We spoke with 3L J.P. about his path to HLS, his passion for tech, and the law and technology resources available at Harvard Law.
I was 27 when I applied to law school, and, at that point, had already spent a few years in the tech industry, most recently working as a software engineer for a pair of startups. I knew that the intertwining of legal questions with cutting edge technology fascinated me more than the technical problems that I was solving as an engineer, but I also knew that I would never stop caring about the capacity for technology to advance myriad industries, including, and especially, the law. So, when I considered which schools to apply to and where to ultimately enroll, I looked for two major characteristics: (1) exceptional academics and extracurriculars across all facets of technology law, from IP to VC to data privacy; as well as (2) a spirit of entrepreneurialism among students and professors devoted to challenging the status quo of how law is practiced in this era of advanced, data driven technologies. I found both at Harvard, so the decision to enroll ended up being a fairly easy one.
As soon as I started as a 1L, I got involved with the Journal of Law and Technology — a perennial leader in publishing technology law scholarship — and I tapped into that entrepreneurial spirit among my classmates in founding the Harvard Law and Technology Society (TechSoc), through which we host hackathons and outside speaker events that focus not just on the law of technology, but also the way technology is changing legal practice. During 1L summer, I received a Google Policy Fellowship which allowed me to research technology law and policy through a non-profit in DC, and this summer, I have had the opportunity to work on complex, cross jurisdictional “BigTech” transactions at a leading international law firm.
In addition to my duties with TechSoc, this semester I will be working with a top venture capital firm in Silicon Valley and HLS Professor Jesse Fried to research the legal implications of cryptocurrencies — an area of law that first sparked my interest when some section-mates and I launched our own cryptocurrency during second semester of 1L. These are the kinds of projects and opportunities that seem unavoidable in a community that values intense intellectual curiosity about how the law is changing via judgments of both prose and code. I can’t imagine studying anywhere else.
The Harvard Law & Technology Society is hosting the 2019 Harvard Legal Technology Symposium from September 12-13, 2019. We are bringing together a large interdisciplinary and international community to think deeply about how technology can improve and shape the law at the largest student organized legal technology event in the world. Our speakers include prominent professors, the founders and CEOs of numerous legal tech firms, general counsels, law firm attorneys and others. We invite any interested current or prospective law school students to attend the event to learn more about how technology is impacting the study and practice of law by registering here.