Thompson earned a B.S. from West Chester University in 1965, an M.A. in Applied Economics from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School and Graduate School of Economics in 1969, a J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School in 1971, and an LL.M. in taxation from New York University in 1973. Between his first and second years of law school, he served for three years in the U.S. Marine Corps, rising to the rank of captain. He received the Navy Commendation Medal for service in Vietnam. In 1971-72 and again in 1975-76 he was an associate with Davis Polk & Wardwell in New York, and from 1973 to 1975 he was an assistant and an associate professor of law at Northwestern University School of Law. He served as an attorney-advisor in the Office of Tax Legislative Counsel and International Tax Counsel for the U.S. Treasury Department (1976-77). He then joined the faculty at the University of Virginia School of Law as a professor. For the next nine years, Thompson was the Partner-in-Charge of the tax department at the Chicago law firm of Schiff Hardin & Waite.
Wanting to return to law teaching, branch out from his pure tax practice, and explore broader issues in mergers and acquisitions, Thompson joined the UCLA law faculty in 1990, teaching courses on mergers and acquisitions and corporate taxation. In 1994 he left to become Dean of the University of Miami School of Law. From 1998 to 2002, he was a member of the Miami faculty. During this time he also served as the Jacquin D. Bierman Visiting Professor at the Yale Law School; the Tax Policy advisor, on behalf of the U.S. Treasury Department, to the Ministry of Finance, Pretoria, South Africa for 15 months; and the Edwin S. Cohen Visiting Professor of Law at the University of Virginia School of Law. In summer 2001, he served as an Attorney Fellow in the Office of Mergers and Acquisitions at the Securities and Exchange Commission, and in the Summer 2002 he served as a consultant on merger issues with the Federal Trade Commission. In the Summer 2003, he served as a consultant in the European Commission’s Merger Task Force in Brussels. Professor Thompson created the Center for the Study of Mergers and Acquisitions at the University of Miami School of Law and transferred it to the UCLA School of Law, when he returned to its faculty in 2003. Samuel Thompson joined Penn State Law in 2007 as a professor of law and the founder and director of Penn State’s Center for the Study of Mergers and Acquisitions. He has taught courses on Business Planning for Mergers and Acquisitions, Special Topics in Mergers and Acquisitions, Corporate Taxation, International Taxation, Investment Banking, Securities Law, and Antitrust.
Federal Income Taxation of Domestic and Foreign Business Transactions: Text, Cases, and Problems (Bobbs-Merrill, 1980).
Evaluation of Premerger Notification Program (Federal Trade Commission, 1981).
Planning for the Loss Corporation: The Interaction among Code Sections 269, 381, Old and New Sections 382 and the Consolidated Return Regulations, 31 S. Cal. Tax Inst. 223-294 (1979).
Branch or Subsidiary: A Comparative Study of the Tax Implications of Direct Investment in the United States, Tax Mgmt. Int’l J., May 1980, at 16-20, 31.
Qualifying as a “B” Reorganization; The ITT-Hartford Cases; Alternatives to Use of a “B,” 39 Inst. on Fed. Tax’n 7-1 to 7-58 (1981).