Steven M. Barkan

Emeritus Voss-Bascom Professor of Law; Former Director of the Law Library


J.D., Cleveland State University
A.M.L.S., University of Michigan

Teaching Areas:

Recently Taught Courses
715 Torts
936 Torts II
942 European Union Law

Research Interests:
Products Liability
European Tort Law


Steve Barkan came to the UW Law School as the director of the Law Library in 1995, and he served in that position until he retired in 2018. In addition to administering the Law Library, Professor Barkan taught Torts I and Torts II for many years.  In 2015, he received the Outstanding Classroom Teacher of the Year award from the Wisconsin Law Alumni Association.  Professor Barkan is the chair of the Board of Bar Examiners of the Supreme Court of Wisconsin and serves on the Editorial Advisory Committee of the National Conference of Bar Examiners.  In February 2018, he received a Leaders in the Law Lifetime Achievement Award from the Wisconsin Law Journal.

Prior to coming to the Law School, Professor Barkan was on the faculty of the Marquette University Law School, where he served as director of the law library, associate dean, and interim dean, and taught legal ethics and workers' compensation law, among other subjects. In 1993, he was the recipient of the first Excellence in Academic Law Librarianship Award sponsored by the West Publishing Company. Professor Barkan also has served as the associate law librarian at the University of Texas School of Law, a research librarian for the Supreme Court of the United States, and a reference librarian at the University of Southern California Law Library. He practiced personal injury and workers' compensation law in Ohio and is a member of the Wisconsin and Ohio bars. 

Professor Barkan is a co-author of the ninth and tenth editions of Fundamentals of Legal Research.  In 1992, he was the founding editor of Perspectives, a journal devoted to teaching legal research and writing in law schools. 

Professor Barkan has two children: Davida, age 29, lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Daniel, age 26, lives in Las Cruces, New Mexico. Professor Barkan's interests include reading all sorts of things on his Kindle, movies, theater, music, and travel (especially to Massachusetts and New Mexico).

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