Marquette University News Release

Ranney appointed visiting fellow at Marquette Law, will write book examining Wisconsin’s contributions to U.S. legal system

June 24, 2014

Marquette University Law School has appointed Joseph A. Ranney as its Adrian P. Schoone Visiting Fellow in Wisconsin Law.

Ranney, an attorney with DeWitt, Ross & Stevens S.C., will use his fellowship to write a book that examines the role states have played in the evolution of American law, with a focus on the contributions made by Wisconsin. His appointment begins July 1.

In addition to his work as a trial lawyer, with expertise in constitutional law, commercial law and intellectual property, Ranney has served as an adjunct professor at the Law School. His previous books include Trusting Nothing to Providence: A History of Wisconsin’s Legal System, considered the leading legal history of the state, and In the Wake of Slavery, a history of law in the Reconstruction-era South.

The fellowship is made possible by the Law School’s Adrian P. Schoone Fund for the Study of Wisconsin Law and Legal Institutions, created last year. “It is fitting that Jay Ranney will use this fellowship to expand his work at the Law School and his contributions to the larger society’s understanding of state law—the primary source of legal rights and obligations in our society,” said Joseph D. Kearney, dean of Marquette University Law School. “This is among the sorts of contributions that we envisioned when we created the Schoone Fund, and we look forward with great anticipation to his work at the Law School.”

“I have an intense interest in the legal history of our state and the nation more generally, both for its own sake and for the insights that it provides concerning the law of today and tomorrow,” Ranney said. “I am very grateful to the Schoone Fund and Marquette University Law School for this opportunity to advance legal scholarship.”

Ranney will continue to be a partner at DeWitt, Ross & Stevens during his fellowship. “Jay’s knowledge of legal history distinguishes him in our field and serves as a powerful example to both law students and lawyers of intellectual curiosity,” said Bradley W. Raaths, president and managing partner of the firm. “We fully support his willingness to take on this project at Marquette Law School, which is worthy of his considerable talents.”

The Schoone Fund is an extension of Marquette University Law School’s longstanding interest and engagement in Wisconsin law. The Marquette Law Review, the oldest academic law publication in the state and one of the oldest in the country, was established in 1916 and has been cited many hundreds of times by the Wisconsin Supreme Court and other courts in the state.

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About Chris Jenkins


Chris Jenkins

Chris is a senior writer/editor in the Office of Marketing and Communication. Contact Chris at (414) 288-4745 or christopher.t.jenkins@marquette.edu. View all posts by .