New Academic Center Focusing on the Intersection of Law, Technology, and the Innovation Economy
New York, NY (August 13, 2015) – New York Law School (NYLS) today unveiled its newest academic center: the Innovation Center for Law and Technology (“Innovation Center”). It will serve as a forum for law students, distinguished legal practitioners, entrepreneurs, academics, and tech users to learn about, shape, lead, and benefit from the innovation economy and the growth of media, science, and technology in the digital age. Focus areas include intellectual property, privacy, cybersecurity, fashion law, sports law, and entrepreneurship. Professor Ari Ezra Waldman will serve as the Director of the Innovation Center and lead several of its signature programs.
The Innovation Center will be a focal point for NYLS and New York City as a whole to study and work on complex issues and opportunities presented by the growing innovation economy. Located within New York’s burgeoning technology corridor, the Law School is committed to further developing a diverse pipeline of legal talent needed by this growth industry as it matures and evolves. The Innovation Center advances the Law School’s strategy to align its curriculum and programs to meet the needs of an adapting legal profession and changing global marketplace. The Law School is focused on key areas of growth in local and global economies: intellectual property and technology; business and financial services; and government and public interest.
“The growth of existing technology, media, and applied sciences companies in New York and the influx of new ones provide a historic opportunity for NYLS to take a leadership role in helping New York City remain globally competitive,” said Anthony W. Crowell, Dean and President. “The tech industry needs a rich and reliable talent pool of lawyers, entrepreneurs, and legal innovators who are well-trained in the legal, technical, and business aspects of the high-growth industries of the future, from cloud computing to online social networking, from “big data” to biopharmaceuticals. The Innovation Center for Law and Technology @NYLS will have a unique vantage point from which to leverage the law to spur innovation and growth.”
“We believe in law powering innovation,” Professor Waldman noted. “And we plan to put that mantra into action. The Innovation Center will be a dynamic center for exciting research and community service at the intersection of law and technology. We will help drive the innovation economy by helping entrepreneurs bring their inventions to market while protecting their intellectual property. At the same time, as we empower people to harness the benefits of innovation and the digital age, we will ensure that the right legal and social systems are in place to prevent abuses and harm that could arise from it.
“We will do work no one else is doing and make a difference while doing it,” Professor Waldman added. “And we’re just getting started.”
The Center will absorb and transform the Law School’s Institute for Information Law and Policy and add several exciting new projects and initiatives including these focused institutes of excellence:
The Intellectual Property Institute (IPI) will train future lawyers to protect intangible assets in a range of fields, from entertainment law to patents. At the heart of the IPI is its PTO Clinic: NYLS is now one of a handful of law schools in the country that give students the chance to help inventors patent their inventions by representing them in front of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. This unique opportunity gives students the chance to gain unparalleled real-world experience. This Institute also offers dynamic courses that emphasize the ways that new technologies and IP law interact.
Professor Jacob Sherkow, who holds a Master’s of Science in biochemistry and will lead the IP Institute, noted, “Intellectual Property is one of the hottest fields of law out there: there are more opportunities for students, more doctrinal complexity, more difficult policy judgments, and more money at stake than in many, many other fields. The Institute will be a testing ground to study and work on these issues.”
The Online Privacy Project will make NYLS a locus of study on some of the hottest law and technology issues of the day. NYLS has already broadened its course offerings in privacy, with particular emphasis on cybersecurity and new technologies. Law clinics serving the community will help individuals understand their privacy rights and provide assistance to entrepreneurs who need to develop privacy policies that treat users with respect and comply with state and federal laws.
The Community Entrepreneurship Institute will establish NYLS as a center of dynamic new legal education and as a partner of business and innovation. The Institute includes: an Entrepreneurship Clinic that will offer a rigorous doctrinal and practical curriculum; an academic initiative that will include a series of doctrinal and practicum courses on establishing new business, advising entrepreneurs, and intellectual property; and a community action arm that will help drive the innovation economy by supporting the work of local entrepreneurs with legal counsel and strategies to find funding and venture capital opportunities.
The Fashion Law Initiative brings together a team of Innovation Center faculty members with a combined total of more than 50 years of fashion law experience. The Institute will educate the next generation of lawyers in the growth field of fashion law. It combines NYLS’s award-winning practice-based learning classes, doctrinal courses, mentorship, and public education and networking events, among many more opportunities. The Fashion Law Initiative will be led by Adjunct Professor Joseph Forgione.
In partnership with NYLS’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion, the Innovation Center is launching a new initiative called Diversity 4.0, or D4, whose mission is to ensure access to technology and fair representation in law and technology fields for traditionally marginalized groups. The innovation economy depends on the participation of the best and brightest regardless of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, and disability, to name just a few. But too often, latent and overt biases keep minority groups away from fields related to law and technology. In recognition of the four groups most notably left out of the tech world and often victimized by its excesses—women; racial and ethnic minorities; members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities; and the poor—D4 will work to end demographic imbalances in the boardroom through education and outreach and by creating pathways to employment for minorities interested in our fields.
In addition to these offerings, the platforms for the Law School’s Sports Law and Media and Entertainment Law programs will continue to be built, and will expand upon successful signature annual events such as the renowned Sports Law Symposium.
The Innovation Center is powered by $1 million in alumni donations including a generous lead gift of $750,000 from NYLS Board Chairman Arthur N. Abbey ’59, a visionary leader who understands the symbiotic relationship between law and technology. “The Innovation Center programs will be unique among law schools in how we educate our students, and how NYLS will leverage and enhance the growth of tech and other cutting-edge entrepreneurial activities citywide, including on Roosevelt Island, in Brooklyn, and in other boom areas,” said Mr. Abbey. NYLS expects to expand the Center’s programs and impact with additional funding from alumni and friends of the Law School.
Professor Waldman will also serve as faculty chair of a distinguished Advisory Council of legal practitioners, titans of industry, academics, and business leaders. The Advisory Council is co-chaired by Errol Taylor ’87, a partner at Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP and head of the firm’s biopharma patent litigation practice, and Marylee Jenkins ’91, a partner at Arent Fox LLP and head of the firm’s intellectual property group in its New York office. The Advisory Council also includes:
Arthur N. Abbey ’59
NYLS Board Chair
The Honorable Faith S. Hochberg
U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey
Karen Artz Ash ’80
Partner, Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP
Yvette Y. Chang ’95
Trustee, Chang Family Trust
Anthony W. Crowell
Dean and President, New York Law School
Counsel, Bloomberg LP
Steven R. Harber ’92
Managing Partner, Lean Law Ventures
Mark N. Mutterperl
Partner, Bracewell & Giuliani
EVP and Chief Strategy Officer, New York Law School
Charles E. Phillips, Jr. ’93
Joseph I. Rosenbaum ’77
Partner, Reed Smith
John P. Scordo ’88
Partner, KL Gates
About New York Law School
Founded in 1891, New York Law School (NYLS) is an independent law school located in the heart of New York City’s legal, government, financial, and emerging tech centers. Known as “New York’s law school,” NYLS embraces the City as its classroom by complementing a rigorous legal education with an innovative and diverse set of “uniquely New York” experiential learning opportunities. Since opening its doors, NYLS has produced graduates who have gone on to hold high elected and appointed office in the City, lead large and small firms, and gain broad recognition as captains of business and industry. Its renowned faculty of prolific scholars has built the School’s strength in key areas of the law, including business and finance; government and public interest; and intellectual property, media, technology, and applied sciences. NYLS has more than 17,000 graduates and currently enrolls approximately 1,000 students in its full-time, part-time, and Two-Year Honors J.D. programs. The Law School also offers an advanced-degree program in Tax Law. The National Jurist rated NYLS No. 1 for clinical and experiential learning in New York State and No. 13 nationally. It also rated NYLS No. 15 nationally for its graduate Tax Law program. Readers of the New York Law Journal have ranked NYLS No. 1 for its graduate Tax Law program five years in a row. www.nyls.edu.
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