Professor Lori Andrews is director of Chicago-Kent's Institute for Science, Law and Technology (ISLAT). An internationally recognized bioethicist, she has produced groundbreaking books and legal work on reproductive technologies, gene patents, and, most recently, Internet privacy issues. Helen Kim, one of Professor Andrews' research assistants, has a degree in chemical engineering and is working toward an Intellectual Property Certificate. She is the managing editor of the Chicago-Kent Journal of Intellectual Property.
Prof. Andrews: I take seriously the suggestions that my research assistants make. Often a student will come up with a winning theory for a case or a new way to approach an old legal issue. Research assistants bring their own interests and experiences to ISLAT and contribute to projects in meaningful ways. I tell them everything they do must be ready for prime time because their research often goes directly to a lawmaker or judge.
Helen: Right now, Professor Andrews is working on Internet privacy and social networks. When I started working for her, she was also working on gene patents and the Myriad Genetics case, and I got to work on the briefs to the Federal Circuit and Supreme Court. So, I've been able to focus on work I could see myself doing after I graduate—patent prosecution—along with work that's relevant right now, especially work involving data aggregation.
Prof. Andrews: Helen brought her background in engineering and science to the table. She was essential in helping us understand the ways information from social networks is used by employers, schools, insurance companies, opponents in litigation, and other social institutions. That's why she was the perfect person to introduce the governor of Illinois when he came to our university to sign into law the bill banning employers from asking for people's social network passwords.
Helen: The biggest thing I've learned from Professor Andrews is to think about issues in new ways. I'd research a topic and then go to her, and she'd pull things from angles I didn't even think of—even though she was just coming in on what I was telling her.