Outstanding Scholars

By Kassandra Tuten

New faculty bring a wealth of knowledge and skill to UW Law School.

New Faculty Bring Expertise to Tax Law Area

University of Wisconsin Law School is pleased to announce two new tax law hires, strengthening its long tradition of excellence in research and teaching. Emily Cauble and Nyamagaga “Gaga” Gondwe joined the UW Law faculty this summer and will begin teaching in the fall.

“We’re thrilled to welcome Emily and Gaga to the University of Wisconsin Law School community,” said Law School Dean Daniel Tokaji. “With Professors Cauble and Gondwe joining Susannah Tahk on our tax law faculty, our strength in this area has tripled. Their hiring reinforces our commitment to world-class scholarship, while ensuring our students will learn from leading experts in their fields.”

Emily Cauble

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Emily Cauble comes to UW Law from DePaul University College of Law, where she joined the faculty in 2012 after teaching at Michigan State University College of Law. Priorto teaching at Michigan State, Cauble was a visiting assistant professor at the University of Illinois College of Law. Her research focuses on tax policy, business taxation, and tax planning. Cauble received her BBA, summa cum laude, from the University of Notre Dame and her JD, summa cum laude, from the University of Michigan Law School. After graduating from law school, she practiced in the tax transactions group at Mayer Brown in Chicago for three years.

“I am delighted to have an opportunity to teach tax law and related courses to the students at UW Law School, and I am looking forward to working with the rest of the faculty and other members of the Law School community,” said Cauble. “I am thrilled to join UW Law and I greatly admire and look forward to being a part of its Law-in-Action mission by discussing and exploring with students how tax law and related areas connect to real-world issues.”

Nyamagaga “Gaga” Gondwe

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Nyamagaga “Gaga” Gondwe joins the UW Law faculty as assistant professor of law. She comes to UW Law from New York University (NYU) School of Law, where she was a visiting assistant professor of tax law. Her research interests include tax and African American history and culture. Gondwe received a JD from Yale Law School and a bachelor’s degree from Harvard College, where she majored in African American studies and linguistics. Prior to joining NYU, she clerked for the Honorable Jeffrey A. Meyer at the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut. Following her clerkship, she worked as a tax associate in Washington, DC, at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher and Flom. Gondwe is a member of the District of Columbia Bar.

“I am so excited to join the community of faculty, staff, and students at UW Law this fall,” said Gondwe. “I look forward to beginning my academic career alongside an amazing cohort of junior faculty and tenured colleagues. I am ready to work with Professors Tahk and Cauble to grow the UW tax program by showing that understanding tax law and policy is essential to the projects of racial and economic justice.”

Bernadette Atuahene Announced as Inaugural James E. Jones Chair

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University of Wisconsin Law School has named Bernadette Atuahene as the inaugural James E. Jones Chair. The endowed faculty chair honors the late Professor James E. Jones Jr. ’56, who was a trailblazing labor lawyer, civil rights activist, prolific scholar, and committed professor. In 1969, he became the Law School’s first African American faculty member and, in 1973, founded UW Law’s William H. Hastie Fellowship, an LLM degree program that prepares lawyers from historically underrepresented groups for tenure-track faculty positions. The James E. Jones Chair is UW–Madison’s first fully funded chair named for an African American faculty member.

As a law and society scholar, Atuahene said joining UW Law’s faculty is “an absolute honor given its rich history and remarkable reputation in this area.”

“I am also honored to occupy the University of Wisconsin’s first fully funded chair to honor an African American faculty member, James E. Jones,” she said. “The generously endowed chair will allow me to take my Law-in-Action work to the next level, continung the legacy of Professor Jones.”

Atuahene is a property law scholar focusing on land stolen from people in the African Diaspora. She is the daughter of Ghanaian immigrants who grew up in Los Angeles, California. She earned her BA from the University of California Los Angeles, majoring in political science and African American studies. She then earned her JD from Yale Law School, and her MPA from Harvard Kennedy School of Government. She served as a judicial clerk at the Constitutional Court of South Africa, working for Justices Tholie Madala and Sandile Ngcobo, and practiced as an associate at Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton in New York. Atuahene has worked as a consultant for the World Bank and the South African Land Claims Commission. Prior to joining UW Law, she was a law professor at IIT, Chicago-Kent College of Law, and a research professor at the American Bar Foundation. Atuahene’s teaching areas include property, trusts and estates, property and race, law and international development, and international business transactions.

Atuahene has been the recipient of the Fulbright Fellowship, Council on Foreign Relations’ International Affairs Fellowship, and Princeton’s Law and Public Affairs Fellowship. She is the author of We Want What’s Ours: Learning from South Africa’s Land Restitution Program (Oxford University Press, 2014), which is based on interviews she conducted with South Africans dispossessed of their land by the colonial and apartheid governments and who received some form of compensation post-Apartheid. She also directed and produced an award-winning short documentary film about one South African family’s struggle to regain their land. Atuahene was also the recipient of a National Science Foundation award for her current project about racialized property tax administration in Detroit, Michigan, which has received several accolades, including the Law and Society Association’s John Hope Franklin Award for best paper on race in 2020.

Atuahene, who will be based in Madison and continuing to conduct research in Detroit for part of the year, will begin teaching this fall.

“We’re delighted that Professor Atuahene has accepted our offer to serve as our very first Jones Chair,” said UW Law School Dean Daniel Tokaji. “Professor Jones was a towering figure at the Law School, whose career was devoted to making the promise of equal justice under law a reality. We are honored to keep his memory and legacy alive through the Jones Chair, and grateful to his former students and others whose generosity made this possible. Professor Atuahene’s visionary research, teaching, and service make her the ideal person to hold the Jones Chair.”

Rachel Burg Joins the Wisconsin Innocence Project

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Rachel Burg has joined University of Wisconsin Law School as a clinical assistant professor and director of the Wisconsin Innocence Project (WIP) at the Frank J. Remington Center. WIP seeks to exonerate the innocent and to train the next generation of legal leaders. Since WIP’s founding, student teams led by professors with expertise in the field have successfully secured the release of more than thirty wrongfully convicted persons.

“The Wisconsin Innocence Project is vital to the Law School’s mission,” said UW Law School Dean Daniel Tokaji. “This pathbreaking clinic offers students the opportunity to develop their lawyering skills, while providing outstanding representation to people who are desperately in need of help. Professor Burg’s experience and commitment to justice make her the perfect person to lead the Wisconsin Innocence Project toward new heights.”

Burg started her legal career as an intern in the University of Michigan Law School’s Innocence Clinic. (She would go on to receive her JD from the university in 2012.) That experience led her to public defense work, which she’s done for the last decade.

“When the opportunity arose to join the UW Law School faculty and direct the Wisconsin Innocence Project, I felt like it was the chance to bring my career full circle to the work that started my passion for criminal legal system reform,” she said. “The Wisconsin Innocence Project at UW Law School is a pioneer in the Innocence Movement and has provided invaluable hands-on legal education to students since its inception.”

Burg said she is excited to continue this critical work with WIP staff and students.

“We’re delighted to welcome Rachel to the Wisconsin Innocence Project,” said Associate Dean, Experiential Learning, Ursula Weigold. “Rachel’s experience as a training and supervising attorney for public defenders, as well as her interest in law, policy, and systemic reforms, will inform her teaching and be valuable for our WIP students.”

As a public defender for ten years, Burg said she knows that the way the law works in the courtroom, for everyday people, can be wildly different from the law in textbooks, which is why she was so drawn to UW Law’s Law-in-Action approach to legal education and emphasis on experiential learning.

“The clinical experience at UW Law gives students the opportunity to learn the real-world skills they will then be able to use to make positive impacts on their communities right out of law school,” she said. “I’m so excited to be a part of such important work.”

Emily Buchholz Joins UW Law as Director of L&E Clinic

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Emily Buchholz has joined University of Wisconsin Law School as director of the Law and Entrepreneurship Clinic (L&E Clinic).

The Clinic provides free legal services to emerging entrepreneurs and early-stage companies through the work of law students supervised by faculty and private sector attorneys. Since the creation of the L&E Clinic, participants have helped thousands of founders, creators, and inventors start innovative businesses.

“Emily brings a rich combination of practical skills and long-range vision to the Law School,” said Associate Dean, Experiential Learning, Ursula Weigold. “As an attorney, she worked with hundreds of small businesses, and as a clinic director, she excelled in mentoring law students working with entrepreneurs. But one of her other strengths is big-picture thinking, and she’s looking ahead strategically to the L&E Clinic’s exciting next chapter.”

Buchholz was introduced to the world of law by her mother.

A first-generation attorney, she allowed her young daughter to accompany her to the law school because she lacked access to childcare.

“Watching her find her way in the profession was formative for me, and I am grateful to her and all the other trailblazers out there who cut new paths into the practice of law,” said Buchholz, who went on to receive her BA from the University of Wisconsin–Madison, and her JD from the University of Minnesota Law School.

As an undergraduate student, Buchholz took a course at UW called Law in Action.

“It was an important moment in my legal career because it showed me that the law is a dynamic, human-created force rather than something purely logical or conceptual,” she said. “That has been a guiding principle for me throughout my career and informs the way I both practice and teach the law. Returning to UW Law to step into my dream job is a full-circle moment for me.”

Prior to joining UW Law, Buchholz served as executive director and program director of the Corporate Institute and lecturer in law at the University of Minnesota Law School.

Since her time working in the Minneapolis startup scene, Buchholz said she’s set her intention to “do the most good”—work she knows she can accomplish as director of the L&E Clinic.

“I can work on systemic issues and strive to maximize the positive impact our programs have on our various communities,” she said. “Business is a powerful engine for good. I have the privilege to help law students help businesses. In doing so, the businesses receive high-quality legal services that are necessary for their success. And the students develop core competencies to deliver high-quality legal services to even more clients when they graduate and begin to practice. It is a win-win-win situation, and it’s the best.”

When asked what appealed to her about joining the Clinic, Buchholz said “genuine excitement about the program itself was a primary motivator” for making the decision to apply.

“The Law & Entrepreneurship Clinic is a special program,” she said. “It is robust and well-developed and staffed by remarkable attorneys doing interesting and cutting-edge work. I was, and continue to be, impressed with the depth of the Law & Entrepreneurship Clinic’s ingenuity and real responsiveness to the needs of the Wisconsin business community.”

And, Anne Smith, who retired from her role as director of the Clinic, “is an amazing role model,” Buchholz said.

“It was meaningful to me to take over a program that was started and has flourished under the direction of someone like Anne,” she said. “I hope that I can move the program forward with a fraction of the capability, insight, and grace that she has embodied in building the Law & Entrepreneurship Clinic.”

“Anne Smith has been a powerful force at the Law School, leading the Law & Entrepreneurship Clinic since its inception in 2009,” said UW Law School Dean Daniel Tokaji. “Thanks to her vision and teaching excellence, some 200 clinical students have provided top-notch legal services to more than 3,000 entrepreneurs, making our Clinic a national model. We’re delighted that Emily Buchholz has joined us to lead the clinic toward even greater heights. Professor Buchholz brings a wealth of experience representing small and fledgling businesses and will ensure that future students learn how to guide them toward success in an ever-changing marketplace.”