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. Her primary areas of expertise are in technology law, torts, and international law.

Much of Crootof's research focuses on how best to regulate legally disruptive technologies, often with a focus on the complicated relationships between new weaponry, the law of armed conflict, and international human rights law. Her work has led to an interest in robotics, artificial intelligence, cyberspace, and the internet of things. She teaches Technology Law at Yale Law School, a course that explores how domestic and international law responds to and shapes the development of new technologies.

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 results in customary international law modifying 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 Cardozo Law Review, and the Yale Law Journal; contributed chapters to two books on autonomous weapon systems; 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.