Our faculty are leading scholars, but they are also actively involved in the law. They advise on stem cell issues, represent clients on death row, work with congressional staffers to draft legislation, and work with the European Union on monetary policy. They are often quoted in the news, they share their scholarship around the world, and they are part of what is new and exciting in the legal community.
But first and foremost, they are excellent teachers. The low student-faculty ratio at UW Law School allows students to work closely with professors. Our research faculty members teach at all levels in the curriculum and work with students to provide a strong foundation in law and legal reasoning. A prestigious clinical faculty provides opportunities for students to receive rigorous training and personal attention through hands-on experiential learning.
UW Law School also has both a legal research and writing faculty and an experienced adjunct faculty as part of its teaching community. Our adjunct faculty members are highly successful practicing lawyers and judges who bring their specialized knowledge and experience to the classroom, bridging the theoretical and the practical aspects of legal training and making the law come to life.
Research & Scholarship
UW Law faculty share a commitment to excellence in research, embracing a wide variety of substantive concerns and methodological approaches. The faculty has long been known for its interest in interdisciplinary work and for its commitment to a law-in-action approach to scholarship.
The Wisconsin Approach
For Wisconsin scholars, no matter how interesting or elegant the underlying theory, Wisconsin's law-in-action approach challenges them to answer the question: "Why should this matter to people in the real world?" In contrast to legal scholars whose work is theory-based, Wisconsin scholars tend to begin with an observed, real-world problem or phenomenon and then seek to explain it and to put it into a larger theoretical context.
Much of the research undertaken at Wisconsin is devoted to explaining how law and legal institutions work and often to understanding why law and legal institutions might not be working as intended. The Wisconsin faculty contextualizes law, studying it as one of many social processes that may shape behavior. Many faculty members are active in the Law & Society Association, an international organization of scholars who study the interrelation of society and the legal process; indeed, the current Wisconsin faculty includes three LSA past presidents. The work of the Wisconsin faculty is not geographically bounded. Though a majority study U.S. law, a growing number explore law in less familiar settings and are focusing their research on the workings of law in countries throughout the world.
Recent Faculty Scholarship/ Read More
In October and November 2019, Mark Sidel presented on Chinese nonprofit regulation and self-regulation at a conference on Chinese law at the University of Michigan; on the history of the Ford Foundation's activities in south Vietnam at a conference at the University of Oregon; on Chinese regulation of overseas NGOs, foundations and think tanks at a workshop organized by the US State Department in Washington; and on nonprofit research on a panel at UW-Madison's School of Human Ecology.
Steph Tai was a panel participant in "Scientists in Public Service: Running for Office as a STEM Candidate at Sigma Xi's 2019 Annual Meeting & Student Research Conference, held in Madison in November 2019.
In November 2019, Keith Findley participated on the panel "The Last Ten Years of the Innocence Movement," at a University of Michigan Law School symposium celebrating the ten-year anniversary of the Michigan Innocence Clinic. Other panelists included Michigan Supreme Court Chief Justice Bridget McComack, Professor Sam Gross, Professor Eve Primus, Professor David Moran, and Attorney Valerie Newman.