John K.M. Ohnesorge

Professor of Law

Office: Law School

B.A., St. Olaf College (1985)
J.D., University of Minnesota Law School (1989)
S.J.D., Harvard Law School (2002)

Teaching Areas:
Administrative Law
Business Organizations/Corporations
Comparative Law
Law & Development

Recently Taught Courses
744 Administrative Law
817 Business Organizations I
940 Chinese Law
940 Law & Development: Emerging Economies

Research Interests:
Administrative Law and Politics
Law and Economic Development
East Asian Legal System Development
International Economic Law
History of Legal Thought


Professor Ohnesorge teaches Business Organizations and Administrative Law, as well as seminars in Chinese Law, and in law and economic development in developing countries.  He is the former Associate Director and then Director of the Law School's East Asian Legal Studies Center (2001-2014), and former Chair of the Wisconsin China Initiative (2008-2012).

A native of Minneapolis, Professor Ohnesorge received his B.A. degree from St. Olaf College (1985), his J.D. from the University of Minnesota Law School (1989), and his S.J.D. from Harvard Law School (2002). Along the way he has spent several years in East Asia, first as a teacher and law student in Shanghai in the 1980s, and then as a lawyer in private practice in Seoul in the 1990s.

During the course of his S.J.D. studies, Professor Ohnesorge spent a year as a visiting scholar at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and Public International Law in Heidelberg, Germany, on a fellowship from Harvard's Center for European Studies. In 2000 he served as a lecturer at Harvard Law School, co-teaching with Professor William P. Alford. From 2000 to 2001 he clerked for Federal District Court Judge Rya W. Zobel (D. Mass), then joined the Law School in the fall of 2001.

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