A Dean’s View

Many Paths to Success

As dean of UW Law School, I spend a lot of time traveling in Wisconsin and around the country to meet with graduates and learn about their career trajectories. While many of our graduates began their careers — and continue them — in traditional legal work, others are using their UW Law School education in nontraditional ways. From shaping online legal education and writing for Marvel comics, to providing top-tier investment services and founding new businesses, UW Law graduates bring their legal training and skills to bear in a range of fields. I thought you would enjoy meeting some of them in this edition of the Gargoyle.

Our focus on nontraditional employment is especially timely. As the market for legal services continues to evolve, our law graduates may need to be prepared to pursue employment outside established pathways.

One of those nontraditional directions is working with entrepreneurs and startups. The UW Law School is at the forefront in preparing students for the fast-changing environment of startup business. In our Law and Entrepreneurship Clinic, students get experience helping entrepreneurs with business formation, technology, intellectual property, and financing; some of them are even contemplating startups themselves.

Our effort is part of a broader city and campus commitment to encourage and support entrepreneurship in Madison and beyond. Learn more about the ways the UW is simultaneously supporting entrepreneurship, educating students for a fast-changing field, and growing the Wisconsin economy.

An entrepreneurial career path is interesting to some of our students, but not all. That this law school has never been a “one-size-fits-all” place is one of our strengths, and it’s one we take pride in. At UW Law School, we prepare graduates for a wide range of work environments and opportunities. From sophisticated corporate practice in New York or tech-startup work in Palo Alto, to solo or small-firm practice in a Wisconsin town, to public-defender work around the country, Wisconsin graduates are well grounded, with strong analytical training and practical skills. The graduates featured in this issue, who have chosen nontraditional career paths, use their law degrees every day. I hope that their stories engage and inspire you and that, in whatever you do every day, your law degree continues to add value and richness to your life.

My best wishes for a happy, healthy, and productive 2014.


— Dean Margaret Raymond