Who We Are

The Innovation Practice Institute is led by a team of senior lawyers and faculty members with experience in law practice, leadership, and innovation in the Pittsburgh region and Silicon Valley. Meet the team.

Faculty Director Michael Madison is Professor of Law at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, where he teaches and writes about intellectual property law, innovation, and knowledge commons. He is the co-editor of Governing Knowledge Commons, published by Oxford University Press in September 2014 and Governing Medical Knowledge Commons, published by Cambridge University Press in September 2017. He is a recipient of the University of Pittsburgh’s Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Award and a Fellow of the Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers project at the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System (IAALS) in Denver. Before moving to Pittsburgh and joining the Pitt Law faculty in 1998, he practiced law in San Francisco and the Silicon Valley.  Between 2003 and 2011 he was the author of Pittsblog, one of the first blogs in Pittsburgh and a leading chronicle of the economic and cultural renewal of Pittsburgh.  He graduated from Yale University and Stanford Law School.  You can read more at madisonian.net/home.  He tweets at @profmadison.

Executive Director Stephanie Dangel joined the IPI in 2013 after a successful career as a practicing lawyer, documentary filmmaker, and social entrepreneur. She graduated from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, Yale Law School, and Oxford University, where she was a Rhodes Scholar. Early in her legal career, she had the honor of clerking for the U.S. Supreme Court.  She also practiced law as an Associate at K&L Gates.  Stephanie then pursued an interest in social entrepreneurship and entertainment, which resulted in her producing two documentaries and holding leadership positions at the Steeltown Entertainment Project, a Pittsburgh-based social enterprise.

Additional University of Pittsburgh School of Law faculty members who teach and research innovation-related subjects

Kevin Ashley, Professor of Law at Pitt Law, an expert on computer modeling of legal reasoning and cyberspace legal issues.

Professor Ashley has reported his research in conference proceedings of the American Association for Artificial Intelligence, the International Association for Artificial Intelligence and the Law, and the Cognitive Science Society. He has also published in journals such as IEEE Expert, International Journal of Man/Machine Studies, and Journal of Artificial Intelligence and the Law, of which he is a member of the editorial board. Professor Ashley is a Principal Investigator of a number of National Science Foundation grants to study reasoning with cases in law and professional ethics. Professor Ashley is also author of Modeling Legal Argument: Reasoning with Cases and Hypotheticals (MIT Press/Bradford Books, 1990). A former National Science Foundation Presidential Young Investigator, Professor Ashley was also a visiting scientist at the IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center, and a recipient of an IBM Graduate Research Fellowship. In addition to his appointment at the School of Law, Professor Ashley is a research scientist at the Learning Research and Development Center at the University of Pittsburgh, an adjunct associate professor of computer science at the University of Pittsburgh, and a faculty member of its Graduate Program in Intelligent Systems. He graduated from Princeton University and Harvard Law School and earned a Ph.D. in computer science from the University of Massachusetts. His home page is at www.lrdc.pitt.edu/people/ashley/.

Read more: A list of adjunct faculty members and volunteer lawyers who work with the IPI.