A Tradition of Diversity

If you are looking for a law school with a history of diversity and a dynamic student body, we encourage you to take a serious look at the University of Wisconsin Law School.

We are a nationally prominent law school and part of a world-class university. And we don't just talk about diversity — we care about it. We have created an environment where all students are respected, and we've been recognized as a place where diversity works.

Our students come from all over the country and from all backgrounds. We look for variety among our admitted students because we believe it makes for a robust and exciting learning environment. We look for students with different life experiences, socio-economic backgrounds, professional experiences, and professional goals. We want all kinds of students who can represent all kinds of people.

We have a top-notch faculty, an award-winning facility, and an impressive curriculum, and like other first-tier law schools we offer superb academic and career opportunities. But we are also different from many other law schools because we have a strong history of recruiting and graduating students of color. We have graduated over 1,500 lawyers of color, and we're committed to our tradition of diversity.

Let us tell you more about how we are different from other law schools:

For us, diversity is not new.

Diversity and equal access to legal education have a long tradition at the University of Wisconsin Law School. The first African-American student was admitted in 1875; the first woman graduated in 1885. The Law School's Legal Education Opportunities (LEO) Program have long been national models for recruiting students from historically under-represented communities and encouraging them throughout their three years in law school.

For over 40 years, the Law School through its Hastie Fellowship Program also has been a leader in guiding and increasing opportunities for lawyers of color to become law professors. Graduates of the program have gone on to prominence as legal educators at law schools around the country, including our own.

We are proud of our tradition of diversity, but we're not resting on our laurels. We know there is much more to be done, and we're looking to the future by recruiting highly qualified candidates like you.

Our commitment to students of color can be seen in our numbers.

The UW Law School has made a significant contribution toward diversifying the legal profession nationally. The best evidence of the UW Law School's commitment to diversity comes from the more than 1,500 students of color who have graduated from the Law School --- a proud group of prominent alumni who are increasingly active in their service to the Law School and its students.

Students of color comprise more than 20 percent of our student body. As a national law school, we recruit students from across the country and our current students represent more than 30 states. The faculty also reflects diversity in race, sexual orientation, religion, and national origin. We have a national reputation for emphasizing diversity and we are committed to maintaining it.

We've made a financial commitment to diversity.

Compared to the tuition at our peer law schools, the University of Wisconsin Law School tuition is reasonable; the cost of living in Madison is reasonable as well.

But, beyond these financial advantages, we also have made a financial commitment to diversity. We recruit top students and try to minimize the financial burdens of legal education through scholarships. We assist students who show financial need, and we offer scholarships to attract students who bring academic and other strengths to the Law School. The LEO Enrichment Fund, an annual campaign among our alumni of color, provides additional sources of financial support for students of color.

Our faculty, students, and administration provide a community of support.

Our students of color have a supportive community at the Law School. Specific minority student organizations actively provide personal, academic, and career support for their members. In addition, the Legal Education Opportunity (LEO) Program, a student-organized umbrella organization that collectively represents, supports, and helps all students of color, offers a warm and helpful community for students.

The UW Law School faculty and administration also are actively involved with our students of color, and they are dedicated to their success. Most importantly, our faculty is racially diverse. Many of our professors understand what it's like to be a law student of color, and they, along with their colleagues, are there with support and encouragement.Meet Some of Our Faculty of Color

Our LEO Program unites the interests of our students of color.

The Legal Education Opportunities (LEO) Program is designed to bring the UW Law School's students of color together as a single community. LEO provides a strong academic and social support network, helps students of color get the legal skills they need, promotes diversity, and recruits students from groups that have been historically disadvantaged. LEO serves as a communication mechanism, influences policy decisions important to students of color, and sponsors an orientation for first-year students. Each spring, LEO organizes an impressive banquet bringing together LEO alumni and celebrating the successes of our students of color.

In addition to LEO there are five specific constituent law student associations representing Black, Asian-Pacific-American, Latino, Middle Eastern, and Indigenous law students. They are active, vital organizations. Each is a prime support group that provides academic, social, and cultural support for its own members and assists in recruiting and retaining students. Each also encourages student involvement and leadership and provides networking and career opportunities.

Unique mentoring and support programs help our students.

In addition to the many support systems and programs available through the LEO Program, there are additional unique programs that serve our students of color.

The Friends of LEO is a support organization of LEO alumni and friends that raises money, connects students of color with LEO alumni around the country, and provides a mentoring program for students of color and those similarly situated who do not have lawyers in their immediate families. The mentors, who are highly accomplished lawyers and judges, make a three-year commitment to their students and meet with them regularly in both professional and social settings.

The Diversity Clerkship Program, a Wisconsin State Bar sponsored program, offers an opportunity for first-year students of color to have summer employment in high-quality legal settings. The clerkship program places students in private firms, corporate legal departments, and government agencies. The experience, feedback, and real world setting give students a way to explore their career choices and expand their options.

Our law-in-action approach will make your educational experience meaningful and exciting.

Top students are drawn to the UW Law School because of its tradition of excellence, but it is the law-in-action philosophy and interdisciplinary opportunities that make Wisconsin one of the most intellectually exciting law schools in the country. The UW Law School's law-in-action tradition differentiates it from other law schools. The UW Law School pioneered the belief that law must be studied in action as it relates to society and not in isolation.

The Law School focuses on helping its students understand how law both affects and is affected by every other institutional force in society. The Law School does this in its classrooms, in its many clinical programs, and in its numerous collaborations among departments and colleges at one of the world's leading universities.

Maintaining our leadership on matters of diversity is a focus of our strategic plan and the vision we have for our future.

We are serious about diversity and have made it an important part of who we are and what we want to be. We will continue to ensure that it is a key component of our future as we assess our institutional needs and resources and update our strategic plan.

We believe that diversity improves legal education. It provides a broadening, more stimulating, and thought-provoking environment for everyone; enhances our students' ability to see problems from different perspectives; teaches students how to represent clients who are different from them; and prepares students to succeed in the increasingly diverse world in which they will practice.

We are committed to continuing our tradition of recruiting talented students of color, helping them make law school a reality through financial aid and scholarships, and providing academic support to ensure their success. And we are committed to increasing our efforts at recruiting and retaining a diverse faculty and staff.

For more information about our diversity programs, contact us at admissions@law.wisc.edu

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