Innovative Pedagogy Interview

Innovative Pedagogy Interview - Dov Fox, Associate Professor, Law

Dov Fox

Where are you from and where did you receive your education? 

I was born in Israel and grew up in Connecticut. I went to Harvard College, receiving my bachelor’s degree from there in 2004. I was fortunate after college for the chance to study political theory and bioethics at Oxford, where I received a doctoral degree from in 2007. Then I got my JD at Yale Law School and, after clerking for a judge for a year out in Los Angeles, ended up at Georgetown University Law Center for an L.L.M. in 2013.

What is your field of study and what do you teach?

I teach and write in the areas of criminal law and procedure, health law and bioethics, and the regulation of technology. I currently teach Criminal Law, Health Law & Bioethics, Health Law & Reproduction, and The Anatomy of a Medical Malpractice Trial for Lawyers and Doctors.

What academic projects are you currently engaged in?

My current book project, Birth Rights and Wrongs (under contract with Oxford University Press), sets forth a new way of thinking about reproductive disputes from abortion to gene editing. It looks at these through the lens of advances in culture and technology that have driven legal change over American history. Besides a couple new law review articles on criminal responsibility and science policy, I'm working on grant projects awarded by the National Institutes of Health on topics in genomic privacy, translational medicine, and biomedical research ethics. I also direct our new Center for Health Law Policy & Bioethics. Our major spring symposium this January will consider legal problems in access to mental health care.

What makes your approach to teaching unique?

I get to teach cutting-edge controversies in the fields of health law, biotechnology, and bioethics. This keeps classes interesting not only for students but for me as well. The course materials change every semester to reflect current developments in law and science.

The topics I teach are also deeply interdisciplinary, arriving at the intersection of law, medicine, and philosophy, among other fields. Engagement with these outside foundations of knowledge helps future lawyers to master unfamiliar facts and the law’s application to it.

Finally, I try to teach applied skills and experience. My classes still employ classic elements of legal education like Socratic dialogue about appellate cases. But they also incorporate exercises that apply classroom theory to professional practical.

One example is a new course together with Professor Rick Barton that brings law students together with doctors, emergency medicine residents at Kaiser Permanente, to engage together in the stages of litigation, from the inception of a lawsuit to depositions and testimony until settlement or trial.