Sarah Davis

Co-Director, Center for Patient Partnerships; Clinical Professor

Davis, Sarah

Room 4312B, Law School

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J.D. 2002, University of Wisconsin Law School
M.P.A. 2002, La Follette School of Public Affairs
B.A. 1995, Wesleyan University


Sarah Davis is Clinical Professor of Law and Co-Director, with Jill Jacklitz, MSSW, of the interdisciplinary Center for Patient Partnerships at the University of Wisconsin (housed at the Law School) where she teaches about patient advocacy, health and public health law, including in the service-learning program as supervising attorney.

Areas of interest include health professionals' advocacy roles, engaging patients in quality improvement and policymaking, building professionals' resiliency skills, and medical and legal curriculum transformation. Ms. Davis is also the Assoc. Director for LIFT Dane, a collaborative initiative to increase economic prosperity in Dane County by streamlining access to justice through technology and reforming court systems and public policies.

Ms. Davis was a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Faculty Fellow in the Future of Public Health Law Program (2014-15).  As a RWJF faculty fellow, she piloted a practice-based elearning course to complement public health law externships in local and remote locations.  It is described in her article: Educating the New Public Health Law Professional. Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics 44, no. 1, Supp. (2016).  She also serves as the Legal Advisor for the Wisconsin Alcohol Policy Project.

Her current scholarship includes developing an intervention to address health-harming legal issues in health clinics, and identifying dissemination and implementation barriers to engaging patients in continuous learning as part of health system quality improvement initiatives. Her study of law students' mindsets and the role it plays in professional development and well-being, was published in Law & Psychology Review (Spring 2018).

Publications include: Implementation Science Workshop: Engaging patients in Team-Based Practice Redesign-Critical Reflections on Program Design. Journal of General Internal Medicine, 2016:1-8; and The Affordable Care Act's Plan for Consumer Assistance With Insurance Moves States Forward But Remains A Work In Progress, Health Affairs, 32, no.2 (2013): 347-356.

The Center for Patient Partnerships, an interdisciplinary center of the Schools of Law, Medicine and Public Health, Nursing and Pharmacy, offers experiential patient advocacy education to students from those disciplines and others. The curriculum focuses on health advocacy, patient-centered care, and health systems change, offering a 12-credit certificate in Consumer Health Advocacy. The Center also infuses patients' voices into health systems reform, offering a critical link to health consumers' experiences. Learn more at

Scholarship & Publications


Law Repository

Research Interests

  • Building an evidence-base for population health and health equity interventions
  • Program implementation determinants to address health-harming legal issues
  • Patient engagement in research and quality improvement efforts in health systems
  • Law student professionalism and well-being


Teaching Areas

  • Consumer Law
  • Health Law
  • Health Law: Patient Advocacy
  • Practice Skills
  • Public Health Law

Recently Taught Courses

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