Member Spotlight: University of Wisconsin Law School

Posted on March 23rd, 2018

Spotlight UW Lincoln-BascomViewUniversity of Wisconsin Law School

In 1868, the first students were admitted to the University of Wisconsin Law School and thus the Law School is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year. UW Law is located on the beautiful University of Wisconsin campus in Madison. As the state capital, Madison is home to many courts and state and federal government agencies, all within walking distance of the Law School.

An Engaged and Diverse Community

The fall 2017 entering class of 151 students represents 22 states and 78 undergraduate institutions. Of these students, 35 percent come from outside of Wisconsin, 42 percent are women, and 20 percent are students of color.

Bascom Hall atop Bascom Hill is pictured in an aerial view of the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus during an autumn sunset on Oct. 5, 2011. Other majority campus facilities surrounding Bascom Hill include, clockwise from lower left, The Law Building, South Hall, Birge Hall, Van Vleck Hall, North Hall and the Education Building. In the background Van Hise Hall and Lake Mendota. The photograph was made from a helicopter looking west. (Photo by Jeff Miller/UW-Madison)
Bascom Hall atop Bascom Hill is pictured in an aerial view of the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus during an autumn sunset on Oct. 5, 2011. Other majority campus facilities surrounding Bascom Hill include, clockwise from lower left, The Law Building, South Hall, Birge Hall, Van Vleck Hall, North Hall and the Education Building. In the background Van Hise Hall and Lake Mendota.

The Faculty: Leading Scholars and Outstanding Teachers

UW Law School’s nationally recognized faculty members come from a wide range of backgrounds. They represent clients, prove the innocence of convicted prisoners, advocate for patients in the health-care system, advise the federal government on biotech issues, draft legislation, work with philanthropic organizations in China and Vietnam, and research the law in developing and transitional countries from Chile to Russia. They are excellent teachers who are committed to their students. A superb clinical faculty and a seasoned adjunct faculty provide additional teaching resources and rich experiential learning opportunities.

The Curriculum: Law in Action

The hallmark of University of Wisconsin Law School is its “law in action” approach to teaching, in which students learn not only legal rules, but also why those rules evolved to address social concerns, and how those rules operate in the real world. This means asking how people and companies and governments actually interact, and how the rules are part – but only part – of the influence on their actions. It means professors whose own work examines the role of law in the world, the “law and society” school of research.

Students study in the Law Building library at the University of Wisconsin-Madison during autumn on Nov. 14, 2013. (Photo by Jeff Miller/UW-Madison)
Students study in the Law Building library at the University of Wisconsin-Madison during autumn on Nov. 14, 2013. (Photo by Jeff Miller/UW-Madison)

Dual-Degree Programs

Renowned for its interdisciplinary approach, UW Law School offers many opportunities for students to combine the study of law with a graduate degree in another subject. There are many existing dual-degree programs, including those with the UW School of Business, the School of Medicine and Public Health, and the Lafollette School of Public Affairs.

 Clinical Programs and Experiential Learning

At UW Law School, experiential learning is an integral part of legal education. With one of the largest clinical programs in the country, the Law School offers a wide variety of hands-on lawyering experiences with real clients, under the supervision of a practicing attorney.

 

A mural, titled "The Freeing of the Slaves" by John Steuart Curry, hangs in the Law School library's Quarles and Brady Reading Room in the Law Building at the University of Wisconsin-Madison during spring on May 12, 2009. ©UW-Madison University Communications 608/262-0067 Photo by: Jeff Miller Date:  05/09    File#:  NIKON D3 digital frame 687
A mural, titled “The Freeing of the Slaves” by John Steuart Curry, hangs in the Law School library’s Quarles and Brady Reading Room in the Law Building at the University of Wisconsin-Madison during spring on May 12, 2009.

Going Global: International Law and Study Abroad

A number of professors devote a significant portion of their scholarship and teaching primarily to international or comparative law, and many others integrate analysis of international legal developments into their domestic law courses. The UW Law School hosts students and professors from around the world, bringing diverse global perspectives to the classroom. Students can also study at one of the 12 overseas law faculties with which the Law School has semester and year-long exchange agreements; participate in the Law School’s summer program in Giessen, Germany; or participate in international study programs of other US law schools. Additional international opportunities are available through the Law School’s East Asian Legal Studies Center, established to formalize and increase the Law School’s interaction in East and Southeast Asia.

Student Activities

Pedestrians walk up Bascom Hill past the Law Building at the University of Wisconsin-Madison as the foliage continues to change color during autumn on Nov. 14, 2013. In the background is Music Hall. (Photo by Jeff Miller/UW-Madison)
Pedestrians walk up Bascom Hill past the Law Building at the University of Wisconsin-Madison as the foliage continues to change color during autumn on Nov. 14, 2013. In the background is Music Hall. (Photo by Jeff Miller/UW-Madison)

More than 25 organizations provide outstanding opportunities for students to hone their talents and pursue their interests. Our Mock Trial and Moot Court teams enable students to practice brief writing and oral advocacy. Three student journals-Wisconsin Law Review; Wisconsin International Law Journal; and Wisconsin Journal of Law, Gender & Society-offer invaluable experience in legal research, writing, and editing while exposing participants to cutting-edge legal thought.

 

Pre-Law Undergraduate Scholars (PLUS) Program

Pre-Law Undergraduate Scholars (PLUS) Program is a four-week summer immersion program open to students who have completed their freshman or sophomore years in college. The program is designed to help students explore legal education and careers in law and to help them succeed in applying to, enrolling in, and graduating from law school. The PLUS Program is funded by a grant from the Law School Admission Council and is offered at no cost to participants. Participants receive tuition, free room and board for the duration of the program, and a $1,000 stipend. Participants also receive a fee waiver for the LSAT and Credential Assembly Service.

 

Spotlight UW law building at night2