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 criminal appellate law and creative writing.
His expertise in race, criminal practice and procedure, the courts and civil rights has appeared in, among others, the New York Times, the Washington Post, NBC's Today show, Bloomberg Radio, CBS News, NBC News, National Public Radio, USA Today, Politico, CNN, and the Associated Press. His expertise has also appeared in international media outlets including The Australian Broadcasting Channel, the Canadian Broadcasting Channel, Japan's Asahi Shimbun.
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 also appeared on C-Span's Book TV.
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. The novel was shortlisted for the Ernest Gaines Award for Literary Excellence, which recognizes achievement by African-American fiction writers. The novel was also a runner-up and finalist for the Hurston/Wright prize for best debut fiction.
TEACHING AT THE LAW SCHOOL
Professor Wright is a clinical associate professor and founder of the Constitutional Litigation, Appeals, and Sentencing Project (CLASP).
He is also the former co-director of the Wisconsin Innocence Project, which seeks to exonerate the innocent. Professor Wright has also taught first-year criminal law, federal appellate practice and procedure, postconviction litigation, 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.
TEACHING IN CREATIVE WRITING
Professor Wright is a lecturer in the creative writing program.
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 Johns Hopkins University, 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.
In 2021, he was named an honored author by the Wisconsin Library Association.
Scholarship & Publications
Steven Wright presented "Opportunity in Public Interest Law" during a 2022 Academic and Leadership Retreat hosted by the Midwest Black Law Student Association at Marquette Law School on Sept. 17, 2022.
Steven Wright’s debut novel, "The Coyotes of Carthage," has racked up kudos and rave reviews, including most recently a nomination for the 2021 Legacy Awards Debut Fiction from The Zora Neal Hurston/Richard Wright Foundation. Additionally, the book received rave reviews from the likes of John Grisham, and has won the following accolades: Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence, second place; 100 Black Novelist and Fiction Writers you should read, USA Today; and Best Crime Novels of 2020, CrimeReads.com.
Heinz Klug is chairing the search-and-screen committee to find a new UW Law dean. Other committee members include: Michelle Behnke, Roman Gierok, Erica Halverson, Alexandra Huneeus, Richard Monette, Yaron Nili, Kim Peterson, Howard Schweber, Mitra Sharafi, Susannah Tahk, Janice Toliver, Kathryn VandenBosch, Steven Wright, and Jason Yackee.
News & Media
Wednesday, Oct 26, 2022Steven Wright: 'The Jan. 6 Committee Is Fueling Unwarranted Distrust of the Fifth Amendment'
Monday, Aug 8, 2022Steven Wright Seizes the Issues of Our Day to Write Unconventional Thrillers
Tuesday, Feb 8, 2022Steven Wright: Ahmaud Arbery’s family is in pain. But a judge should not have rejected his killers’ plea deal.
The Washington Post
Thursday, Dec 23, 2021Steven Wright examines the systems that condemn us all
Tuesday, Dec 7, 2021Steven Wright comments on Kyle Rittenhouse trial
Thursday, Nov 18, 2021Steven Wright comments on race in Rittenhouse trial
Wednesday, Nov 17, 2021Steven Wright comments on judge in Rittenhouse trial
Wednesday, Nov 17, 2021Rittenhouse case, Arbery trial reflect deepening political and racial divides; Steven Wright comments
Tuesday, Nov 16, 2021Steven Wright on why Kyle Rittenhouse no longer faces a gun possession charge
The New York Times
Friday, Nov 12, 2021Steven Wright discusses Rittenhouse trial; closing arguments set to begin Monday
Friday, Nov 12, 2021Steven Wright discusses Rittenhouse trial judge's comments
Friday, Nov 12, 2021Steven Wright comments on Rittenhouse trial judge
The New York Times
Friday, Nov 12, 2021Steven Wright comments on Rittenhouse's emotional display
Thursday, Nov 11, 2021Kyle Rittenhouse; hero or vigilante: Steven Wright weighs in
- Appellate Advocacy
- Criminal Law
- Criminal Procedure
- Legal Research and Analysis
- Practice Skills
Recently Taught Courses
- Appellate Advocacy (BLSA Moot Court: coaches) (815)
- Clinical Program: Constitutional Litigation, Appeals & Sentencing Project (CLASP) (BJJ session) (854)
- Clinical Program: Constitutional Litigation, Appeals & Sentencing Project (CLASP) (854)
- Clinical Program: Wisconsin Innocence Project (854)
- Negotiations (BLSA Competition) for Coaches (743)
- Post-conviction Motion and Brief Writing (950)
- SP Crim. J. Admin: Federal Sentencing Guidelines (915)
- Trial Advocacy (BLSA Mock Trial: coaches) (852)