About the Program
The LawTech Center at the University of Virginia School of Law focuses on pressing questions in law and technology, including policy concerns, data analysis of legal texts, and the use of technology in the legal profession.
Serving as a locus of faculty research, the center is led by the second-most cited professor in the nation on issues of law and technology, Danielle K. Citron, and intellectual property and trade secret expert Elizabeth A. Rowe. The author of the books “Hate Crimes in Cyberspace” and the forthcoming “The Fight for Privacy: Protecting Dignity, Identity and Law in the Digital Age,” Citron has been deeply involved in reform efforts relating to the regulation of online platforms. Rowe, who is co-author of the first and leading U.S. casebook on trade secrets in addition to a “Nutshell” treatise on trade secrets, has written on the intersection of trade secrets with employment law and technology, as well as the interplay between intellectual property, government policy and innovation.
UVA’s curriculum also benefits from the school’s proximity to the Judge Advocate General’s Legal Center and School, which offers several courses connected to cybersecurity and national security. Virginia’s programs and centers in national security, health law and intellectual property also add to the depth of the course offerings and extracurricular opportunities.
Policy and Regulation
Technology’s impact on everyday lives has raised new areas of concern in law, from the legal responsibilities of online platforms in protecting consumer privacy and data, to managing cybersecurity threats, to the interplay between intellectual property, government policy and innovation. Faculty members are addressing the question of platform governance and regulation from different directions, including moral philosophy and discrimination, privacy and cyber civil rights, criminal justice and antitrust. Their work has common themes — to what extent should powerful intermediaries be subject to regulation? What should regulation look like? What sort of transparency and accountability is feasible and desirable given trade secret protections? Do we need a federal agency devoted to algorithmic governance?
The Data of Legal Texts
Several affiliated faculty members are focused on using computational tools, including artificial intelligence and natural language processing, to reveal insights on laws and how lawyers, jurists and the public interact with them. Other scholars use empirical methods to consider possibilities for criminal justice reform, analyze constitutions around the world and generally look at the law through a different lens.
Technology in the Legal Profession
Technology is also affecting how law is practiced, how judges and juries are making decisions, and how policies get made. The Law School offers courses that teach students about the evolution of legal practice, and professors are researching the impact of what that means for both lawyers and the public.
The Algorithmic Leviathan: Arbitrariness, Fairness, and Opportunity in Algorithmic Decision Making Systems
Privacy, First Amendment, feminism and the law, civil rights, administrative law
- Named a 2019 MacArthur Fellow for her work on cyberstalking and intimate privacy
- Adviser to then-California Attorney General Kamala Harris on privacy issues and a member of her Cyber Exploitation Task Force (2014-16)
- Vice president of the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative, a nonprofit dedicated to protecting civil rights and liberties in a digital age
- Gave TED talk “How Deepfakes Undermine Truth and Democracy” that has had over 1.9 million views
- Clerked for U.S. District Court Judge Mary Johnson Lowe of the Southern District of New York
Administrative law, civil procedure, computer crime, federal courts, national security law
- Served as an attorney-adviser in the Office of Legal Counsel at the Department of Justice
- Practice appellate litigation privately and for DOJ's National Security Division
- Clerked for Justice Antonin Scalia at the U.S. Supreme Court
International law and litigation, national security, law of war
- Served as White House associate counsel and deputy legal adviser to the National Security Council, 2021-22
- Served as the assistant legal adviser for political-military affairs in the U.S. Department of State’s Office of the Legal Adviser
- Embassy legal adviser at the U.S. embassy in Baghdad in 2005, during Iraq’s constitutional negotiations
- Since joining the Law School in 2012, has been frequently quoted in the national media on topics such as legal justifications for war, the Edward Snowden affair and the use of cyber and drone warfare.
Business law, contract theory, mergers and acquisitions
- Research focuses on problems related to contract theory, business alliances, shareholder litigation and other issues involving the intersection of law and business
- Spent five years as a management consultant with McKinsey & Co., where he served clients on corporate strategy, mergers and marketing; also worked with a New York and a Los Angeles law firmCo-author of a book on business partnership and alliance strategies
- Taught courses as a visiting professor at the Indian School of Business in Hyderabad, India, the University of Auckland in New Zealand, and the University of Trento in Italy
Cybersecurity, foreign relations, international law and national security law
- Clerked for U.S. Supreme Court Justices Sandra Day O’Connor and Sonia Sotomayor and for Judge Merrick Garland of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit
- Served as a special assistant to the State Department legal adviser and practiced appellate and national security law, including advising on cybersecurity issues, at Covington & Burling in Washington, D.C.
- Eichensehr’s recent scholarship focuses on the constitutional powers of the president and Congress in foreign relations law, the role of private actors in cybersecurity, and the development of international law to govern state behavior in cyberspace
Affirmative action and equal protection, constitutional law and theory
- Awarded a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship for University Teachers in 1999
- Author of the book "When Is Discrimination Wrong?"
- Hellman's work primarily focuses on discrimination and equality. In addition, she writes about the constitutionality of campaign finance laws and the obligations of professional roles, especially in the context of clinical medical research. (Scholarship Profile | Faculty Q&A)
Health policy, LGBTQ rights
- Work focuses on how medicine and medical discourse can be reconfigured to work with law to produce civil rights and justice
- Went to law school to do LGBTQ rights work, and continues to file briefs in the U.S. Supreme Court in major cases
- As deputy solicitor general of California with a docket focused on the U.S. Supreme Court, he has been involved in a broad range of litigation
Comparative and empirical study of public law, courts and legal texts
- Internationally recognized expert in the comparative study of constitutional law, constitutional politics and judicial politics, and a pioneer in the application of empirical social science methods to the study of legal texts
- Scholarship combines qualitative fieldwork on foreign judicial and constitutional systems, quantitative analysis of constitutions and treaties, and regional expertise on Asia
- Ph.D. in political science, Stanford University; his work on courts and constitutions has been featured in media around the world and has been translated into Chinese, Japanese, Spanish, Romanian and Persian
Environmental law and climate change, administrative law
- Clerked for Judge Harry T. Edwards on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit
- Founding executive director of the Institute for Policy Integrity at New York University School of Law
- Co-authored "Retaking Rationality: How Cost-Benefit Analysis Can Better Protect the Environment and Our Health." The book became the foundation for a new approach public interest organizations could take in arguing for policies to protect the environment. (Faculty Q&A on related scholarship)
Criminal procedure, federal courts and constitutional law
- Clerked for Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and Justice Anthony M. Kennedy of the U.S. Supreme Court
- His research garnered attention in 2018 as part of an amicus brief he wrote for the Supreme Court case Hughes v. United States
- Runs the blog Re's Judicata and is a member of PrawfsBlog
Constitutional law, antitrust and communications regulation, national security
- Clerked for Judge Frank H. Easterbrook of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
- Practiced with what is now Mayer Brown in Chicago
- Is a U.S. Army Reserve judge advocate, and was a principal editor and contributor for the first three editions of "The Rule of Law Handbook: A Practitioners’ Guide" (2007-09)
- Before he went to law school, Nachbar spent five years as a systems analyst, working for both Andersen Consulting and Hughes Space and Communications.
Legal theory, constitutional theory, procedure, philosophy of law
- His series of articles on constitutional originalism have shaped contemporary thinking about the debate between originalism and constitutional theory
- Editor of Legal Theory Blog, an influential weblog that focuses on developments in contemporary normative and positive legal theory
- Also works on problems of law and technology, including Internet governance, copyright policy and patent law
Criminal law and criminal procedure
- Economist and criminal justice scholar focused on criminal justice reform, including bail, algorithmic risk assessment, misdemeanors and juvenile justice
- Research on bail cited extensively in a landmark federal civil rights decision, O’Donnell v. Harris, and in the media
- Holds a Ph.D. in agricultural and resource economics from the University of California, Berkeley
Intellectual property, law and economics
- Clerked for the Israeli Supreme Court after earning his law degree at Tel Aviv University
- Served as a fellow at Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society and Olin Center for Law and Economics
- Has presented in several fora, including the Stanford/Yale Junior Faculty Forum; the annual meetings of the American, Canadian and European law and economics associations; and the intellectual property scholars conference. (Story)
Securities, corporate and derivatives law, taboo markets
- Corporate law expert teaches courses on securities, corporate and derivatives law
- A leading thinker on forbidden or contested markets like organ donation
- Prior to academia, practiced in the Commodity & Derivatives Group at Sullivan & Cromwell in New York
Food and drug law, health law, animal law
- Has written, researched and presented extensively about biomedical research, genetics, reproductive technologies, stem cell research, animal biotechnology, health disparities and chronic disease (Faculty Q&A)
- Chair, UVA Embryonic Stem Cell Research Oversight Committee
- Legal advisor to the Health Sciences Institutional Review Board, which is responsible for reviewing all human subject research at UVA involving medically invasive procedures
State, international taxation and policy
- National reporter for the United States to the 2008 IFA Congress on tax discrimination and the 2014 European Associate Tax Law Professors Congress on tax information exchange
- Co-editor of Kluwer's "Series on International Taxation" and a member of the editorial board of the World Tax Journal
- Mason's research focuses on comparative taxation, with an emphasis on EU tax law.
- Amicus brief cited by U.S. Supreme Court in Comptroller of the Treasury of Maryland v. Wynne.
- Has a four-part special report on EU state aids forthcoming in Tax Notes
Intellectual property, patents, administrative law
- Clerked for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia and for Judge Stephen Williams of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit
- Served as an attorney adviser in the Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel
- In the field of intellectual property, Duffy has been identified as one of the 25 most-influential people in the nation by The American Lawyer and one of the 50 most influential people in the world by the U.K. publication Managing Intellectual Property. He was named a legal “visionary” by the Legal Times in 2009 and has been profiled in Businessweek.
Trade secret law, intellectual property, trademark law, patent law
- Co-author of the first and leading U.S. casebook on trade secrets, in addition to a “Nutshell” treatise on trade secrets
- Four of her articles have been named by Thomson Reuters Intellectual Property Review as among the best intellectual property articles of the year
- Member of the American Law Institute and a member of the Leadership Council for The Sedona Conference Rowe, which conducts in-depth study in the areas of antitrust, complex litigation and intellectual property rights to provide nonpartisan consensus-based guidance to courts and attorneys
- Former partner at the law firm of Hale and Dorr in Boston (now WilmerHale), where she practiced complex commercial litigation, including intellectual property and employment litigation
Courses and Seminars
The following is a list of courses offered/scheduled to be offered during 2019-22. Numbers in parentheses indicate which academic year(s) the courses were offered, i.e., 2020-21 is coded (21), 2021-22 is coded (22) and 2022-23 is coded (23). (SC) stands for short course and (YR) stands for yearlong.
Advanced LawTech (22)
Antitrust in the Digital Economy (SC) (21,22)
Bioethics and the Law Seminar (21,22,23)
Computational Text Analysis for Legal Practice (SC) (22)
Computer Crime Law (21,22)
Copyright Law (21,22,23)
Cryptocurrency Law and Policy (SC) (22,23)
Cryptocurrency Regulation (SC) (21)
Digital Evidence From Theory to Practice (JAG) (21,22,23)
Drug Product Liability Litigation Seminar (21,22,23)
Drug Product Liability Litigation: Principles and Practice (21,22,23)
Electronic Discovery (23)
Energy and Environmental Products Trading and Commodities Regulation (SC) (21,22,23)
Food and Drug Law (22)
Free Speech and the Digital Age (22)
Genetics and the Law (SC) (21,22)
Innovating for Defense (21,22,23)
Internet Law (21,22,23)
Introduction to the Law of Trade Secrets (SC) (21,22,23)
Introduction to Legal Aspects of Cyberspace Operations (JAG) (21,23)
Israeli Business Law and Innovation (SC) (23)
Law and Artificial Intelligence (23)
Law and Ethics of Biotechnology (21,23)
Law and Technology Colloquium (22,23)
Law of Sea, Air and Space Operations (JAG) (21,22,23)
National Security Law (21,22,23)
National Security Law and Practice (SC) (21)
Patent Law (22)
Personal Data Protection in Europe (SC) (23)
Privacy Law and Theory Seminar (22,23)
Quantitative Methods (21,22)
Repugnant Transactions (22,23)
Science and the Courts (SC) (21,22,23)
Startup of a Medtech Company (SC) (21,22,23)
Survey of Patent, Copyright, Trademark (21,22,23)
Taboo Trades (22,23)
Taxing Multinationals in a Global Economy (SC) (22)
Trade Secret Law (23)
Truth, Lies and Statistics for Lawyers (SC) (21,22,23)
Advanced Patent and Licensing Clinic (21,22,23)
Entrepreneurial Law Clinic (21,22,23)
Patent and Licensing Clinic (21,22,23)
University of Virginia School of Law professor Danielle Citron, an expert in privacy law who has advanced the idea of intimate privacy as a civil right, has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Scholars discuss Professor Danielle Citron’s new book, “The Fight for Privacy: Protecting Dignity, Identity and Love in the Digital Age,” which makes the case for understanding intimate privacy as a civil and human right. Panelists include University of Pennsylvania law professor Anita L. Allen, George Washington University law professor Daniel J. Solove, and Northeastern University law and computer science professor Ari E. Waldman. UVA Law professor Deborah Hellman moderated the event and Dean Risa Goluboff introduced the speakers.
Law, Innovation, Security & Technology
LIST focuses on the novel legal, policy and business problems caused by the recent proliferation of emerging technologies. It educates students about issues in the area; prepares them with practical skills and experience to enter the legal workforce; connects them to a network of mentors, experts and resources; and collaborates with the policy, business and technology communities. Recent areas of focus have included cyber crime, net neutrality and autonomous vehicles, among others. Website
National Security Law Forum
National Security Law Forum connects UVA law students with national security law and broader government issues by hosting speakers, educating students about career opportunities and facilitating student work on national security problems during law school. The forum seeks to produce the next generation of national security law leaders by engaging the school’s faculty, alumni network and connections with the national security community.
Virginia Journal of Law & Technology
UVA Law's only e-journal, VJoLT, provides a forum for students, professors and practitioners to discuss emerging issues at the intersection of law and technology. Recent issues of the journal have included articles on biotechnology, telecommunications, e-commerce, internet privacy and encryption. Website
Professor Richard L. Hasen of the University of California, Irvine, discusses his new book, “Cheap Speech: How Disinformation Poisons Our Politics — and How to Cure It.” Professor Danielle Citron moderated the talk. The event was sponsored by the LawTech Center.