UConn Law Graduates Head to ‘Holy Grail’ of Tax

UConn Law Professor Richard Pomp's introductory course influenced both Eddie Batash and Periklis Fokaidis's interest in tax law.

Eddie Batash and Periklis Fokaidis each pose in full commencement regalia displaying their diploma holders.

Eddie Batash and Periklis Fokaidis both graduated with JDs from UConn Law in May.

Two 2023 graduates of the UConn School of Law are headed into a prestigious master of laws tax program. Eddie Batash and Periklis Fokaidis will pursue the Taxation LLM at the New York University School of Law.

“The NYU LLM in tax is the holy grail for anyone interested in tax,” said UConn Law Professor Richard Pomp, who also teaches in the NYU Law program. “Students study under the brightest tax thinkers in the country and take courses taught by Wall Street’s leading practitioners.”

According to Pomp, UConn Law students typically graduate at the top of the LLM class. He said UConn Law is considered a feeder school and has never had anyone turned down for NYU’s tax LLM.

“The NYU program touches more nuanced parts of the tax code, which gives me an opportunity to dig deeper,” Fokaidis said. “In law school, you have your corporate tax course and your partnership tax course. They have a second-level course to get deeper into both topics.”

Fokaidis and Batash said Pomp’s introductory federal income tax course spurred their interest in tax law. Fokaidis found Pomp’s structure through historical developments like the Great Depression and world wars appealed to his interest in history and made him think about tax differently.

For Batash, it was an introduction into the “intellectual rigor, statutory interpretation and creativity in tax planning” that interest him as a career path. He hopes to gain a deep knowledge and understanding of tax law to better prepare himself for a path as a practicing tax attorney, through the LLM program.

“UConn Law prepared me for this program by offering a tax certificate program in which I was able to take foundation courses such as Corporate Tax, Partnership Tax, and International Tax, as well as gain experience in controversy work through the Tax Clinic,” Batash said.

Constance Chien ’23, who was granted the Stanley Arnold Scholarship by the New England State and Local Tax Forum, was also accepted into the program but chose to take a job in the Office of Chief Counsel of the IRS through the Federal Honors Program.