Emily Buchholz has joined the University of Wisconsin Law School as director of the Law and Entrepreneurship Clinic (L&E Clinic). The Clinic provides free legal services to emerging entrepreneurs and early-stage companies through the work of law students supervised by faculty and private sector attorneys. Since the creation of the L&E Clinic, participants have helped thousands of founders, creators, and inventors start innovative businesses.

“Emily brings a rich combination of practical skills and long-range vision to the Law School,” said Associate Dean Ursula Weigold. “As an attorney, she worked with hundreds of small businesses, and as a clinic director, she excelled in mentoring law students working with entrepreneurs. But one of her other strengths is big-picture thinking, and she’s looking ahead strategically to the L&E Clinic’s exciting next chapter.”

Buchholz was introduced to the world of law by her mother.

A first-generation attorney, she allowed her young daughter to accompany her to the law school because she lacked access to childcare.

Watching her find her way in the profession was formative for me, and I am grateful to her and all the other trailblazers out there who cut new paths into the practice of law,” said Buchholz, who went on to receive her B.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and her J.D. from the University of Minnesota Law School.

As an undergraduate student, Buchholz took a course at UW called ‘Law in Action.’

“It was an important moment in my legal career because it showed me that the law is a dynamic, human-created force rather than something purely logical or conceptual,” she said. “That has been a guiding principle for me throughout my career and informs the way I both practice and teach the law. Returning to UW Law to step into my dream job is a full-circle moment for me.” 

Prior to joining UW Law, Buchholz served as executive director and program director of the Corporate Institute and Lecturer in Law at the University of Minnesota Law School.

Since her time working in the Minneapolis startup scene, Buchholz said she’s set her intention to “do the most good”–work she knows she can accomplish as director of the L&E Clinic.

“I can work on systemic issues and strive to maximize the positive impact our programs have on our various communities,” she said. “Business is a powerful engine for good. I have the privilege to help law students help businesses. In doing so, the businesses receive high-quality legal services that are necessary for their success. And the students develop core competencies to deliver high-quality legal services to even more clients when they graduate and begin to practice. It is a win-win-win situation, and it’s the best.”    

When asked what appealed to her about joining the Clinic, Buchholz said “genuine excitement about the program itself was a primary motivator” for making the decision to apply.

“The Law & Entrepreneurship Clinic is a special program,” she said. “It is robust and well-developed and staffed by remarkable attorneys doing interesting and cutting-edge work. I was, and continue to be, impressed with the depth of the Law & Entrepreneurship Clinic’s ingenuity and real responsiveness to the needs of the Wisconsin business community.”

And, Anne Smith, who is retiring from her role as director of the Clinic, “is an amazing role model,” Buchholz said.

“It was meaningful to me to take over a program that was started and has flourished under the direction of someone like Anne,” she said. “I hope that I can move the program forward with a fraction of the capability, insight, and grace that she has embodied in building the Law & Entrepreneurship Clinic.”

Anne Smith has been a powerful force at the Law School, leading the Law & Entrepreneurship Clinic since its inception in 2009,” said UW Law School Dean Daniel Tokaji. “Thanks to her vision and teaching excellence, some two hundred clinical students have provided top-notch legal services to more than 3,000 entrepreneurs, making our clinic a national model. We’re delighted that Emily Buchholz has joined us to lead the clinic toward even greater heights. Professor Buchholz brings a wealth of experience representing small and fledgling businesses and will ensure that future students learn how to guide them toward success in an ever-changing marketplace.”

Submitted by Law School News on July 7, 2022

This article appears in the categories: Faculty, Features

Related employee profiles: Daniel Tokaji, Anne Smith, Ursula Weigold, Emily Buchholz