I’m a Professor of Law at St. Thomas University School of Law, where I teach courses in Intellectual Property, Copyright, Cyberlaw, and Civil Procedure. I write about these subjects as well as about reforms to legal education. You can find some of my articles on SSRN, as well as other postings on Twitter.
I received my B.A. in Philosophy and English from the University of Pittsburgh, and my J.D. from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, where I was Editor-in-Chief of the University of Pittsburgh Law Review. I later served as a law clerk to the Hon. D. Michael Fisher and Hon. Joseph F. Weis of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, and practiced in the Intellectual Property and Copyright and Trademark practice groups at Kirkpatrick & Lockhart LLP (now K&L Gates LLP).
My professional website at nathenson.org contains over 300 pages of learning and study resources, with hundreds of additional archived postings from this site and my former blog. You can find syllabi, problem sets, flowcharts, old essay exams, study resources, a blog archive, and much more. The site has been visited by law students all over the world with over 200,000 views.
I also maintain a YouTube channel (and a legacy channel) that includes educational screencasts and the occasional rock concert. People have watched my YouTube channels for over 750,000 minutes. That’s over 3/4 of a million minutes watched, or the equivalent to someone watching YouTube as a full-time job for more than six and one-half years.
Beyond the ivy-covered (or in South Florida, stucco-covered) walls of academia, I am active on social media, such as posting regularly to Twitter, Facebook, and sharing my photography. I’m also a musician, and once played lead guitar in a metal band in the 1980s. (Click here for a photo if you don’t believe me.) These days, I’ve traded the leather pants for bow ties.
For more detailed information, see my curriculum vitae.
Last updated: Aug. 1, 2016.
One recent example of my scholarship is an article about the Supreme Court’s flawed opinion on law and tech in American Broadcasting Companies, Inc. v. Aereo, Inc., an opinion that will likely lead to years of uncertainty regarding important cloud computing technologies. In another recent article, I wrote about the role that procedure plays in private online enforcement, the dangers of procedural injustice arising from unfettered private ordering, and the attendant need for Digital Due Process. My current research explores how dead philosophers might shed light on the nature of the live internet, and why mistakes are an integral part of procedural justice.
My scholarship also addresses innovative teaching, and I’ve written several articles on how technology might be used by legal educators to create online role-playing simulations that permit students to holistically and immersively learn doctrine, theory, skills, and ethics in a manner consistent with Best Practices for Legal Education and the Carnegie Report. I’ve incorporated these learning techniques into a variety of upper-level courses, namely, Intellectual Property, Copyright, and Cyberlaw.
In most of my upper-level courses, I use the the Harkness discussion method, which elevates the role of students and de-emphasizes the role of the instructor. Harkness turns students into teachers and teachers into students. And it works. As an ongoing project, I’ve also written large segments of an online Handbook for Writing Seminar papers, which was created for seminar students and law review candidates.
I’ve also taught Cyberlaw using live websites for role-playing simulations that cast students as “counsel” to a fictitious client. This methodology effectively integrates legal doctrine with social policy, lawyering skills, and professional ethics. Archives of previous simulation websites can be found here, and articles on the “cybersimulations” methodology can be found here and here.
For several years, my three-credit Intellectual Property class was taught as a skills-and-doctrine class through experiential projects in major areas of federal IP protection, using discussions based on the Harkness method. Projects have included “knock out” trademark searches, cease-and-desist role-plays, and patent opinion letters. For Intellectual Property resources, click here. Starting Fall 2015, I’ll be teaching Copyright as a skills class using similar experiential methods. My old three-credit Intellectual Property class will be segmented out into: Intellectual Property Overview (one credit) and individual subject classes including Copyright. The Copyright course will use — and expand — the experiential techniques fostered in my other courses.
Civil Procedure is taught using multiple techniques, such as problem sets, explanations, review videos, instructional screencasts, online “Coggle” flowcharts, and more. This website provides over 300 pages of materials such as study resources for Civil Procedure, Internet Law, Copyright, and Trademark students. Explore the menus under “Teaching” for more details.
Ira Steven Nathenson
Professor of Law
St. Thomas University School of Law
16401 N.W. 37th Ave.
Miami Gardens, FL 33054
Email: professornathenson at gmail dot com