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Leading Communications Law Scholar Barbara van Schewick to Join Stanford Law School Faculty

Publication Date: 
June 11, 2007
Stanford Law School

STANFORD, Calif., June 11, 2007—Stanford Law School today announced the appointment of Barbara van Schewick as Professor of Law. Van Schewick, an internationally recognized expert on law and communications technology will join Stanford Law School this summer. She is currently a senior researcher at the Telecommunication Networks Group at the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science of the Technical University Berlin, Germany, and a nonresidential fellow of the Center for Internet and Society at Stanford Law School.

Van Schewick’s research focuses on the economic, regulatory and strategic implications of communication networks. In particular, she explores how changes in the architecture of computer networks affect the economic environment for innovation and competition on the Internet, and how the law should react to these changes. This work has made van Schewick a leading expert on the issue of network neutrality. Her paper, Towards an Economic Framework for Network Neutrality, which appeared in the Journal of Telecommunications and High Technology Law in Spring 2007, is one of the seminal works on this issue. She is also the author of the forthcoming book, Architecture and Innovation: The Role of the End-to-End Arguments in the Original Internet (MIT Press).

In addition, van Schewick has advised the German Ministry of Education and Research on innovation and technology policy in the telecommunications sector and worked with the German Federal Network Agency, the Germany regulatory agency responsible for telecommunications, on spectrum policy. From August 2000 to December 2001, she was the first residential fellow at Stanford’s Center for Internet and Society.

“These are exciting times to be a communications law scholar. The Internet has the potential to significantly transform our economy, society and democratic system. Technical, legal, and economic choices will affect whether the Internet can realize this potential or not. Communications law has an important role to play in making these choices,” said van Schewick. “But only by jointly looking at law, technology and economics can we decide what exactly the law’s role should be. Stanford Law School’s strong dedication to multidisciplinary research and education, its exciting group of scholars in Internet and technology law, and its close ties to Stanford’s computer science department, economics department, and business school make Stanford Law School the perfect place to tackle these issues.”

Van Schewick holds a BSc (1995), MSc (1999), and PhD (2004) in Computer Science, all summa cum laude, from Technical University Berlin. She passed the First State Examination in Law from Free University Berlin in 1997 and the Second State Examination in Law from the Higher Regional Court Berlin in 2000. She served as a law clerk to the Higher Regional Court Berlin from 1998 to 2000. Her dissertation “Architecture and Innovation: The Role of the End-to-End Arguments in the Original Internet” won the Scientific Award 2005 from the German Foundation for Law and Computer Science and the Dieter Meurer Award for Legal Informatics 2006 from the German Association for the Use of Information Technology in Law (“EDV-Gerichtstag”).

“I’m thrilled that Barbara is joining us at Stanford,” said Lawrence Lessig, Stanford Law professor and director of the Stanford Center for Internet and Society. “Our faculty and students will benefit enormously from her international expertise in telecommunications law and her groundbreaking work in the area of network neutrality regulation.”

"Barbara is part of a new breed of law professor,” said Stanford Law School Dean Larry Kramer. “Superbly trained in law and equally well trained in other professional disciplines relevant to the cutting-edge issues of our day, Barbara's expertise in computer science and economics makes her uniquely qualified to tackle some of the most important issues of our age—and to train students to do so as well."

About the Center for Internet and Society

Founded by Stanford Law Professor Lawrence Lessig in 2001, the Center for Internet and Society is a public interest technology law and policy program at Stanford Law School which engages students, academics, technologists and policy makers in exploring the interactions between technology, law and society.

About Stanford Law School

Stanford Law School is one of the nation's leading institutions for legal scholarship and education. Its alumni are among the most influential decision makers in law, politics, business, and technology. Faculty members argue before the Supreme Court, testify before Congress, and write books and articles for academic audiences, as well as the popular press. Along with offering traditional law school classes, the school has embraced new subjects and new ways of teaching.


Amy Poftak
Assistant Director of Communications
Stanford Law School