• Leadership in Technology Law
    "Cardozo Law's approach to data law is engineered to build on the school's core strength in intellectual property, and to be in line with the hiring needs of the industry, particularly in New York City."  - Patrick Burke, director of the CDLI
  • "Everyone was talking about California, but I had a good feeling about what was happening here. There was a lot of energy, and I decided I wanted to be a part of that.” - Aaron Wright, '05, Associate at Jenner & Block and founder of a tech startup
  • "Cardozo’s existing pre-eminence in intellectual property and technology law positions us to become a source for trained and tech-savvy graduates. Data law is an explosive and exciting new field." - Dean Matthew Diller


The Cardozo Data Law Initiative (CDLI) is a groundbreaking program designed to prepare law students for careers in the rapidly expanding legal fields of information governance, e-discovery, data privacy, social media law, and cybersecurity.

The CDLI offers a comprehensive program of courses focused on various aspects of data law, taught by faculty at the top of the field, including Professors Susan Crawford, Brett Frischmann, Felix Wu and Charles Yablon. The initiative offers courses encompassed in Cardozo's top Intellectual Property & Information Law Program and the Samuel and Ronnie Heyman Center on Corporate Governance, as well as from data law classes created over the past several years. 

In addition, the law school’s extensive relationships with businesses in the NYC tech sector, as well as Cardozo’s new Tech Startup Clinic, provide hands-on experience for students. 

Patrick Burke is the executive director of the CDLI. A member of Cardozo's adjunct faculty, Burke is a top practitioner in the data law field, as counsel at Reed Smith LLP and a member of its Records & E-Discovery and Data Security, Privacy and Management practice groups. The CDLI's associate director Denise Backhouse is eDiscovery Counsel at Littler Mendelson. Professors Felix Wu and Charles Yablon are faculty directors of the program. 

Working with the Board of Advisors and other practitioners, The CDLI offers challenging externship opportunities to help jump-start graduates' careers in this fast growing field of law.  


Board of Advisors

Jason R. Baron, Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP

Robert B. “Barry” Wiggins, Deloitte Financial Advisory Services LLP

Barclay Blair

David Cowen, The Cowen Group

Ronke Ekwensi, Huron Consulting

Hon. James C. Francis IV, Magistrate Judge, Southern District of New York

Manfred Gabriel, KPMG

David Horrigan, 451 Research

Anne Kershaw, Knowledge Strategy Solutions, LLC

Matthew Knouff, Complete Discovery Source

Matthew Miller, Ernst & Young

Vialumina Babette Orenstein, Consolidated Edison of New York

Patrick Oot, Electronic Discovery Institute, Shook Hardy & Bacon LLP

Michael Potters, The Glenmont Group

Daniel Regard, iDS

Clark Russell, Internet Bureau, New York State Attorney General’s Office

Bennie Smith, Merkle Group, Inc.

Ariana J. Tadler, Milberg, LLP

Felix Wu, Professor, Cardozo School of Law

Michael Wudke, TransPerfect Legal Solutions

Charles Yablon, Professor, Cardozo School of Law

Patrick Zeller, Gilead Sciences



Executive Director: Patrick Burke, Counsel at Reed Smith LLP and a member of its Records & E-Discovery and Data Security, Privacy and Management practice groups
Associate Director: Denise Backhouse, Shareholder at Littler Mendelson P.C., focusing on e-discovery and related international data privacy and security issues


Discovery in Civil Actions (Yablon), 2 credits

Corporate Internal Investigations (Sparling), 2 credits

E-Discovery, Digital Evidence & Computer Forensics (Burke), 2 credits

Information Governance Law (Burke/Backhouse), 2 credites

Internet Law I (Wu/Frischmann),  2 credits

Internet Law II (Crawford), 2 credits

Law of Surveillance (Crawford), 2 credits

Privacy Law Seminar (Wu), 2 credits

Social Media Law (Graif), 2 credits

Technology Policy Seminar (Frischmann), 2 credits

White Collar Crime (Roth), 3 credits

The CDLI Externship

The Cardozo Data Law Initiative externship program places students with leading organizations at the forefront of the burgeoning practice areas of e-discovery, privacy, cyber-security and information governance law. Externs roles involve solving client data challenges through technology, process, training, consulting and policy development.  

This program is designed to help students prepare for careers in these newly emerging, underserved practice areas, with the help of industry leaders as host organizations. Students work for a minimum of 20 hours a week for eight weeks during the summer. It includes a seminar taught by Patrick Burke and Denise Backhouse.