Law in Action

In the Classroom

Wisconsin is proud of its long tradition of teaching the "law in action." This means studying with professors whose own work examines the role of law in the world. It means asking how people, companies, governments and the law actually interact. And it means helping students learn to think about all these parts of the puzzle.

Here are three professors who bring Law in Action into the classroom.


Professor Brad Snyder, Year 1

false

Professor Snyder teaches Civil Procedure, Constitutional Law and Legal History.

Q. How does Law in Action affect your teaching?

"One of my goals in first-year classes is to introduce students to advocacy. In Civil Procedure I, we litigate a simulated case throughout the semester -- drafting complaints, writing motions to dismiss, arguing the motions, and engaging in settlement negotiations. In Constitutional Law I, we learn about the scope of Congress’s power by focusing on the constitutionality of the new health care law. And every student argues a Supreme Court case before the class with the other students serving as question-asking justices.

These advocacy exercises train our students to be lawyers, help them to understand the nuances of complex subjects like the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and the scope of Congress’s Commerce Clause power, and encourage them to think about the law’s real-world implications."

Q. What was your experience in Professor Snyder's class?

"Professor Snyder's Constitutional Law class clearly illustrated the benefits to a Law in Action legal education by taking subjects such as the Commerce Clause and Executive Powers and showing how they affect hot-button issues today like the new health care law and the War on Terror." - Jesse Bair

"I took two courses with Professor Snyder and both were not only extremely engaging, but they sought to challenge students in a meaningful manner and were focused on making us better lawyers, even as 1Ls." - Lauren Murphy

Professor Asifa Quraishi, Year 2


Professor Quraishi teaches Constitutional Law and Islamic Law.

Q. How does Law in Action affect your teaching?

"Engagement and participation are a big part of my classes. I realize that everyone learns and processes information in a different way, so I try to use strategies that give each student a voice.

My goal in creating a dynamic classroom is to help students not just memorize doctrine but be able to be thoughtful about the law, consider it from all angles and apply it in a range of situations."

Q. What was your experience in Professor Quraishi's class?

"Professor Quraishi's courses have the rare quality of being challenging but also exhilarating; while our discussions often caused me to question my initial conclusions, I would leave class each day not discouraged by this but instead invigorated by the ideas and eager to explore them further." - Natalie Hoeper

"Professor Quraishi's classes challenged me to think outside the four walls of law school and instead think critically from perspectives other than my own. Plus, Professor Quraishi's energy is contagious." Josh Orton

Professor Stephanie Tai, Year 3

false

Professor Tai teaches Administrative Law, Environmental Law, Law and Science, and Natural Resources Law.

Q. How does Law in Action affect your teaching?

"I embrace Law in Action by engaging students in litigation, negotiation, and compliance exercises, to take them through the actual practice of administrative, environmental, and natural resources law.

But to me, Law in Action can go well beyond the classroom; thus, I encourage students to take Law in Action in their own hands by commenting on administrative regulations (in all of my classes) and working with nonprofits in my agricultural law and the environment seminar."

Q. What was your experience in Professor Tai's class?

"Professor Tai does a great job connecting what is going on in the real world with what we are learning in class by using hypotheticals based on real situations and encouraging us to take on the roles of the parties we are arguing on behalf of." Emily Kelchen

"Professor Tai helped me to understand how the principles of environmental law are applied in the real world. By discussing how politics, agency decision-making, public perception, and science influence legal issues about the environment, she helped me to become a better problem solver." Anne Readel

Log in to edit