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Dean Brant Hellwig Reflects on the First Hispanic U.S. Tax Court Judge

Washington and Lee University School of Law dean Brant Hellwig has written the foreword to a new book, From the Texas Cotton Fields to the United States Tax Court: The Life Journey of Juan F. Vasquez.

The book traces the life story of Juan F. Vasquez, the first Hispanic judge to serve on the U.S. Tax Court, from his humble Texas upbringing through his education and development as a tax lawyer, husband and father, community leader, and judge. Judge Vasquez’s wife, Mary Theresa Vasquez, authored the biography with Anthony Head. It is published by the American Bar Association Section of Taxation.

Hellwig, a former clerk for Judge Vasquez, reflects in his foreword on the personal inspiration and professional support that he received from the judge, and on the far-reaching impact that Vasquez’s accomplishments have had on the communities he serves and represents.

“[Judge Vasquez’s] journey from toiling as a young boy migrant worker under the blistering South Texas sun to being sworn in as a Judge of the United States Tax Court would be difficult to believe had it not actually happened,” Hellwig writes. “As beautifully chronicled in this text, that journey is marked by optimism, determination, fortitude, and, as with any success story of this caliber, good fortune.”

Dean Hellwig’s foreword can be read or downloaded in the W&L Law Scholarly Commons digital scholarship repository. The book can be purchased from the ABA or checked out from the W&L Law Library.

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