The University of Wisconsin Law School is unveiling a new initiative to offer law students experience in the field of business law, as well as the opportunity to foster more robust connections with lawyers already working in the field.

The Business Law Initiative brings business law work already being pursued by UW faculty to the forefront, according to Law School Dean Margaret Raymond, and the initiative will act as a vehicle for connecting students with practicing lawyers.

Raymond added a major goal of the initiative is to benefit law students by acquainting them with the world of business law. She also said the initiative will help scholars on the faculty and expand their horizons to include participants in the practice.

Members of the Law School hope the initiative will prove useful to participating lawyers by allowing them to foster connections with the Law School, Raymond said.

Raymond also said she hopes the initiative will build connections between UW and the business law community in Wisconsin and beyond.

“One of the traditions of the University of Wisconsin Law School has been to bring together theory and practice,” she said. “This seems to [be] a really good opportunity to do that.”

The initiative will also highlight initiatives already ongoing in the Law School in the field of business law, including course law findings, scholarly research and clinical learning opportunities, Darian Ibrahim, an associate law professor, said.

Although the Business Law Initiative was just recently launched, efforts to engage in work with business law and recognize the strength of the program have been around for quite some time, he said.

“It’s a new program at the Law School that really is designed to highlight the business law offerings, which have been strong for a long time, but we may have not done the best job of conveying that,” Ibrahim said.

Ibrahim said in contrast to the past, these efforts are now being recognized through the Business Law Initiative, and the area of study also recently found its new home in the Law in Entrepreneurship Clinic at the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery.

Ibrahim and Raymond also cited former Law School Dean Ken Davis as a driving force of business law programs and initiatives throughout his tenure.

“He wanted to really highlight the business law offerings at the law school for a while,” Ibrahim said. “I think he was really [provided the] emphasis for it.”

Ibrahim said the Law School has also hired law professor Jonathan Lipson to serve as the director for the Business Law Initiative.

The Wisconsin Law Review Symposium held this past weekend was the first event to highlight the business law scholarship and curriculum as well as begin to build connections with business lawyers, Raymond said.

She added she believes this was the perfect way to begin molding the initiative as it involves bringing together scholars within the practice of business law with in-house practitioners within the same field.