IF THE PURPOSE OF LAW SCHOOL IS TO TRAIN EAGER MINDS TO “THINK LIKE A LAWYER,” THEN
the purpose of a Columbia Law School seminar taught by former Facebook Inc. vice
president and general counsel Colin Stretch is to teach them to think specifically like an
Stretch is teaching a seminar on the role of the general counsel in the modern economy
as part of Columbia Law School’s recently established In-House Counsel Lab. The program, designed to help students better understand the role of today’s general counsel as
a corporate strategist and risk manager, is supported by the Reuben Mark Initiative for
Organizational Character and Leadership, a joint venture between Columbia Law and
Columbia Business School.
On this day, about 17 mostly third-year students gather around a long table at Stretch’s
weekly seminar in Columbia’s Greene Hall. Stretch, who left Facebook last September,
assigns readings and presents case studies torn from the headlines. He asks if anyone has
read anything they’d like to discuss.
One young man brings up Clearview AI. The U.S. tech company was recently profiled
in the New York Times for its facial recognition technology, which the company said is
being tried by some law enforcement agencies. Clearview said it had assembled its vast
database by scraping images from social media platforms, including Facebook.
At Columbia, general counsel are bringing the
real world into the classroom
BY MP MCQUEEN & SUE REISINGER