Tanina Rostain’s current scholarly and teaching interests focus on access to the civil justice system and the function of legal technologies developed to bridge the justice gap. Her research explores the opportunities and limits of digital tools to provide information about and access to the legal system. Rostain’s work also considers how data science can be used to produce knowledge about legal problems and the efficacy of interventions to address them. Recently, Professor Rostain launched the Justice Lab at Georgetown, a research center dedicated to studying the various modalities emerging to address unmet legal needs. The Lab’s initiatives include studies of “low bono” law firms and legal “navigators,” and a national multi-county investigation of different forms of assistance that are provided to self-represented litigants. Rostain’s research interest in technology and access to the civil legal system dates back to 2012, when she created a course in which student teams work with non-profit legal service providers to build apps that increase access to the legal system.
Professor Rostain’s earlier academic work explored the ethical challenges that arise in corporate and tax practice and focused on the influences of organizational context on professional misconduct. In 2014, she published Confidence Games: Lawyers, Accountants, and the Tax Shelter Industry (MIT Press). Co-authored with Professor Mitt Regan, Confidence Games examines the role of major accounting firms and corporate firms in the rise of the tax shelter industry at the turn of the 21st Century. Rostain has also authored articles on tax and corporate law practice.
Contributions to Law Reviews and Other Scholarly Journals
U.S. Supreme Court Briefs
"How Hackathons Are Helping To Decode The Justice Gap," coverage by Law360, June 9, 2019, quoting Professor Tanina Rostain.
Professors Hope Babcock, Gregg Bloche, John Copacino, Deborah Epstein, Daniel Ernst, James Feinerman, Anne Fleming, Sheila Foster, Maria Glover, Vida Johnson, Gregory Klass, David Luban, Allegra McLeod, Naomi Mezey, Sherally Munshi, Alicia Plerhoples, Jarrod Reich, Tanina Rostain, Rima Sirota, Abbe Smith, and Kristen Tiscione are among 1700 signatories on a letter, published by The New York Times, delivered to the United States Senate, October 4, 2018, presenting concerns of Judge Brett Kavanaugh's qualifications to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court.
““A new generation of lawyers”: Cornell Tech launches LLM as demand for hybrid lawyers and technologists grows,” coverage by Legal IT Insider, Oct. 30, 2015, featuring Professor Tanina Rostain, co-director for the Center for the Study of the Legal Profession.
"Professor Tanina Rostain has her students developing access-to-justice apps," ABA Journal, September 23, 2015, featuring Professor Tanina Rostain.