Margaret Baumgartner

Legal Research & Writing Faculty

Telephone: 608-265-3283
Office: Room 3370, Law School

M.A., University of Wisconsin
J.D., University of Wisconsin

Teaching Areas:
Skills Training

Recently Taught Courses
723 Legal Research & Writing II


Admitted to the Wisconsin Bar in September 1984, Margaret Baumgartner began her legal career litigating matters ranging from divorce to the First Amendment and spending countless hours in court in labyrinthine accountant malpractice litigation. In late 1986, she joined Madison's DeWitt law firm (now known as DeWitt, Ross & Stevens, S.C.) and was elected a shareholder less than three years later. Thereafter, she concentrated on nationwide business and environmental litigation, handling cases in such areas as civil RICO, franchise and dealership, and environmental insurance. After serving pro bono as an environmental consultant in China, she affiliated "of counsel" with Gagliardi, Nelson & O'Brien, S.C., where she continued to practice law and pursue her international public service interests. 

In 2003, Prof. Baumgartner's public service interests turned to teaching advocacy and writing courses at the UW Law School. In addition to teaching, she also agreed to serve as curriculum adviser for 1L research and writing and did so for several years. Prof. Baumgartner continued to teach legal research and writing, and in 2012 she returned to full-time teaching in the Legal Research and Writing Program.  

Throughout her law practice, Prof. Baumgartner wrote hundreds of briefs and petitions to trial courts as well as the Wisconsin, Illinois, and Nevada appellate courts, the Seventh Circuit, and the U.S. Supreme Court. Yet, her interests in teaching and in writing stem in part from her experience before practicing law. An avid student of languages, she studied in Argentina and Germany before transferring to the UW-Madison to study Chinese and Japanese. In graduate school, she did psycholinguistic studies related to the Chinese writing system, translated Chinese short stories into English for publication in literary anthologies, received training in language teaching, and taught ESL and writing to foreign students enrolled at the UW. She then taught for a year at the Colegio de Postgraduados in Chapingo, Mexico. Upon her return to Madison, she entered law school and obtained her J.D. after completing an accelerated two-year program.

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