University of Wisconsin Law School
Before leaving Wisconsin on day five of our Midwestern Journey, the LEAP students, both of whom have aspirations to become attorneys, toured the University of Wisconsin Law School.
The Law School, which is considered a top-tier law school nationally, was founded in 1868. It has concentrations in business law, criminal law, estate planning, family law, international law, labor and employment law, and real estate law. The School motto, which both of us found to be significant is “law in action.” This motto is practiced throughout the entire program. There are numerous opportunities to give students hands-on experience with the law, including 14 in-house clinics–such as their Family Court Clinic, Immigrant Justice Clinic, Criminal Appeals Project, and Federal Appeals Project. They even have the Wisconsin Innocence Project, which is a clinic that works to exonerate wrongfully convicted individuals.
They also have three student journals: Wisconsin Law Review, Wisconsin International Law Journal, and Wisconsin Journal of Law, Gender, and Society. In student journals, law students will take articles that law professors or other professionals in the legal field have written and will give their review of the article. Interestingly, in the Wisconsin International Law Journal, one of the professors helped write the constitution for South Africa after the abolition of Apartheid.
The University of Wisconsin Law School has a Law Library, which we were warned we would spend many hours in. Oddly, we would rarely use the copious amount of books that lined the shelves and would rely, instead, on many online resources and carrels for study space.
Next, we headed to the Quarles and Brady Reading Room, which is another popular study spot.
This room has a notable mural by John Steuart Curry titled “The Freeing of Slaves”.
The University of Wisconsin Law School also has more than 36 student organizations. A few of those organizations include Women’s Law Student Association, Wisconsin International Law Society, Wisconsin Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Latino/a Law Student Association, and the Black Law Student Association. Additionally, there are both Moot Court and Mock Trial teams. We even were able to see where the teams practice.
The University of Wisconsin Law School is filled with interesting traditions. At every homecoming football game, third year law students will run from the north end of the football field to the South end of the field with bowler hats and walking canes. The students attempt to throw their canes over the goalpost. If they catch the cane on the other side of the goalpost, then it is said that he or she will win their very first case.
Overall, we enjoyed our first law school visit and we may even consider becoming future Badgers!
Sadly, this concluded our Wisconsin visit. Just like that, we were on the road again headed for Chicago!
Frank Lloyd Wright homes(Chicago Frank Lloyd Wright District)
Before we made it to Chicago, the LEAP students stopped by the Frank Lloyd Wright Historic District in Oak Park, Illinois. We decided to hunt, on foot, for Mr. Wright’s homes. There were many Frank Lloyd Wright look-alikes, but we managed to spot many of Mr. Wright’s original well-known Prairie Homes and even some of his early Queen Anne Style homes.
We also stumbled across Ernest Hemingway’s Birthplace!
Getting back into Chicago was a mess; I’ll never complain about Houston traffic again! We stayed at The Palmer House Hilton Hotel, which is located between State Street and Michigan Street, in the middle of all the action. We had an Architectural Tour of Chicago (by boat!) scheduled for 7:30 that evening, so after we got our stuff moved into our rooms we headed straight into the crowded streets and started walking towards the river.
It was a nice crisp walk, and I am thankful I remembered to grab my jacket before we left the hotel. Despite being in June, the temperature was in the 50s with wind. We were doing the Chicago Architecture tour with Chicago’s First Lady Boat Tours. This tour is considered a “must do” by most tourists and locals. The tour was 90 minutes, and we had a volunteer speaker to teach us about some of the architecture and buildings unique to Chicago. I really enjoyed being able to go in the evening and seeing the city after dark, which really gave a different perspective to the Chicago skyline; it was like something from my imagination.
We learned that one of the things that sets the city’s architecture apart from other cities is the Great Chicago Fire in 1871 that burned for 3 days and leveled over 3.3 square miles of the city. The fire is said to have been started when “Daisy the milk cow” kicked over a kerosene lamp in her barn (this may be a legend…) leaping across the polluted river, the town and water burned like wildfire.
Despite the devastation, it turned out well for Chicago. The rebuilding occurred at a time when technological innovations allowed the city to rebuild with new materials and, notably, much taller buildings than previously. Talented architects and builders moved to Chicago to get part of the action. The result was a brain gain, followed by skyscrapers and other innovations.
Along the tour, we saw the early skyscrapers…
….some Art Deco….
….and a whole lot of postmodern or contemporary architecture, including the Willis Tower…
…and the Marina Towers…
…which were the setting for a notable scene in Steve McQueen’s “The Hunter.”
We finished the tour by going out to Lake Michigan…
…and getting a just-after-sunset tour of the beautiful city skyline.
Our tour guide was articulate and knowledgeable about the city’s history of architecture and development. Overall, the boat tour was a great experience and it is definitely something I would do again if I find myself in Chicago again.
After exiting the boat, we began the walk back to our hotel, stopping to take some pictures in front of Trump Tower, but that was mainly for my benefit.
We headed towards the Ghirardelli store where we each ordered a sweet drink. Even though it was the end of June, I still ordered a hot chocolate because of the colder conditions up north than we have been experiencing here in Texas. Professor Yawn ordered a chocolate shake that looked delicious, and Ilexus ordered a drink that was basically melted Ghirardelli chocolate in a cup.
She was generous enough to let me try the rich chocolaty drink. My hot chocolate really hit the spot, especially after spending the chilly evening on the boat.
Our next stop on the way back to our hotel was to Anish Kapoor’s Cloud Gate which was finished in 2006.
The sculpture is located in Millennium Park and took two years to complete. Popularly known as “the Bean”, visitors can walk under the sculpture’s 12-foot arch. Normally, there is a large crown around the Bean, but since we went at night there weren’t too many people around. I honestly enjoyed it more because we had more time and space to take some fun pictures of each other and appreciate the art.
It is a stainless-steel structure that was designed to mimic the reflection and movement of liquid mercury. Showing a distorted reflection of the city’s skyline, it provides a cool perspective for photographs.
Anish Kapoor also designed the Cloud Column in Houston, Texas, which the LEAP Ambassadors have visited!
And, on a trip last summer with the LEAP Center, I was able to get a good picture of his Upside Down, Inside Out design at the Phoenix Art Museum.
And the LEAP Ambassadors again had a chance to see Kapoor’s work at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art.
But, back to this trip, we also had a chance to enjoy Jaume Plensa’s “Crown Fountain” sculptures…
…which are 50 foot tall digitized faces, that, in addition to having water trickle down the front of the sculpture, also occasionally have water spouting of the faces’ mouths.
With the reflecting pool in between the two sculptures, we were able to get some especially nice photographs!
It was a really beautiful park…
…and a fun way to be introduced to Chicago.