Rebecca Crootof


Rebecca Crootof is the Executive Director of the Information Society Project and a Research Scholar and Lecturer in Law at Yale Law School.

Crootof's primary areas of research include torts, international law, and technology law; her work explores questions stemming from the iterative relationship between law and technology, often in light of changes sparked by increasingly autonomous systems, artificial intelligence, cyberspace, robotics, and the Internet of Things. Much of her writing is about how best to regulate legally disruptive technologies; at the more fundamental level, her work is about how law affects and adapts to the social changes that attend technological innovation.

Crootof teaches Technology Law, a course that identifies the various ways both domestic and international legal regimes respond to and shape technological development, and the Law and Artificial Intelligence reading group.

Crootof earned a B.A. cum laude in English with a minor in Mathematics at Pomona College; a J.D. at Yale Law School; and a PhD at Yale Law School, where she graduated as a member of the first class of PhDs in law awarded in the United States. Crootof's dissertation, Keeping Pace: New Technology and the Evolution of International Law, considers how technology fosters change in the international legal order, both by creating a need for new regulations and by altering how sources of international governance develop and interact.

Crootof has authored pieces on how the concept of international cybertorts can inform the development of state accountability in cyberspace, how best to regulate autonomous weapon systems, when new technology causes customary international law to modify treaty law, what factors increase the likelihood that a weapons ban will be successful, and how non-self-executing treaties influence domestic U.S. jurisprudence. She has published with the Cornell Law Review, the Pennsylvania Law Review, the Yale Journal of International Law, the Harvard National Security Journal, and the Yale Law Journal; and written for Slate, Lawfare, and Just Security.

Crootof served as a law clerk for Judge Mark R. Kravitz of the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut and for Judge John M. Walker, Jr. of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. She is a member of the New York Bar and serves on the Board of Directors of the Equal Rights Center. She enjoys skiing, hiking, and reading science fiction "for work."

Crootof hopes someday to be as cool as her sister, who wears a red shirt to go rock climbing.

Crootof hopes someday to be as cool as her sister, who wears a red shirt to go rock climbing.