Amy Kapczynski, Professor of Law at Yale Law School, Joins Knight Institute as Senior Visiting Research Scholar

July 03, 2019

The Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University announced today that Amy Kapczynski, Professor of Law at Yale Law School, has joined the Institute as a senior visiting research scholar. Kapczynski, whose scholarship focuses on information policy, intellectual property law, political economy, and health justice, will be affiliated with the Knight Institute through the end of the 2019-2020 academic year.

“Professor Kapczynski is a visionary legal scholar who has thought deeply about issues relating to public accountability of private power,” said Jameel Jaffer, Executive Director of the Knight Institute. “We are thrilled to have the opportunity to work with Professor Kapczynski in exploring and challenging digital-age threats to public discourse and self-government.”

During her time at the Knight Institute, Kapczynski will curate an essay series, “Data and Democracy,” which will consider challenges to self-governance in an age of big data and algorithms. The Knight Institute will publish the essays and host a related symposium in 2020.

“I’m excited to have the opportunity to collaborate with the Knight Institute on issues relating to transparency, accountability, and private power,” said Kapczynski. “In an age where secret algorithms govern news feeds, and companies claim that everything from drug pricing data to the chemicals in fracking liquid are trade secrets that cannot be revealed to the public, we need new thinking and legal strategies to ensure our democracy can function. No organization is better situated than the Knight Institute to help bring these new ideas about, and to act upon them.”

Kapczynski is the author of numerous journal articles and essays, including The Lochnerized First Amendment and the FDA: Toward a More Democratic Political Economy, which was published online by the Columbia Law Review in connection with the Knight Institute’s 2018 symposium, “A First Amendment for All? Free Expression in an Age of Inequality.” She co-directs Yale University’s Global Health Justice Partnership, the Collaboration for Research Integrity and Transparency, and the Law and Political Economy Project. In 2017, she co-founded the Law and Political Economy blog, which grew out of her seminar of the same name. Prior to joining the Yale faculty in 2012, Kapczynski taught at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law. She also served as a law clerk to Justices Sandra Day O'Connor and Stephen G. Breyer at the U.S. Supreme Court, and to Judge Guido Calabresi on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

Kapczynski will be the Knight Institute’s third visiting scholar in the Institute’s research program, which is directed by Katy Glenn Bass. Over the past academic year, Jamal Greene, Dwight Professor of Law at Columbia Law School, was a visiting scholar at the Institute editing an essay series, “Free Speech Futures,” which will be published later this summer. The Institute’s inaugural visiting scholar, David Pozen, Professor of Law at Columbia Law School, edited a series of essays, “Emerging Threats,” exploring new structural threats to freedom of expression in the digital age. Pozen also played a lead role in conceiving and organizing “A First Amendment for All?” the symposium that the Institute hosted with the Columbia Law Review and the Center for Constitutional Governance in March of 2018. That symposium brought together dozens of leading legal scholars, including Kapczynski, to examine the role of the First Amendment in an age of inequality.

About the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University

The Knight First Amendment Institute defends the freedoms of speech and the press in the digital age through strategic litigation, research, and public education. Its aim is to promote a system of free expression that is open and inclusive, that broadens and elevates public discourse, and that fosters creativity, accountability, and effective self-government.