Professor of Law
Office: Room 7112, Law School
LL.M., University of Wisconsin Law School
J.D., Howard University Law School
B.A., Amherst College
Rural Community Development
Thomas W. Mitchell is a Professor at the University of Wisconsin Law School where he directs the Program in Real Estate, Land Use, and Community Development, a new multi-disciplinary program at the Law School designed with curricular, scholarly, and policy components to expand opportunities for students and faculty. He teaches Property, Land Use, Remedies, and a seminar course in Rural Development. He has done extensive research and legislative and outreach work on property issues impacting poor and/or minority communities, both domestically and internationally, and is a national expert on property issues which impact African-Americans.
Professor Mitchell served as the Reporter, person tasked with primary drafting responsibility, for the Uniform Partition of Heirs Property Act which was promulgated by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws (commonly known as the Uniform Law Commission) in 2010 and endorsed by the A.B.A. in 2011. The Act seeks to reform the law of partition with respect to family-owned tenancy-in-common property as many families have lost their property as a result of forced partition sales as well as the real estate-wealth associated with such property. The Act has been enacted into law in Georgia, Montana, and Nevada and Professor Mitchell is actively working with the Uniform Law Commission at this time to encourage other states to enact it into law. The act was also 1 of 35 recently enacted state statutes or uniform acts selected (from hundreds submitted by state officials from all across the country) by the Council on State Governments for its 2013 Selected State Legislation publication based on CSG's view that the act is particularly comprehensive and innovative and should be considered by states as a model statute. Professor Mitchell is just the second African-American to have served as a Reporter for the Uniform Law Commission in the commission's 120-year history, a period of time in which it has promulgated more than 300 uniform acts including the Uniform Commercial Code and the Uniform Probate Code. He has served on the Property Preservation Task Force, a task force of the A.B.A.'s Section of Real Property, Trust and Estate Law, and serves on the board of Farmers' Legal Action Group, Gathering Waters Conservancy, and the Association for Law, Property and Society.
Prior to entering legal academia, he worked as an associate at the law firm of Covington & Burling in Washington, D.C. and served as a law clerk for Judge Emmet G. Sullivan of the District Court of the D.C. Circuit. He received his undergraduate degree from Amherst College; his J.D. from Howard University School of Law; and his LL.M. from the University of Wisconsin Law School upon completion of the William H. Hastie Fellowship Program.