The University of Wisconsin Law School has strengthened its law faculty with the hire of Nate Atkinson, who joins in a long tradition of excellence in research and teaching. Learn more about Nate in the faculty profile below.

Nate Atkinson: Assistant Professor

Home state: Oregon

Educational/professional background: J.D., Stanford Law School; Ph.D. in Business, Stanford Graduate School of Business. Prior to joining the faculty of the University of Wisconsin Law School, I was a postdoctoral researcher at the Center for Law and Economics at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich) in Zurich Switzerland. I’ve previously taught at ETH Zurich, the University of Zurich, Northwestern Pritzker School of Law, and UCLA Law School.

How did you get into your field of research? My main area of research is on corporate misconduct. Much of the discourse on corporate misconduct focuses on bad actors within corporations. I am interested in the corporate form more broadly. My research focuses on the question of how corporations can profit from breaking the law, even after being caught and paying fines.

I got interested in this field after regularly reading accounts in the newspaper about firms paying small penalties following illegal actions. I wondered why we would expect corporations to follow the law when fines are so low. I have been working to quantify the extent to which corporations profit following lawbreaking so we can better design laws to bring the interests of corporations in line with those of society more broadly.

How does your work fit with the Wisconsin Idea, that education should influence people’s lives beyond the boundaries of the classroom? In many areas, the law, or its application, is flawed. Well-trained lawyers can oftentimes appreciate these problems in ways others cannot. It is important that lawyers leave the University of Wisconsin Law School not only able to understand and apply existing law, but to recognize its deficiencies, so that they can contribute to improving the law so that it works for the benefit of society as a whole.

Related employee profiles: Nate Atkinson

Submitted by Law School News on August 30, 2021

This article appears in the categories: Faculty, Features

Related employee profiles: Nate Atkinson

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