Lawrence Lessig: A Biography

by A. F.

What's in the book?

The life and times of Lawrence Lessig, in one convenient little book.

    • Introduction
    • Background
    • Lessig's Brilliant Career
    • Personal Life
    • Recent News
    • Quotes
    • 10 Pieces of Trivia About Lawrence Lessig
    • Conclusion
    • Further Reading



Lawrence Lessig is a well-known American academic, famed for his participation in the legal sphere. From his battles on cyberspace law to scuffles over corruption in government, Lessig has helped lead some of the most important political movements of the start of the millenium. So how did a reportedly shy constitutional scholar become so influential? Most famous people become well-known because of their successes — their time spent in public office or bestselling books they’ve written or awards they’ve won. Ironically, it’s been Lessig’s willingness to incur “failures” that have fueled his reputation as a brilliant thinker and leader.


Anita Felicelli is a writer and an attorney. After graduating from UC Berkeley with a triple major in Rhetoric, Interdisciplinary Studies (art and design), and English, she attended Boalt Hall Law School and Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam. She worked as a litigator for eight years before commencing a full-time writing and editing career. Anita's first book of poetry was published in 2010. She has experience writing and editing on topics as diverse as law, medicine, film, books and travel. An intrepid cook and arts enthusiast, Anita lives in Northern California with her husband and two corgis.


On December 11, 1997, Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson who sits on the U.S. District Court in DC appointed Lessig Special Master of the Microsoft Antitrust case, in which Microsoft was charged with anti-competitively merging its web browser into the Windows operating system. As Special Master, Lessig would gather information independently and organize the technical aspects of the case in order to assist the judge with his ruling. Judge Jackson appointed Lessig claiming that it was “in the interest of justice to resolve as expeditiously as possible the complex issues of cybertechnology and contract interpretation connected therewith.” Microsoft objected to the appointment — there was no basis in law for a position like Lessig’s. Microsoft’s attorneys believed that Lessig would be partisan in his approach and, at first, claimed they would not cooperate with Lessig until they received a formal ruling on their challenge to his appointment. Lessig indicated he would move forward whether or not they chose to exercise their right to present their arguments.

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