UF Law alumni bring humor and education together with IT-Lex
By Felicia Holloman
Law student writer
“The bar is very low for technology law humor,” observed Samir Mathur (JD 09). This was all the more reason for Mathur, Adam Losey (JD 09), Ralph Losey (JD 79), and Catherine Losey (JD 09) to form IT-Lex, a legal education nonprofit that promotes educational and literary advancement in the field of technology law.
Technology law (as defined by IT-Lex) covers legal issues regarding information security, privacy, and electronic discovery—all rapidly evolving areas of law that pose challenges to lawyers across the country.
Adam Losey compared the ever-evolving field of technology law to the “wild West. . . . It is interesting because we are creating the law, and watching collisions between antiquated legal doctrines and modern technological realities,” he said.
The idea for IT-Lex began last summer when Losey, and other attorneys and judges sent a letter to Above The Law, a popular legal blog. The letter discussed the importance of electronic discovery, or eDiscovery, and inspired Losey to create an organization that promoted education and scholarship in the burgeoning field of technology law, and that offered a merit-based way for the best and brightest law students to be integrated with leading scholars and practitioners (and to win cash prizes, to boot).
“If you understand technology law, you can add value from day one at nearly any law firm,” said Losey. As an attorney with Foley & Lardner LLP, Losey finds technology law a reoccurring topic in his work, and is a founding member of Foley’s brand-new eDiscovery and Data Management practice group.
Outside of work, both Losey and Mathur emphasized the importance of technology and its applicable laws in our daily lives.
“I brush my teeth with it every morning,” said Losey, who also builds computers as a hobby. In law school, Losey wrote a law review article on an eDiscovery issue that helped him to get a job teaching the same subject at Columbia University.
Although Mathur did not have a background in technology law before IT-Lex, he considers himself a “tech guy,” who is familiar with social networking sites and the latest technology products.
Mathur became involved in IT-Lex through Losey, whom he had known throughout law school. They lived a few blocks from each other on Second Avenue while attending UF Law.
Mathur is now the managing director of IT-Lex. He runs its website, which features twice daily posts covering technology law news.
The blog posts, submitted by law student interns and sometimes practitioners, are written in a style to make them entertaining for the less technology-savvy. “We try very hard to make them readable to those who can’t program their VCR’s and experts alike — a challenge indeed,” said Mathur.
The website also features videos of Losey, Mathur, and others explaining topics concerning technology law with skits and gags.
“Adam got slapped by his wife while speaking binary code in one, we had multiple takes for that one at his wife’s request,” noted Mathur when describing the lengths they went to create an entertaining video presentation on metadata.
However, Losey and Mathur also plan to make IT-Lex a scholarly venture with an anticipated journal publication. Submissions are reviewed by the members of IT-Lex, who are tasked with editing and generally prepping the articles for print.
Members are invited to join the organization based on their scholarship and work in the field of technology law. Current members include Ralph Losey (JD 79), Bill Hamilton (JD 83), Francisco Ferreiro (JD 08), Catherine Losey (JD 09), and Jason Pill (JD 09); all UF Law alumni.
Meanwhile, a writing contest, sponsored by Foley & Lardner, is open to all law students who wish to have their technology law-related articles published in the first IT-Lex journal. The contest deadline is May 1. The grand prize winner will receive $5,000. However, all winners will get an invitation to become members of the organization and present their papers at a conference for those affiliated with IT-Lex.
The IT-Lex conference, called “Innovate,” will be held in Orlando, Fla. on Oct. 17 through 18, 2013.
“The hope is to get 100 to 200 attendees,” said Losey of the turn out to Innovate. The ultimate goal of the conference is to allow young lawyers and current practitioners to network and discuss all things technology law.
For more information on IT-Lex and how to become a friend of the organization, please visit: http://www.it-lex.org.