The Yale Law School ISP: A Student Fellow’s Perspective
Mnay of you are probably wondering what it’s like to be a student with interests in law and technology at Yale Law School. In the hopes of helping others to make an informed decision, here is my perspective.
I came to the Yale Law School having an interest in technology but with a Bachelors degree in philosophy.
I still distinctly remember my first “ideas” lunch at Cosi over a year and a half ago—Yale Law School’s Information Society Project (ISP) was working on planning the Access to Knowledge Conference in Geneva for the following year, and they were discussing potential panel topics.
The group was non-hierarchical when it came to talking—conversation flowed freely between JDs, LLMs, post-Docs, and professors. Everyone was talking and riffing off of each other, and every once in a while, Professor Balkin would try to rein in his spirited, intelligent, but not always focused team of information enthusiasts.
I left that meeting understanding about ten percent of what was said and contributing nothing.
A year and a half later, I am happily immersed in the tech policy world—taking classes that allow me to think and write about things like the development of First Amendment law in a 2.0 world, attending conferences in Geneva, San Francisco, and the ever-lovely New Haven, and spending my Tuesdays and Thursdays discussing current developments in all things techie.
The ISP is a smart, welcoming community that I am incredibly lucky to be a part of. It is a small but diverse group that is committed to pushing a dialogue that ensures that the explicit and implicit laws governing the use and growth of technology protect and promote values of equality and innovation.
Through some amazing leadership, the ISP manages to hold many conferences, colloquia, working groups, and classes that explore a wide range of issues from the broad (upgrading libraries for a 2.0 world) to the incredibly narrow (discussing standards for online video).
Through the ISP, I have been able to gain fluency in technology topics that a year and a half ago intimidated me, find a community where I can freely explore ideas and obtain constructive feedback from professors and peers alike, and become a part of a network of amazingly talented people who are always eager to help.