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G.S. Hans Joins Cornell Law School as Associate Clinical Professor of Law and Associate Director of First Amendment Clinic
Photo of Gautam Hans standing outside in a grey suit, resting his hand on a railing. Trees are blurred in the background
Gautam Hans

Cornell Law School is pleased to announce that G.S. Hans will join the faculty on July 1, 2022, as an associate clinical professor of law and associate director of the First Amendment Clinic. Hans will help lead a team of faculty, attorneys, and law students handling an active national litigation docket impacting a multitude of contemporary First Amendment issues, including the work of its trailblazing Local Journalism Project.

“We’re delighted to welcome Professor Hans to the faculty and the First Amendment Clinic leadership team,” said Jens Ohlin, the Allan R. Tessler Dean and Professor of Law. “With his distinguished record of successful advocacy and productive scholarship, he will afford Cornell Law students the opportunity to serve the public interest while immersing in First Amendment theory and federal and state court litigation.”

Hans joins Cornell from Vanderbilt Law School, where he serves as associate clinical professor of law and founding director of Vanderbilt’s Stanton Foundation First Amendment Clinic. He also teaches Professional Responsibility. An active member of the national clinical community, he currently serves as co-vice president of the Clinical Legal Education Association. Hans’ scholarship focuses primarily on current issues in law and technology, particularly on free speech and privacy, and on dynamics within clinical legal education.

“I’m honored and thrilled to join Cornell’s incredible faculty and stellar clinical program,“ Hans said. “I’ve long admired Cornell’s First Amendment Clinic for its impressive record in helping clients and teaching students, and I’m looking forward to serving the community in this new role. This is a crucial time for free speech, and working to vindicate our clients’ rights with an amazing team of attorneys and students is an exciting challenge.”

“Professor Hans is clearly a rising star in the First Amendment clinical world,” said Mark H. Jackson, clinic director and founder. “He is the perfect person to bring Cornell’s clinic to even greater heights and to expand our range of matters to cover even more critical issues of our times and to serve an even broader array of clients on both the national and local journalism level.”

Hans earned his B.A. degree from Columbia University in 2006, and worked at the Knopf Group of Random House for two years as an Editorial Assistant prior to attending graduate school. He earned his J.D., cum laude, from the University of Michigan Law School (2012) and an M.S. in Information Policy from the University of Michigan School of Information (2012). At the University of Michigan Law School, Hans was Editor-in-Chief of the Michigan Telecommunications and Technology Law Review and a Student Attorney in the Entrepreneurship and Civil-Criminal Litigation Clinics.

After law school, Hans worked in the Washington, D.C. and San Francisco offices of the Center for Democracy & Technology for four years, beginning as a Ron Plesser Fellow, then taking on new roles as a Staff Attorney, Policy Counsel and Director. He returned to Michigan Law as a Clinical Teaching Fellow in the Entrepreneurship Clinic, where he also taught a course in IP & Innovation Strategy. In 2018, Hans joined the faculty of Vanderbilt Law School as an Assistant Clinical Professor of Law, and in 2021 he was reappointed with promotion to Associate Clinical Professor of Law. His scholarship has appeared in or is forthcoming in a number of leading law reviews, including the Berkeley Technology Law Journal and the Clinical Law Review, and he has drafted amicus briefs in high-profile free speech cases in federal and state courts. Hans has also been quoted in the media stories on free speech, law, and technology issues, including in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Buzzfeed, and the Guardian.

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