time to go ahead and do it and not wait.”
He entered The University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law with the intention all along to focus on transactional law, as opposed to litigation, specifically anything “related to business or tax … that was my background,” he said.
While in school, Kasser served as a staff member of The University of Memphis Law Review and as articles editor of The University of Memphis Law Review editorial board.
As a first-year student, he worked for the Mason Law Firm, which focuses mainly on estate planning. For the next two years he worked for the divorce firm of Rice, Amundsen & Caperton PLLC. He graduated magna cum laude in May and is awaiting results from the bar exam.
The exam itself became more challenging than normal, he said, when during the all-essay portion on the first day, his computer malfunctioned. He was told to start hand-writing the exam but that there would be no extra time allowed. Kasser successfully completed the exam, and the very next day he proposed to fiancée Jenna Leppert, a dental hygienist with Avery & Meadows.
“I think once I get super busy, it’ll be a little rougher, but everyone here has been so nice and helpful, and I couldn’t have asked for a better work atmosphere, honestly.”
It’s been a good year for Kasser, having graduated law school, becoming engaged and going to work for one of the oldest and most-respected firms in the region. His experience in the offices of Glankler Brown so far has been with learning policies and procedures, but he said the attorneys and staff have gone above and beyond when it comes to helping him get situated and welcoming him into the family.
“They’ve helped me out a ton,” he said. “I think once I get super busy, it’ll be a little rougher, but everyone here has been so nice and helpful, and I couldn’t have asked for a better work atmosphere, honestly.”
Though he freely admits that the detail-oriented area of law he’s chosen to pursue is “not the most exciting stuff in the world,” he’s eager to dive in and begin practicing what he’s studied so hard to learn. And though the excitement level may fall somewhere beneath standing on the football field under bright lights, he feels practiced and capable to handle whatever is thrown his way. From the occasion of his first tax course while an undergraduate student, learning the legal aspects of tax, to the more detailed statutory laws and case law as a graduate student, Kasser could see where he eventually wanted to end up.
“I think I was introduced in the tax perspective first and that’s what I started to grow to do and enjoy it,” he said
As in learning defensive plays and carrying them out to the letter, Kasser enjoys the routine of tax law and the expertise required. As for his work with Glankler, he says, “It couldn’t have been a better fit for what I wanted to do.”