There is an old adage which states that “Innovation is doing the obvious before it is obvious to others.” Suffice to say – this is a totally obvious but it also very correct. Getting at least some STEM folks to help lead law forward is really important for the future of this field. So kudos to Harvard for doing this – particularly because as they say in the NFL — this is a ‘copycat league.’
“School officials particularly hope to lure students interested in science, technology, engineering and math to the field of law, because advanced technical knowledge and skills are in demand. “It’s incredibly valuable to have your attorney understand the underlying biology or the underlying coding systems or the underlying physics that are driving the legal questions,” said Jessica Soban, associate dean for admissions and strategic initiatives.
It is worth noting that this quote frames the effort as working to develop lawyers for technology – which is the right way to sell this idea to a conservative (intelligent but not technically inclined) faculty.
The obvious flip side of this is that some subset of these same folks will also help champion technology (and innovation) for law itself. I would expect HLS to try to make some sort of play in this direction (but would need more folks with relevant technical skills on the core faculty) … perhaps they could consider a Joint Venture with that other academic institution in Cambridge ?