Drexel Announces New Center for Law and Transformational Technology

Thomas R. Kline School of Law

Drexel University’s Thomas R. Kline School of Law has announced the creation of a new Center for Law and Transformational Technology supported by a startup grant from the Green Family Foundation. The Foundation’s support will allow the Kline School of Law to create a hub of research and teaching activity focused on legal issues emerging from significant advances in technology. The Center brings together scholars working in both law and technology to tackle legal issues related to such technological advances as blockchain, artificial intelligence (AI) and neural technology.  

Jordan Fischer, JD, director of the Center for Law and Transformational Technology in the Thomas R. Kline School of Law. Photo by Beke Beau.

The Center will leverage Drexel’s strength in engineering, technology and the health sciences by connecting law faculty and students with researchers across the University.  The Center will bring together experts across academia, industry, non-profits, regulatory agencies, and various other applicable communities – to assess the existing legal landscape and propose effective ways for the law to help manage technological changes. By facilitating these international and multi-disciplinary partnerships, the Center seeks to contribute to a future in which technology moves forward hand-in-hand with society.

“New technology has made a dramatic impact on the human experience in everything from markets to health care, to the way we spend our free time.  The Center will bring together experts to help promote law and regulation that protects individuals and communities while allowing these advances to flourish,” said Daniel Filler, JD, dean of Kline Law. “The Center will connect legal experts with the researchers who are developing tomorrow’s technology. Our aim in creating the Center is to foster a community that is forward-thinking about the implications of innovative technology on the development of technology law.”

Some of the major initiatives of the Center will be:

  • Risk Management & Design Thinking; risk concepts continue to grow in prominence, both in understanding challenges across a wide range of disciplines and identifying solutions to address those challenges. However, to date, there have been few attempts to create concrete methodologies to harness the value of risk thinking to adapt and strengthen solutions.
  • Ethics and Legal Implications of Artificial Intelligence; systems and technologies across industries increasingly leverage AI to improve outputs and generate next-level data. This research explores the ethical and legal issues presented by artificial intelligence and autonomous machines. 
  • Genetic Data and Privacy; a new form of oversight is needed to protect customers of private testing companies, which are largely unregulated. IRBs oversee human subjects research only when it is federally funded or used for new drug approvals.

“This is an incredibly evolutionary time in the law around privacy, data security and technology. And, creating a center that supports thought-leadership on the role of law in the future of technology is critical now,” said Jordan Fischer, JD, who will serve as the director of the Center for Law and Transformational Technology. “I am excited to help build the Center as a crossroads of activity and to drive collaboration and research across a wide variety of legal and technological domains.”

As part of its contribution to the international dialogue of law and technology, the Center will regularly host symposia, roundtables and programming to bring more people — including industry experts, attorneys, practitioners and students — into the conversation about law and transformational technology.