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Cyberlaw expert leaving Harvard for Stanford

Lawrence Lessig, a renowned constitutional scholar and the nation's leading authority on Internet law, will join the Stanford Law School faculty next fall. He is currently the Jack N. and Lillian R. Berkman Professor for Entrepreneurial Legal Studies at Harvard Law School.

Lessig's scholarship has been the subject of widespread debate, particularly following the release last year of his book Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace. The book explores how the architecture of computer networks affects basic liberties, and the implications of the use of code to either suppress or promote freedom. Mark A. Lemley, a professor at the University of California-Berkeley School of Law, said Code "may be the most important book ever published about the Internet."

Lessig has been particularly prominent in recent months. Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson asked for his advice on the Microsoft antitrust case, and Lessig's work has been cited in numerous media reports about societal issues raised by the Internet and electronic commerce.

"Lessig brings a unique combination of brilliance and passion to the study of the legal and policy challenges of cyberspace. He is also a wonderful teacher, scholar and colleague. We are thrilled that he has chosen to leave Harvard for Stanford, and in doing so turn down an offer from Yale. We are confident he chose wisely and look forward to his arrival with great excitement," said Stanford Law School Dean Kathleen Sullivan.

Stanford University President Gerhard Casper praised the hiring as well. "I am delighted that our Law School will soon benefit from the brilliance of Lawrence Lessig, whom I have known since my days at the University of Chicago," Casper said. "Lawrence brings to Stanford further expertise in an area that is one of the great frontiers of law: the Internet. His talents and intellect as a constitutional scholar have brought both depth and innovation to this area of study. I am doubly pleased by this appointment because it is a perfect match for Stanford, consolidating our strengths as a center of emerging scholarship on the Internet and the new economy."

"Hiring Larry Lessig is a coup for Stanford Law School and its new Dean Kathleen Sullivan," said Gordon Davidson, chairman of Fenwick & West in Palo Alto and chair of the Law School's Advisory Council on Law, Science and Technology. "It demonstrates the Law School's commitment to building the preeminent law, science and technology curriculum in the country."

Henry T. Greely, professor of law at Stanford and chair of the Program in Law, Science and Technology, said that "if the new field of Internet law can be said to have a leader, it is Larry Lessig."

"His work has had both the technical sophistication and the broad scope necessary to make it powerful. He has learned the technology well enough to earn the respect of the its practitioners and his expertise in constitutional law has equipped him to ask, and offer answers to, the biggest questions about the governance of the virtual world," Greely said.

Lessig earned his J.D. in 1989 at Yale Law School. He clerked for Judge Richard Posner of the U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit, and for Justice Antonin Scalia of the United States Supreme Court. Prior to teaching at Harvard, Lessig was a professor of law at the University of Chicago. He is a member of the Penn National Commission on Society, Culture and Community at the University of Pennsylvania, and a monthly columnist for the Industry Standard, a magazine that covers electronic commerce.


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