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Christopher Bavitz

  • Langdell Hall in the fall

    Faculty on the move

    September 1, 2021

    With the start of the academic year, a look at nine faculty who have joined Harvard Law School, been promoted, or taken on new roles in 2021.

  • Joshua C. McDaniel

    Joshua McDaniel appointed director of Harvard Law School’s Religious Freedom Clinic

    July 7, 2021

    Harvard Law School has appointed Joshua C. McDaniel to serve as a visiting assistant clinical professor and as the director of its Religious Freedom Clinic.

  • Christopher Bavitz

    Christopher Bavitz appointed Harvard Law School’s vice dean for experiential and clinical education

    June 16, 2021

    Harvard Law School’s Christopher T. Bavitz, the WilmerHale Clinical Professor of Law, has been appointed as vice dean for experiential and clinical education.

  • Illustration of an open laptop with images of four people, on a desk with a lamp, plant, cup of coffee. Laptop is connected to a cloud and work related images.

    COVID adaptation

    August 26, 2020

    As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to rage across the globe, affecting every aspect of human society, Harvard Law School finds itself at a pivotal moment in legal education. From the crisis, and the challenges and opportunities of remote learning, it is wresting pedagogical innovations that are transforming what it means to get a legal education.

  • João Marinotti ’20

    João Marinotti ’20 wants to know how the world works

    May 27, 2020

    “I’ve always had a passion for engaging in my curiosity,” says João Marinotti ‘20, a linguist turned lawyer whose work focuses on sustainability, business, property, and private law.

  • Cyberlaw Clinic turns 20

    April 9, 2020

    It was 1999 and the dot-com bubble was about to burst. Corporations were scrambling to address new legal challenges online. Napster was testing the music industry. And at Harvard Law School, the Berkman Klein Center was creating a clinical teaching program specializing in cyberlaw.

  • Lumen Homepage

    Shedding light on fraudulent takedown notices

    December 12, 2019

    What happens if bad actors deliberately falsify and submit court documents requesting the removal of content? Research using the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society’s Lumen database shows the problem is larger than previously understood.

  • Glenn Cohen with Chris Bavitz at Petrie-Flom Center General Counsel Roundtable

    Health care general counsels explore pressing health policy and legal issues at Harvard Law School

    December 11, 2019

    The General Counsels Roundtable helps influential health law attorneys stay on top of or even ahead of changes in health law and policy. The roundtable connects GC to experts at HLS and the broader university, while also strengthening ties between faculty and legal practice.

  • notes and comment 3

    Collaboration zone

    April 26, 2019

    Library event provides unique opportunity for faculty-student interaction.

  • The Law and the Digital World 1

    The Law and the Digital World

    April 3, 2019

    Officials from 23 offices of state attorneys general recently met at HLS as part of the Berkman Klein Center’s AGTech Forum series, to discuss tech-driven challenges to privacy and data security that vex state regulators and threaten consumers, and to strategize on how the law can keep up.

  • Tech Giants, Profs Push Justices To Take Google-Oracle Case

    February 26, 2019

    Major technology companies, software developers, legal scholars and others have filed a flood of amicus briefs urging the U.S. Supreme Court to take up Google's appeal in the company's yearslong copyright battle with Oracle over use of copyrighted code in Android smartphones. ... The eight law professors are represented by Christopher T. Bavitz of Harvard Law School.

  • Harvard Law Gives Public Free Access to Four Centuries of U.S. Court Cases

    November 1, 2018

    The Library Innovation Lab at Harvard Law School published a full collection of United States court cases dating from 1658 to 2018 on Monday as part of a years-long project to make case law more accessible. The initiative, dubbed the Caselaw Access Project, digitized more than 40 million pages of U.S. state, federal, and territorial case law documents from the Law School library. Though basic information for all cases in the database is now publicly accessible, users are limited to five hundred full case texts per day. Harvard affiliates currently have unlimited access to all case texts. Adam Ziegler, who directed the project, said his team worked on the Caselaw Access Project for more than six years. “It started with the simple observation that there was a real need for ready access to court opinions,” Ziegler said...Several Law School faculty members expressed their optimism about the project and its potential. Law School Professor I. Glenn Cohen called the project “a game changer,” and Law School Professor Christopher T. Bavitz said the initiative will bring about “enormous benefits” for teaching, research, and legal analysis.

  • 25 Harvard Law Profs Sign NYT Op-Ed Demanding Senate Reject Kavanaugh

    October 4, 2018

    Roughly two dozen Harvard Law School professors have signed a New York Times editorial arguing that the United States Senate should not confirm Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court. Harvard affiliates — including former Law School Dean Martha L. Minow and Laurence Tribe — joined more than 1,000 law professors across the country in signing the editorial, published online Wednesday. The professors wrote that Kavanaugh displayed a lack of “impartiality and judicial temperament requisite to sit on the highest court of our land” in the heated testimony he gave during a nationally televised hearing held Sept. 27 in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee....As of late Wednesday, the letter had been signed by the following: Sabi Ardalan, Christopher T. Bavitz, Elizabeth Bartholet, Christine Desan, Susan H. Farbstein, Nancy Gertner, Robert Greenwald, Michael Gregory, Janet Halley, Jon Hanson, Adriaan Lanni, Bruce H. Mann, Frank Michelman, Martha Minow, Robert H. Mnookin, Intisar Rabb, Daphna Renan, David L. Shapiro, Joseph William Singer, Carol S. Steiker, Matthew C. Stephenson, Laurence Tribe, Lucie White, Alex Whiting, Jonathan Zittrain

  • Evaluating the impact of artificial intelligence on human rights 2

    Evaluating the impact of artificial intelligence on human rights

    September 27, 2018

    AI-based tools are increasingly being used by people and organizations in positions of authority to make important, often life-altering decisions. A new report from the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society addresses this issue and weighs the positive and negative impacts of AI on human rights.

  • Morality in the Machines 6

    Morality in the Machines

    June 26, 2018

    Researchers at Harvard’s Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society are collaborating with MIT scholars to study driverless cars, social media feeds, and criminal justice algorithms, to make sure openness and ethics inform artificial intelligence.

  • HLS200 finale celebrates clinics

    HLS 200 finale celebrates clinics

    May 2, 2018

    On April 20, HLS in the Community wrapped up a year-long celebration of Harvard Law School's bicentennial by highlighting the contributions made by HLS clinics and students practice organizations (SPOs).

  • From Berkman Klein, new resources on inclusion and artificial intelligence

    From Berkman Klein, new resources promoting inclusion in design of AI

    February 27, 2018

    Last week, the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University launched, a new website related to preventing bias in algorithms and ensuring that voices and perspectives from diverse populations help shape the future of artificial intelligence.

  • Cyberlaw Clinic releases Guide to Protest Art

    Cyberlaw Clinic releases Guide to Protest Art

    January 25, 2018

    On Jan. 22, the Cyberlaw Clinic at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society released a multi-part Guide to Protest Art, a series aimed at educating people across the political spectrum who are using art to engage in civic dialogue.

  • U.S. Supreme Court

    Cyberlaw Clinic files amicus briefs in patent and online privacy cases

    January 8, 2018

    The Berkman Klein Center's Cyberlaw Clinic, which provides pro-bono legal services to clients on issues relating to the internet, technology and intellectual property, has written in support of a number of technology cases in recent weeks.

  • Cloud Formations

    HLS students harness artificial intelligence to revolutionize how lawyers draft and manage contracts

    December 20, 2017

    With Evisort, a powerful new search engine that harnesses cloud storage and artificial intelligence, four HLS students hope to revolutionize the costly and labor-intensive way that lawyers currently handle contracts and other transactional work, liberating them for more creative and interesting tasks.

  • Risk assessment tools for criminal justice reform: A Q&A with Chris Bavitz

    Risk assessment tools for criminal justice reform: A Q&A with Chris Bavitz

    November 29, 2017

    Managing Director of the Cyberlaw Clinic Professor Chris Bavitz discusses some of the concerns and opportunities of risk assessment tools for criminal justice reform efforts, and the Berkman Klein Center's work on Ethics and Governance of AI initiative in partnership with the MIT Media Lab.

  • An Open Letter to the Members of the Massachusetts Legislature Regarding the Adoption of Actuarial Risk Assessment Tools in the Criminal Justice System

    November 17, 2017

    An open letter to the Massachusetts Legislature from Chelsea Barabas, Christopher Bavitz, Ryan Budish, Karthik Dinakar, Cynthia Dwork, Urs Gasser, Kira Hessekiel, Joichi Ito, Ronald L. Rivest, Madars Virza, and Jonathan Zittrain. Dear Members of the Massachusetts Legislature: We write to you in our individual capacities¹ regarding the proposed introduction of actuarial risk assessment (“RA”) tools in the Commonwealth’s criminal justice system. As you are no doubt aware, Senate Bill 2185² — passed by the Massachusetts Senate on October 27, 2017 — mandates implementation of RA tools in the pretrial stage of criminal proceedings...As researchers with a strong interest in algorithms and fairness, we recognize that RA tools may have a place in the criminal justice system. In some cases, and by some measures, use of RA tools may promote outcomes better than the status quo. That said, we are concerned that the Senate Bill’s implementation of RA tools is cursory and does not fully address the complex and nuanced issues implicated by actuarial risk assessments.

  • MA SJC Ruling on Bail Instructive Re: Algorithms and Criminal Justice

    November 13, 2017

    An article by Christopher Bavitz. One track of the Berkman Klein Center’s work on artificial intelligence ethics and governance concerns the use of algorithms, machine learning, and related technologies in ways that impact social and criminal justice. Among other things, this research examines technologies employed by courts in their disposition of criminal cases. Increasingly, judicial determinations are informed by software that helps judges perform “risk assessments” of defendants or otherwise process and weigh factors relevant to decisions about sentencing, parole, and the like. The Center (along with collaborators at the MIT Media Lab) is undertaking a number of efforts to evaluate ways in which these kinds of technologies might mitigate or exacerbate bias.

  • The Robots Are Coming

    November 13, 2017

    ...We may have helped create the AI monster here in the Hub, but it turns out we’re also the ones fighting to keep it on a leash, with a Justice League of passionate geeks working furiously to ensure the technology is used for the public good...Now [Bonnie] Docherty has turned her attention to another class of weapons that could endanger civilians—fully autonomous ones, powered by AI. She and a host of ethicists, advocates, and legal scholars worry about the possibility of a future in which wars involve robots that might have trouble discriminating between ordinary people and combatants—or be vulnerable to misuse by rogue regimes. “Fully autonomous weapons would face major obstacles in complying with existing international law,” Docherty explains, “and would cross a moral red line by making life-and-death decisions on the battlefield.”...[Chris] Bavitz, the managing director of Harvard Law School’s Cyberlaw Clinic, and his colleagues are assembling what they hope will be the definitive database of judicial risk-assessment products. “We are trying to create a one-stop-shopping resource,” Bavitz explains from his immaculate office overlooking Massachusetts Avenue. “Here are the products, here is what they purport to do, here are jurisdictions that use them, and here is the extent to which they make algorithms available for review.”

  • Coding for Justice

    August 23, 2017

    It takes a lot of preparation to rev up a new case. That’s true in all law offices, including Harvard’s legal clinics. As a clinical law student who was cross-enrolled in an undergraduate computer science course, Jeffrey Roderick ’17 wondered whether he could streamline the process through technology.

  • 2017 Cravath Fellows

    Cravath International Fellows explore law abroad

    April 5, 2017

    Harvard Law Today recently spoke with three of the 11 Harvard Law School students who were selected as Cravath International Fellows this year, who traveled during winter term to Bogotá, Colombia, Paris, France and Singapore to pursue clinical placements and independent research.

  • A French court case against Google could threaten global speech rights

    December 22, 2016

    An op-ed by Nani Jansen Reventlow, Vivek Krishnamurthy and Christopher T. Bavitz. Imagine going online to do some research. You want to look up the date of the Tiananmen Square massacre, read up on the recently deceased king of Thailand or learn about the Armenian genocide. You enter the search terms in your search engine of choice, and you get nothing. Zero results. This scenario might become reality if France’s highest court — the Council of State — rules against Google in a case that threatens to make anything on the Web that’s remotely controversial unsearchable. The case imperiling search as we know it stems from an order issued in 2014 by France’s data protection authority, CNIL. The order commands Google to remove 21 links from the results of a search on the name of a particular French citizen who asserted a “right to be forgotten.”

  • Berkman symposium focuses on transparency and freedom of information in the digital age

    December 12, 2016

    This fall at a symposium presented by the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University, representatives from academia, government and civil liberties organizations came together to examine the present state of play with respect to government transparency and freedom of information.

  • Illustration of people standing on floating cubes

    New Technology on the Block

    October 21, 2016

    By now, many people are familiar with bitcoin. What’s less well known is the currency’s technological underpinning, the blockchain, an emergent technology that could reshape financial and property markets, and the legal frameworks that support them.

  • Paul Beran joins SHARIAsource as executive director

    July 27, 2016

    Dr. Paul Beran will join the Harvard Law School’s Islamic Legal Studies Program as executive director of SHARIAsource—the online platform designed to provide content and context on Islamic law.

  • To Keep Pace with Tech, Law School Seeks STEM Students

    May 6, 2016

    As Harvard Law School admissions officers finalize next year’s class, they do so with an eye toward a group of fields that deviate from the traditional path to legal studies: STEM. Law School chief admissions officer Jessica L. Soban said the percentage of admitted students with backgrounds in STEM—science, technology, engineering, and mathematics—will remain in the double digits for the second year in a row, reflecting a deliberate effort by Law School admissions officers in recent years to increase the number of students with such backgrounds...Law School clinical professor Christopher T. Bavitz said he thinks students with STEM backgrounds possess skills well-suited to the law. “There are a lot of reasons why people with tech backgrounds can do well in the law,” he said. “A lot of law practice is explaining complicated concepts to people...and people with science and tech backgrounds do that well. I think they’re great analytical thinkers in ways that kind of map on to the thinking lawyers do.” The Law School has pioneered programs bridging science and the law. The school’s Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology, and Bioethics—which was established a decade ago—was the first of its kind among law schools, according Faculty Director and Law professor I. Glenn Cohen, putting Harvard ahead of peer institutions.

  • Cravath fellows travel globally to experience international and comparative law

    April 15, 2016

    Thirteen Harvard Law School students were selected as the 2016 Cravath International Fellows. The fellows traveled to 12 countries for winter term clinical placements or independent research with an international, transnational, or comparative law focus. Below, four of those students are highlighted.

  • ‘Lumen’ and its international partners will track takedown requests

    November 6, 2015

    A long-running effort led by Harvard law scholars to track material that disappears from the Internet is expanding with international partners. The project, now called Lumen, was launched in 2001 under the name Chilling Effects. It was a response to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, a federal law that allowed companies, governments, and people to request that Internet companies take down any material that was infringing on their copyright. By keeping a record of takedown requests, the site would “allow people to see what kinds of requests were being made, who was making them, what kind of content we were talking about,” said Christopher Bavitz, a co-director at Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society which hosts the project.

  • Harvard Library Innovation Lab wins a 2015 Webby

    April 27, 2015, a project that takes on the problem of “link rot” or broken or defunct links in scholarship, has won the prestigious Webby Award for best law site of 2015. Developed by the Harvard Library Innovation Lab, is a web archiving service that helps authors and publishers create permanent links to their online sources, which are preserved by participating libraries.

  • Harvard Law champions entrepreneurship and innovation 4

    Harvard Law champions entrepreneurship and innovation

    April 15, 2015

    For law students interested in entrepreneurism and startups—as entrepreneurs themselves, as lawyers representing startups, or both—there is a wealth of growing and intersecting opportunities at Harvard Law School and across the university.

  • Regaining control of your online data

    November 19, 2014

    ...Nearly 25 years after the first publicly viewable website appeared, the culture of sharing on the Internet is changing. Privacy and anonymity are crucial features of new social apps like Secret, Whisper and Canary. A growing number of websites also offer services that help protect, maintain or even erase what is fast becoming your most permanent and accessible record: data that can be gleaned about you from search engine results....“The options for getting facts and personal information removed once it’s been posted online in the U.S. are fairly limited,” says Christopher T. Bavitz, managing director of the Cyberlaw Clinic at Harvard Law School. “It’s very challenging to regulate the spread of this kind of information, but it’s challenging for very good reasons. The first good reason is the First Amendment.”

  • A Recipe for Innovation

    November 13, 2014

    This fall, Harvard Law School Dean Martha Minow and Julio Frenk, dean of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, issued the "Deans' Food System Challenge" (one of several competitions held by the Harvard Innovation Lab and sponsored by Harvard Schools), encouraging students across the university to come up with fresh ideas for solving complex problems facing our food system.

  • Meet this year’s new HLS faculty

    September 9, 2014

    A host of new faculty members arrived at Harvard Law School this academic year, and over the summer, Dean Martha Minow announced two new faculty who will join HLS in 2015.

  • Christopher Bavitz

    Christopher T. Bavitz appointed clinical professor of law at Harvard Law School

    April 25, 2014

    Christopher T. Bavitz has been appointed Clinical Professor of Law at Harvard Law School. Bavitz has been a Clinical Instructor and Lecturer on Law at HLS and is Managing Director of the Cyberlaw Clinic at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society.

  • Cravath Fellows explore robots in combat, international IP, and Aboriginal art

    March 25, 2014

    For Harvard Law School’s recipients of the Cravath International Fellowship, January’s three-week winter term is a chance to immerse themselves in an academic project with an international, transnational, or comparative law focus. The experiences of three students illustrate the range and depth of the projects students pursue.