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CHRIS SABBAGH
2012 Bezos Scholar
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Student Stories

Scholar Spotlight: 2012 Scholar Chris Sabbagh

What projects and new ideas are exciting you personally, academically?
I am in my second year at Duke Law School, where I've enjoyed diving into all things technology and law related. I am currently starting a paper on smart contracts, a blockchain-based technology (trust me, I'm tired of hearing the words "Bitcoin" and "blockchain" too!), and how they could affect contract and intellectual property law. More specifically, I am going to focus on the impact smart contracts could have on licensing copyrighted music. While I'm not sure blockchain will be as revolutionary as some proclaim it to be, I think it is a good example of a new technology that has the potential to disrupt the legal sphere.

Have you been keeping in touch with your Bezos Scholar alumni, and if so — how?
Yes! I have enjoyed keeping in touch with Bezos Scholar alumni in different ways. A few of us organized a North Carolina triangle meet up this past year (and I am hoping to get another one going soon). I was also very happy to see Courtney Hauck during her Duke visit. Finally, I enjoy keeping up with scholars through social media posts and pictures.

Which influential books, albums, podcasts, or films would you personally recommend to the BSP community of curious minds?
Unfortunately, law school leaves me little time and energy to consume things other than mindless media. However, I recently stumbled across a great album -- Half-Life by Rostam. Rostam is of Iranian descent, and a middle eastern influence is evident in many of his songs, especially in my favorite, "Wood." His music reminds me of the middle eastern songs my parents listen to with a modern, western twist.

Who or what are you finding inspiration in right now?
My hometown of Houston. It has been one year since Hurricane Harvey hit, and I am reminded of how strong Houstonians, and humans in general, are. My experience with the Bezos Scholars Program highlighted the importance of overcoming obstacles that divide us, giving back to our communities, and working to ensure a better future. Seeing how the people of Houston, the people of Hokkaido, and others respond to tragedy affirms those values.

Anything else you want to share with the BSP community?
Make sure to reach out to BSP alumni Scholars and educators! Our community is an expansive one, full of valuable experience and friendly people. Organize meetups, reach out for advice, and give back when possible. I would not be where I am today without the conversations I had with BSP staff and alumni when faced with difficult decisions. In that vein, I am happy to talk to anyone about law school, the legal profession, patent law, or anything else! Please, feel free to reach out.

Contributed by
CHRIS SABBAGH
2012 Bezos Scholar
Categories
Student Stories

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