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G.S. Hans

Associate Clinical Professor of Law

An expert on First Amendment law and technology policy, Gautam Hans analyzes, through research and advocacy, how individuals and organizations address the complex legal and policy issues implicating technology and civil liberties. Professor Hans also works on issues relating to clinical legal education, with a particular focus on social justice and diversity, equity, and inclusion.

As director of Vanderbilt Law’s Stanton Foundation First Amendment Clinic, Hans supervises students on cases involving individual and organizational rights to freedom of speech, press and association. The clinic has worked in Tennessee and nationally to assert First Amendment rights through federal and state litigation, policy advocacy, legislation and client counseling. Students in the clinic take leadership roles in all aspects of litigation, including case development, pre-trial civil litigation, oral advocacy, counseling, and research and writing

Hans’ scholarship addresses current issues in First Amendment doctrine, with a focus on digital platforms and new technologies. He also studies the dynamics of clinical education within legal academia. A frequent media commenter on privacy, free speech and surveillance, Hans regularly speaks at conferences and symposia on topics relating to civil liberties, clinical legal education, and technology law and policy. He currently serves as a board member of the Clinical Legal Education Association and the Center for Study of Applied Legal Education; as an adviser to for the Initiative for a Representative First Amendment; and as a non-resident fellow for the Center for Democracy and Technology. Hans worked at CDT for four years prior to teaching, focusing on privacy, free speech, and surveillance law and policy.

Before joining the Vanderbilt faculty, Hans was a clinical teaching fellow at the University of Michigan Law School. He earned his J.D. cum laude from the University of Michigan Law School; his M.S. in information policy from the University of Michigan School of Information; and his B.A. in English and comparative literature from Columbia University. While in graduate school, Hans was editor-in-chief of the Michigan Telecommunications and Technology Law Review and served as a student-attorney in the Entrepreneurship Clinic and the Civil-Criminal Litigation Clinic. Before entering graduate school, he was an editorial assistant in the Knopf Group of Random House.

 Clinic Projects

Amicus Briefs

Research Interests

Freedom of speech, press, and association; law and technology; intellectual property; privacy and surveillance; legal ethics and profession

Representative Publications

  • "Changing Counterspeech," 69 Cleveland State Law Review 749 (2021)
    Full Text | SSRN | WWW
  • "No Exit: Ten Years of 'Privacy vs. Speech' Post-Sorrell," 62 Washington University Journal of Law & Policy 19 (2021)
    Full Text | SSRN | WWW
  •  "How and Why Did It Go So Wrong? Theranos as a Legal Ethics Case Study," 37 Georgia State University Law Review 427 (2021)
    Full Text | SSRN
  • "Clinical Fellowships. Faculty Hiring, and Community Values," 27 Clinical Law Review 253 (2021)
    Full Text | SSRN | HEIN
  • "The Diversity Imperative Revisited: Racial and Gender Inclusion in Clinical Law Faculty," 26 Clinical Law Review 127 (2019) (with D. Archer, C. Barry, D. Howard, A. Karteron, S. Mahadev and J. Selbin)
    Full Text | SSRN | WWW