Steven Harding

Bankruptcy Specialist at Fifth Third Bank

2015 | Cincinnati, OH

Ball State University | Sport and Fitness Administration/Management

“At the Clinic, I acquired actual working experience, not just theoretical classroom knowledge.”

Steven Harding joined Alvin L. Storrs Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic at MSU Law to gain meaningful work experience. He described his time at the clinic as a great way to test his knowledge and learn to interact with clients. “I learned a lot and have been responsible for multiple clients and tracking their cases,” he said. “Hearing the relief in the clients' voices when you tell them that you got a huge tax debt wiped out for them or that the collections notices will stop and they're getting money back from the IRS is one of the most satisfying feelings I've experienced.”

Steven described the Tax Clinic work environment as fun but serious. “We got a lot done and collaborate to help our clients, but it wasn’t so serious that everyone was head down, nose to the grindstone. It was a breath of fresh air to get this kind of experience while enjoying the people I work with,” he said. He added that both faculty members answered his questions, but they also encouraged him to look some things up on his own. “Their review of the documents I turned in was thorough and helpful to make sure I put the best document out to IRS.”

Steven’s proudest achievement as a student clinician arose when he helped a client get her tax refunds. “She is very appreciative and very helpful. I got to write a fun letter to the IRS on her behalf to try to get more money back,” he said. “One day, I was able to call to tell her that she is getting money back from the state and the IRS a year sooner than we had originally told her. The state initially said that it would take a year or more to get to her amended return, but I somehow got them to process it much more quickly and issue a refund within a month.”

“At the clinic, I acquired actual working experience, not just theoretical classroom knowledge,” Steven said. “I interacted with government entities to help clients resolve issues while other students have only learned about tax law in class.”