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Benjamin Alarie with Blue J Legal discusses how technology is influencing and changing the tax field and the future of tax jobs.
David D. Stewart: Welcome to the podcast. I’m David Stewart, editor in chief of Tax Notes Today International. This week: tax jobs of the future, today.
Technology is an ever increasingly important aspect of the professional world and the tax field is no exception. We’ve previously looked at how technology is affecting tax educators.
But today we’re discussing how technology is changing the tax jobs of today and what kind of impact it could have on the tax jobs of the future.
Here to share his insights on this is Benjamin Alarie, professor at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law and co-founder and CEO of Blue J Legal. Ben, welcome to the podcast.
Benjamin Alarie: Thanks, David. It’s a pleasure to be here.
David D. Stewart: Tell me a bit about yourself and your background in tax.
Benjamin Alarie: Sure. Well, I’ve been a tax professor at the University of Toronto since 2004. Before that, I studied economics, finance, philosophy, as an undergraduate, and completed my law degree at the University of Toronto. I did a graduate degree in economics with my law degree, and then completed graduate studies in law at Yale Law School before doing a judicial clerkship and ultimately becoming a professor.
It was while I was a law student that I totally fell in love with tax. I had some exposure to tax and public finance as an undergraduate. But it was really as a law student that I got totally fascinated by tax and really started to understand its social, political, economic importance, and really just fell in love with a lot of the philosophical and policy problems, and really wanted to make a career out of tax. I’ve been at this for quite a while.
Over the past several years, I have made a bit of an addition to my academic career, which is I started Blue J and started to leverage technology in the tax base. To compliment my interest in tax, we’re leveraging technology now to improve our understanding of tax, and ultimately the goal is law more generally.
David D. Stewart: Yeah, I always find it fascinating. I love asking people how they wound up in tax. The story always comes out roughly the same. It’s always sometime during law school. Oftentimes there’s some professor that just was super interesting and that’s how people wound up here.
Benjamin Alarie: Yeah. In my case, it was precisely that. I’d had some earlier exposure to public finance and I took accounting courses as an undergraduate, but it didn’t light the spark for …….