Why is law taught differently at the University of Wisconsin Law School and how is legal realism intertwined with the “law in action” approach to legal education? Professor Emeritus William Clune explores these themes in his latest work, “Legal Realism to Law in Action: Innovative Law Courses at UW-Madison.”

The book, published by Quid Pro LLC, is a collection of essays and interviews with current and former UW Law professors. It explores the innovative courses developed by UW Law faculty from 1950-70. These courses took a “law in action” approach to the study of law, which became a signature feature of the school’s tradition that remains to the present day. The genesis of this book was a 2019 UW Law School event celebrating Wisconsin’s “Law in Action” tradition. 

Authors include Clune, Lawrence Friedman, Malcolm Feeley, Dirk Hartog, and Michael Scott. Interviews are with Herman Goldstein, Dirk Hartog, Bill Whitford, Stewart Macaulay, Cecelia Klingele, Keith Findley, and Walter Dickey. The pioneering courses discussed were taught by Willard Hurst, Frank Remington, Herman Goldstein, Stewart Macaulay, and William Whitford.

“This book is a must read for anyone interested in the history of the law and society movement and the unique role that the University of Wisconsin Law School has played in that tradition,” said Lauren Edelman, Agnes Roddy Robb Professor of Law and professor of sociology, University of California, Berkeley, of the book. “In a series of essays by and interviews of current and former Wisconsin law teachers, the creativity of Wisconsin’s challenge to the traditional legal academy comes alive.”

Clune is an emeritus professor of law, director of the Policy Group of the National Institute for Science Education, and a senior researcher of the Consortium for Policy Research in Education. His past research includes school law, implementation, special education, school site autonomy, effects of high school graduation requirements, systemic educational policy, and more. His present research includes “program adequacy” ­– the cost and implementation structure needed to reach high minimum levels of student achievement in low-income schools – and systemic policy in math and science education.

Listen to the latest episode of the Wisconsin Law in Action podcast in which Clune discusses his new book.

Submitted by Law School News on January 27, 2022

This article appears in the categories: Faculty, Features

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