Laura Pedraza-Fariña

Associate Professor of Law


Laura Pedraza Fariña joined the Northwestern faculty in 2013 as an Assistant Professor of Law.  She is also a faculty affiliate of the Science in Human Culture Program at Northwestern.  She received her J.D. from Harvard Law School and her Ph.D. in genetics from Yale University.  Her research interests include intellectual property, patent law, and international organizations.  Her scholarship on intellectual property law uses the methodology of history and sociology of science and technology to analyze and inform the design of patent law.  Her current projects include an analysis of the implications of sociological studies on tacit scientific knowledge for the disclosure theory of patent law, and a study of how the specialized court structure of patent law influences the content of patent decisions.

Areas of Expertise

  • Patents
  • Intellectual Property
  • International Intellectual Property
  • Law, Science, & Innovation
  • International Organizations


Selected Publications

  • Understanding the Federal Circuit: An Expert Community Approach, 30 Berkeley Technology Law Journal 89 (2015).
  • Patent Law and the Sociology of Innovation, 2013 Wisconsin Law Review 813 (2013).
  • Conceptions of Civil Society in International Law-making and Implementation: A Theoretical Framework, 34 Michigan Journal of International Law 605 (2013).
  • No Place To Hide: Gang, State, And Clandestine Violence In El Salvador (Harvard University Press 2010) (with Spring Miller and James Cavallaro. Professor Pedraza-Fariña is the first author).
  • Hiv/aids Policy In Nicaragua: A Civil Society Perspective (Open Society Institute 2008) (policy report).

View All Publications


  • BA, Oberlin College
  • PhD, Yale University
  • JD, Harvard Law School

Prior Appointments

  • Assistant Professor of Law, Northwestern University School of Law
  • Visiting Lecturer, Georgetown Law
  • Law Fellow, Georgetown Law
  • Associate, Covington & Burling
  • Consultant, Open Society Foundation

Back to Faculty