In Brief – Spring 2023

A headshot image of Jacob Lindenbaum smiling
Jacob Lindenbaum
A headshot image of Jay Tucker, smiling and wearing glasses
Jay Tucker
A headshot image of Steph Tai, wearing glasses and smiling
Steph Tai

Stars in Pro Bono Work

University of Wisconsin Law School Professor Steph Tai, Library Services Assistant Jay Tucker and student Jacob Lindenbaum were named to the inaugural Association of American Law Schools’ Pro Bono Honor Roll.

The Pro Bono Honor Roll acknowledges and highlights the pro bono work of individuals engaging in, expanding and/or supporting their law school community in providing pro bono legal services.

Visit the University of Wisconsin Law School Pro Bono Program website to learn more.

Mark Sidel Named Honorary Professor at Liverpool Law School

Mark Sidel, Doyle-Bascom professor of law and public affairs, has been named honorary professor in law at Liverpool Law School. Sidel continues his work with the Law School and its Charity Law and Policy Unit on comparative nonprofit law and regulation.

Learn more about Sidel’s research in “A Commitment to Study.”

David Schwartz Appointed Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professor

David Schwartz has been appointed as a Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professor in recognition of his outstanding achievements. This is among the most prestigious awards granted by the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Faculty members receiving this award can keep the Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professorship title for the duration of their careers.

Learn more about Schwartz and his current projects in “New Journal Fills Voids in Law Review Publishing.”

Law Faculty Provide Support to Ukrainian Legal Scholars

University of Wisconsin Law School faculty involved in the Global Legal Skills Group have provided support to those studying law in Ukraine through guest lectureships. Andrew Turner, co-director of Legal Research and Writing, has given three guest lectures through the program–one in Kyiv and the others in Odesa.

“Following the war with Russia, we wanted to be able to provide support for Ukrainian students, universities and law schools,” said Turner. “I’m proud to be involved in this program and offer support for their legal studies during this obviously difficult time.”

Other UW Law faculty involved in the program include Erin McBride, Adam Stevenson and Desmund Wu.

A headshot photo of Mitra Sharafi
Mitra Sharafi

Mitra Sharafi Receives Award for Excellence in Mentoring

Mitra Sharafi, Evjue-Bascom professor of law, was awarded a 2022 Slesinger Award for Excellence in Mentoring by University of Wisconsin–Madison’s Women, Trans and Nonbinary Faculty Mentoring Program Advisory Committee.

Twelve UW faculty members were nominated. Of these, three received the award. Sharafi was nominated by three assistant professor colleagues from across campus: Mou Banerjee (History), Darshana Mini (Communication Arts) and Priya Mukherjee (Agricultural & Applied Economics). All conduct research on South Asian studies and are affiliated with the UW Center for South Asia.

“It was a very nice surprise and honor to receive this award,” said Sharafi. “When I was an assistant professor, I had many excellent mentors at the Law School, including Howie Erlanger, Kathryn Hendley and Stewart Macaulay. In addition, I found it useful to have senior colleagues I could go to for advice who were outside of my immediate tenure unit. It has been a pleasure to play a similar role for some junior colleagues in South Asian studies across campus.”

Continuing Legal Education in Wisconsin graph showing number of CLE programs hosted, 2020: 9, 2021: 21, and 2022: 36. A CLEW graph showing attendance at programs - 2020: 531, 2021: 1343, and 2022: 4165.CLEW Programming Witnesses Impressive Growth

Continuing Legal Education for Wisconsin (CLEW) serves as the continuing studies department at University of Wisconsin Law School. For decades, it was the sole producer of the Wisconsin Jury Instructions but shifted that enterprise to the Wisconsin State Courts and State Law Library so that the instructions could be provided free of charge.

Now, CLEW has shifted its model to producing quality, free or low-cost CLE programming for attorneys and judges.

CLEW continues to provide high quality publications. This past year, CLEW updated the Wisconsin Real Estate Law manual with WRA and Wisconsin Law Use & Planning with Attorney Brian Ohm from UW Extension.

Reflections on ‘Barbee’s Mirror’ and Being a Law Student in the 1960s

This letter is in response to the article “Barbee’s Mirror,” published in the Winter 2021 issue of the Gargoyle magazine.

Dear editor,

I read with interest the article “Barbee’s Mirror” in a recent Gargoyle University of Wisconsin Law School publication. There were several factual errors and omissions in the article I would like you to correct in the next edition.

I was an original member of the “Social Interference Committee” alluded to by George Allez which began prior to the 13-day sit-in at the state Capitol rotunda in 1961. I was the head of the Wisconsin Student Council on Civil Rights when Lloyd Barbee approached me regarding the Fair Housing Bill held up in a Wisconsin legislative committee. I was finishing my second year at the Law School. We met at Lorenzo’s and over several Coronas he asked for assistance in developing a direct action plan to force the bill out of committee for a full vote in the Wisconsin Assembly. I agreed and devised the actual plan of having 13 freedom lovers enter the Wisconsin Capitol with folding chairs and place them before the pillars in the rotunda of the Capitol and remain sitting with all chairs occupied 24 hours around the clock until the fair housing bill was released from committee for a vote before the Wisconsin Assembly.

I devised the plan for picketing the suppression of the bias film; in the lower photo titled “Marchers Protest Bias Film Ban,” I am the second marcher. In 1962, upon graduation from UW Law School, Barbee and I moved to Milwaukee and began our partnership as the first Milwaukee integrated law firm, Barbee & Jacobson. We remained law partners until 1967.

I was appointed by Barbee in 1962 as head of the Wisconsin NAACP Legal Redress Committee, and filed the lawsuit on behalf of James Gregory, the Army captain on leave to study at the UW who was refused trailer space in three Madison mobile home parks because of race. The trailer parks denied coverage under the Wisconsin Public Accommodations Law, and I successfully argued before the Wisconsin Supreme Court the trailer park coverage question but ultimately lost the case on the merits before a trial court jury in Madison.

Thank you.

Thomas M. Jacobson ’62

Screenshots of the UW Law School Digital Repository website.
Law School Repository Celebrates Five Years

This February, the University of Wisconsin Law School Digital Repository celebrated its five-year anniversary. Debuting with the one-of-a-kind Bhopal Digital Archive in 2017, the repository has grown to include more than 150,000 items, making it one of the largest in the country. The Law Library recently updated the repository, giving it a fresh look and enriched metadata.

The Law Library began using persistent identifiers for its items and has linked all outside scholar profiles to current Law School faculty and staff scholarship profiles in the repository, improving the discoverability of faculty scholarship. The Law Library is excited to feature many more collections in the future.


Photo of Steven Wright standing between law library book stacks while holding a book. Photo taken by Bryce Richter.
Steven Wright by Bryce Richter

Steven Wright’s Debut Novel Greenlit for TV Series

Steven Wright’s debut novel, “The Coyotes of Carthage,” was greenlit by FX to have a TV series under production based on the novel. This is excellent news for Wright, who serves as clinical director of the Constitutional Litigation, Appeals and Sentencing Project.

Wright has been highlighted by the Isthmus and On Wisconsin magazine for his unique life of being a law professor by day and a novelist by night. Wright is currently working on his second novel, a courtroom thriller that includes Thurgood Marshall as a character.