Oral History with Louise Trubek (2008)

University of Wisconsin Law School Library
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00:00:00 - Introduction; Family background

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Partial Transcript: --Want this position more that it will, uh, oh good, now I can see.

Segment Synopsis: Louise Trubek (LT) begins talking about her birth and her family background. She was born in New York City on August 23, 1937. Her mother was a dental hygienist; she attended Columbia University’s dental hygienist school. Her father attended City College. Both were from immigrant families from Galicia, a historical and geographical region in Central-Eastern Europe. Her given name was Louise Grossman; she has no middle name. Grossman is a common name—she notes that someone in the medical school also has it.

LT was the firstborn child. Her parents’ families were both very poor, especially during the Great Depression. Her paternal grandfather was a small-business person, very mean-spirited and very frugal. LT’s father was the second of four born; her mother was the second of five born. LT’s father was a postal worker well into the fifties. He was a wannabe-intellectual, greatly admired the University of Wisconsin, and aspired to be a political figure. His intellectual aspiration influenced LT a lot; her mother, however, did not think highly of her husband’s poor breadwinning. She believed he was impractical and too cerebral. They owned a little store on the Lower East Side and lived in the same building a floor above it. LT’s father read the Torah and the Bible regularly. LT notes that her college life and law school life were very different and unrelated times in her life.

Keywords: Bible; Brooklyn; City College; Columbia University; Fiddler on the Roof; Galicia; Jew; Louise Grossman; Manhattan; New York City; The Great Depression; Torah; United States; University of Wisconsin

00:10:11 - Contrast between college and law school

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Partial Transcript: Can you say something in summary about the big difference between the two experiences of Wisconsin--the undergraduate and the law school career?

Segment Synopsis: LT began college as a Ford student at the age of 16. She was happy to start anew after a poor high school experience. She entered the Integrated Liberal Studies (ILS) program and developed a great social life. She was a history major. LT enjoyed her college experience but was just as eager to graduate and leave the “provincial” state of Wisconsin, as she naively viewed at the time.

Law school, on the other hand, was a very different and negative experience. She had built a very good life in New Haven, being a faculty wife and a practicing lawyer, with three wonderful children and a beautiful house. Dave was denied tenure there, however, which threw them for a loop. He took the job eventually offered to him in Wisconsin.

LT was not happy upon returning to WI, having to leave behind her life in New Haven. Dave and she sought a job for her in the UW; she had several interviews for positions in the state government, including the department of revenue. Dean George Bunn helped her look for a job in a public interest law firm, offering her an opportunity to raise money for her efforts.

Keywords: Daily Cardinal; David Trubek; Ford Foundation; ILS; Integrated Liberal Studies; Lucy(?); Milwaukee; Patrick Lucey; Robert La Follette; UW Law School; civil rights

00:16:10 - Political exposure

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Partial Transcript: Well we'll get back to that, but let's go back a bit to the family.

Segment Synopsis: LT’s mother attended two years of tertiary education. Many of LT’s aunts were schoolteachers, but her mother stayed home. LT’s grandfather was mean-spirited and never spent money, so LT’s parents had to support themselves. Politics played a big role in LT’s early life; she recalls a book by Nathan Englander about Argentina that reminded her of her family’s socioeconomic situation.

Many sociopolitical groups were active in New York in the 1940’s, including Communist and Socialist parties that were alienated during the Red Scare led by Senator Joseph McCarthy. LT’s interest in politics stemmed in part from her exposure to such complicated issues; she recalls the Rosenberg executions that sparked a huge response in her neighborhood. Her parents were not reserved about politics, discussing it wherever and with whomever, exposing LT to it a lot.

Peers of LT’s recall her being much more political than they were in school, which LT finds curious since she never found herself that political at the time. She recalls a recent lunch she had with alumni who recalled her being so political mature and intelligent. Madison was a very political environment when she attended college, so it was difficult for her to avoid becoming involved. She became active in movements for racial equality, including integrating campus housing for students. LT has always been more political and left leaning than David, who remains very patriotic—much more so than she does.

Keywords: Communism; David Trubek; Detroit; Irene Bernstein; Joseph McCarthy; Labor Youth League; Nathan Englander; New Jersey; New York; Rosenberg; Socialism; Yiddish; Zionism

00:24:30 - Sociopolitical interests

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Partial Transcript: Well tell me, in childhood, what gave you that, uh, sort of feeling, confidence to go ahead and talk your politics?

Segment Synopsis: LT read many political books—she recalls reading a book about Elizabeth Blackwell, the first female doctor in the United States. LT’s Jewish upbringing heavily emphasized education—especially higher education—and deemphasized vanity and other, more typical, American values. Her parents were not particularly religious—they did not teach Hebrew or instill the Talmud.

LT has always been interested in injustice. She recalls that, when she began her poverty law class, she explained to the students her interest in the topic. She was from a family whose poverty and immigrant status influenced her a lot. She recalls how the structure of her gradeschool classes reflected the students’ socioeconomic status. Her parents’ situation did improve somewhat: her father returned to school to complete his degree and then taught at City College, where LT’s niece recently began teaching also—both in history. Her father was timid and indecisive. Her niece found herself in a political cult in Detroit. LT has always been interested in the difference between being a citizen and being a professional, wondering when the two may overlap. She has always been interested in professionalizing her many roles.

Keywords: City College; Detroit; Elizabeth Blackwell; Israel; Jews; Judaism; New York City; New York Times

00:30:22 - General Education

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Partial Transcript: Well let’s go back and talk about the actual schools.

Segment Synopsis: LT attended Public School 183 in New York. Jewish culture was very different from Italian-American culture; intellectuality was lacking and thus education was not as important for the latter. LT’s instructors were Jewish and Catholic. Her elementary education was rigorous and beneficial. LT was not very gender-conscious at the time; socioeconomic class was much more pronounced.

When she attended middle school, New York was going through a time of educational experimentation, trying to improve junior education. LT never learned grammar, which has always impeded her scholarship. She attended Tilden while her sister went to the school of performing arts. Tilden offered advanced courses. LT attended for only two years due in part to the grade structure. Guidance counselors tended to be biased toward certain students. LT was a member of the honors society, which helped her get an opportunity to attend the ILS via the Ford scholarship. She took an exam in early winter and gained admission that summer.

Keywords: American Legion; Barbara Grizzuti Harrison; Bronx; Brooklyn; Catholic; Columbia University; Crossing Ocean Parkway; Integrated Liberal Studies; Irish; Italian-American; Judaism; Manhattan; New York City; Tilden High School; Wisconsin

00:38:17 - Integrated Liberal Studies

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Partial Transcript: And, uh, describe the program; what was it designed to do?

Segment Synopsis: The ILS program was designed by the Ford Foundation to admit students into college at an earlier stage so that they could graduate sooner to enlist for the Korean War. Wisconsin admitted about 75 students over three years; LT’s class was the third overall and the first to admit women.

Two friends of hers from New York also attended Tilden but they had very different experiences. ILS greatly influenced LT; she met very interesting people of various backgrounds. She took many courses, such as classics, that influenced her later work. The ILS program provided LT with greater recognition than she might otherwise have had at the time. When she took history courses after the ILS program, she found herself among many graduate students even though she herself was still an undergraduate student. Teaching assistants were not nearly as common at the time as they are now.

LT generally did well in school but struggled with math and grammar. She was not a fluent writer, which slowed her scholarship later in her career. She has never been comfortable with her writing, often deferring to others, including her husband, Dave, for guidance. Currently, LT works on European Union issues. She learned Portuguese when she resided there with David.

Keywords: Amherst; Chicago; English; European Union; Ford Foundation; French; Korean War; New York; Portuguese; Spanish

00:46:43 - College life and campus involvement

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Partial Transcript: So you, you, you were able to do what you’ve been able to do with certain deficits.

Segment Synopsis: LT was not very interested in math and the natural sciences. She recalls a guidance counselor telling her that she could do anything she wants but she should steer away from math. Her work is not traditional legal analysis; rather, she collects empirical data in the field and teaches how to draw conclusions from it. She recalls an exceptional history department but a mediocre political science department; she found the courses very easy, acing all of them.

The ILS program fed LT’s intellectual curiosity. When she attended UW, classes often had a mix of college and graduate students, which exposed LT to more academic opportunities. Nowadays there is much less interaction between graduates and undergrads. LT dated graduate students—she recalls meeting her future husband, Dave, through a graduate student who lived with him. (Both Dave and she were undergraduates at the time.) LT became very involved in the student senate; both Dave and she were concerned with integrating housing. She served on the senate at the time of McCarthyism, recalling government requests for membership lists to find members of the Labor Youth League, a Communist group.

Student politics focused on racial discrimination in fraternity and sorority housing at the time. In her senior year, LT was inducted into Mortar Board, a national honors society for college seniors. She was a part of the Green Lantern, a cooperative eatery that provided students with a place to convene on sociopolitical matters. LT points out that the sexual revolution had its roots in the fifties, not the sixties, as commonly assumed. She recalls peers of hers being surprisingly sexually active. With very little money, LT took advantage of the eatery for three years.

Keywords: Alisa Alexander; David Trubek; English; Green Lantern; Helen Raybine (?); ILS; Integrated Liberal Studies; Joseph McCarthy; Labor Youth League; Mortar Board; Wisconsin; history; political science

00:59:34 - Transitioning from college to law school

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Partial Transcript: Well good, before we just m-move on then, from the, uh, the education, you said that the classics, that um, early education in basic culture…

Segment Synopsis: Education in the classics influenced LT a great deal. She recalls her instructor, Paul McKindrek, influencing her a lot. Dave had a very different education and was much more interested in English and writing. LT had a lot of social support and was very popular. She was a vivacious student and social butterfly. She recalls the typical cliques, including farm girls and sorority members. This mix of social groups opened a new world to LT. She appreciates attending UW since it gave her a lot of freedom, academic and otherwise. Martha Peterson, dean of women students, influenced LT greatly.

LT arrived at Yale Law School as one of only six women in a class of 160. Many more women had attended law schools in previous decades—the 20’s and 30’s—than in the 40’s. She recalls a women’s lounge where there was a bathroom and a set of lockers for female students. They lived in a dorm reserved for female graduate students, including students from other disciplines. The atmosphere of the school was very oppressive, especially given the fact that many of the men had never attended co-curricular schools. The female students, LT recalls, came from an interesting variety of schools, including private liberal arts colleges and public universities.

LT herself was never very self-conscious about discrimination. She was very quiet in law school, which was very different from the vivacious student she was in college. She had lost a lot of confidence in herself due to sexism but also because Dave did better than she did in classes. She was in the upper third of her class, but this was still not very impressive. Law classes tended to test analytic skills, which were not LT’s strength. She had many good ideas but struggled to convey them in class. She was asked to participate in the moot court system, but home responsibilities such as cleaning and housework preoccupied her. She regrets not joining, since it offered her an opportunity to put her oral skills to good use.

Keywords: Beloit College; Chadbourne Hall; David Trubek; Delta Delta Gamma; Ford Foundation; Harvard Law School; Martha Peterson; Mortar Board; New York; New York University; Paul McKindrek (?); Plato; Princeton University; Shakespeare; Swarthmore College; University of Wisconsin; Wellesley College; Yale Law School

01:12:26 - Sexism

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Partial Transcript: Now were you and Dave talking even before he came to law school?

Segment Synopsis: LT was uncomfortable talking about sexism on campus, even to her husband, Dave. She never spoke up in class, which drew a sharp contrast from her time in college. She recalls Jane, a friend of hers, giving a presentation about sexism to the law school, illuminating many issues of which her male peers were unaware. The sexism came from many directions but it especially did not help LT in the job market. The sheer number of people coming from privileged backgrounds overwhelmed LT; the structure of the law and the way it was taught also did not help her. Viewing the law as an instrument of social change, LT was more radical and politicized than her peers, who were more concerned with corporate law. Dave provided little support at the time; he was very self-involved, preoccupied with his own work. LT majored in labor law, expecting classes to focus on unions and other topics related to workers’ rights; instead she found herself in a class discussing statutory regulations of the work force. The class turned out very different but she persisted and did well. Dave has been much more supportive in recent years but still operates with many constraints.

Keywords: Beth Murtz; David Trubek; Sandra Day O’Connor; Yale Law School

01:18:03 - Balancing work and family

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Partial Transcript: You know, I think I lost about four minutes at the beginning of after we got our tea here.

Segment Synopsis: LT discusses working with Dave over the years. It has been a constant in their relationship. LT worries sometimes that their work consumed them at the cost of their relationships with their children. Their partnership started in college politics, when they collaborated for integrated housing. They had very different interests in law school. Their children all got involved with or married people involved in similar fields. Dave followed the mores of the time, which suppressed discourse about gender equality. LT believes she was of a different generation, lacking sympathy with the feminists of her time. She wanted to have a husband, a career, and children, and accomplished all of them using an older model for living. She put all her money toward house cleaners.

In hindsight, LT sees that she could have entered the job market earlier, when Dave was still in school, but chose against it for the sake of the relationship. She made a conscious decision not to adopt the feminism of the 60s and 70s. She recalls a friend of hers who disdains Betty Friedan. LT had to adjust her life in light of her decision to move away from clinical work and begin writing. The compromises she made earlier in life began to have repercussions, but LT believes she still made the right decisions for the sake of her family. She notes that her kids have followed her model of living and have fared well.

Keywords: Betty Friedan; David Trubek

01:26:41 - Transitioning from law school

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Partial Transcript: Well let's go back to that, um, I wanna ask you a little bit more about the law school but let’s continue with this thread.

Segment Synopsis: When LT was finishing law school, she became pregnant and worked as a research assistant for a professor. She became angry in hindsight finding women had been getting highly esteemed jobs. She found herself competing on a lower tier than were her contemporaries. LT clarifies that her undergraduate years were better in many ways. She had a wonderful time in New Haven. A woman from Tilden noted that LT’s time in Washington DC was the lowest point in her life. She did not have a good time in Brazil when DT studied there; she became a “foreign service wife,” which was hard, especially since she could not speak the native language as well as her husband. She had a third child.

She was a research assistant to a professor who was writing book. Then she had a baby. She was home for a year and a half, and then she got a part-time job working for the Supreme Court. The judge for whom she worked turned out to be an embezzler. Upon returning to New Haven from Brazil, Dave and she bought a house. LT had a wonderful time as a faculty wife. She then found in the newspaper an ad about public-interest law firm, which interested her. She worked for a private firm working in public interest law and then set up her own firm. She was very happy in that position for the following three years. When she left New Haven, she was astounded that her colleagues would miss her so much; LT had been so used to being in her husband’s shadow that she figured her own departure would be no big deal; she found out how wrong she was when her colleagues bid her a formal fare well.

Dave became more feministic while LT worked in public interest and extended the firm’s interests to gender equality. The UW Law School was interested in Dave because it had broad, progressive legal program. It was difficult for LT to leave her firm; she wasn’t sure what she would do in Wisconsin.

Keywords: Brazil; David Trubek; Harvard University; New Haven; Tilden; Washington, D.C.; Wisconsin; Yale Law School

01:35:00 - Finding work in Madison

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Partial Transcript: Well let’s do it then.

Segment Synopsis: Dave was denied tenure in the spring of 1972; consequently, LT had to give everything up in New Haven since likely they would have to move. Dave received a job offer from UW Law School for political as well as credential reasons. The progressive bent of the law school was interested in Dave, even though they knew little else about him. The public interest law firm that LT had set up in New Haven started the same year that she set up the center in Wisconsin. Had she stayed in New Haven, she would have become the executive director. It was very hard for her to give up. It was also a bad time for their daughter, Jessica, who was twelve at the time, to experience such a transition.

The dean of the UW Law School was interested in hiring LT for her work in administrative law. Nepotism was not a huge deal at the time. The dean wanted LT to set up a clinical program in the law school; LT objected on grounds that it risked conflicting interests, given that her husband was hired as a professor. Thus, she proposed instead to set up a separate 501c3 to provide clinical work and credit for students. Consequently, she did not formally work for the law school or the state until 1982, which in turn delayed her pension. Walter Dickie, who overshadowed LT for several reasons (not only because her clinic was not officially part of the law school), ran the conventional clinical program directly tied to the law school. There were several disagreements over scholarship, clinical status, and deep-seated political views. Dickie was much more traditionalist, patriotic, and worked in favor of the Department of Corrections. He became a protégé for Frank Remington, who was a very bright and significant figure but, as LT says, in hindsight, also became a controversial figure. LT always struggled to get respect in the law school and the state. She tried to become more of an academic but lost support from her peers. The clinical program in the UW Law School has become an outlier because it holds so much power that it intimidates academics.

Keywords: Frank Remington; George Bunn; Jessica Trubek; Law and Society; Steve Miley; Walter Dickie; Wisconsin; Yale University

01:46:00 - Organizational and project work

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Partial Transcript: Well let's talk about that: how did you get--what support did you get from the law school?

Segment Synopsis: LT’s initial funding came from grants. She worked on women’s issues through the public interest law firm and environmental issues through the private firm. She taught public interest law courses that attracted many students. She received a lot of her funding from the government, which was unusual to her. She later did work on poverty law and open government issues.

LT worked on the Center for Public Representation to help people understand the law. George Bunn, law school dean at the time, sought research in administrative agency law. LT also worked in law for the elderly and disabled, which she sees as the most sustained work to which she contributed. The Coalition of Wisconsin Aging Groups and Disability Rights Wisconsin resulted from her collaborative work. A large percentage of the work in such groups is done directly by lawyers in Wisconsin, which differs from similar programs in other states. LT worked in both theoretical research and clinical studies for the programs. Many collegues of LT’s—June Weisberger, Gerry Thaine, Peter Carstensen, Arlen Christensen, and Joel Grossman—played some role in the programs, including on the board of directors. LT taught public interest law theory.

Never in her 30+ years as the director of the Center for Public Representation was LT told to “lay off,” i.e., to ease her administrative work, which encouraged her a great deal. She also helped create the Wisconsin Women’s Network. She worked on lobby reform, open records laws, open meetings requirements, and other legislation. Much of the CRP’s initial work is now in the Wisconsin Historical Society and the UW Law Library. Though open records laws already existed, LT’s work greatly expanded and institutionalized them.

LT also worked on ex-offenders policies but saw less success. She tried to curb discrimination based on criminal history. She also worked on legal representation for AIDS clients, energy policy, and environmental issues. The CPR filed a lawsuit against the building of the MATC campus near the Dane County Airport. They worried that the construction did not consider environmental policy. The CPR was always ahead of the curb in its policy and legal work. While LT taught poverty law, she discovered the state legal personnel did not provide adequate services in the area. She became very critical and tried to work them for improvement, but they did not cooperate.

Keywords: AIDS Network; Arlen Christensen; Coalition of Wisconsin Aging Groups; Connecticut; Disability Rights Wisconsin; Donna Shalala; Freedom of Information Council; Gerry Thaine; Jackie McCauley; Joel Grossman; June Weisberger; Madison Area Technical College; Open Records; Peter Carstensen; Ronald Regan; UW Law Library; UW Law School; Wisconsin Historical Society; Wisconsin Women’s Network

02:04:11 - Interview recap

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Partial Transcript: Ok...alright. So today is June 12th and this is Betsy Draine interviewing Louise Trubek.

Segment Synopsis: Betsy Draine (interviewer) summarizes the interview hitherto. LT interjects to elaborate on certain points. Louise grew up in New York in a Jewish neighborhood. She was influenced by her father’s intellectual interest and her mother’s impatience with those interests. Her mother was politically active, which influenced LT’s interest in social justice. Socioeconomic class divisions in high school made the time difficult for LT. She skipped her senior year of high school on the Ford scholarship. She gave up her career in New Haven to follow her husband, Dave, to Madison. Louise initially did not work on the UW payroll, which delayed her pension. She highlighted the significance of the ILS program for her education.

LT elaborates on the course structure of ILS. Course selection spanned over the humanities and sciences. Students were not forced to concentrate on a narrow subject matter, which contrasted sharply with schools along the East coast. Dave wrote for the Daily Cardinal, the student government newspaper, which quoted LT many times. Parental regulations were strict in the dormitories but LT never resided in a campus dorm; thus, she experienced much more freedom than was typical of a student at the time. Her husband, Dave, was nearly kicked off campus for attending parties that were not pre-approved.

Louise admired the history faculty and enjoyed the department’s program, especially since it included classes that mixed graduate and undergrad students. Louise was appointed to the housing unit of student government, concentrating on racial integration and fraternity/sorority discrimination. LT recaps the Labor Youth League and the political fallout on campus. She came to know DT through her involvement in efforts against the American Legion’s politics during the McCarthy scare.

Keywords: Barnard; Beloit College; Door County; Kansas; Madison; New York; Wisconsin

02:20:56 - Feminist involvement

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Partial Transcript: One of the things you said, I think, in that little four-minute piece that we missed...

Segment Synopsis: LT decided by herself to attend law school. She mentions that there are two ways to tell the story of her life: through a feminist lens or through a professional lens. She had path in her mind for her life, including becoming a lawyer. She found that Dave was not as planned and she was, so she likes to think she helped set him straight when they met. She had no personal mentorship as she set out for a legal career. She did not imagine herself attending a school beyond the east coast, so UW-Madison was nowhere on her radar. Only in hindsight did she discover that sexism was prevalent in law school admissions.

While in law school, LT and Dave became plaintiffs in the case of Trubek v. Ullman, a companion case to Poe v. Ullman, which became a prelude to the famous case of Griswold v. Connecticut. The state had placed controversial restrictions on birth control and shut down a Planned Parenthood clinic because its services conflicted with the statute. In Trubek and Poe, the court ruled that the plaintiffs’ case challenging the law lacked standing since the law had never been enforced; thus, challenge to the law was deemed unripe. The same statute would be challenged again, and successfully, in Griswold, where the opinion declared a constitutionally protected right to privacy.

At the time, LT did not think much of the case but later found how instrumental it would become, especially for the case of Roe v. Wade, which invoked the right to privacy for women. When she tried for admission to the New York Bar, she was rejected on grounds that she had claimed Connecticut citizenship (when she was involved in the case). The law at the time required that she claim the same state residency as her husband: Dave had never resided in New York; so, despite her passing the exam, LT could not be admitted to the bar. LT practiced law in Connecticut for five years, which allowed her to be admitted to the Wisconsin bar with need for examination.

Keywords: Griswold v. Connecticut; Poe v. Ullman; Robert Bork; Roe v. Wade; Ronald Regan; Trubek v. Ullman

02:37:06 - Self-censorship in law school

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Partial Transcript: Now, let me ask, did it ever have any, uh, practical ramification for you, that you were not admitted to the bar in New York?

Segment Synopsis: LT was not admitted to the New York bar due to admission of Connecticut residency when she participated in the court case. She was admitted to the Connecticut bar, however, and she practiced for about five years, which was enough to be admitted to the Wisconsin bar without need for re-examination.

LT never spoke up in class while she attended law school. There was a certain, established pedagogy in law schools inconsistent with many of LT's aspirations. LT sought to work where law intersected with social justice. Most of her colleagues sought to work in corporate law; moreover, the classes revolved around analysis and legal formality--little was discussed regarding social justice. LT notes that there is much literature on the structure of law school classes and its effects on women's admission and treatment. LT had had the impression that Yale Law School had social science programs that would provide for public interest law but was sorely mistaken.

Keywords: Connecticut; New York; Yale Law School

02:43:11 - Beginning work in Madison

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Partial Transcript: Is there anything else you'd like to mention about Yale Law School before we go on?

Segment Synopsis: LT found at UW Law School what she had sought at Yale: a broader curriculum that would accommodate her feminist and other social just interests. She wants to give credit to UW programs that helped her develop her relationship with the law school. When she worked in New Haven, she worked from eight to three; when she moved to Wisconsin, she worked all the time in an assistantship. She felt a sense of personal failure, having left behind her life in Connecticut. George Bunn saved her with the job he gave her, she says. He had returned from Washington, D.C., where he had worked as a corporate lawyer. He suggested that LT and he begin public interest law programs at UW. There was very little money to start it, but LT raised funds on her own to supplement. She worked in a separate building from the law school, working a 501c3 clinical program. George Bunn left shortly after the program started; the dean to follow supported Lt’s efforts. LT then taught classes in public interest law; she was not compensated, however, since she did not work for the university. As she ran out of money, she became a UW lecturer to earn more money for the program. Eventually the program moved into the law school. Legal services helped LT earn more money for her program. She taught public interest as a segment of the public interest law program, so it was not separately listed as its own class.

LT took after her father’s intellectual interest. She recalls that her mother did not appreciate this in him, however, because he was not very useful around the house and never made a good living; hence, he did not make much of a difference in the world, or so it seemed. LT wanted to confront this false dilemma and both to become an intellectual and to make a difference in the world. She was apprehensive about writing, however, so she was a late bloomer in producing scholarship. She was left-handed, which put her at a disadvantage given her poor handwriting. When she was fifty, however, she saw a therapist, who helped her work with her apprehension, and she discovered computers, which helped her circumvent her handwriting problem. Until then, her husband Dave had been doing a lot of her writing because he was interested in her work; LT finally wanted to write her own work. Thanks to generous funding, LT received help in scholarship from several Wisconsin lawyers, most of whom were young women who had children. LT advised them to work part-time and attend to their family. All of them eventually became lawyers in Madison and, in hindsight, greatly appreciated LT’s understanding and flexibility.

LT mentions that the law school initiated service learning. Students received credit for providing public services, such as social security application assistance, for community members. LT became tied to the program through her 501c3 group.

Keywords: Brazil; George Bunn; Lisa Alexander; MATC; New Haven; UW Law School; Wisconsin; Wisconsin Idea; Yale University; service learning; social security

02:56:49 - Academic independence

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Partial Transcript: Can I just mention, uh, in that regard...

Segment Synopsis: LT reflects on some of her written work, which did not really start until the 1980s. Her husband, Dave, strongly encouraged her to write despite her apprehension. She learned that her lack of scholarship influenced the law school’s pessimism about her holding an academic position. Nonetheless, she believes such pessimism was shortsighted and lost an opportunity to see her work. At this point in their lives, it would have been difficult for Dave and LT to move somewhere she might find less resistance.

LT discusses the UW’s decision to incorporate non-tenure-track personnel into the academic staff. She had become a clinical associate professor and was offered a similar position at Harvard when it seemed Dave would be offered a position there; alas, he did not receive the job, which left them in an unfortunate position.

LT recalls the faculty rarely treated her as an equal, not only because of status but also because it was the dean’s policy. There was a two-tier system wherein “fancy professors” stood above clinicians: the former were concerned solely with (inter-)national law and knew little at the state level; the latter focused on state law and helping students find employment. LT recalls an article she wrote, entitled “Crossing Boundaries: Legal Education and the New Public Interest Law,” discussing this problematic tier system. There were another two tiers—national and international law—that further stratified faculty.

Keywords: David Trubek; Harvard University; June Weisberger; Lisa Alexander; New Haven, Connecticut; Steve Lund; Stewart McCaulay; UW Law School; Walter Dickie; family law; pro se; “Crossing Boundaries: Legal Education and the New Public Interest Law”

03:12:32 - Overdue recognition in the law school

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Partial Transcript: Well this is so interesting...

Segment Synopsis: UW has been losing intellectual promise due to its restrictions on clinical work. Steve Lund long fought these restrictions but also had to compromise with the deans. When LT returned from Harvard, she took with her experience in critical legal studies, to which UW faculty were not very receptive. LT notes that many of the faculty were state loyalists and thus not true intellectuals. She was shocked by this loyalism and opportunism, disappointed to find that many of her colleagues were ultimately interested only in getting more money for their departments and programs. Steve Miley, a former colleague of LT’s, tried to “get out of the box” at the law school to write more and conduct more scholarship; the law school was not conducive to his wants and replaced him with a different leader for his clinic.

Lisa Alexander knew of LT’s work before she even attended law school. Lisa pushed the law school’s boundaries by working across the divide between clinicians and faculty. She redeemed LT’s work when she gave a speech at a recent law school get-together, which made many law faculty members uncomfortable. Lisa’s husband, who was a law professor and who attended the get-together, had thought little of LT and her work until then. This event illuminated the fact that law faculty tended to be oblivious to the work of their clinical counterparts, while people outside academia were well aware of it. Indeed, this public awareness of her work—including recognition on both national and international scales—motivated LT to continue it at UW. Dave’s work also persuaded LT to continue. Lisa’s speech left the audience speechless. LT also notes that the university cares little for the law school, given its unimpressive ranking.

Keywords: Barack Obama; Carla Russ (sp?); Christa Walson; David Trubek; David Ward; Harvard University; Lisa (?); Steve Lund; Steve Miley; Thomas Richard; UW Law School; UW Medical School; Walter Dickie

03:22:19 - Academic publications

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Partial Transcript: But before we get to that; let's talk about the publications.

Segment Synopsis: LT wrote a lot about poverty law. He husband, Dave, became dean of international studies while she ran public interest law. She published a casebook in poverty law—the first of its kind in over twenty years—with a woman in Denver. June June Weisenberger worked with LT in teaching poverty law classes.

Some of LT’s articles stem from speeches she gave; Dave encouraged her to write about them and publish the writings. LT has always been comfortable with public speaking. Colleagues told her to begin her work with writing rather than speech to try to overcome her apprehension about the former. She published a paper about developing a poverty law course. She also co-authored a paper with a student of Dave’s who had similar research interests.

Some of LT’s colleagues told her she needed to stop relying on research assistants; LT disagreed because she could not stand the loneliness as she attempted to begin writing and she needed the companionship; hence, she no longer seeks research assistants but co-authors to fill that need. In sum, LT has no problem coming up with topics and ideas for her writing; the main challenge is self-discipline, to sit herself down and put those ideas to paper. Dave and two of her daughters have such discipline, which helps LT persist. One of her daughters edited one of her favorite papers.

LT wrote a paper stating that traditional government regulation is inadequate; there needs to be more community involvement and cooperation with private law firms and private business. LT has done almost no peer-reviewed scholarship. She has put together many of her own books and journals. She wrote several articles on public health law and international law. Her work assumed a new vision of legal reform and policy. Though her work is not the most cited, it has attracted strong interest and support from many legal scholars and others in the field. Her work has influenced rethinking social justice and how it should be carried out.

There are certain sorts of law journals that focus on health, poverty, and public interest law, to which LT pitches her work. She has become more interested in regulation law recently. Most of her work she did as a chapter for a volume at the request of a publisher. She works with a group of people regularly to write and publish volumes on transnational public interest law. There are overlapping groups that also work in aforementioned fields. LT has recently written on public health and the European Union. She also is writing on public health interested reform, focusing on public health quality and disparity.

LT lost interest in teaching and became more interested in writing, especially in collaboration with colleagues. She recalls her husband, Dave, telling her that he always believed she had an academic vocation; this remark reminded LT of a similar statement made by her father, who had long wanted LT to become a professor. LT enjoys teaching but it never was her niche; moreover, she does not find the students in UW Law intellectually stimulating. LT does not enjoy the mundanity of teaching and grading, preferring the flexibility built into research and writing. She is involved in a group researching new governance and the effects of globalization; this combined LT’s interests in poverty law and consumer protection. LT’s interest in public health law stemmed from her interest in poverty. She has become more interested in doctors and hospitals lately.

LT sometimes believes she accomplishes less by writing and publishing. Nonetheless, she finds satisfaction in writing because it publicizes her work and name on a national and international scale. Lisa Alexander would have never heard of LT had she not published at the time. LT also wanted more control over her work. She has tried to accomplish in the medical school what she could not in the law school, namely policy reform and interdisciplinary integration. Several administrators, including the chancellor, the provost, and several deans, seem to agree that the medical school should head in that direction.

Keywords: Blue Cross Blue Shield; Columbia University; David Trubek; Ford Foundation; Harvard University; Homer; June Weisberger; Lisa Alexander; UCLA; UW Law School; UW Medical School; University of Wisconsin; poverty law; social justice

03:44:08 - Serving on the medical school budget board

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Partial Transcript: Okay, so we're returning now to the story of how you came to develop what's going to be your first post-retirement project.

Segment Synopsis: LT’s first post-retirement project involved health policy for the elderly, the disabled, and the uninsured. The CPR was the leading organization of its kind in the state, advancing consumer protection and related issues. They filed a lawsuit against Blue Cross Blue Shield regarding its elderly care policies. LT had worked with the leader of Blue Cross Blue Shield, who was very upset to find her organization suing his. The suit was filed because of misleading policies and conflicts of interpretation. A million dollars was paid out to consumers because of the suit. LT became a well-known figure in public health law. Peter Carstensen, a law colleague of LT’s, asked LT to teach a course in public health law. She taught the course, which helped her learn how the law was organized. LT had begun to publish more at this time.

Blue Cross Blue Shield decided to change its rules to allow its satellites to convert to for-profit institutions. A legal doctrine emerged stating that the new for-profits needed to return the money it made from stock sales to the state in some form or another. LT received a call from the president of Blue Cross Blue Shield, stating that initial profit offering (IPO) from the conversion would go to Wisconsin’s two medical schools: UW-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health (UWSMPH) and the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW). He asked for LT’s formal support. LT was hesitant since some of that money would go to a private institution (MCW), which did not please many of her colleagues on the board of the CPR. There was a press conference announcing the conversion, which LT did not attend.

The plan had to be approved by an insurance commissioner, who decided to hold hearings on the conversion. Many people were concerned about where the money would go. The IPO was split evenly between the two medical schools. Blue Cross Blue Shield chose members to represent itself for the transaction. LT was the only one who knew anything about health. Many people questioned where the money would go, anxious of its possible misuse. The CPR disapproved LT’s decision to serve as a representative because it suggested CRP endorsed Blue Cross/Blue Shield. LT asserted that she was serving under only her name and not on behalf of anyone else. Two boards—one for each medical school—were created to oversee the transactions and appropriations. LT worked on a third, general oversight board for a ten-year term; it functioned to convert the stock and transfer the money. Then two former students sued the insurance commissioner on the basis that the conversion order did not satisfy the taxpayers and did too little for public health. The case went to the state supreme court, which upheld the decision. This litigation put LT’s work on hold for a while. The stock was sold at a value of $600 million—far more than anyone expected—either half of which went to each of the two medical schools.

There was concern about how to appropriate the money—to research, practice, teaching, etc. LT asked why the money had to be turned over to the schools immediately. She suggested to the board’s lawyer a requirement that the medical schools show annual reports before the boards would hand over the money. The dean of the medical school was not receptive, threatening to sue over the suggestion. To LT’s surprise, her fellow board members supported the idea and voted accordingly. Hence, every three years the board would inquire the schools about their budgetary plans and programming. The schools were not very transparent but nonetheless began to consider new ways to distribute the money, especially in public policy. When he board reached the end of its five-year lifespan, the UW Foundation asked it to continue to oversee appropriations and protect against fiscal abuse by the state legislature. LT was not interested in serving a protective role, and she was disappointed in the medical school’s decisions not to hire health law/policy personnel, so while she voted with the board for extension, she herself decided to resign.

Keywords: Blue Cross/Blue Shield; Center for Public Representation; Peter Carstensen; Wisconsin United for Health Foundation

04:05:46 - Post-retirement work

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Partial Transcript: Then, I had already decided to resign about that same time from the law school.

Segment Synopsis: About this time, LT also decided to leave the law school. She wanted to work on a project on the European Union and public health policy. She approached the medical school’s newly appointed Tom Oliver, who had worked at Johns Hopkins in health policy, to do the project with her. If the medical school accepted LT’s proposal, it would re-hire her the summer following the interview (2008). She resigned from the law school as planned, and then had to wait thirty days before she could be re-hired for the project, per university policy.

LT’s project is a research on EU health policymaking and its contrast with the U.S. process. LT visited several of the people at Blue Cross Blue Shield responsible for deciding on her proposal; she was amazed to find them more excited about the project than she herself was, recognizing they had made a mistake not pursuing such a project earlier. LT clarifies that she is doing this project for them, but also that they have to be willing to provide the funding. One of the goals of the project is to hire more public policy personnel for the medical school. The medical school has expressed interest in extending the project as a long-term endeavor.

LT notes that there is growing academic interest in health policy in the developing world. Other health projects than LT’s were already underway, but they were of a more practical, less academic sort. These projects and neglected policies provide ways to extend LT’s project. Though the School of Nursing has shown some interest in the project, there are few people on campus with interest in broad healthy policy and law. The World Universities Network (WUN) has promised little in its alleged support for LT’s project, though its constituent schools seem to offer more. LT adds that, while she is happy to receive substantial funding, she does not want to raise the school’s expectations unrealistically. She requested $75,000 per year for her project work. She did some scholarship on cancer and EU law.

Keywords: Barbara Bowers; Blue Cross Blue Shield; David McDonald; European Union; Johns Hopkins University; Linda Rivetz; Tom Oliver; UW Law School

04:20:52 - Researching with the medical school

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Partial Transcript: Well let's you--th-this does go through.

Segment Synopsis: LT recalls her apartment in New York. She wants to preserve the idea that for the next two years, she will spend fall in WI and spring in NY. Her work will continue year-round since she will not teach. She will spend about half her time on work and the other half with family and friends. LT’s UW research ties will broaden the work she is doing with Dave, involving several lawyers in health regulation and governance. She might seek people in NY who are interested in her work. She recalls a colleague in CUNY and another at Fordham who have similar research interests. LT does not want to give up the New York end of her work; though bulk of her research will be in WI.

One of the deans told LT that he was not interested so much in state issues as in national and international issues, which surprised but pleased LT. LT notes the large amount of energy put into networking—developing relationships with new colleagues. LT highlights that the UW Law School has never shown much interest in the her area of work; she has given up trying to change that and has shifted her attention to the medical school. Health law and policy is not at the top of the law school’s agenda, though this should change in the years to come. LT has two adjuncts teaching her class, which is not sufficient. More of the classes on health policy have migrated to the medical school, where law students of that interest will have to go to attend them. LT notes that this is a “cutting-edge” aspect of the medical school.

Keywords: Alta Charo; Ben Gaines; Columbia University; Fordham University; New York; UW-Madison

04:28:32 - Upcoming interview topics

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Partial Transcript: Well, I have another topic.

Segment Synopsis: Betsy (interviewer) and LT consider upcoming topics to discuss. They mention projects LT has with David. Dave will not be involved in LT’s medical school project. They mention discussing awards LT has won over the years. They mention the issues of wage, and the European Union center. LT asks if there is anything Lisa Alexander mentioned that would be worth discussing. LT says that, in addition to feminism and academic profession, her relationship with Dave is another major theme of her life. Several books about relationships influenced LT, including one about Gunnar and Alva Myrdal, and another about Eleanor and Franklin Roosevelt. Sissela Bok was very thoughtful about her parents Gunnar and Alva.

Lisa Alexander quoted several people who remarked on LT; one of these remarks notes LT’s effort to ensure the law serves to benefit the general public and not only affluent, special interest groups. LT mentions that when she speaks with friends in New York, they point out that she has become so professionalized that she cannot avoid talking in terms of her work. Purely social activities like book clubs do not work for her; she needs to do things that extend her research. LT could not achieve the academic status she wanted since she did not follow the typical tenure-track process; thus, she has become a very self-motivated, independent scholar.

Lisa is trying to redeem the law school by publicizing LT’s work. In effect, LT has passed some power to Lisa, enabling her to do things that LT could not accomplish. LT mentions that the law school is considering a new hire from UCLA. This new hire told LT that he would like to set up a public interest program; LT then gave him advice on how to make the request. The law school dean granted his request, to the surprise and delight of LT. LT mentioned this to a colleague of hers, highlighting the hypocrisy of the law school (the law school would not have been receptive to a similar proposal by her), but they fell on deaf ears. LT points out that this illuminated the way times have changed.

Keywords: David Trubek; Eleanor Roosevelt; Franklin Roosevelt; Jane Adams; Lisa Alexander; Sissela Bok; UCLA; Wisconsin Idea

04:42:20 - Independent and Collaborative Work

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Partial Transcript: That should do it.

Segment Synopsis: LT corrects herself from a previous session to say that she grew up in Brownsville. She found it interesting to discuss the Center for World Affairs and the Global Economy (WAGE) since it was a minor part of her work but an important issue in scholarship. Her most recent publications look at the intersection of healthcare, welfare, and poverty. LT worked with Dave on some of these topics. Years ago, when she began collaborating with Dave, she worked as his “junior partner.” When LT “found her own voice,” she was less inclined to work with Dave on projects that would subsume her name under his. Dave wanted her to join him on his trip to Europe to do his work on the EU; she did not want to work under his shadow. Then she spoke with Jonathan Zeitlin, who told her that her work in poverty law, not her affiliation with Dave, was what persuaded him to have her join. LT appreciated this persuasion—earning recognition by her own merit—since it was nonexistent in the law school. The university valued LT’s work more than did the law school, due in part to identity politics and in part to the university’s better reception to interdisciplinary work.

LT resumed collaborating with Dave for some of their work, despite their very different research interests and writing styles. LT also worked with social scientists who respected her work. Dave founded the Center for World Affairs and Global Economy; Jonathan founded the European Union Center of Excellence. These programs served as vehicles for Dave’s research. LT did both independent and collaborative work on the EU. LT notes that both WAGE and the EU Center were interdisciplinary projects, analogous to the work she is now trying to do with the medical school. This work will hopefully open doors to other people interested in interdisciplinary praxis. LT highlights the bright future the university has in this respect, contrary to the law school’s poor reception to clinical and interdisciplinary work.

Keywords: Center for World Affairs and the Global Economy (WAGE); David Trubek; European Union; European Union Center for Excellence; Jonathan Zeitlin; UW Law School

04:55:35 - Health law project

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Partial Transcript: Can you give a little bit more-more texture to that: in what ways was it interdisciplinary?

Segment Synopsis: LT explains the intentions behind interdisciplinary studies, e.g., “sociolegal studies” and Law and Society, which are to understand law “from the outside,” i.e., through the lenses of disciplines other than law. Yale University and UW Law School both pioneered this interdisciplinary approach, which drew LT to both of them. The Center for Public Representation based much its initial work on interdisciplinary research, LT recalls.

Unfortunately, proponents of interdisciplinary studies in law ran into opposition by numerous groups, including members of Law and Society. Critical Legal Studies received little support from law faculty, which created tension for students such as LT’s husband, Dave, who was involved in both L&S and CLS. The requirement that interdisciplinary hires have multiple degrees made HR tasks more difficult. In addition, the publication of legal scholarship in interdisciplinary journals rather than traditional legal journals inadvertently lowered the school’s ranking in U.S. News and World Report. Moreover, the current law dean is not partial to interdisciplinary studies. Many law schools have incorporated aspects of L&S into their programs; thus, UW Law School lost its niche. Some people argued that that niche no longer sufficed to give UW Law an edge anyway; other measures needed to be taken to keep the school in national rankings.

LT’s work at Center for World Affairs and the Global Economy (WAGE) involved issues of governance and economic regulation. Her work at the European Center for Research involved mostly European scholars and lawyers; most of them were significantly younger than Dave and LT. These new, lively colleagues provided Dave and LT with new perspectives. LT has also met young members of the European Center on campus in Madison. LT did work in public interest law overseas, but did not develop as large a scholarly network. The law school’s health law project, for which LT taught a health law class, marked a brief departure the law school took from its otherwise traditional pedagogy. LT taught the class in a very unconventional way, beginning with the fact that she did not start with legal doctrine but with public policy. Ironically, medical students who took the class did not like it because it did not resemble a typical law class; law students, however, were familiar with a wider variety of pedagogies. Consequently, LT could not draw more medical students to the class; hence, she has moved to the medical school to become more familiar with it.

The health law project comprised the aforementioned course and a health law project that she funded with money left over from the CPR. She had great ambition but could not find sympathy in the medical school or the law school; there was not enough synergy to initiate some of the work LT wanted to do. She managed to stretch her funds to hire research assistants.

Keywords: Burt Kritzer; Center for Public Representation; Center for World Affairs and the Global Economy; Critical Legal Studies; David Trubek; David Ward; European Union Center for Research; Fordham Law School; Joel Grossman; Law and Society; Stuart Macaulay; U.S. News and World Report; UW Law School; UW Medical School; Yale Law School

05:08:51 - Demonstrating the Wisconsin Idea

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Partial Transcript: Well, those were, I think, uh, the projects that we wanted to talk about.

Segment Synopsis: LT comments on the Wisconsin Idea and its significance to her work. The Idea was very important to her as an undergrad and to her creation of the Center for Public Reform. She notes that the Idea, as a progressive concept, was critical to spinning her research ideas. The state government had become very bureaucratic in the 70s. LT’s work in her legal clinical program instantiated the Wisconsin Idea and kept the university honest about its work. A lot of good work the university did through the Extension and Continuing Studies programs.

The progressive project did not explicitly call upon full-time faculty to do advocacy work; many of them were adverse to the idea, believing other personnel were better suited for the role. LT and some of her colleagues worked against this belief. The Ford Foundation funded some advocacy work, but it was done with an academic, rather than a clinical, bent, which disappointed LT. LT notes that the poverty institute saw her as an advocate. She says lawyers are supposed to make trouble—a part of their raison d’etre—so they tend to be more receptive to advocacy work, which LT finds ironic, especially given the professionalization of such fields as women’s studies and poverty law.

Keywords: Ford Foundation; Mary Rouse; Poverty Institute; Robert Lafollette; UW Extension; UW Law School; Wisconsin Idea

05:16:32 - Choosing research topics

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Partial Transcript: Well, what do you think, should we go on to talk more about your legacy?

Segment Synopsis: Betsy Drain and LT discuss Diane Greeley and the topics she suggested for the interview. LT talks about how she chose her research topics. She bridged the academic and the clinical by reading and publishing while working in the clinic. Her exposure to scholarship, involvement in intellectual discussion, and her better self-esteem improved her writing quality, as noted by David Wilkins, a professor at Harvard Law. One of the reasons the Center for Public Representation no longer exists is LT’s pedagogical model: the Center took on issues as they came along, developed them, and then spun them off for other institutions. LT was more interested in working and staying on the cutting edge; thus her work in the CPR functioned to initiate areas of study for other institutions to continue to develop. She kept the CPR going but did not “embed” one topic or issue.

LT describes herself as “opportunistic” in the sense that she liked to acquire funds for varying research reasons, rather than abiding by a single topic. LT believes her biggest accomplishment at the local level was her work in public interest law. It never was considered a national accomplishment until LT began writing and publishing, thereby gaining wider recognition among colleagues. Betsy Abrahamson, a colleague of LT’s, commended LT for her work in disability and elder law. UW Law School is very locally rooted, LT notes, which, in hindsight, benefited her work; most of its students neither are from nor travel outside the state. Her husband, Dave, had a hard time with the law school’s parochial outlook because it impeded his interest in international law.

Keywords: Betsy Abrahamson; Center for Public Representation; Cliff Thompson; David Trubek; David Wilkins; Dianne Greenly; Harvard Law School; Lisa Alexander; Radcliffe College; Stanford University; Yale Law School

05:24:18 - Serving as a role model

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Partial Transcript: Well she talked about--Dianne Greenly did--about the fact there, there is all this cohort of people who have gone on to head up agencies, etc.

Segment Synopsis: Dianne Greenly enjoyed working with the students who worked as interns in LT’s clinic. LT recalls that the clinic hesitates to take student interns because the staff does not want to spend time and resources on training. This disappointed LT because she enjoyed taking students under wing. Many students in the 70s joined the clinic with broad interests in the political aspects of the work; nowadays students tend to focus on much narrower areas for their clinical work.

LT notes that some students could not keep up in the clinic; consequently, she wasted some of her time and resources. She recalls pushing herself through college with little or no support, pursuing her interests with fierce individuality; now she realizes that not all students are so independently minded, as demonstrated by students who dropped out of her clinic program.

Contrary to LT, who was ten years out of law school before she began her firm, most people typically set up public interest law firms immediately after graduation. She instilled confidence in many of her students, teaching more by demonstration than by instruction. One of the more frequent observations about LT’s pedagogy is her propensity to collaborate and to find allies. The university did not rein LT in because of her talent to form academic networks. This never squared well with the law school, however, which remained more conventional in its research and pedagogy.

Keywords: Dianne Greenly; UW Law School; UW Medical School

05:34:16 - Frustration with Wisconsin culture

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Partial Transcript: Well, one thing that, uh, Dianne did bring up was that you were talking about being a good model.

Segment Synopsis: LT comments on the contrast between academic culture in Wisconsin and the culture on the East coast, where the former tends to be more polite and less confrontational. LT has always valued debate and appreciated students who challenged her in class. She remarks that collaboration and confrontation are compatible; indeed, the university and the state ought to work together precisely by challenging one another’s policies and ideas. This is especially important in a time of tentative political transition (June 2008), when civic engagement becomes more important.

LT comments on frustrations with the law school’s obstinate pedagogy; she recalls trouble that Betsy Abrahamson, a colleague of hers, had with the law school’s resistance to her ideas. The resonated with LT frustrations: working very hard on her own and raising her own funds with little or no recognition by the law school. The bottom line, for LT, is that we have entered a new phase of policymaking that the law school refuses to recognize. She suspects that, when the new federal administration comes in (assuming Barack Obama wins the presidency), there will be renewed interest in her and her colleagues’ policy work.

LT initially did not envision her work with the medical school having an impact primarily on the state level. She assumed she would do work that would take effect on national and international levels. She recalls that the person responsible for disseminating publications from the medical school has shown little interest in policy work the likes of hers. This fact, she suspects, in conjunction with other problems, prevents her from gaining more national recognition.

Keywords: Barack Obama; Betsy Abrahamson; Dianne Greenly; Epic; Republican Party; Wisconsin Idea

05:44:40 - Academic legacy

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Partial Transcript: Why don't we talk about this legacy issue?

Segment Synopsis: LT identifies her local and state legacy with her initiation of public interest law praxis (many others contributed to it as an academic field). She promoted programs that helped people at the individual level. She devised many initiatives locally but could never gain recognition for them on a national or international level; where she did gain national attention was in her criticism of legal services. Her second, local contribution was with her work in public health policy. The state has recognized her service on the Wisconsin United for Health Foundation (WUHF) board.

On the national scale, her first major contribution was the development of poverty law as a separate field of study. The Warren court of the sixties and early seventies made important decisions regarding poverty law, which gave it a national profile and raised academic interest in it. This profile diminished in the eighties, however, when the Warren court ended and poverty law casebooks disappeared. LT’s writing on public interest law and its function as an alternative to legal services drew national attention and revived the field; courses in poverty law began to sprout in many law school’s curriculums. Her publications on clinical law pedagogy also gained national recognition. LT reiterates that she gained a national profile only after she began writing and publishing.

LT’s interest in “lay-lawyering” (nonprofessional legal counseling) was another notable interest of hers, though it has faded with time. Her recent work on new governance, in general and regarding health in particular, is becoming nationally significant and may become her primary recognition in the years to come. Her book on transnational public interest lawyering will be her biggest international contribution, LT believes. She published earlier books but she does not think they were as significant. She believes her clinical work is not as big a deal on the international scale.

When pressed to name her best days, LT says that her time in New Haven, when when she was a faculty spouse and running a public interest law firm, were among those days. She was very unhappy during her time in law school, and again unhappy at the age of 65, feeling she was under-accomplished. Now, however, with greater hindsight, she is quite content with her life.

Keywords: Dianne Greenly; Supreme Court; Warren Court

05:54:33 - Collaborating with David Trubek

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Partial Transcript: Well then let's talk about the collaboration.

Segment Synopsis: LT had very clear plans to balance her life between work and family, and to work toward heterosexual equality. Ironically, the sexual revolution and third wave feminism undercut these plans; they contended that women trying to balance between work and family were needlessly restricting themselves and that heterosexual equality was neither possible nor desirable. For these reasons, LT’s views were not popular among her feminist contemporaries. Many of them may have agreed with LT in private, but in public, they avoided going against the feminist grain.

LT gives a lot of credit to her husband, David Trubek, for his support. He was not a “modern man” but has always supported LT’s work and enjoyed writing with her. Heterosexuality is a topic that has been downplayed a lot. David wanted LT to write, viewing her as an intellectual like her father. LT initially resisted this push to publish for numerous reasons, but eventually gave in and found her voice when she overcame her fear of writing. LT mentions the rise of critical feminist studies: Judy Greenberg attended UW Law School and became a professor at the New England College of Law, where she became involved in critical feminist studies. She invited LT to be a lead speaker at the group’s conference, where LT gained recognition as an early thinker in critical legal studies.

LT says that Dave is an excellent writer who provides her with valuable criticism. They initially collaborated on many works, but parted academic ways for several years until 2003, when they worked on the European Union project and then resumed collaborating. When they write together, LT orally drafts the papers while Dave types them on a computer. Dave has become so good at writing that he has become a “one draft man.” LT and he have very different writing styles; since Dave does the typing, however, it is typically his writing style found in their collaborative publications. Often they combine ideas from the respective specialties and use the results to draft papers. Now they are working apart slightly more as they focus more in their respective specialties: Dave in writes on EU policy, law and economics, and governance; LT, on public health policy and regulation. Moreover, they each have different colleagues in many of these areas. LT recalls asking Dave why he continues to work with her: Dave answered that he genuinely enjoys working with her (unlike with many people) and because it allows them to travel together for their work. When the two of them began working together, it resulted from a coincidence of interests: both of them were genuinely interested in similar topics, which allowed them to work on equal footing—neither had to push the other to keep going.

LT says that, when a university recruits a couple, it is rarely with truly equal treatment or intentions. Many of the employees at the CPR had spouses in the university (usually wives in the former, husbands in the latter). This allowed the university to save money on health insurance provisions, among other things. When George Bunn hired LT to run the public interest law firm, the law faculty viewed her as little more than someone who came along with Dave. Unfortunately, this attitude lingers, ranking he “trailing spouse” hired into academic staff below her faculty counterparts. This remains a problem at UW-Madison. LT recalls the problems Steve Miley, another academic spouse, faced problems with the law school, which vindicated LT’s objections that the law school treated her unfairly. Though there is certainly more to marriage than careers, LT emphasizes that her collaborations with Dave have been integral to their relationship.

Keywords: Betsy Abrahamson; David Trubek; Dianne Greenly; Eleanor Roosevelt; European Union; Family and Medical Leave Act; Franklin Roosevelt; George Bunn; Judy Greenberg; Lisa Alexander; Martha Fineman; New England College of Law; Steve Miley; Vicky Schultz; Virginia Woolf; critical legal studies

06:18:24 - Gaining recognition

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Partial Transcript: You know, I even though you should even write a book about, uh, the marriage.

Segment Synopsis: Betsy Draine suggests LT write a memoir about her collaboration with David Trubek, knowing that it might take away from her status as an independent feminist. LT acknowledges that Dave and her professional lives have affected their children and not always for the better. Draine compares her professional relationship with her husband to that of Dave and LT, mentioning that the two of them did not work together until retirement; when they had committee meetings, Betsy and her husband would be sure not to sit near one another to avoid suggesting nepotism. LT understands but cannot sympathize as much if only because she rarely attended meetings with Dave, and this was largely because the two worked at such different tiers. At a faculty meeting several years earlier (which LT could but did not attend), Dave did attempt to bring up the issue of clinicians, which immediately turned off colleagues; Dave never tried to bring up the topic again.

The notion of “trailing spouse,” LT notes, has been used against academics such as herself for years. She recalls an occasion when Betsy Abrahamson needed to convince the dean to continue funding the clinical program; the dean responded, “Well, you just married the wrong person” [LT’s quote]. LT says this remark alluded to employees such as Steve Wiley and her—trailing spouses—who allegedly were employed only because of their spouses, never mind the independent work they may have contributed to the school. This made Lisa Alexander’s speech even more important, giving credit where credit was due.

LT regrets changing her surname after marrying Dave. She recalls that it was illegal not to do so at the time. She fought against such policy in the name of Lucy Stone, a prominent American suffragist of the 19th century. She regrets taking the name especially since she works under the same roof as Dave, casting an undue shadow over her. Betsy Drain notes that, at the time she married her second husband, it had become unpopular to take your spouse’s name. Now it seems to be regaining popularity, which puzzles LT and her.

06:29:00 - Retirement

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Partial Transcript: Now we're going to talk about retirement.

Segment Synopsis: LT believes that the University of Wisconsin provides a good global model for other schools. She supports and works with the medical school because she believes it has good prospects for multidisciplinarity and revenue.

LT appreciates the UW retirement system, given its flexibility and health insurance policies. She believes that the relationship between the workplace and retirees is becoming more important. She recalls David Slauterback, a retired professor of anatomy, who retired at the age of 65. She met him through AARP, working with him on health policy issues.

LT wanted to be nearer her children. She did not develop a network of friends outside work, which LT realized would leave her rather lonely after retirement. She developed connections through her work with the medical school. She did not want to depend on working with David Trubek, especially since he was writing on area that did not interest her. The European Union Center

LT recalls a nice letter written to her in her emeritus package. Neither staff nor faculty at UW gain emeritus status automatically upon retirement: someone, usually a department chair, must write an application letter, and then there must be a vote. Usually it goes smoothly, but LT recalls that clinical retirees at the medical school have some trouble with the process. LT is not interested in group activism among retirees, preferring to remain academically focused.

LT, in hindsight, believes that the David Ward period helped develop interdisciplinarity. Wisconsin has been tremendously important to her and the university as a whole has been very supportive, despite the law school’s poor treatment of her. She believes the university is on the right track toward becoming a global university.

Keywords: AARP; Betsy Abrahamson; David Slautterback; European Union Center; Judy Levitt; Margo Mally; UW Medical School; University of Wisconsin; Wisconsin Idea