Joshua Fairfield is a Professor of Law at the Washington and Lee University School of Law who focuses on law, governance, economics, and intelligence issues related to technology. He has written on the law and regulation of e-commerce and online contracts and on the application of standard economic models to virtual environments. He has also written on the ethical and legal issues involved in the growth of human subject experimentation within virtual worlds.
Professor Fairfield’s current research focuses on privacy models in social media networks and he was awarded a Fulbright Grant to study privacy law in the U.S. and European contexts at the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods in Bonn, Germany.
He regularly consults with the U.S. government, including the White House Office of Technology and the Homeland Security Privacy Office, on national security, privacy, and law enforcement within virtual worlds and as well as on strategies for protecting children online. His research in this latter area was cited in a recent report from the Federal Trade Commission examining risks to children who enter virtual worlds.
Before earning his JD magna cum laude from the University of Chicago in 2001, Prof. Fairfield directed the development of the award winning Rosetta Stone Language Library. After law school, Professor Fairfield clerked for Judge Danny J. Boggs at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. He then joined Jones Day in Columbus, Ohio, where he litigated cases in commercial law and software/technology law. Before coming to Washington and Lee, Professor Fairfield taught at Columbia Law School and the Indiana University School of Law in Bloomington.
EDUCATION: Swarthmore College, B.A; University of Chicago, J.D.