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Jairo Cano '06 Awarded the ABA Nolan Fellowship

Jairo Cano '06

Jairo Cano ’06, an Associate at Agostino & Associates in Hackensack, is “ecstatic and surprised” at being named a Nolan Fellow by the American Bar Association, Section of Taxation. Named for the late Jack Nolan, a dedicated and respected Tax Section member, the one-year fellowship is awarded to six young lawyers who have displayed leadership qualities and are actively committed to the Section’s goal of improving the tax system. The fellows enjoy greater access to the Section through waived meeting registration fees and travel assistance to Section meetings.

It is unlikely, however, that his selection surprised those who know him. One of the people who nominated him was Megan L. Brackney, Council Director for the Diversity Committee. She wrote, “Jairo would be an excellent recipient of the Nolan Fellowship because he exemplifies the qualities for which Mr. Nolan has been remembered: a dedication to diligence, hard work, and perseverance.” 

Cano has shown tremendous dedication to the Tax Section and the practice of tax law. Caroline D. Ciraolo, Principal Deputy of the Justice Department’s Tax Division, also nominated him. In her letter of recommendation, she mentioned being impressed with him when they met in 2012 at the ABA Section of Taxation Mid-Year meeting in San Diego. She wrote, “It was clear from the start that Jairo would be an active and contributing member of the Section. I am confident that he will be a future leader and a wonderful ambassador for the Section as we pursue continued diversity among our membership.”

Cano’s participation is varied and diverse and he is always willing and able to work on Section and Committee projects. He participated on a tax career panel sponsored by the ABA Tax Section at Seton Hall Law, and participates in Seton Hall Tax Law Society events. He contributes to the efforts of the Foreign Activities of U.S. Taxpayers Committee, the Civil and Criminal Tax Penalties Committee, the Standards of Tax Practice Committee and the Court Practice and Procedure Committee. His most notable contribution is his service as Vice Chair of the Diversity Committee. In this role, he strives to put together panels and seminars that deal with substantive issues that face practitioners. For example, when asked about the seminars he produces that focus on the real-life impact of tax law on immigration cases he explained, “When individuals are trying to adjust their immigration status, tax compliance is critical to demonstrating good moral character.”

Seton Hall Law Professor Tracy Kaye, Past Chair of the ABA Tax Section’s Teaching Taxation Committee, got to know Cano well in 2006 when the IRS Chief Counsel’s office selected him to participate in Seton Hall Law School’s prestigious IRS Chief Counsel Externship program, of which Professor Kaye is co-director. Only two students each semester are selected, and they work fifteen hours each week assisting IRS Chief Counsel attorneys in tax research and Tax Court trial preparations. 

Since then, Cano and Professor Kaye have kept in touch. He has returned to Seton Hall Law several times to speak to students about tax careers and about continuing education options and opportunities. He also coordinates Agostino & Associates’ annual continuing education seminar on New Jersey Tax Practice & Procedures, held at Seton Hall Law. In her letter of recommendation to the fellowship, Professor Kaye said, “Jairo is intelligent, articulate, and conscientious and has demonstrated his leadership skills through his pro bono initiatives. I am confident that he will continue his involvement with the Section of Taxation at a very high level and play a leadership role in the future.”

Said Cano, “Frank Agostino is a big advocate of pro bono service.” So it is with his employer’s full support that Cano is active in the New York County Lawyers’ Association U.S. Tax Court Calendar Call Pro Bono Program. “It’s an invaluable learning experience,” Cano commented, “And such a different experience because of the time limits to trial. I gather all the information I can about their case in the morning, and then present the case that same afternoon. It’s rewarding to help people who can’t afford legal representation to have their day in court.” He does pro bono work in the realm of education, as well. He supervised a student’s caseload through the Rutgers University School of Law Low Income Taxpayer Clinic and developed the NJ Pro Bono Program at Seton Hall Law in 2012. He also helps with New York County Lawyers Association low income taxpayer volunteer training seminars and Agostino & Associates educational programs for tax professionals.

As Professor Kaye concluded, “Jairo Cano is an outstanding young lawyer who gives back to his community.”