With the recent retirements of Professors Meg Gaines, Michele LaVigne, and Marsha Mansfield, UW Law School bids farewell to three legends in clinical legal education. All three are Distinguished Clinical Professors of Law.
Gaines is a 1983 UW Law graduate, who went on to found and direct the Center for Patient Partnerships (CPP) in 2000. The CPP is a national model for consumer-centered patient advocacy that grew out of Gaines’s own experience as a cancer survivor. Law students, as well as graduate students from other UW programs, enroll in the CPP to gain experience helping patients with serious illnesses navigate the healthcare system. Gaines is also a scholar on patient-centered care, and through the CPP, worked to influence health policy and encourage the healthcare system to respond meaningfully to patient experiences.
LaVigne joined the Law School’s Remington Center in 1988, after graduating from George Washington UniversityLaw School and practicing for ten years with the Wisconsin State Public Defenders Office. Since 1992, she has served as director of the Public Defender Project, in which she trained and supervised law students interning in public defender offices throughout the state. A leading expert on speech- and language-impaired criminal defendants, LaVigne has written on how language disabilities are often barriers to justice.
After graduating from UW Law in 1984, Mansfield worked in private practice for several years before joining the UW Law faculty. In 2007, she became director of the Economic Justice Institute, which is home to the Law School’s civil legal clinics. At the same time, Mansfield directly supervised students in the Family Court Clinic. She has written on access to justice issues, and she served two terms on the statewide Access to Justice Commission. She also helped launch the Law School’s Pro Bono Project.
• BY TAMMY KEMPFERT