Laura Pedraza-Fariña, authority in innovation law and international organizations, to join UCLA Law

September 1, 2023
Laura Pedraza-Fariña

Laura Pedraza-Fariña, a scholar whose work focuses on the cutting edge of developments in science and technology, will join UCLA School of Law as a professor of law in January 2024.

She comes to UCLA Law from Northwestern University’s Pritzker School of Law. She has been a member of that law school’s faculty since 2013, including as a professor of law and, since 2021, associate dean for innovation and partnerships. Previously, she was a visiting lecturer and law research fellow at Georgetown University Law Center.

To better understand how innovation happens on the ground, Pedraza-Fariña’s research approaches intellectual property law from a sociological perspective. This work has led her to identify objective markers of creative inventions that can inform the patent granting process, fostering breakthrough innovation. At the same time, Pedraza-Fariña engages in research and scholarship that centers on the intersection of global health and international intellectual property law. For example, a recent project analyzes the relationship between the World Trade Organization and the World Health Organization, whose overlapping regulatory domains lead to a sometimes contentious relationship.

A prolific and widely published author, Pedraza-Fariña has written on these topics in publications including the Iowa Law Review, the University of Chicago Law Review, the Northwestern University Law Review, the Notre Dame Law Review and the History of Science Society flagship journal Osiris. She also co-authored the book No Place to Hide: Gang, State, and Clandestine Violence in El Salvador (Harvard University Press, 2010).

Pedraza-Fariña has taught a range of courses in patent law, intellectual property, innovation theory and international law. These include the seminar Innovation Theory and Intellectual Property, Patent Law, Intellectual Property Survey, and Public International Law.

She earned her J.D., cum laude, from Harvard Law School, her Ph.D. in genetics from Yale University and her B.A. in chemistry, with honors, from Oberlin College. She also previously worked as an associate at Covington & Burling in Washington, D.C., and as a consultant with the public health watch division of the Open Society Institute (now called Open Society Foundations) in New York.

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