Scalia Spotlights

A Conversation with Scalia Law’s Newest Adjunct Professor Ted Ullyot

Distinguished Adjunct Professor Ted Ullyot
Distinguished Adjunct Professor Ted Ullyot

What drew you to Scalia Law School?

I have admired this law school for over 25 years. Dean Manne came to the University of Chicago to speak when I was a law student there. I found him to be extremely impressive.

I admire Scalia Law’s commitment to freedom, to open and robust debate, and its leadership in law and economics.

Out of loyalty to Justice Scalia and his family, I want to do my part to contribute.

Tell us about your students at Scalia Law.

The students are what I enjoy most about teaching. They are thoughtful, engaging, and highly participatory. The students brought a great range of perspectives. There were members of the military, criminal defense lawyers, professors from other fields, and international students.

How would you summarize your course?

The focus of the class is the practical application of legal doctrine to the technology sector. It’s complex, constantly evolving, multi-faceted - and even fun.

How has technology law evolved?

Justice Scalia would be the first to say that there is no such thing as technology law. What we talk about in the seminar is how familiar legal rules play out in the tech sector. In patent law, for example, there has been increasing debate recently about what best promotes innovation in software--traditional patent exclusivity or open-source sharing of inventions? In antitrust, starting with the Microsoft-Netscape case, through AOL-Time Warner, and continuing to present-day calls for "breaking up big tech," a key question is whether market power is dangerous or fleeting in the fast-moving tech sector.

Ted Ullyot’s Bio:

Ted Ullyot lives in the Silicon Valley and has been a leader in both the private and public sectors. He was General Counsel of Facebook from 2008–2013, leading the company’s legal and security functions from early-stage private company through IPO. Professor Ullyot also served in the administration of President George W. Bush, including in the White House as Deputy Staff Secretary and at the Justice Department as Chief of Staff to the Attorney General. At other points in his career, Professor Ullyot served as General Counsel of AOL Time Warner Europe; as a board member of AutoZone; and as a partner in the law firm Kirkland & Ellis and the venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz. Professor Ullyot clerked for Judge J. Michael Luttig of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit and for Justice Antonin Scalia. He received his law degree from the University of Chicago Law School and his undergraduate degree from Harvard.

Ted Ullyot’s Course, Current Issues In Technology Law:

The docket of a tech lawyer today can run the gamut, from more traditional tech-law issues like privacy and intellectual property, to newer controversies involving antitrust, government data requests and censorship, and most recently, election law and political speech. To navigate these issues effectively, lawyers must combine legal expertise with practical business judgment as well as an understanding of the broader social and political context. In Professor Ullyot’s seminar course, students will develop those skills by analyzing real-world tech-company legal controversies from the present and the recent past.