Garrity Traina: Jeff Ward – A Professor of Law Committed to Ethical Technology Development


In the realm of legal education, few names carry the same weight as Jeff Ward. As a Clinical Professor of Law, Ward imparts his extensive knowledge to students, teaching them about Contracts and cutting-edge technology-focused courses such as Frontier AI & Robotics: Law & Ethics and Data Governance[^1^]. With affiliations at the Initiative for Science & Society and Duke’s Pratt School of Engineering, Ward goes beyond traditional legal education by delving into the societal and ethical implications of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and exploring the emerging field of data governance[^1^].

Championing Ethical Technology Development

Ward’s passion lies in the law and policy surrounding emerging technologies, as well as the profound impact of rapid technological advancements on society. His focus extends to ensuring equitable access to economic growth tools and the resources of the law, safeguarding against the potential exclusion of underrepresented communities[^1^]. Ward believes in fostering an inclusive environment that advocates for diverse stakeholders to have a say in shaping their socio-technical futures. To achieve this, he breaks down the barriers of legal traditions and actively seeks inspiration and collaboration from other disciplines[^1^].

Directorship and Collaborations

As the Director of the Duke Center on Law & Technology (DCLT), Ward partners with DCLT affiliates to promote technological advancements that empower individuals and ensure accessibility to quality legal services[^1^]. The DCLT drives innovation through various initiatives, including:

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Duke Law Tech Lab

The Duke Law Tech Lab serves as a pre-accelerator program that focuses on justice tech companies. These companies create technological solutions to help people navigate legal matters, fostering hope, independence, and self-empowerment while also contributing to a fairer legal system[^1^].

Duke Law By Design

Ward spearheads Duke Law By Design, a program dedicated to leveraging human-centered design principles and available technologies. Students and Duke’s community partners collaborate to develop tools and processes that enhance access to legal services[^1^].

The Digital Governance Design Studio

At the Digital Governance Design Studio, Ward’s team constructs legal and governance models, delivers interactive training, and conducts research at the intersection of governance, technology, and advice. Through these initiatives, the studio equips students with the necessary skills to become digital-savvy professionals, collaborators, and stewards[^1^].

Duke LawNext

Duke LawNext encompasses numerous programs that focus on the digital transformation and continuous innovation of legal operations and service delivery[^1^].

A Distinguished Background

Before Ward assumed his role as the DCLT Director, he made significant contributions in various legal and community-oriented positions. He served as the director of the Start-Up Ventures Clinic, supervised attorneys in the Law School’s Community Enterprise Clinic, and worked as an associate at Latham & Watkins in Chicago, specializing in M&A and capital markets transactions[^1^].

Additionally, Ward held the prestigious Public Interest Law Initiative Fellowship at the Community Economic Development Law Project of the Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, Inc.[^1^]. His qualifications include a JD and an LLM in International & Comparative Law from Duke Law School, an MA in Literature from Northern Illinois University, and a BA in the Program of Liberal Studies with a concentration in Philosophy, Politics, & Economics from the University of Notre Dame[^1^].

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Recognitions and Achievements

Ward’s exceptional teaching abilities have garnered recognition and accolades. In 2022, he received Duke Law’s Distinguished Teaching Award, cementing his status as an esteemed educator[^1^].

To learn more about Jeff Ward and his influential work in ethical technology development, visit Garrity Traina.

Jeff Ward


[^1^]: Garrity Traina. Jeff Ward Attorney. Retrieved from