Directors & Staff

Laura-thumbnailExecutive Director, Laura Grant, Institute for Innovation Law. Laura brings a wealth of experience from her time with international law firms Wilson, Sonsini, Goodrich & Rosati as well as Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom. Her recent work has seen her writing appellate briefs to the United States Supreme Court, Federal and California State Courts of Appeal, and Federal government agencies in matters of complex intellectual property. Laura is a proud Hastings alumna (Class of ’86), California native, and mother of two.

Timothy Yim ThumbnailInterim Director, Timothy Yim, Privacy and Technology Project. Timothy focuses on legal research in privacy and early-stage startups in addition to areas that support innovation.  Some of his work explores practicalizing privacy, developing toolkits for developers and founders, and increasing transparency in the privacy policy and legislation landscape.

Timothy is the author of Normative Avoision: Revising the Copyright Alert System to Circumvent Normative Backlash (6 Hastings Sci. & Tech. L.J. 1) (2014).  He is co-author of Comments on Equity Crowdfunding, submitted to the Securities and Exchange Commission on behalf of Hackers/Founders, the largest community of tech founders in Silicon Valley.  Prior to the Institute, Timothy was a Board Director in an educational nonprofit, consulted in the information technology sector, and externed for Judge Jacqueline Nguyen of the United States District Court for the Central District of California, now sitting for the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.  (Read more).

headshotResearch Fellow, Brian Pascal, Privacy and Technology Project. Brian’s work focuses on applying the techniques of scientific inquiry to the problems of policymaking, using evidence and data analysis to help laws better conform to the needs of empirical reality. His current research involves studying the impact of data breaches and the efficacy of mandatory reporting laws. Additionally, he assists the Institute in its role as an advisor to the California State Assembly on issues relating to privacy.

Ariane HeadshotProgram Manager, Ariane Mohamadi, Startup Legal Garage. Ariane is the matchmaker, translator and connector behind the Startup Legal Garage.  She has the unique experience of being an attorney that has also worked for a fast-growing health care startup in operations and business development. As senior legal fellow, Ariane is the Startup Legal Garage liaison between the two worlds of law and startups. Growing up with parents who were 1st generation immigrant entrepreneurs, she is committed to supporting risk takers and innovators and is passionate about building access for more women and minorities to disrupt the startup status quo.

Ariane graduated from UC Berkeley, with distinction and honors and presented findings from her honors thesis: “College Women and Egg Donation: A Prospective Analysis of Understanding and Motivations” to the UC-Berkeley Stem Cell Center in 2006.  She is also a graduate of UC Hastings, cum laude, with a Law and Health Policy Concentration from the UCSF/Hastings Consortium.

Alice Armitage ThumbnailProgram Director, Alice Armitage, Startup Legal GarageAlice is a Yale Law School alumna ’80 and the first woman Editor-in-Chief of the Yale Law Journal.  Her early career included years at Arnold & Porter and the Treasury Department, and she has taught as an adjunct at UCLA. More recently, Alice was founder and CEO of a mobile safety app startup and has provided consulting  for other startup companies.

HeadshotProgram Associate, Joshua Wolf.
Joshua Wolf is the Program Associate for the Institute for Innovation Law. Prior to joining the Institute, he was an infantryman and logistics non-commissioned officer (NCO) in the Israel Defense Forces, receiving an Honorable Discharge in 2012. He graduated summa cum laude from UC Santa Cruz in 2010, with honors in his major, and completed an academic year at the Arabic Language Institute of the American University in Cairo between 2008 and 2009.

Nnena HeadshotSenior Fellow, Nnena Ukuku, Startup Legal Garage.
Nnena Ukuku is an attorney to early stage startups. Nnena has also spoken on issues regarding tech policy (panelist at the Tech Policy Summit), diversity in the Valley (Spoke on NPR and other media outlets). As a Senior Fellow, Nnena has been the primary liaison between the Startup Legal Garage and the Valley; she has managed the speaker programming series; and, built the Startup Legal Garage’s panel for the 2013 South by Southwest Conference. In addition, Nnena is the CEO and co-founder of Black Founders Startup Ventures. She helped found Black Founders because she wants to see minorities and women thrive–not simply survive in Silicon Valley. For her work with Black Founders she was named one of Forbes 2012 Women Changing the World: VC/Entrepreneur category.