Michele Benedetto Neitz is a Visiting Professor at the University of San Francisco School of Law and the Founding Director of the Blockchain Law for Social Good Center, the first of its kind in the United States. She teaches Blockchain and the Law, Business Associations, Legal Ethics, and other classes. Prior to joining USF Law, Professor Neitz was voted “Most Outstanding Professor” by the graduating class of GGU Law six times, most recently in 2022.
Professor Neitz was appointed to advise the California legislature as a member of the California Blockchain Working Group in 2019. She publishes and lectures on the ethical, regulatory, and social impact issues in blockchain technology.
Professor Neitz published the first law review article examining ethics in blockchain technology in January 2020. Her most recent article, entitled “How to Regulate Blockchain’s Real-Life Applications: Lessons from the California Blockchain Working Group,” was published by the peer-reviewed Jurimetrics Journal in 2021. Professor Neitz regularly speaks at tech and law conferences on these issues, including recent presentations at the CITRIS Research Exchange Panel at UC Berkeley and Bilgi University’s Data Driven Economy Lab in Istanbul, Turkey.
- Blockchain/Web 3 Law and Regulation
- Ethics in Technology
- Corporate Law
- Legal Ethics
- Implicit Bias
- Judicial Ethics
- New York University School of Law, JD (Honors: Root-Tilden-Kern Public Interest Scholar)
- Santa Clara University, BA (Honors: Valedictorian Finalist)
- Clerk, Southern District of California for Judge Napoleon Jones
- Equal Justice Works fellow, Legal Aid Society of San Diego
- Associate, Morrison & Foerster
Awards & Distinctions
- GGU Law Gorfinkel/Calhoun Award for Outstanding Professor (voted by graduating class), 2009, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2020, 2022
- GGU Law Student Bar Association Law Professor of the Year (voted by student organizations), 2018
- GGU Law Justice Jesse W. Carter Faculty Scholarship Award, 2010
- GGU Law Multicultural Graduation Diversity Award, 2009
- “When Myths Become Beliefs: Implicit Socioeconomic Bias in American Courtrooms,” book chapter in Enhancing Justice by Reducing Bias, ABA Book Publishing (2017).
- Editor, Vulnerable Populations and Transformative Law Teaching, Carolina Academic Press (2011).
- “The Plight of the Derivative Shareholder: Justice Carter’s Dissent in Hogan v. Ingold,” book chapter in The Great Dissents of the Lone Dissenter: The Dissenting Opinions of Jesse Carter (2010).
- Blockchain Value Podcast, “How Can Blockchain and Law be Used for Social Good?”, July 7, 2022.
- Barron’s Live, “The Darker Side of Money - Crypto and The Law,” July 1, 2022.
- Legal Tech Lab Podcast, University of Copenhagen, “Regulating or Not Regulating Blockchain?”, May 18, 2022.
- Tech Intersect Podcast, Educating Regulators, Lawmakers and Stakeholders about Blockchain & Social Good, April 5, 2022.
Law Review and Journal Articles
- How to Regulate Blockchain’s Real-Life Applications: Lessons from the California Blockchain Working Group, 61 Jurimetrics J. 185–217 (2021) (peer-reviewed); SSRN Top Ten Download List for Computational, Emerging Legal Issues, Legislative & Political Process, Statutory Creation (2/23/21); Other Regulation: Emerging Legal Issues, Legislative & Political Process, Statutory Creation (4/10/21).
- The Influencers: Facebook's Libra, Public Blockchains, and the Ethical Considerations of Centralization, 21 N.C.J.L & Tech 1 (2019); SSRN Top Ten Download List for Legal Ethics & Professional Responsibility (9/10/19); Innovation Areas (10/18/19); Cyberspace Law (10/30/19).
- Pulling Back the Curtain: Implicit Bias in the Law School Dean Search Process, 49 Seton Hall Law Review 629 (2019); SSRN Top Ten Download List for Sexuality and the Law (9/19/18); Women, Gender and Law (9/19/18); Anti-Discrimination Law (9/20/18); Legal Education (10/19/18 and 10/27/18).
- Hobby Lobby and Social Justice: How the Supreme Court Opened the Door for Socially Conscious Investors, 68 SMU Law Review 243 (2015); SSRN Top Ten download list for Corporate Law: LLCs, Close Corporations, Partnerships, & Other Private Enterprises (9/9/14); Corporations (9/12/14); Social Justice and Human Rights (9/17/14 and 9/20/14); Applied and Practicing Anthropology (9/23/14).
- Socioeconomic Bias in the Judiciary, 61 Cleveland State Law Review 137 (2013); republished: Ashgate Library of Essays on Legal Ethics and the Enforcement of Law, Ashgate Press (2016); SSRN’s Top Ten download list for Judicial Decisionmaking (10/12/12, 10/16/12); Law and Courts & Law and Society (10/26/12); Law and Courts (11/13/12).
- A Unique Bench, A Common Code: Judicial Ethics in Juvenile Court, 24 Georgetown Journal of Legal Ethics 97 (2011); republished in revised form: 62 Juvenile and Family Court Journal 32 (2011); SSRN's Top Ten download list for Judges (Criminal Procedure) (08/20/2010).
- Crisis on the Immigration Bench: An Ethical Perspective, 73 Brooklyn Law Review 467 (2008); republished: 28 Journal of the National Association of Administrative Law Judiciary 471 (Fall 2008); SSRN's Top Ten download list for LC: Judicial Decisionmaking (2/21/08, 2/28/08).
- The Key to Successful Independence: State-Funded Post-Secondary Educational Assistance for Former Foster Youth, 23 St. John’s Journal of Legal Commentary 383 (2008); SSRN’s Top Ten download list for Education Law: College & Graduate Education (8/21/09, 8/29/09, 9/20/09).
- An Ounce of Prevention: A Foster Youth’s Substantive Due Process Right to Proper Preparation for Emancipation, 9 UC Davis Journal of Juvenile Law and Policy 381 (2005).