February 23, 2007

Tech scholar leaves Law School for UCLA

Professor Douglas Gary Lichtman recently announced his departure from the University of Chicago Law School to join the University of California–Los Angeles (UCLA) Law School faculty starting in June. Lichtman has been at the University of Chicago since 1998, and was tenured in 2001.

Lichtman specializes in technology-related legal areas such as patent, copyright, and telecommunications regulation. He has taught classes such as “Telecommunications, Law, and Policy,” “Copyright Law,” and “Current Issues in Law and Technology.” Lichtman said Los Angeles’ many technology start-ups, dot-com businesses, and Internet companies will serve as valuable resources for his studies.

“Los Angeles offers tremendous new opportunities to interact with the entertainment industry and work with the real-world executives who are shaping modern copyright and entertainment law,” Lichtman said. He cited connections with extended family living in the Los Angeles area as another reason for the move to UCLA.

“Since the entertainment and media industries are the lifeblood of Los Angeles, intellectual property law is extraordinarily important for a school such as UCLA,” said Michael Schill, dean of the UCLA Law School, in an interview. “We already have many of the leading experts in copyright, entertainment, communications, and first amendment law on the faculty. With Doug’s arrival, our school is now the national leader in the field.”

David Strauss, a U of C law professor and chair of the faculty appointments committee, said the Law School is a place for young professors to learn and flourish, and some transfer as they find a place to settle down. According to Law School Dean Saul Levmore, however, Lichtman’s exit has not been indicative of any particular trend at the Law School, and noted there are more incoming faculty members than departing ones.

“Chicago stands for academic integrity and intellectual rigor, and I will always be proud of having been part of that tradition,” Lichtman said.