Former Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Louis B. Butler Jr. is going back to his alma mater – the University of Wisconsin Law School. The law school has announced that Butler has accepted a two-year appointment to its faculty.
He originally graduated from UW Law School in 1977. Now, he's going back to teach appellate advocacy, criminal law and legal procedure.
In an interview, Butler said he had contemplated a number of options since leaving the Supreme Court July 31. He viewed this move as a good opportunity and a good fit.
"I'm excited to be there, to have an opportunity to go back to my alma mater," Butler said. "To have the opportunity to share what I have learned over my career with promising new lawyers is something I look forward to."
The new role begins Oct. 1. Although they were still working out the details, Butler said he expected to spend the rest of this semester doing some guest lectures, preparing to teach in the spring and possibly working with the moot court team.
The former justice has a strong connection to the UW Law School. It was the first place he visited after his swearing-in ceremony for the Supreme Court back in 2004.
Butler, the state's first African-American justice, immediately went over to the school and spoke with a group of students involved in the Legal Education Opportunities program, which reaches out to students of color.
Gov. Jim Doyle appointed Butler to the Supreme Court in 2004. Burnett County Circuit Court Judge Michael Gableman defeated Butler in the April election this year. The justice's term ended July 31.
In a released statement, Dean Kenneth Davis said, "Justice Butler's work as a lawyer, a teacher and a jurist make him a significant addition to the law school and a remarkable role model and resource for our students."