Graduation profile 2011: Craig Ashford

Craig Ashford, 29, of Austin, Texas, will receive his law degree with a certificate of completion in tax when he graduates June 13 from the University of Oregon. “I have found an education that has filled out and complemented my life,” he says.

Extracurricular/leadership activities:

Father and husband; co-founder of CertainTTE: Tax, Trusts and Estates; officer of J. Reuben Clark Law Society, UO Chapter; officer of Appropriate Dispute Resolution Board; clerk for U.S. District Court Judge Michael Mosman; clerk for Internal Revenue Service, Office of Chief Counsel; student participant in School of Law Small Business Clinic; research assistant for professor Roberta Mann; research assistant for professor and dean-designate Michael Moffitt.

I chose to attend the University of Oregon because … I wanted to attend law school in a town I would love. The school also has a well-rounded program that was noted for its excellence in several areas in which I was interested.

My most rewarding experience or proudest accomplishment at the UO was … I met the goals I set in advance. I aimed to keep my family strong, get good grades and put my family on the path to success with a solid job. I am thankful I can say that I accomplished that.

The greatest obstacle I encountered while earning my degree was … learning to balance tension between my family’s needs and the demands of school. Meeting my goals came at a price to my family. I had to constantly (re-evaluate) whether I was giving enough time to my family or whether I needed to invest more in my schoolwork.

My greatest inspiration at the UO came from … my wife and my fellow students. My wife sacrificed so much to help me accomplish my dreams and I am eternally indebted to her for that. My fellow students have accomplished so many things; I constantly feel I should be doing more to keep up.

The UO moment I will treasure most was … the day I discovered my passion for tax law. It changed my life. My professors helped me find my true calling in life.

I plan to use my UO degree to … take the tax world by storm! I look forward to using my degree to get involved in shaping how tax law is applied through regulation, statute and policy. I hope to get a chance to practice tax at its highest level.