Nikki D. Pope

Nikki D. Pope (J.D. Santa Clara Law 2004) is the Managing Director of the High Tech Law Institute. She also is the co-founder and principal executive officer of The Pruno Fund, Inc. a nonprofit organization that provides grants for exonerated men and women who need help reclaiming their lives after a wrongful conviction. Nikki became interested in wrongful conviction and helping the exonerees during her tenure on the advisory board of the Northern California Innocence Project. After graduating Order of the Coif, Nikki joined the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, DC. Living in the District, however, was not for Nikki and she returned to the Bay Area to join Cooley LLP as a corporate transactions attorney focusing on emerging companies and venture financings. Nikki left private practice for two years to become a Teaching Scholar at Santa Clara Law, after which she returned to Cooley. This time, Nikki’s practice was almost exclusively public companies and nonprofit organizations. Prior to law school, Nikki held various management positions in public and private companies including Corning, Inc., J. Walter Thompson, American Express, Comcast Corporation, and Visto Corporation.

Nikki is a member of The Pruno Project LLC, a publishing company based in San Jose, California, which she formed in 2013 with her writing partner, Courtney B. Lance. Since May 2010, Nikki has been a director of Moving Train, Inc., a nonprofit organization that provides fiscal sponsorship and mentoring for documentary and narrative filmmakers.

In addition to her J.D., Nikki holds a B.A. in economics from Carleton College and an M.B.A from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. Nikki has been a frequent guest lecturer at the Leavey School of Business at Santa Clara University. She has authored three law review articles. She also is the co-author of the award-winning book and audiobook “Pruno, Ramen, and a Side of Hope: Stories of Surviving Wrongful Conviction,” narrated by Whoopi Goldberg and Bill Kurtis with a stellar cast of artists performing stories by exonerees and their families. Nikki brings to the High Tech Law Institute her years of experience in business as well as her fascination with emerging technology and the laws and regulations affecting emerging technologies. Nikki is a long-time resident of San Jose and is working with her writing partner on their first novel.


Pruno, Ramen, and a Side of Hope: Stories of Surviving Wrongful Conviction, Post Hill Press (2015), Link to Audiobook (narrated by Whoopi Goldberg)


J.D., cum laude, Order of the Coif, Santa Clara University School of Law

M.B.A., Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University

B.A., Carleton College

Areas of Specialization

Venture Capital, Advanced Corporations

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