Career Profiles

Martha (Joleene) Flores ‘17

*Extern, Zip Tax*


Martha (Joleene) Flores ‘17

What did you do during your externship?
As an extern for Zip tax, a tax consulting firm, I was exposed to working with various states and the IRS to resolve tax matters. I worked mainly with Joe Ursic, a Whittier Law School alum, who is in charge of state side tax work. I researched various states’ tax collection procedures and their offers-in-compromise programs/procedures. To streamline the work of the office, I developed templates for a number of states documenting the procedures, guidelines, and rules of that particular state. The goal of the project was to create a template that could be followed if a client from that particular state came to seek our services. I also worked on a variety of writing assignments, including a summary of research on New Mexico’s tax code. My supervisor gave me a lot of substantive feedback, which I found to be very informative and helpful.

What excited you the most about your time with Zip Tax?
Surprisingly, the research! When you first start out on a new assignment, it can be really daunting to think about the search terms to use, the key words to search for, and where to start looking. I found that the more research projects I was exposed to over the summer, my research skills improved. I also became much more efficient. I was really excited to see my progress.

How did you learn about the position?
I found the position through Whittier Law School’s Externship Office. The externship department has a list of private placement firms and I applied by the advertised deadline. The CDO helped me refine my resume.

How did your education and experience here at Whittier Law prepare you for your externship?
Professor Rosenblatt really reinforced the importance of writing well in my Civil Procedure class. The importance of the “IRAC” format was emphasized in my coursework and I had an opportunity to apply this skill to a real work. This helped me to remember that the supervising attorney is looking for a specific issue and to provide concrete support and evidence. Through my classes, I felt that I had a solid foundation of writing skills to take with me to my externship.

What advice do you have for other students seeking externships?
Be open minded. I did not think I would find tax to be interesting, but it is! Tax is not a narrow field. It has a variety of work and it is amazing how the individual states are so different. Always seeks out new experiences and new perspectives. You might not think it is exciting, but you will not know until you try!