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Douglas Sylvester

Douglas Sylvester

Professor of Law, Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law


Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law
Arizona State University
PO Box 877906
Tempe, AZ 85287


  • Dean, Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law
  • Professor of Law, Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law
  • Faculty Fellow, Center for Law, Science & Innovation


Douglas Sylvester was named Dean of the College of Law in March 2012. He served as Interim Dean for 10 months. Previously, he was Associate Dean for Faculty Research and Development, and was responsible for building an environment that fosters faculty scholarship, organizing speaker series, mentoring junior faculty, and seeking innovative ways to increase the faculty's visibility.

Dean Sylvester has published, taught and lectured on issues of intellectual property law and commercialization, international law, emerging technologies and privacy. In 2006, he taught Nanotechnology and the Law, the first time such a course was offered in the country by full-time law faculty.

In 2007, Dean Sylvester was appointed Special Consultant to a National Academy of Sciences panel charged with reforming the U.S. Census. He was the founding Faculty Director of the innovative Technology Ventures Clinic, which introduces students to transactional legal practice in high-technology sectors. In recent years, Dean Sylvester also has been an expert witness in cases involving licensing, intellectual property and technology, and has advised numerous entrepreneurs in building their businesses.

Prior to joining the College faculty, Dean Sylvester was a Bigelow Fellow and Lecturer-in-Law at the University of Chicago, a Lecturer-in-Law at Northwestern University, and an attorney in the Global e-Commerce Practice Group at Baker & McKenzie in Chicago, and he clerked for U.S. District Judge C. Clyde Atkins in Florida.


  • LLM, New York University Law School, 1998
  • JD, University of Buffalo School of Law, 1994
  • BA, University of Toronto, 1991

External Links

Journal Articles


Marchant, G. E., D. J. Sylvester and K. W. Abbott. 2010. New soft law approach to nanotechnology oversight: A voluntary product certification scheme. UCLA Journal of Environmental Law & Policy 28:123-152.

Book Chapters


Marchant, G. E., K. W. Abbott, D. J. Sylvester and L. M. Gulley. 2012. Transnational new govenance and the international coordination of nanotechnology oversight. In: Dana, D. ed., The Nanotechnology Challenge: Creating Legal Institutions for Uncertain Challenges. Cambridge University Press.


Abbott, K. W., D. J. Sylvester and G. E. Marchant. 2010. Transnational regulation of nanotechnology: Reality or romanticism?. Pp. 525-544 In: Hodge, G. A., D. M. Bowden and A. D. Maynard eds., International Handbook on Regulating Nanotechnologies. Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd. Cheltenham, UK. ISBN: 978-1848446731.