Kelli Turner


A bit of background to set the stage, if you’ll indulge me. Growing up in West Bloomfield, Michigan, I was never overly ambitious, nor did I have any lofty academic goals. In particular, I never had any desire to go to law school or, for that matter, to become a lawyer. I come from a family of trial attorneys and it never interested me much. I was a numbers person and didn’t enjoy a lot of deep reading and essay writing (somewhat ironic as I’m writing this for a law journal). But when I started in public accounting and developed a strong interest in tax, I realized I could do much more with a law degree than only a CPA. At that point, with good but not great grades from Michigan undergraduate business school and good but not great LSAT scores, as well as a desire to go to law school in Michigan for cost reasons, I applied to Wayne State University Law School and was accepted. Much to my surprise, I really enjoyed law school and was very happy at Wayne. Also, I ended up with straight As and was tied for first in my class. It seemed like I had found my groove, so at that point, I decided I should apply to transfer to the University of Michigan Law School, and I was thrilled to be accepted. Straight off, I elected any tax and business courses that I could find. Which leads me, finally, to Professor Kahn. My first tax course was personal income tax with Professor Kahn. I was a bit intimidated, and for good reason. He had written numerous books that were essential to the study of tax law and he was somewhat of a legend in the history of the University of Michigan Law School. My best friend’s dad had Professor Kahn twenty plus years before I did, and I had heard a lot about him. As it turned out, Professor Kahn was also brilliant, funny and made what could be a dry topic very engaging. I remember the first time he called on me like it was yesterday. He seemed to like my thought process and my answer. It was a huge relief.