Dr. Zander graduated cum laude from the University of Wisconsin Law School in 1977, and was admitted to the practice of law in Wisconsin that year. He began his legal career with the Wisconsin Public Defender's Office, providing appellate and other post-conviction representation. He went on to head Wisconsin's first specialized unit for providing defense representation to persons facing civil commitment based on allegations of mental illness. From 1981-1994, he was the executive director of the Legal Aid Society of Milwaukee, Inc. Under his leadership, this public interest law firm grew from a staff of six lawyers to 24 -- allowing greater legal advocacy for abused and neglected children, and for adults with legal problems related to mental disability, homelessness, and HIV disease. During his career as a public interest lawyer, he represented thousands of low-income Milwaukeeans in trials, appeals, and major litigation. He successfully litigated two major class action lawsuits that resulted in landmark law reform: State ex rel. Watts v. CCSB, 122 Wis.2d 65, 362 N.W.2d 104 (1985), in which the Wisconsin Supreme Court accepted his argument that persons placed by courts in nursing homes are constitutionally entitled to an annual court review of their need for continued placement; and State ex rel. Jones v. Gerhardstein, 141 Wis.2d 710, 416 N.W.2d 883(1987), in which the Wisconsin Supreme Court accepted his argument that involuntarily committed individuals are constitutionally entitled to exercise informed consent before being administered psychotropic drugs.
Dr. Zander was the 2022 recipient of the Wisconsin Equal Justice Fund’s Howard B. Eisenberg Lifetime Achievement Award for his careerlong commitment to the principle of equal justice under law. The award is named after Howard B. Eisenberg – the dean of Marquette University Law School from 1995 to 2002.
Dr. Zander holds a doctorate in psychology (Psy.D.). He is licensed as a psychologist in Wisconsin and Florida. He is board-certified as a forensic psychologist by the American Board of Professional Psychology. His publications include the following:
Zander, T.K. (2008). Inventing diagnosis for civil commitment of rapists. Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry & the Law, 36, 459–469. Freely downloadable from: https://jaapl.org/content/jaapl/36/4/459.full.pdf
Zander, T.K. (2005). Civil commitment without psychosis: The law’s reliance on the weakest links in psychodiagnosis. Journal of Sexual Offender Civil Commitment, 1, 17-82. Freely downloadable from: https://drive.google.com/file/d/10FOypEKPNheqIMKn_CCNzIw-qpA-k4kO/view?usp=share_link.
Zander, T.K. (1976). Civil commitment in Wisconsin: The impact of Lessard v. Schmidt. Wisconsin Law Review, 1976, 503-562. Freely downloadable from: https://drive.google.com/file/d/10JM7hmx0G876cZ1iZyMuNKmo7jywBbix/view?usp=share_link.