Academics and Curriculum

Students at the Law School have many opportunities to experience what is known as the law-in-action idea.  An extensive curriculum places emphasis on the dynamics of law — how the law relates to social change and to society as a whole — while at the same time stressing skill development. 

In addition to nationally recognized programs in several substantive areas, the Law School also has one of the largest clinical programs in the country. 

The first-year program at Wisconsin is designed to teach the fundamentals of legal analysis and reasoning in a supportive setting. Our small-section program is the cornerstone of the first-year curriculum.The students from your small section will be with you in your other classes, making it easy to form study groups and to form friendships.

In the first semester, two of your classes will be small sections a substantive law class and your legal research and writing class. You'll have a small section of a substantive law class (torts, contracts, civil procedure, or criminal) with approximately 24 students, which will give you the opportunity to receive one-to-one feedback on your legal analysis;and you'll have an even smaller research and writing class 15 students or less to ensure one-to-one feedback on your writing.

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Information for Law Students by Law Students

Reflections from current students on UW Law's academic environment

Sonal Agarwal

Top-notch professors

"UW Law professors are not only highly qualified, many of them have industry experience. This is great because every professor has a law-in-action component in their class, which not only makes the class fun, it derives from that professor's experience in teaching real-world skills to students. Also, all my professors are very friendly, have an open door policy and work hard to help students learn. Some will even have office hours on the weekends."

Mary Brynn


Improved thinking skills

"I'm amazed at how quick my mind works since starting law school. I feel sharp. I can analyze a situation, formulate a strategy and predict or execute an outcome with much more efficiency and purpose than ever before."


Erin Gasparka

Powerful learning experiences

"The most rewarding aspect of law school for me has been that every day I walk away truly having learned something that immediately adds to how I understand the community and the world I live in. It is pretty powerful when I think that since I started at UW Law School in August, every single day I have learned something (usually many somethings) of substance."

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