Blake ReidAssistant Clinical Professor

Please tell us about a  piece of your scholarship or your teaching that you are passionate about and that is related to public service.

One thing I'm really proud of is my pro bono work on behalf of people with disabilities. I represent a non-profit organization called Telecommunications for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Inc. (TDI) and work with many other accessibility organizations on a variety of matters before the Federal Communications Commission, U.S. Copyright Office, federal appellate courts, and other venues. I advocate for public policy initiatives that advance the civil right of people with disabilities to access video programming and communications services on equal terms. In particular, I work on just about every facet of the law and policy surrounding closed captioning!

How are students involved in your public service work?

Many of my students in the Samuelson-Glushko Technology Law & Policy Clinic work on related initiatives that focus on ensuring that the voices and needs of the many communities of people with disabilities are represented in critical technology law and policy debates.

What motivated you to become involved in public service work?

What really spurred me to become involved in public service work was my time in the Clinic when I was a student at Colorado Law many years ago, where I represented a computer science professor in a proceeding before the Copyright Office. It exposed me to the reality that many critical voices are missing from or underrepresented in policy discussions and that I could play a role in helping bring them to the table.

What advice do you have for our students who are interested in public service?

There's an entrepreneurial ethic in computer science that getting involved means rolling your sleeves up and starting to code—working for a startup, contributing to an open-source project, making an app, etc. I think law students interested in public service can take a similar approach by identifying something, however small, about the world that needs to change for the better, identify meaningful steps toward that change, and start taking them (with help, of course!).