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Hilary Catherine Robinson

Photo of Hilary Robinson
Adjunct Faculty

JD, Harvard Law School, 2006;
AB, Harvard University, 2003

Phone: 240-643-6022


As an adjunct professor at VLS, Professor Robinson is accepting AWR and IRP advising in areas of her research interests, which broadly involve the interaction between law, technology, and society.

Professor Robinson served as an assistant professor of law at VLS from 2009 until 2012, teaching the required first-year course in Constitutional Law, in addition to appellate advocacy and legal writing. She brought a multidisciplinary approach to areas of the law curriculum that intersect closely with technological innovation, developing a legal writing course structured around the question: “What are the elements of a right to privacy, and what are the legal remedies for infringement of this right in an “Information Age?” and developing an advanced seminar on the legal regulation of agricultural biotechnology. Her appellate advocacy course considered the case of United States v. Comstock (U.S. Supreme Court 2009), which is interesting for raising issues concerning psychiatry as a predictive science of abnormal behavior, and its impact on notions of the criminal justice system as rehabilitative. She has most recently completed a project that links the Supreme Court’s normative views about television to its legal reasoning in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission (U.S. Supreme Court 2010), arguing in a paper that the case decision is “Lochner for the Information Age.”

Professor Robinson received her AB, magna cum laude, from Harvard University with a special concentration in genomic science and public policy, where she wrote a thesis on concepts of “kinship” in judicial decisionmaking about reproductive biotechnology and studied under the lawyer and STS scholar Sheila Jasanoff. She received her JD from Harvard Law School, where she was co-chairwoman of the Women’s Law Association and served as the Reginald F. Lewis Fellow for Law Teaching from 2006 to 2007 under the advisorship of Martha Minow and Randall Kennedy. In 2007, she received the Kenan Sahin Graduate Fellowship to pursue a doctorate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the Department of History, Anthropology, Science, Technology and Society. She left MIT to teach at VLS from 2009-2012, and afterwards served as a senior policy analyst in the Metropolitan Policy Program of the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C. and as a visiting researcher at Georgetown University Law Center during 2012-13. She worked as a summer associate at law firms Ropes & Gray and Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale & Dorr, for the Harvard Center for International Development, and for the U.S. Department of State in Pretoria, South Africa, where she assessed the country’s capacity for biotechnology development. In 2013, she returned to MIT to complete her doctorate and dissertation under law and society scholar Susan Silbey. She intends to write about the “infrastructure of the digital” as it is built and managed by firms like Amazon, Facebook, and Google.