Professor Larry Lee is retiring after teaching tax law for more than four decades. The tax expert will be missed at the Mississippi College School of Law.
Preparing professionals to handle tax law matters, such as helping with unfiled returns, halting wage garnishment, undoing property liens, and producing compromises with the IRS, are part of a complex field.
Professor Lee shaped the careers of future tax attorneys as a teacher on the Jackson campus. As an attorney in the capital city (a partner with the firm of Dossett, Magruder and Montgomery), Lee first served as an adjunct instructor under Dean Mary Libby Payne. The Northsider joined the law faculty under Dean “Beby” Turnage.
Lee stepped up as the MC Law interim dean for two years until Jim Rosenblatt, now the school’s dean emeritus, succeeded him.
“I have fond memories. Mississippi College has been good to me – it’s where I met my wife and worked the last 40-plus years,” Lee said. “I would like to think I have been good at it.”
From MC Law Dean Patricia Bennett to the faculty and students, they feel blessed by Lee’s incredible devotion to his work.
A former student and a friend, Dean Bennett, says, “Professor Lee has influenced me more than he will ever know. He has been a wonderful colleague, mentor, and friend. I will greatly miss him.”
Lee not only mentors students. He encourages them to pursue an LLM in tax law.
“Professor Larry Lee is a treasure,” Rosenblatt said. He’s “touched the lives and careers of countless MC Law students. His well-known dry wit and practical examples served to make tax law interesting and memorable.”
Lee guided MC Law School through challenging times as interim dean. “MC Law and I benefited from his wise counsel and strategic vision throughout my years as the dean,” Rosenblatt added. His service chairing faculty committees and enthusiastic support of law school activities stand out.
His tenure goes back to the days MC Law operated administrative offices at the Leland Speed Library with classes on the Clinton campus.
With an estate and gift class taught on the lower level of Provine Chapel, Lee recalls a student remarking about the irony – discussions of eternal life by day, with death and taxes the focus by night.
Closing up shop in Clinton, MC Law classes moved to downtown Jackson in a renovated building along East Griffith Street. During his tenure, Lee joined colleagues to secure and maintain accreditation by the American Bar Association and American Association of Law Schools. At one time or other, Lee chaired every MC Law committee.
The Jacksonian is a longtime member of the Blue and Gold family. He earned his undergraduate degree in accounting. He’s a graduate of the University of Mississippi School of Law. His master’s in law (in taxation) came from New York University.
Professor Matt Steffey believes Lee’s retirement will leave a big void at the law school. “Professor Lee has been an iconic and beloved professor for several generations of students. His wisdom and insight have made him an invaluable colleague.”
What’s next for Lee? There’s more quality family time ahead. He and his wife, Jane Roberson Lee, a retired Jackson Academy guidance counselor, are the parents of two adult children. Dr. Stephen F. Lee is an ear, nose, and throat physician, and his wife, Dr. Ann Marie Lee, is a pediatrician. Son Richard Lee is a portfolio manager in wealth management at Trustmark.
The couple are grandparents of four. “We would like to travel and spend more time with my family.”