Mark Edwards

Professor of Law

“In the movie The Matrix, the main character is given a choice: swallow a blue pill and live his life as before, or swallow a red pill and see the invisible matrix that underlies apparent reality. Learning law is a little like swallowing the red pill. A matrix of social relations flows around each person, each object, each act. The law attempts, imperfectly, to define the limits and obligations of our social relations; in doing so, it gives us a glimpse of the social matrix.”


J.D., magna cum laude, University of Wisconsin Law School, 1998


William Mitchell College of Law: professor of law, 2012- ; associate professor of law, 2007-2012.

Clinical and adjunct faculty, University of Wisconsin Law School, 2005-2007.

Attorney, Foley & Lardner, 2000-2005.

Judicial Clerk, Hon. Barbara Crabb, US DC WDWI, 1998-2000.

Professional Focus

I am interested in the complex interaction of law and social relations. The focus of my research and writing has been on behavior that is either formally illegal but socially acceptable, or formally legal but socially unacceptable, and the struggle of legal institutions to respond to such behaviors. I have also written about dispossession and restitution, particularly in Central and Eastern Europe.

I am also interested in exploring innovative teaching methods and in the development of interactive teaching materials.

Leadership & Service

Professor Edwards was voted Professor of the Year for 2007-2008, 2010-2011, and 2013-2014 by the William Mitchell student body.

He is actively involved in Mitchell’s judicial clerkship program, which ranks among the top 20 in the country.

He has served as faculty representative to the Board of Trustees for several years.

He has taught in summer programs in Prague and London for several years.

Research & Scholarship

My current project is an examination of the complex, multi-layered legal and social relationships involved in a recent timber harvest.

Full C.V.