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Christopher Morten

  • Associate Clinical Professor of Law

J.D., New York University School of Law, 2015
Ph.D. (Chemistry), Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2011
B.A., Columbia College, 2005


Areas of Specialty

Administrative Law
Clinical Legal Education
Data Privacy Law
Freedom of Information Law
Health Law
Patent Law
Trade Secrecy Law

Christopher Morten is an expert on technology, health, information, and “intellectual property” law and is the founding director of Columbia Law School’s Science, Health, and Information Clinic

In his clinical work, Morten seeks to serve the public interest by fighting for more equitable access to scientific, technical, and medical knowledge. His scholarship grows out of his clinical work and considers how law and policy shape the ways that knowledge flows through our economy and society and how law and policy influence how new technologies are invented, validated, manufactured, distributed, and used. Some of his recent publications describe the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s legal authority to publicize a trove of valuable scientific data it currently keeps secret; analyze the U.S. government’s power to use privately patented technologies in the public interest; and present a progressive vision for the pharmaceutical and biotech sectors of our economy and society, post-COVID-19.

Morten joined the Columbia Law faculty in 2021. Previously, he was the deputy director of the Technology Law and Policy Clinic at New York University School of Law, a fellow at NYU’s Engelberg Center on Innovation Law and Policy, a supervising attorney and clinical lecturer in Yale Law School’s Media Freedom and Information Access Clinic, and the staff attorney at Yale’s Collaboration for Research Integrity and Transparency. He remains a visiting fellow of Yale’s Global Health Justice Partnership and an affiliate fellow of Yale’s Information Society Project. Before beginning his teaching career, Morten worked as a litigation associate and science adviser at Goodwin Procter and as a patent agent at Baker Botts. He also clerked for Judge Timothy B. Dyk of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.


Law Review Articles

Shorter Publications in Law and Medicine

Book Chapter

White Papers


On Why We Teach

“Often, when you’re working on new problems, there’s no blueprint, no existing solutions. Students have to think creatively—and that can be intimidating but also unusually freeing because students start from the same place as the world’s leading experts. I’ve had students in the span of a semester go from being brand new to an area of law and brand new to a problem of technology to writing white papers that shape federal policy. When you’re working on new problems, you can become one of the experts.”

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