Business Law Initiative

Program Overview

The Wisconsin Business Law Initiative will support and advance the business law work of the University of Wisconsin Law School. Our overarching goal, consistent with Wisconsin's long tradition of focusing on law and lawyering as actually practiced, is to better connect our business law faculty to business lawyers in Wisconsin and beyond. To this end, the BLI will collaborate with other law school programs, centers, and initiatives that address business law matters as part of their mission, including the Program in Real Estate, Land Use, and Community Development and the Law and Entrepreneurship Clinic.

In scholarship, we expect to do this through targeted programming, symposia and roundtables (including those described below). In teaching, we expect to do this by supporting experiential business law work, such as the Transactional Skills Workshop and the Law and Entrepreneurship Clinic.   In service, we expect to do this by, among other things, providing continuing legal education to business lawyers.


The University of Wisconsin Law School has long made important contributions to the development of business law. To name but a few:

The University of Wisconsin Law School has, in other words, long been home to important and path-breaking business law work. The Wisconsin Business Law Initiative seeks to continue and advance this tradition.

Affiliated Faculty

Lisa Alexander
Assistant Professor of Law

Shalanda Baker
Hastie Fellow

Susannah Camic
Assistant Professor of Law

Kenneth B. Davis, Jr.
Professor of Law

Eric Englund

Co-Director, Law & Entrepreneurship Clinic

Shubha Ghosh

Vilas Research Fellow & Professor of Law; Associate Director, INSITE

Darian Ibrahim
Associate Professor of Law

Heinz Klug

Associate Dean for Research and Faculty Development
Director, Global Legal Studies Center

Sida Liu
Assistant Professor of Sociology and Law

Stewart Macaulay
Professor of Law Emeritus

Thomas Mitchell
Associate Professor of Law
Faculty Director, Program in Real Estate, Land Use, and Community Development.

John Ohnesorge
Associate Professor of Law
Director, East Asian Legal Studies Center

Margaret Raymond
Professor of Law and Dean, University of Wisconsin Law School

Anne Smith
Co-Director, Law & Entrepreneurship Clinic

Cheryl Rosen Weston
Lecturer, University of Wisconsin Law School --she mentioned a new title
CEO, The Douglas Stewart Company

Bill Whitford
Professor of Law Emeritus

Jason Yackee
Assistant Professor of Law


September 23, 2011

The Causes of Compliance in International Relations: Evidence from a Field Experiment on Financial Transparency

Presented by Shima Baradaran, Associate Professor of Law, J. Reuben Clark Law School, Brigham Young University. Invitation-only faculty workshop hosted by Professor Jason Yackee and cosponsored by the Business Law Initiative.

October 10, 2011

The Practice of Law in 2011: The Sad and Not So Sad Change From a Profession to a Business

Presented by Michael E. Meyer, Managing Partner, DLA Piper, LLP. Sponsored by the Program in Real Estate, Land Use, and Community Development and cosponsored by the Law School's Business Law Initiative. Hosted by Thomas Mitchell, Associate Professor of Law and Faculty Director of the Program in Real Estate, Land Use, and Community Development. This event is free and open to Faculty, Students and Academic Staff of the University of Wisconsin community as well as to practicing attorneys.

Attorney Michael E. Meyer, managing partner of the Los Angeles Offices of DLA Piper LLP (US), presented on ethics as well as the thought processes engaged in by major law firms as they maneuver through the hiring process, establish salaries, negotiate fee arrangements, establish starting salaries, deal with diversity issues, make pro bono work commitments and decide who has earned the right to become a partner. This lecture provided useful insight into the practice of law for law students, practicing attorneys, and those studying the practice of law. 

November 18-19, 2011

Wisconsin Law Review Symposium: Who's in the House? The Changing Role and Nature of In-House and General Counsel

This symposium brought together leading scholars and attorneys to discuss the under-explored, but growing, role of in-house and corporate general counsel in the rapidly changing market for legal services. It also launched the Business Law Initiative. Keynote speakers included Cynthia M. Fornelli (Executive Director, Center for Audit Quality Control), Gail A. Lione, (Retired Executive Vice President and General Counsel, Harley-Davidson, Inc.), and David Wilkins (Director of the Program on the Legal Profession and the Center on Lawyers and the Professional Services Industry at Harvard Law School). Hosted by Professor Jonathan Lipson and the Wisconsin Law Review Staff, with multiple cosponsors. CLE Approved in Wisconsin (up to 12 CLE Credits, including 5 EPR) and in Illinois (9.5 MCLE credits, including 4.5 for professional responsibility). For more information, see the symposium website.

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