Symposium Spotlight: Jeff Ward

By: Daniel Norton

Jeff Ward is the Associate Dean for Technology & Innovation at Duke University School of Law as well as the Director of the University’s Center on Law & Technology (DCLT). As part of the DCLT, Jeff oversees the Duke Law Tech Lab, a program that advises legal technology start-up companies about legal topics including, but not limited to intellectual property protection and licensing, and commercialization’s strategies. Jeff’s goal for the DCLT is to bridge the access-to-justice gap by guiding legal technology entrepreneurs to address areas the law has typically underserved. To that end, Jeff has organized competitions for legal tech start-ups for the past two years whereby the start-ups compete for funding by participating in an acceleration program before presenting their business pitch to a panel of judges. The winner of the most recent competition was the start-up company Hello Divorce which aims to serve the 85%of people who do not have legal representation in divorce proceedings.

Jeff also oversees the Access Tech Tools initiative which encourages participants to utilize human centered design thinking concerning developing legal technologies. An example of this encouragement was Big Ideas: Designing Creative Legal Solutions for a Better Tomorrow. This was a class Jeff offered in October to the community encouraging participants to think of alternative billing models for lawyers than the traditional hourly rates. The class was attended by law school students, entrepreneurs, professors, and attorneys with decades of experience.

In addition to his other responsibilities, Jeff also teaches classes Law & Policy Lab: Blockchain and Frontier Robotics & AI: Law & Ethics at Duke University School of Law. Outside of his positions with Duke, Jeff continues to run his own law practice which counsels start-up companies.

Jeff will be speaking from 10:40 am to 12:10 pm on the Legal Design panel with Vanderbilt Professor Cat Moon and moderated by Raina Haque.

Symposium Spotlight: Professor Cat Moon

By: Samantha Moench

Professor Caitlin “Cat” Moon comes to us from Vanderbilt University School of Law and will be speaking on the Legal Design panel at our Spring Symposium: Lawyering in the Future: Impact of Technology on the Law

Professor Moon is scholar in the field of legal design. Her professional experience centers around bringing a “human-centered design perspective” into the legal profession. She serves as the Director of Innovation Designat Vanderbilt Law School. Professor Moon has developed an “interactive” curriculum to inspire innovation within the legal profession by focusing on helping lawyers and legal practitioners adapt to the rapid advance of both technology and design.

Vanderbilt actually has a special department called the Program on Law and Innovation, which is dedicated to informing both its students and the larger legal community about the impact the advancement of technology and design has had on the practice of law in America. Professor Moon serves as a Director of Vanderbilt’s Program on Law and Innovation Institute (PoLI), which is a smaller group under the umbrella of the larger PoLI program that goes out and teaches legal professionals and scholars about the importance of integrating technology into their law practices and studies. She also helped co-discover Vanderbilt’s Summit on Law and Innovation as a part of the program.  Continue reading »

Symposium Spotlight: Steve Lauer

By: Amber Razzano

Steve Lauer is a practicing attorney and a current adjunct professor at Wake Forest University School of Law. Lauer’s course is titled “Thinking Like an In-House Lawyer.” This course focuses on law firms that represent business entities must understand the needs and expectations of those entities in order to deliver a legal service that provides higher value to the business. Lauer has an extensive background in the corporate law environment. Lauer received a B.A. from the State University of New York at Buffalo and a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center. Lauer has authored over 100 articles on topics relevant to corporate compliance and corporate legal service. Prior to becoming an in-house attorney, Lauer was in private practice for six years. He currently “consults with corporate compliance departments regarding the structure and operation of corporate compliance and ethics programs . . . and with law departments and law firms on the value of legal service.” Lauer has served over two years as Corporate Counsel for Global Compliance Services in Charlotte, North Carolina, improving the ability of business operations to comply with data protection rules in the European Union and other jurisdictions. Lauer also spent extensive time as an Assistant General Counsel for The Prudential Company of America increasing management of legal affairs in the real estate environment. Lauer’s panel at the Wake Forest Journal of Business and Intellectual Property’s Spring Symposium, Lawyering in the Future: Impact of Technology on the Law, will focus on developing legal software and technology’s impact on legal practices, client relations, and other similar issues.  Steve will be speaking on our first panel from 9:00 to 10:30 am. Continue reading »

Veblen, Schumpeter, and employee inventors: lessons from the US and Germany

By: Neal Orkin, Guest Writer*

(This article first appeared in the December 1990 issue of Managing Intellectual Property.  It remains relevant today.)

Why should bright and innovative youngsters want to enter engineering and science when the incentives are so small?

Neal Orkin, inventor of ‘Orkinomics’, looks at this question through the eyes of Veblen and Schumpeter and explains why so many US patents are now being granted to foreigners.

“Competitiveness” is the new buzzword that we Americans use to fend off those damned foreigners who “steal” our technology or trade “unfairly”.  While erudite authors and smug commentators – those Captains of Competitiveness – speak in terms of such euphemisms as better education for workers, labour-management cooperation, and new far­sighted management, we lose sight of one of the basic causes of our competitiveness problem – rewards and recognition for creative engineers and scientists. Continue reading »