Jane E. Larson

Prof. Jane E. Larson

Voss-Bascom Professor of Law, University of Wisconsin Law School

Jane Larson (1958–2011) was the Voss-Bascom Professor of Law at the University of Wisconsin Law School.

Jane was born in Omaha, Neb., the oldest daughter of Donald G. and Wilma M. Larson. She graduated from Alameda West High School in Pleasanton, Calif. She received her undergraduate degree Phi Beta Kappa with a specialization in women's history from Macalester College in 1980. She received her law degree with high honors from the University of Minnesota Law School in 1985. She worked as a judicial clerk for Justice Rosalie Wahl of the Minnesota Supreme Court and for Judge Theodore McMillian of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. From 1987 to 1990, she was an associate at the Washington, D.C., law firm of Powell, Goldstein, Frazer & Murphy.

In 1990, she joined the law faculty at Northwestern University School of Law, where she published a series of noted articles on legal history, property rights and social regulation, with particular emphasis on the rights of women and the poor (for example, "Free Markets Deep in the Heart of Texas," Georgetown Law Journal, 1995.) In 1996, she joined the faculty of University of Wisconsin Law School, where she continued her writing and lecturing on feminist legal theory and property law. Her academic writing has been called "a model of how to integrate the history of doctrine with the surrounding social values." She was an inspiring teacher, a self-taught decoder of Oriental rugs, and a jazz aficionado who requested Coltrane in lieu of epidural during the birth of her son, Simon. When she retired in October 2011, she was the Voss-Bascom Professor of Law.