Professor Aaron Wright will co-direct The Blockchain Project at Cardozo Law. 

March 23, 2017 - Dean Melanie Leslie announced the creation of a new initiative called The Blockchain Project, created by Associate Clinical Professor Aaron Wright. Blockchain technology is revolutionizing finance, legal agreements, creating new possibilities for the world’s financial and legal systems, and exhibiting the potential for new, more secure government applications, new virtual organizations, and machine-to-machine interactions governed primarily or exclusively by code.

The Cardozo Blockchain Project at Cardozo School of Law, which will be co-directed by Wright and Professor Jeanne Schroeder, explores the legal questions that surround blockchain technology, in areas such as payment systems, securities law, corporate governance, property law, and intellectual property.

“Blockchains are a new disruptive technology that has the potential to do to finance, corporate governance, and law what the Internet did to communications and media 25 years ago,” said Wright. “Like the Internet, blockchain technology raises a host of challenges to existing legal regimes. Lawyers who understand these challenges and who understand the technology will play a central role in the transformation.”

Blockchains maintain a continuously growing list of ordered records called blocks, functioning as an open record of transactions and serving as a data layer to run autonomous software referred to by developers as “smart contracts.” Companies and governments can leverage the technology to build secure, tamper-resistant, transparent, globally accessible, and autonomous services to modernize existing systems.

Through The Blockchain Project, Cardozo Law will be the first law school in the country to provide practical training to students and lawyers about blockchain technology and how to develop blockchain-based legal agreements that rely on “smart contracts.” The project will bring together academics, technologists, policymakers and members of the private sector for symposia, workshops and events and will issue policy papers and research that explores blockchain’s potential impact on law, government and society.

For more information go to The Blockchain Project.

Cardozo’s Technology and Law Program

The Blockchain Project extends Cardozo’s long-standing commitment to exploring legal issues related to law and technology, complementing its nationally-ranked Intellectual Property and Information Law program and Cardozo’s Data Law Initiative. The project will provide students with cutting-edge practical skills building on Cardozo’s tradition of launching innovative practice-focused programs like the Tech Startup and Indie Film Clinics.

Cardozo’s Data Law Initiative is a 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 Tech Startup Clinic, directed by Professor Aaron Wright, is a transactional legal clinic providing a range of services to new technology-based companies in New York City, including pro bono legal services to young companies deploying blockchain technology. It exposes students to the legal and business strategy challenges that startups face, and gives them hands-on experience with intellectual property, corporate, contract, tax and labor and employment issues.

Cardozo’s Tech Talk series holds seminars throughout the year focusing on topics of interest in the law and technology fields.