Harvard Law School’s Christopher T. Bavitz, the WilmerHale Clinical Professor of Law, has been appointed as vice dean for experiential and clinical education. Bavitz, an expert in intellectual property, media, and technology law, is also the managing director of the Cyberlaw Clinic, and a faculty co-director of the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society.
“Chris is a creative, dedicated, and thoughtful teacher who has consistently done, and made it possible for others to do, excellent, transformative work at the Cyberlaw Clinic,” said John F. Manning ’85, Morgan and Helen Chu Dean and Professor of Law. “I am delighted that Chris has agreed to take on this critical role working with others to build exciting new experiential and clinical opportunities and support ongoing innovation in clinical pedagogy.”
As vice dean, Bavitz will foster and support the work of HLS’s terrific experience-based learning programs, including 36 clinics and 11 student practice organizations. In collaboration with Dean Manning and other colleagues, he will continue the vital work of developing and implementing a strategic vision for HLS clinical education programs, and will work closely with clinical faculty on training and mentoring programs for clinical teachers and externship supervisors.
“I never cease to be amazed by the breadth and caliber of our clinics and student practice organizations, and by the range of experiential opportunities available at Harvard Law School,” said Bavitz. “It is an honor to have this opportunity to look toward the future of clinical and experiential education and support and advance the work of the students, teachers, and staff at the heart of these programs.”
A pioneer in the development of experiential learning, HLS offers 47 clinics and student practice organizations alongside a growing number of experiential courses that offer simulations in litigation, negotiation, business transactions, and quantitative methods essential to the modern practice of law.
Bavitz succeeds Clinical Professor Daniel Nagin, who has served as vice dean for experiential and clinical education since 2015. Dean Manning praised Professor Nagin, saying that “Dan has been a tremendously important thought partner for me and other colleagues, and he has made immeasurable contributions over the past six years to making a tremendously strong program even stronger.” Under Nagin’s leadership, Harvard Law School added many terrific new clinics, while record numbers of students participated in clinical education. Ninety-one percent of J.D.s from the Class of 2021, for instance, participated in at least one legal clinic, with this year’s graduating class performing an average of 662 pro bono hours per student, for a cumulative total of 393,384.
In addition to his role as vice dean, Bavitz will continue to oversee the Cyberlaw Clinic and its student projects, particularly those that focus on copyright, speech, advising of mission-driven startups, and the use of technology to support access to justice. He will also continue to serve as a faculty co-director of the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society.
Bavitz joined the Cyberlaw Clinic in 2008 as a clinical fellow and was promoted to clinical instructor in 2010. He was appointed a clinical professor of law in 2014. In addition to his work at HLS, he is the dean’s designate to the Harvard Innovation Lab, served as a mentor in the Harvard University-wide Digital Problem-Solving Initiative at the Berkman Klein Center, and oversees the work of BKC’s Lumen and Algorithms and Justice research projects.
Prior to joining Harvard, Bavitz was the senior director of legal affairs for EMI Music North America and a litigation associate at Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal and RubinBaum. He received his J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School in 1998 and his B.A. from Tufts University in 1995.