In July, Fastcase, a legal research service that provides a comprehensive online national law library, honored 50 leaders in the world of law, scholarship, and legal technology. From lawyers and judges to librarians and government servants, the inaugural list recognized the law’s “smartest, most courageous innovators, techies, visionaries, and leaders.”

Among the list of honorees are current HLS Professors Lawrence Lessig, director of the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University; John Palfrey ’01, vice dean for Library and Information Services at HLS and faculty co-director of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society; and Jonathan Zittrain ’95, co-founder and faculty co-director of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society, and a professor of Computer Science at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

Below is a complete list of the HLS-affiliated recipients of the award and Fastcase’s description of their accomplishments:

Patrick Fitzgerald ’85

“Patrick Fitzgerald has a record of rooting out government wrongdoing of every political stripe. He’s gusty, tough and uncompromising when it comes to holding government and notorious individuals accountable for their actions. Patrick’s quest for justice led him to his current role as United States Attorney Northern District of Illinois.”

*Leroy Hassell ’80 (in memoriam)

“Chief Justice Leroy Hassell was the first African-American to serve as chief justice of the Virginia Supreme Court and served in that role until a few weeks before his death at 55 in February 2011. Throughout his lifetime and legal career, Leroy was a fierce advocate of the courts being open and accessible to everyone, regardless of race, language, or disability. He was a full-throated advocate for the Virginia State Bar to offer legal research as a member benefit to members — even in the face of the threat of a lawsuit to enjoin the state’s efforts to create the benefit.”

Larry Lessig

“Larry Lessig is simply the Internet’s most important public intellectual. His writing about the Internet, copyright, culture, remixing, and recently political corruption, define their categories and change discourse for decades following. His books and articles are innovative, and reflect a unique (and sometimes unexpected) perspective. But more than his influential writing, where Larry sees unmet need, he acts. When he saw that American copyright was binary (all on or all off), he founded Creative Commons and helped established a new, nuanced licensing structure for creative works. Larry founded Stanford Law School’s Center for Internet and Society. And he has recently started Fix Congress First and, a group to fight corruption in government. He directs the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University, and is the Roy L. Furman Professor of Law at Harvard Law.” (View video of Lessig’s keynote speech, “Code is Law: Does Anyone Get This Yet?,” delivered at the American Bar Association Techshow on Monday, April 11th. The speech focused on regulatory change concerning Internet copyright issues.)

Alexander Macgillivray ’00

“Alexander Macgillivray is the General Counsel of Twitter and a legal pioneer in the digital landscape. He’s a major player in the game of copyright and equality in digital print and open access, and he’s done most of his work out at the frontier, where the law isn’t yet well defined. Before Twitter, Alexander spearheaded Google’s efforts to scan millions of out-of-print library books for use in Google Archives and worked to keep YouTube as open as possible. Alexander previously was a fellow at Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society, and was a litigator at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati.”

Andrew McLaughlin ’94

“Andrew McLaughlin is the Executive Director of the Civic Commons, a non-profit initiative that helps governments build and use shared, open technologies to improve public services, transparency, citizen participation, and management effectiveness. In his previous position as Deputy Chief Technology Officer for the Obama administration, Andrew advised the President on Internet, technology, and innovation policies, including open government, freedom of expression, and open technology platforms — with one foot in DC and one in Silicon Valley. Prior to being a Senior Fellow at Harvard Law School’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society, he founded the non-profit group Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, a group dedicated to keeping the Internet secure, stable, and interoperable.”

John Palfrey ’01

“John Palfrey has taken an unconventional path to leading one of America’s most influential law libraries. John is a law professor and current Vice Dean for Library and Information Resources at Harvard Law School, as well as the co-director of the Berkman center for Internet & Society — both dream jobs for law librarians or tech policy thinkers. But he did not cut his teeth in the library community — John was a practicing lawyer and worked in the Environmental Protection Agency. This different career path perhaps gives John a different perspective on his job, and you can see that in his promotion of new roles for law libraries and librarians in the 21st Century. John also has done foundational work in developing interesting new projects, such as the Digital Public Library of America, a “large-scale digital public library that will make the cultural and scientific record available to all.” (Read a profile of Palfrey and his work developing a library for the 21st century that appeared in the 2010 Summer edition of the Harvard Law Bulletin.)

Richard Posner ’62

“Judge Richard Posner is one of the most prolific and interesting writers of our day, from topics of legal jurisprudence to economics in a capitalist democracy. He’s one of the most-cited legal scholars of the 20th century and still writes his own legal opinions. Judge Posner is an intellectual that it’s tough to disagree with, and is a massive influence on the law and economics movement. Judge Posner, who began his legal career as a law clerk for Justice William Brennan, currently presides over the Seventh Circuit for the United States Court of Appeals.”

Tim Stanley ’94

“Tim Stanley is the computer programming part of legal technology’s most karma-endowed power couple (see also: Stacy Stern). Tim is the CEO of Justia, where he helps lawyers promote their practices and develop their careers online — with a very large side business as the largest publisher and innovator of free law on the Internet. Tim has innovated in so many ways: free law, SEO, website development, lawyer biographies, international legal information, to name a few. Justia has recently launched caselaw summaries nationwide, an important foray into commentary for the free law movement. Tim also serves on the board of Nolo and American Legal Net, and on the Board of Trustees for”

Stacy Stern ’93

“Stacy Stern is the better half of legal technology’s most karma-endowed power couple (see also: Tim Stanley). As a founder and President of Justia, Stacy oversees all revenue and client operations, as well as marketing and partnerships, and oversees Justia’s legal portal content and community features. She is a nationwide leader in helping lawyers market their practices beautifully, simply, and professionally. Previously, she co-founded FindLaw in 1995 and was the President of that company until its acquisition by West Publishing in 2001.”

Tim Wu ’98

“Tim Wu is an instrumental force in keeping the flow of digital information open and equal. Tim founded AltLaw, one of the most influential free law legal resources. He is an influential thinker and writer (he was a popular columnist on law and culture for Slate, and he coined the term “network neutrality”), and one of the leading educators in Internet law. He has taught at Columbia Law School, and recently left to serve as senior advisor at the Federal Trade Commission. Many legal scholars, techies and online business leaders enjoy reading his books (such as the recently-released “The Master Switch”).”

Jonathan Zittrain ’95

“Jonathan Zittrain is the ultimate law-tech-policy triple-threat. He teaches internet law at Harvard Law School and at the Kennedy School, is professor of computer science at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and faculty co-director of Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society. He’s done interesting work on the possibilities and implications of crowdsourcing, and wrote a cautionary tale about risks of internet capture and lockdown called “The Future of the Internet — and How to Stop It.” Technology advances quickly, and so do the legal frameworks we use to understand it. But Jonathan seems to be living in the future and explaining it to us in the present. Which is cool.”