New Gig: Santa Clara University School of Law

Starting next academic year, I’ll be an Assistant Professor at Santa Clara University School of Law and the Director of the school’s High Technology Law Institute. In my administrative role, I will provide academic direction and leadership to the school’s intellectual property and technology law programs, working in cooperation with the institute’s executive director, Jenny Lynn Cox, and others. The school has been a long-time leader in intellectual property and technology law (including a #4 ranking in this year’s US News & World Reports specialty ranking of IP programs, if such rankings matter), and I am looking forward to contributing to, and building on, that rich tradition.

The official school announcement.

Some FAQs about my change:

Why are you moving? Our #1 motivation was to be closer to our family, all of which lives in California. This move takes us within 5 miles of my sister and her family and driving distance of our parents. Being close to family has innumerable benefits–our kids will grow up close to their family, especially their cousins; my wife and I can leave the kids with the grandparents for short trips; we can spend mid-semester holidays like Passover and Thanksgiving with family; and we won’t have to make convoluted plans to visit family in multiple locations during brief vacations. And, not incidentally, no more frozen airplanes traveling back to California.

Prior to Milwaukee, my wife and I lived in the Bay Area, so we are returning home in that sense. Among other benefits, we are looking forward to reconnecting with the professional and personal social networks that we left behind when we moved to Milwaukee.

As for the law school, I taught Cyberspace Law there as an adjunct for 6 years, which I’ve always considered one of my top professional experiences. The school has a lot of students, faculty members and alumni interested in my research areas, and the school’s location (in the heart of the Silicon Valley) will have some benefits as well.

Finally, we are looking forward to resuming a Californian lifestyle, like choosing among a good variety of vegetarian restaurants and being able to enjoy outdoor activities all year round.

You must be excited! We are thrilled, but the decision is bittersweet. Marquette has been a wonderful environment for me, and both my wife and I formed a lot of great relationships in Milwaukee that are tough to leave.

When are you moving? Our move date depends on when we can sell our house in Milwaukee and find a house in the Bay Area. Unfortunately, the housing market is soft in Milwaukee and tight in our target areas in the Bay Area, so both ends of our move are complicated. As a result, our move date could be anywhere between May and August.

Where are you going to live? Right now, we’re focusing on Palo Alto and Los Altos.

The Bay Area will be a very expensive place to live. There are many hidden costs to living in Milwaukee, so the overall cost of living between the Bay Area and Milwaukee is comparable with one major exception: the purchase price of houses. Currently we live in a 50+ year old house with 3 bedrooms, 2 baths and 2000 square feet in a great school district with a 15 mile commute. We expect to buy a home in California with very similar attributes, which we think will cost us quadruple the sales price of our Milwaukee house. [UPDATE: The actual purchase price was QUINTUPLE the sales price in Milwaukee]