SANTA CLARA, Calif., June 28, 2018—Experienced marketing professional and lawyer Nikki Pope has been chosen as the new Managing Director of the High Tech Law Institute at Santa Clara University School of Law.

The High Tech Law Institute (HTLI) serves as the hub for numerous high tech law specialties at Santa Clara Law, including intellectual property, biotech, and privacy. Founded in 1998, Santa Clara Law’s intellectual property law program is currently ranked as the 4th best in the country by U.S. News & World Report.

Pope practiced law for many years as an associate at Cooley and participated in the Honors Program in the Antitrust Division of the US Department of Justice. Before earning her JD, Nikki held positions in sales, marketing and advertising with a number of corporations, including Corning, J. Walter Thompson, Ketchum Advertising, American Express and Comcast.

“Nikki Pope brings a strong knowledge of high-tech law and a keen marketing focus to the role of HTLI managing director,” said Lisa Kloppenberg, dean of Santa Clara University School of Law. “Working closely with our nationally recognized faculty, she plans to engage with Silicon Valley law firms and corporations and continue to position the Law School as a leader in legal education and faculty research.”

HTLI coordinates activities to prepare students and graduates for cutting-edge careers with law firms, corporations, and startups, including:

  1. Certificate programs for students, including the High Tech Law Certificate and the popular Privacy Law Certificate.
  2. Entrepreneurs’ Law Clinic, which over the last five years has enabled 152 students to gain hands-on experience advising 130 different startups on legal issues.
  3. In-House Counsel Institute, now in its third year, designed to assist attorneys in better serving the in-house legal needs of high tech companies.
  4. Professors from HTLI regularly advise policy leaders, including those at the White House’s science and tech policy office and the US Patent and Trademark Office in San Jose.

“I’m delighted to be back at Santa Clara and excited to be leading the High Tech Law Institute, where law and innovation converge in Silicon Valley” said Pope.  “For a law ‘blerd’ like me, there’s no better place to be.”

Pope received her JD from Santa Clara Law in 2004, graduating with honors as a member of the Order of the Coif and serving as the senior comments editor of the High Tech Law Journal. She received a BA from Carleton College and an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

She was previously a Teaching Scholar at the Law School from 2010-12 and stepped in as Interim Executive Director of the Northern California Innocence Project in 2012. Pope has served for many years on the Law School Board of Visitors and the advisory boards for both NCIP and the Center for Social Justice and Public Service.

She succeeds Tom Lavelle, a 1976 JD graduate, who is retiring at the end of June after many years of service to Santa Clara Law, including serving on the Law School Board of Visitors and the High Tech Advisory Board. Lavelle will continue to support the Law School as a Mentor for the Tech Edge JD Program and Advisor to the Entrepreneurs’ Law Clinic.

About Santa Clara University School of Law

Santa Clara University School of Law, one of the nation’s most diverse law schools, is dedicated to educating lawyers who lead with a commitment to excellence, ethics, and social justice.  Santa Clara Law offers students an academically rigorous program including certificates in high tech law, international law, public interest and social justice law, and privacy law, as well as numerous graduate and joint degree options.  Located in the heart of Silicon Valley, Santa Clara Law is nationally distinguished for its faculty engagement, preparation for practice, and top-ranked programs in intellectual property.  For more information, see