University of Wisconsin–Madison

Important Dates in the History of the UW Law School

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1848 Law Department authorized in University charter
1868 Law Department opens with the admission of 15 students for a one year course of study (12   graduated)  Classes held in State Capitol
1875 First African-American student, William Noland, enrolled
1885 First female graduate, Belle Case La Follette
1889 Law Department becomes the College of Law and a second year added to the curriculum
1892 First African-American graduate, William Green
1893 First Law Building opens on Bascom Hill
1895 Third year added to curriculum
1896 Entrance requirements increased to coincide with those for undergraduates
1900 Law School becomes a Charter Member of the Association of American Law Schools
1903 Dean Harry S. Richards becomes Dean
1904 First Native American student, T. L. St. Germain, enrolled
1905 Entrance requirements increased to require completion of at least one year of college
1907 Prof. Eugene Gilmore drafts the Public Utilities Bill for the Wisconsin Legislature.  School requires two years of college for entrance
1908 Order of Coif chapter established
1909 College of Law becomes the Law School
1911 Prof. Oliver Rundell undertakes a study of the administration of criminal justice, one of the first "law in action" studies
1920 Wisconsin Law Review established.  First Native American graduate: E. Ward Winton
1920s Six months practice experience required for graduation
1922 Prof. William Rice offers one of the first labor law courses in the country
1928 Prof. Ray Brown completes a groundbreaking study of the problems of Native Americans
1929 Three years of college now required for admission to Law School.
1930s "Law and Society" courses appear, evidence of the School's interpretation of the Wisconsin Idea
1930s Law faculty and economics faculty cooperate to create the first workers’ compensation system in the nation
1930s Prof. J. Willard Hurst begins research and teaching in Legal History
1930 Law School takes over the Legal Aid Society from the Dane County Bar Association
 1932 Dean Lloyd Garrison arrives, grandson of William Lloyd Garrison, the abolitionist
1933 Wisconsin Law Alumni Association formed
1939 "Old" Library wing added to the original Law building
1942 John Steuart Curry, UW Artist-in-Residence, paints the mural "Freeing of the Slaves," now located in the Quarles & Brady Reading Room
1950 Prof. Charles Bunn is principal draftsperson of the Uniform Commercial Code, eventually adopted by all states
1950s Continuing Legal Education in Wisconsin established to provide continued instruction to the practicing bar
1960s Prof. Jacob Beuscher conducts his groundbreaking research and legislative drafting in the area of water law and land-use in small Wisconsin communities
1962 Gargoyle survives demolition of original law building and is elevated to icon status by Dean George Young
1963 Second law building completed on Bascom Hill
1967 Legal Education Opportunities Program (LEO) is established to enhance diversity in the legal profession
1968 Prof. Stuart Gullickson arrives to direct the General Practice Course, successor to the Summer Problems Course. Course becomes a principal method of teaching students the practical skills necessary for careers in law
1969 Law faculty serves on the "Committee of 30," serving as fact-finders during the student unrest of the period
1970s William H. Hastie Fellowship program established to encourage minority lawyers to earn advanced degrees to become law professors
1970s Clinical legal education blossoms: clinics evolve from ad hoc arrangements to formal programs, often connected to specific academic courses, with full-time supervising lawyers
1978 Modest addition to the Law Library
1980s Institute for Legal Studies (research) and East Asian Legal Studies Center (international law) come to fruition
1994 Construction begins on $16.5 million addition and remodeling project. Completed in the fall of 1996, wins award for design from the American Institute of Architects, Wisconsin Chapter
1997 Dean Kenneth B. Davis, Jr. becomes the 12th Dean of the Law School
2000 First Hispanic female professor, Pilar Ossorio
2011 Dean Margaret Raymond becomes the 13th Dean of the Law School and the first female to hold the position

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