WI Law Review Symposium Addresses Evolution of In-house and General Counsel, Launches New Business Law Initiative

Law Review Symposium

The practice of law has changed radically in the last twenty years, including changes within the legal departments of businesses and the offices of in-house and general counsel.

The 2011 Wisconsin Law Review Symposium recently brought together an all-star cast of academics and lawyers to consider this transformation.

Cosponsored by the Law School's Wisconsin Business Law Initiative, the Institute for Legal Studies, the Global Legal Studies Center, the East Asian Legal Studies Center and the Business Law Section of the American Bar Association, the Symposium featured international experts and panels exploring such topics as the changing economics and technologies of practice; how startups and entrepreneurs make use of in-house attorneys; how transnational issues affect in-house and general counsel; and more.

"With practitioners and top academics in attendance, the Symposium will make a valuable contribution to our printed journal issue in the spring," says Liz Sanger, who, along with Nate Inglis Steinfeld, is a Symposium Editor on the Wisconsin Law Review. "The Symposium offered an opportunity for students to consider large-scale changes and challenges in the profession. Additionally, we have already heard great feedback from the lawyers who attended."

The Symposium also marked the public launch of the University of Wisconsin's Business Law Initiative, which aims to better connect faculty and students with business lawyers in Wisconsin and beyond.

"UW Law School has long been home to important and path-breaking business law work," says Jonathan Lipson, the UW Law School Foley & Lardner Professor of Law and director of the Business Law Initiative, as well as the Program Chair for the Symposium. "The Wisconsin Business Law Initiative seeks to continue to advance this tradition, and the Symposium was an ideal place to announce our efforts."

Already, the Initiative has plans to collaborate with other law school programs, centers, and initiatives that address business law matters as part of their mission, including the Program in Real Estate, Land Use, and Community Development and the Law and Entrepreneurship Clinic.

"The Initiative's central goal is to connect our business law work to business lawyers in Wisconsin and beyond," says Lipson. "Bringing together lawyers, scholars, and clients, as we did with the Symposium, is the first of what I hope are many examples of this."

Submitted by UW Law News on January 17, 2012

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