Member School Highlight – University of Washington School of Law

Location: Seattle, Washington
Founded: 1899
Joined AALS: 1909
Dean: Tamara F. Lawson

The University of Washington, School of Law is a public legal institution committed to advancing justice and the public good in the Pacific Northwest and worldwide. UW School of Law location offers learning opportunities with global law firms, justice organizations, philanthropies, and some of the most innovative companies.

As part of a world-class research university, UW School of Law helps its students turn passion into practice by specializing in various disciplines. UW School of Law faculty are leading conversations on the most important legal issues of the day, including technology, healthcare, the environment, international trade, indigenous rights, and criminal justice. UW School of Law experiential clinics allow students to gain real-world experience while serving our community, one of the many reasons their 180 first-year JD students attend.

The University of Washington campus with a view of the Suzzallo Library, which is the institution’s most recognizable building.

The UW Tech Policy Lab (the Lab) is a unique, interdisciplinary collaboration at the University of Washington, working to enhance technology policy through research, education, and thought leadership. Founded in 2013 by faculty from the UW School of Law, Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering, and the Information School, the Lab aims to bridge the gap between technologists and policymakers and help generate wiser, more inclusive tech policy.

The Tech Policy Lab’s impact is clear, both in its interdisciplinary work and research and through the alums who, in their careers, have proven ready for the challenges that face tech policy. Policymakers turn to the Lab’s directors and staff as subject matter experts. Thanks to its interdisciplinary nature, many alums have careers in the tech industry or the field of tech policy. At the same time, those with legal backgrounds often work as attorneys with tech-focused law practices. The Lab is making a meaningful impact in various areas and contexts, from working directly with stakeholders to developing policy tools that government agencies already use.

Diverse Voices,” a method developed by the Lab to incorporate underrepresented voices in tech policymaking, has been employed by the state of Washington to help revise principles related to the deployment of technology in the court system. The Mexican consulate has also used it for constituent outreach, and many state health departments have used the COVID vaccination outreach method.

In August 2021, Forbes Magazine named the Lab one of the “20 Leading Social Impact Platforms Making a Difference with Digital Potential”. In February 2023, Bloomberg Law recognized the Lab as a top Legal Education Innovation Program. Today, as part of a larger agricultural technology project, a team in the Lab is working closely with farmers in the Methow Valley region of Washington, exploring ways in which civic agriculture might inform innovative tech policy to help improve and support the resiliency of our food system.

“Leaders are not hatched; they are trained, nurtured, supported and encouraged, that is our mission here at UW School of Law. We are training global leaders. Our centers of excellence are problem-solving centers and hubs for building the next generation of leaders,” stated Tamara F. Lawson, Toni Rembe Dean and Professor of Law of the University of Washington School of Law.

Please click here if you are interested in viewing the past member highlights.