About the Stanford Center for Law and the Biosciences

The Center for Law and the Biosciences, directed by Professor Hank Greely, examines biotech discoveries in the context of the law, weighing their impact on society and the law’s role in shaping that impact. The Center is part of the Stanford Program in Law, Science & Technology.

Situated in the locus of the world’s biotechnology industry, within a preeminent research university, the Center convenes a forum of academicians, lawyers, scientists, policy makers, and law students. Through conferences, workshops, lectures, and academic courses, the Center promotes research and public discourse on the ethical, legal, scientific, economic, and social implications of accelerated technological change.

For law students, the Center strengthens the already significant advantages of studying at Stanford with a curriculum that combines legal theory with practical applications in biotechnology. Past course offerings have included: “Biotechnology Law and Policy,” “Health Law and Policy,” “Genetics and Law,” and a course on nanotechnology called “Ideas v. Matter: The Law in Tiny Spaces.” In addition, the school offers a full complement of courses in legal areas relevant to bioscience, such as intellectual property, constitutional law, corporate law, and administrative law. Many of our courses involve other Stanford departments, and most integrate multidisciplinary materials.

Beyond the classroom, the Center also provides access to a broad spectrum of practitioners, regulators, and academicians throughout the biotech industry, as well as to hands-on involvement in research and collaborative dialogues.

Our students engage in a wide array of extracurricular activities, and can participate in two cutting edge student organizations. “BioLaw,” a new student organization devoted to law and the biosciences, works with the Center to sponsor regular seminars and conferences, and to publish “SNPs,” a newsletter about developments in law and the biosciences. The “Stanford Law and Technology Association,” with a broader emphasis on both information and life science technologies, also holds regular events and publishes the “Stanford Technology Law Review.”

Stanford Law School graduates pursue a variety of distinguished careers in the life-sciences field. Our alumni currently hold leadership positions within biotech companies, federal and state agencies, the White House, major corporations, law firms with strong life-science practices, and academia.


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