Steven Wright

Clinical Associate Professor

Wright, Steven

Room 4318L, Law School


B.S. Duke University
M.E.M., Duke University
M.A., Johns Hopkins University
M.F.A., University of Wisconsin-Madison
J.D., Washington University in St. Louis


Steven Wright teaches both law and creative writing. He joined the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2014. 

Teaching in Creative Writing

Professor Wright is a lecturer in the creative writing program. His debut novel, the Coyotes of Carthage (Ecco, 2020) received strong praise from USA Today, Publisher's Weekly, Salon, and the Washington Post, which called the novel, “riveting…. Those who pick up the book get a view of how the sausage of today’s politics gets made…. And [Wright] does so with a ticktock pace and knockout prose.” USA Today included Wright on its list of 100 Black Novelist you should read

For the New York Review of Books, he's written essays about race, criminal justice, and election law. He's also published essays in Crimereads

Professor Wright has taught intermediate creative writing, introduction to creative writing, freshman composition, and a Fantasy and Science-Fiction Workshop. He's also taught creative writing at Madison College and the Iowa Summer Writer's Festival. He earned his MFA from the University of Wisconsin, where he won The August Derleth Prize, which recognizes excellence in creative writing. He also won The Jerome Stern Teaching Award, which recognizes outstanding teaching by an MFA student.

Teaching at the Law School

Professor Wright is a clinical associate professor and co-director of the Wisconsin Innocence Project. The Wisconsin Innocence Project seeks to exonerate the innocent and to train the next generation of legal leaders. Professor Wright has also taught first-year criminal law and appellate advocacy.

During his time with the Wisconsin Innocence Project, Professor Wright has participated in several exonerations including the exoneration of Daniel Scheidell and Sam Hadaway. He's also won cases in the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit and the Wisconsin Court of Appeals. Professor Wright is a former member of the Wisconsin Judicial Council. From 2018-2019, he served as the chair of the appellate rules committee, which studies and recommends changes to the Wisconsin Rules of Appellate Procedure.

Before joining the University of Wisconsin faculty, Professor Wright was a trial attorney in the Voting Section of the United States Department of Justice. He litigated cases to enforce the Voting Rights Act, the Civil Rights Acts, National Voter Registration Act, and the Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment Act. He also clerked for the Honorable Lavenski Smith, United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit.

He appeared on C-Span's Washington Journal, where he shared his experience supervising federal election monitors. His innocence cases have appeared in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and the Journal Times. He's provided expert commentary on Wake Up Wisconsin, SiriusXM Urbanview, Channel 3000, and Wisconsin Public Radio.  


News & Media

View all of Steven Wright's media appearances

Teaching Areas

  • Appellate Advocacy
  • Criminal Law
  • Criminal Procedure
  • Legal Research and Analysis
  • Practice Skills

Recently Taught Courses

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