Tom W. Bell

Tom W. Bell

Professor of Law
Chapman University

Tom W. Bell is a professor at Chapman University School of Law. He specializes in high-tech legal issues and has written a variety of papers on Intellectual Property and Internet Law. Professor Bell received his Juris Doctor from the University of Chicago Law School in 1993, where he served both as a member of the University of Chicago Law Review and as Articles Editor and cofounder of the University of Chicago Legal Roundtable.

After graduating from law school, Professor Bell joined a Silicon Valley law firm. He entered teaching in 1995, when he became an Assistant Professor of Law in the Law and Technology Program at the University of Dayton School of Law. During a one year leave of absence from that school, and just prior to joining the Chapman faculty, he served as Director of Telecommunications and Technology Studies at the Cato Institute in Washington, D.C. In addition to writing a steady stream of scholarly works, Professor Bell has appeared on or been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, CNN, Los Angeles Times, and many other news sources. He teaches Intellectual Property, Internet Law, Advanced Seminar on Copyright Law, Entertainment Law, International Entertainment Law, Tort Law, Contract Law, and Agency and Partnership. His website is

Students: Want to hear Professor Bell in-person? Apply for the free IHS Summer Seminars and spend a week discussing ideas with great faculty and participants from around the world.  Find out more.


Blog Posts

Quietly creating freedom: Private communities and special economic zones

The astonishing growth in SEZs qualifies as a revolution of sorts, but not the usual, political kind.

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Free Speech


Freedom of Speech: How Is Offensive Speech Good For Society?

The First Amendment protects the freedom of speech and has been upheld by the Supreme Court more than once. But with occurrences like Charlies Hebdo and other incidents of racist,…

Entrepreneur’s Survival Guide to Patents, Trademarks, & More [Teaser]

Microsoft. Google. These massively successful companies don’t owe their success to innovative ideas alone—they are successful, in part, because of copyrights and patents. In this new online course, Professor Tom W.…

Can Order Be Unplanned?

Some people assume that for there to be order in human society, there needs to be some central planning or direction. But as Chapman University professor Tom W. Bell explains,…

The Power of Property Rights

Why are property rights important, even for those who own the least? Professor Tom W. Bell of Chapman University School of Law explains that property rights allow people to live…

The Rule of Law

Why is the rule of law so important? Law professor Tom W. Bell explains how the rule of law is a critical part of a free and tolerant society. The…