"Did my students get the chance
to feel like lawyers today?"
Professor David Schwartz is a committed teacher who believes that legal doctrine is best learned by giving students the opportunity to try out lawyering skills and solve realistic legal problems. He continues to look for new ways for his students to simulate law practice experiences in the classroom. He assesses his own teaching by asking himself after every class meeting, "did my students get the chance to feel like lawyers today?"
Schwartz sees UW Law School as a place that can be a leader in creating a modernized law curriculum for the 21st century. Schwartz and colleague Keith Findley have developed a multi-year Teaching Innovation Program, designed to stimulate new ideas in legal education and encourage experimentation.
Schwartz studies and teaches Constitutional Law, civil rights and litigation processes (evidence, civil procedure and arbitration) to gain understanding of both the strengths and the limitations of our court system's ability to protect our individual rights and democratic institutions.
Schwartz spent 12 years practicing law in California -- first in private practice litigating employment discrimination cases, and then as a civil rights lawyer at the American Civil Liberties Union -- before becoming a law professor. His practice experience informs his not only his teaching and research, but also his public service, which has included filing briefs in the U.S. Supreme Court and testifying before Congress.