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Paul Caron: Associate Dean of Faculty and Law Professor at the University of Cincinnati College of Law
by Robin Salisian
"I was one of those weird people that loved law school as a student and always had in the back of my mind that I might like to teach some day," continues Caron. "I went to college at Georgetown University because I loved politics and thought that would be my calling. Like many students there, I majored in government (political science)."
He graduated from Georgetown in 1979, graduated from Cornell Law School in 1983, and for two years worked as a law clerk for Chief Judge William J. Holloway Jr. of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit in Oklahoma City.
"Because I knew I wanted to teach someday, I was lucky enough to land adjunct law teaching gigs at the University of Oklahoma College of Law and Oklahoma City University School of Law during my clerkship," he says.
Next, Caron ventured from Oklahoma to Boston, spending five years working as an associate in the tax department at Sullivan & Worcester. During that time he earned his LL.M. in Taxation from Boston University and ended up back at his law school alma mater, teaching as an adjunct professor.
Finally, in 1990, he started at his current university, the University of Cincinnati College of Law. And between then and now, Caron has taught for numerous summers at the University of San Diego School of Law, Florida State University College of Law, and the University of Florida Fredric G. Levin College of Law.
"I have also taught in the New York University/IRS Office of Chief Counsel Continuing Professional Education Program and the University of Alabama Graduate Tax Program," he continues, the latter of which is scheduled for 2009.
Today, Caron is Associate Dean of Faculty and Charles Hartsock Professor of Law at the University of Cincinnati College of Law.
"My job as Associate Dean of Faculty is to support the faculty's development as scholars and as teachers. That involves a number of responsibilities, including running a colloquia series for faculty. My job as Charles Hartsock Professor of Law is to produce scholarship, teach students, and perform service for the law school, the university, and the legal profession and community," he says.
"Because of my administrative responsibilities, I teach a reduced load of courses: Federal Income Tax, Federal Estate and Gift Tax, and Introduction to Law. In the past, I have taught Estate Planning and Partnership Tax as well."
One of the most challenging aspects of his job is "balancing the many competing demands on [his] time."
But his accomplishments and praises outweigh the negatives. Along with being one of the first two law professors in the country to use the Classroom Performance System in 2003, he has also published a law review article on this technology titled "Taking Back the Law School Classroom: Using Technology to Foster Active Student Learning."
Caron has also delivered many presentations concerning the Classroom Performance System at the University of Illinois College of Law, the Future of Law Libraries Symposium, Northern Kentucky University, Chase College of Law, and the University of San Diego School of Law, among other locations and events.
|Q. What do you like to do outside of work? Any odd hobbies/interests? Are you married? Do you have children? Can you explain a little about your personal life outside of your work?|
|A. My hobby is blogging (in my pajamas). I am married with two high school-age children.|
|Q. Throughout your lifetime, what movie have you watched the most?|
|A. The Paper Chase.|
|Q. What was the last book you read?|
|A. The Irresistible Revolution: Living as an Ordinary Radical by Shane Claiborne.|
|Q. What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?|
|Q. If you had an extra hour in the day, what would you spend it doing?|
Yet Caron credits the success of his numerous programs and teaching stints to three particular mentors in his life, the first being his past professor Walter Giles.
"He was a tremendous teacher through whom I became enamored of constitutional law. I ended up working for him as his teaching assistant, and we became quite close — I had dinner with him several times and went to several Redskins games with him."
Another man, Russell Osgood, a former dean of Cornell Law School and current president of Grinnell College, helped develop Caron's interest in tax law while Caron worked as his research assistant in law school.
"[T]he opportunity he afforded me to teach at Cornell while practicing law helped me land my current teaching job," Caron says. "One of my proudest professional moments was having Dean Osgood write one of the chapters in my most popular book, Tax Stories. It was cool to come full circle professionally."
"[And] Glen Weissenberger, my former colleague on the Cincinnati law faculty and now dean of DePaul University College of Law... provided me with great mentorship, friendship, and guidance in the early years of my career. He modeled a kind of scholarly entrepreneurship that I have tried in my own way to emulate through a variety of projects including Series Editor, Law Stories Series (Foundation Press); Series Editor, Graduate Tax Series (LexisNexis); and Owner, TaxProf Discussion Group, to name a few."
With such an extensive range of experience and guidance, what advice, then, does Caron have to give the next generation?
"Do well in law school, and write some law review articles before entering the law teaching market."
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