Berkeley Center for Law and Technology names new executive director

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The Berkeley Center for Law and Technology, or the BCLT, recently named intellectual property and patent lawyer Wayne Stacy its new executive director.

Stacy was appointed following the retirement of Jim Dempsey, who had held the title of executive director for more than six years. Before filling the position, Stacy spent more than 20 years in “big law,” serving as a partner at both Cooley LLP and Baker Botts, according to Stacy. Most recently, Stacy served as the regional director of the Silicon Valley U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

“Wayne Stacy in some ways reinforces the roots of the program. He is a very important figure in the intellectual property world,” said Peter Menell, a campus professor of law and co-director of the BCLT. “To be able to get some(one) who had been both a successful intellectual property attorney but also someone who was a director was a great hire for our school.”

Co-founded by Menell in 1995, the BCLT is an organization within the UC Berkeley School of Law that seeks “ethical” advancements in technology through the development of intellectual property and information privacy law, according to its website. Stacy said a major task of the center is to address emerging legal issues that arise as technology advances, citing technology regulation and free speech as examples.

The center currently has 17 directors who are focused on a broad mix of studies in relation to the intersections of technology and law, according to Menell. Stacy said his job as executive director is to support research through securing grants and convening meetings with industry leaders.

“This is an area that will grow in importance and we’ve been riding this wave for a quarter of a century now and we are not letting up,” Menell said. “The wave is actually growing.” 

Stacy said he has two big goals for the BCLT as executive director. The first goal is to increase the law school and law community’s engagement in life sciences and health care technology. The organization is currently in the process of finding a project director for the Project on Law and Innovation in the Life Sciences that will lead research in that area.

Stacy said his other goal is to support emerging leaders, specifically those in the tech-legal field, and provide more opportunities for “junior level” attorneys to “take the reins.” In a Berkeley Law press release, Stacy said providing midlevel attorneys with the opportunities to speak on their expertise can “dramatically” change their careers.

“At this point, we reach a very broad, strong group of scholars, students and researchers and this executive director is really the glue that keeps us working effectively and keeps the organization connected to the many constituents we have,” Menell said.

Contact Matt Brown at [email protected], and follow him on Twitter at @maattttbrown .