Law in Action Profile

David L. Anstaett '01

Portrait of David L. Anstaett

"There’s a recognition at Wisconsin
that traditional lecture courses
alone won’t make a well-
rounded lawyer. In a clinic you
interview clients, serve discovery,
write briefs and think
strategically about how to get
the best result for your clients."

Read the full interview

Hometown: Centerville, Ohio
Education: B.A., University of Kansas (Political Science)
Employment: Perkins Coie LLP
Law School Activities:

  • Senior Articles Editor, Wisconsin Law Review
  • Publications, "Express Advocacy and the Collision between Political Speech and Electoral Integrity: Elections Board v. Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce"  Wis. L. Rev. 5, 1117  
  • Consumer Law Litigation Clinic, 1999-2000

David Anstaett is one of the fortunate people who has managed to merge his long-held interests into his professional career, and he's enjoying the results. David is a senior associate with Perkins Coie , an international firm of about 700 attorneys and other professionals. He works in the Madison office, where he practices intellectual property litigation and political law.

David has had a deep interest in politics, government, and the legislative process since a high school government class introduced him to these subjects. He majored in political science in college and then made his way to Washington, D.C., first as an intern and later as a congressional lobbyist for a large grassroots organization, developing an expertise in campaign finance reform legislation.

David's other strong interest is German language and literature, which he studied in college. He spent a year living and traveling in Germany as the recipient of a University of Kansas Graduate Direct Exchange Scholarship and worked to maintain his German proficiency in the years following college. After serving as a judicial clerk for the Honorable Barbara Crabb of the U.S. District Court, Western District of Wisconsin, David was a Bosch Fellow, a program that enables young American leaders to live and work in Germany for one year. During that time, he worked at the German Justice Department and Parliament, where he focused on European Union law and German election law.

How has David combined these diverse interests with a litigation practice? He has the opportunity to represent international clients or clients with international issues, and he uses his German in working with witnesses and gathering evidence. His intellectual property litigation practice has taken him to countries in Europe and Asia. More surprising is his continuing professional involvement with campaign finance and political law. Perkins Coie has one of the nation's top political law practice groups. In addition, he has served as the Wisconsin Supreme Court's appointee to the State Elections Board, done pro bono election law work for the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, and helped teach the Political Law class at the UW Law School.

Read more in "An Interview with David L. Anstaett ‘01"

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