Menu Close

Philip Hackney

(He, him)
Professor of Law, University of Pittsburgh

Philip Hackney is a professor of law and the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. His scholarship focuses primarily on the law that governs the nonprofit tax-exempt sector of our economy such as charities, social welfare organizations, labor unions and trade associations. Hackney studies the impact of the Internal Revenue Code on the operation of these organizations that provide vital services to our most vulnerable through charity, engage in political activity through interest groups, manage a large percentage of the provision of health care, and deliver much of our education. Hackney believes that a better understanding of nonprofits will provide insight into how to design the income tax and state law rules to better serve these purposes.

Hackney employs philosophy, history, and social science literature to build a normative case for the proper legal treatment of nonprofits. The importance of democratic principles in administering the law and conceiving of the law is a recurring theme of Hackney’s work. You can see these themes in articles such as: Political Justice and Tax Policy: The Social Welfare Organizations Case, 8 TEX. A&M L. REV. 271 (2021); Dark Money Darker? IRS Shutters Collection of Donor Data, 25 Fla. Tax Rev. 140 (2022); Public Good Through Charter Schools? 39 GA. ST. UNIV. L. REV. 695 (2023); and A More Capacious Conception of Church, with Sam Brunson, 56 LOYOLA L.A. L. REV. 1135 (2023) (Symposium piece honoring Ellen P. Aprill as part of a Festschrift in her honor).

In addition to his scholarly work, Professor Hackney writes OpEds that have been published in places such as the Washington Post, The New Republic, and Salon. He is also frequently quoted in the press as a national expert on nonprofit organizations.

Professor Hackney has deeply engaged in law reform efforts. He served as a member of the Advisory Committee to the Independent Sector to update its Ethics and Principles of Good Governance for Nonprofit Organizations in 2014. In Louisiana he served as a member of the Louisiana Tax Institute, a state board created to aid the state in improving its tax system. He also served as a member of the Corporations Committee of the Louisiana Law Institute to revise the limited liability company statute of Louisiana. He is an author of a treatise on Limited Liability Companies in Louisiana.

Hackney previously served as a member of the faculty of the LSU Law Center. Before the academy, Hackney spent five years at the Office of the Chief Counsel of the IRS in Washington, D.C. There he drafted IRS regulations, advised the TEGE commissioner, and litigated exempt organization tax issues. Hackney started his legal career as a law clerk to the late Honorable Henry A. Politz on the United States Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. He joined Baker Botts LLP in Houston, TX in 2002 as a corporate associate working on mergers and acquisitions, securities offerings, public company corporate complice, and investigations into accounting irregularities. Before law school Hackney owned and operated a used and rare bookstore and coffee shop in Baton Rouge, LA called Caliban’s Books.


  • 2018–present
    Associate professor, University of Pittsburgh School of Law
  • 2017–2018
    Professor, LSU Law Center
  • 2014–2017
    Associate professor, LSU Law Center
  • 2011–2014
    Assistant Professor, LSU Law Center