Center for Innovation

The Center for Innovation is a public interest academic center at UC Hastings. The Center engages in academic research and education to encourage innovation through the practice and development of law and policy. The Center’s mission is to identify and promote the tools, knowledge, and skills needed to encourage innovation through the practice and development of law and policy.

Dedicated to promoting Data Driven Law Making, the Center seeks to empower regulators to make informed decisions using reliable and objective analysis. Importantly, the Center is developing a set of resources, skills, and knowledge applicable to other areas of the law. Research on legal issues that limit entrepreneurship is one part of a purpose driven initiative to study Data Driven Law Making. The Data Driven Law Making initiative is part of a greater effort by the Institute to support all aspects of innovation, legal and technical, at the intersection of the law and technology.

The Center’s work is comprised of both research initiatives and a classroom component. Administratively, the Center serves as the umbrella entity over two sub-programs: the Startup Legal Garage and the Privacy and Technology Project.


Startup Legal Garage: Research, Education, & Resources for the Startup Community
Through the Startup Legal Garage, we teach students to become partners in enterprise and more than just “the lawyer in the room.” A new approach to legal education, students bring their deals into the classroom, which allows faculty to harvest hypotheticals in real-time and bring the teaching of legal doctrine alive: an innovative education for an innovative community.

LexLab at UC Hastings Law is an innovation hub for emerging legal technologies. We are building three areas of focus: building a concentration/ certificate in law and technology for students; setting up an incubator for legal tech startups on campus, a space where our students and alumni can interact with entrepreneurs and provide support in various ways; and hosting regular large and small scale community events. Learn more at

The Privacy and Technology Project: Applied Research & Implementable Tools
The Privacy and Technology Project (Privacy Project) has adopted a technology oriented approach focused on developers: working on the technical side of the privacy equation, with technologists to develop tools with and for technologists. The Privacy Project’s initiatives include applied research to identify upcoming challenges posed by emerging technology; developing new legal and informative tools to support innovation, while protecting consumer privacy; and, operating as a knowledge and resource center for developers to stay abreast of changes in policy discussion and regulations.


  • Professor Robin Feldman — Director, Center for Innovation
  • Professor Alice Armitage — Director, Law & Technology Programming
  • Professor Drew Amerson — Director, LexLab
  • Professor Paul Belonick — Director, Startup Legal Garage
  • Kara Stein— Senior Research Fellow
  • Ramy Alsaffar — Project Manager
  • Nick Massoni — Program Manager
  • Sophia Tao— Research Manager
  • Samara Sargeant — Project Lead, LexLab
  • Christopher Kim — Research Manager
  • David Toppelberg – Research Manager
  • Colin Burke – Research Manager


For general press questions, please contact Nicholas Massoni at

Parking: Visitors may park at the UC Hastings Garage located at 376 Larkin Street, or in the Civic Center Garage located at 355 McAllister Street.
Location: 200 McAllister, San Francisco, CA. 94102, Suite 634A (6th Floor)


The Center for Innovation welcomes donations, grants, and other forms of support for our programs and for our research. The Center cannot accept donations, grants, or other forms of support that seek to limit or restrict our research or work. All financial supporters of the Center agree to give their funds as unrestricted gifts or restricted for particular areas of study, but with no right to review or control the results, direction, or publication of the research.

The following list identifies all grants, contracts, and other sources of private or corporate funding for the Center received since Academic Year 2015-2016. No single person or corporate donor accounts for more than 25% of the Center’s budget. [This used to be listed as 10%, but with the new Arnold grants, they make up 25% of our budget this year, according to your conversations with David Seward.] The majority of the Center’s funding comes from the University of California Hastings Law, charitable foundations, and court awards.

Donor Academic Year(s) Gift Amount
The Laura and John Arnold Foundation 2017-2021 $1,739,371 (two grants)
National Science Foundation 2017-2018 $387,324
Hackers/Founders 2016-2017 $50,000
The Honorable Al Knoll 2016-2017 $25,000
Wilson, Sonsini, Goodrich, & Rosati 2017-2017 $6,000

Donors Who Have Made Contributions Under $5,000

  • Bakers Botts LLP
  • Bozevic, Field, & Francis LLP
  • Chip Robertson (Vice Chair of Board of Directors for UC Hastings)
  • Cooley LLP
  • Frank Busch (Kerr & Wagstaffe LLP)
  • Glen Van Ligten (Gunderson Dettmer LLP)
  • Hanson Bridgett LLP
  • Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP
  • Vern Norviel (Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati)

Note: All other funding comes from UC Hastings and court awards.

*Beginning with the publication of the Open Letter on Ethical Norms in Intellectual Property Scholarship in the Harvard Journal of Law and Technology, the Center has followed the protocols identified there to remain transparent about its funding.

A lot of our work is made possible because of this funding, and we are deeply grateful to our supporters for their contributions. For any questions related to the Center’s funding or if you would like to make a donation, please contact Professor Robin Feldman at