Elon Law educator named Jennings Professor and Emerging Scholar

David S. Levine joined the Elon University School of Law faculty in 2009 and quickly forged an international reputation for his legal research into the areas of lawmaking, trade secrecy, and the ways in which corporations and governments use the law to control access to intellectual property.

A faculty member who frequently publishes and presents on complex issues related to intellectual property, privacy, technology and information flow has been named the Jennings Professor and Emerging Scholar at Elon Law.

Associate Professor David S. Levine is the fifth educator to hold the two-year professorship since its establishment in 2008. The honor recognizes and supports the work of a faculty member at Elon University School of Law with fewer than 15 years in the profession, who through his or her research has shown extraordinary promise as a teacher and a scholar.

Faculty appointed to serve as the Jennings Professor and Emerging Scholar are committed to the law school’s mission of enhancing civic engagement and leadership in the legal profession, and working to address a legal or social challenge.

Levine said that a privilege of being a law professor is the ability to research and write about important topics. Americans face complex and immediate information law and regulation challenges, Levine said, and he is excited by the prospect of helping to make sense of their meaning, parameters, and potential responses.

“Because privacy, secrecy, and the role of information are relatively new and urgent fields of inquiry, I'm grateful for the opportunity to delve more deeply into these areas now,” Levine said. "Scholarship and teaching go hand-in-hand. This professorship will afford the dual benefits of enhancing my scholarship and informing my teaching, and I'm looking forward to sharing and discussing newly acquired understandings and insights with my students.

“As always, their perspectives and reactions will undoubtedly help shape the projects themselves."

An affiliate scholar at the Center for Internet and Society at Stanford Law School (CIS), Levine also was a fellow at Princeton University's Center for Information Technology Policy from 2014-2017. He is the founder and host of Stanford University’s KZSU-FM “Hearsay Culture,” an information policy, intellectual property law and technology talk show for which he has recorded over 250 interviews since May 2006. Hearsay Culture was named as a top five podcast in the ABA's Blawg 100 of 2008.

Levine’s scholarship, which has been published in several law reviews including Florida, North Carolina and Stanford Online, focuses on the operation of intellectual property law at the intersection of technology and public life, specifically information flows in the lawmaking and regulatory process and intellectual property law's impact on public and private secrecy, transparency and accountability.

He has spoken about his work in numerous venues, from the American Political Science Association annual meeting to the Information Society Project at Yale Law School, and internationally. He is a founding editor of the online journal Secrecy and Society.

Active in policy analysis, he has made presentations to the negotiators at several negotiating rounds for the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) and the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, testified before the Library of Congress, advised staff members from the Office of the Vice President and Senate Judiciary Committee, co-authored influential academic open letters regarding the TPP, Defend Trade Secrets Act, Stop Online Piracy Act and the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, and is a past member of the North Carolina Mining and Energy Commission's Protection of Trade Secret and Proprietary Information Study Group that was tasked with writing the state's hydraulic fracturing regulations.

Having been interviewed and quoted numerous times in many media outlets, including NBC News, NPR, and The Los Angeles Times, and he has been a recurring contributor to Bloomberg Law and Slate. He was previously a resident fellow at CIS, legislative aide in the New York State Assembly, assistant corporation counsel for the City of New York and in private practice in Manhattan.

Levine holds a Bachelor of Science in industrial and labor relations from Cornell University and a law degree from Case Western Reserve University School of Law.

The Jennings Professor and Emerging Scholar is nominated by the dean of the School of Law and approved by Elon University’s president and vice president for Academic Affairs. This endowed professorship was established by a gift from Maurice Jennings Sr. '57 and his wife, Linda, and Maurice "Burney" Jennings Jr. '87 and his wife Dina '87.

“The Jennings family was prescient to support the kind of creative and important scholarship that Dave Levine is doing,” said Elon Law Dean Luke Bierman. “No one in the United States is doing this kind of legal research at the nexus of policymaking, privacy, secrecy, technology, and intellectual property that will define emerging areas of law and help shape public policy for at least a generation, if not longer. Professor Levine’s forthcoming co-authored legal textbook about information law broadly – to our knowledge, the first ever to be published – demonstrates the depth of his contributions to American jurisprudence.

“As dean of Elon Law, I am so very pleased that we have supporters like the Jennings family who recognize the importance of scholarship into emerging areas of law.”

Previous Jennings Professors at Elon Law

Associate Professor Michael L. Rich (2015-2016)
Professor Scott Gaylord (2013-2015)
Associate Professor Andy Haile (2011-2013)
Associate Professor ​
Eric Fink (2009-2011)