Natalie Ram

Professor of Law





Photo of Natalie Ram


  • AB, 2004, Princeton University
    JD, 2008, Yale Law School

Natalie Ram is professor of law at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law. She is also adjunct faculty with the Berman Institute of Bioethics at Johns Hopkins University. Professor Ram is a leading scholar on the intersection of genetic privacy and the law. Her work has been published in both law reviews and scientific journals, including Harvard Law Review, Columbia Law Review, Virginia Law Review, Texas Law Review, Science, and Nature Biotechnology. Professor Ram has also been published in the New York Times, Washington Post, and Slate and interviewed on NPR’s Science Friday, Here & Now, and Reveal. She teaches courses in Maryland Carey Law’s Law and Health Care Program. Professor Ram was a 2021 Greenwall Faculty Scholar in Bioethics. She is an elected member of the American Law Institute.

Before joining Maryland Carey Law, Professor Ram clerked for Judge Guido Calabresi, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and for Associate Justice Stephen G. Breyer, U.S. Supreme Court. Subsequently, she worked in the Appellate and Supreme Court Litigation Group at Morrison & Foerster in Washington, D.C. Professor Ram taught previously at the University of Baltimore School of Law. She earned her JD at Yale Law School and AB in public and international affairs at Princeton University.

Book Chapters

Mass Surveillance in the Age of COVID-19, in Pandemic Surveillance: Privacy, Security, and Data Ethics 6 (Margaret Hu ed., 2022) (with David Gray).

Investigative Genetic Genealogy and the Problem of Familial Forensic Identification, in Consumer Genetic Technologies: Ethical and Legal Considerations 211 (I. Glenn Cohen et al. eds., 2021). Abstract

Incomplete Commodification in American Law, in The Oxford Handbook of Comparative Health Law (David Orentlicher & Tamara K. Harvey eds., 2021).

Introduction to Incomplete Commodification and Its Creeping Counterpart, in The Oxford Handbook of Comparative Health Law (David Orentlicher & Tamara K. Harvey eds., 2021) (with Stéphanie Hennette Vauchez).


The Ethics of Human Sequences in Environmental Samples, Nature Ecology & Evolution, May 15, 2023,

Familial Searches, The Fourth Amendment, and Genomic Control, 96 Southern California Law Review Postscript 1 (2023) (with Jacob S. Sherkow & Carl A. Gunter).

Generating Genuine Data Protection, Jotwell (July 25, 2023) (reviewing Carleen M. Zubrzycki, The Abortion Interoperability Trap, 132 Yale L.J.F. 197 (2022)).

Constitutional Confidentiality, 80 Washington & Lee Law Review 1349 (2023) (with Jorge L. Contreras, Laura M. Beskow & Leslie E. Wolf).

Ethical and Legal Wastewater Surveillance, 379 Science 652 (2023) (with William Shuster, Lance Gable & Jeffrey L. Ram). Abstract

America's Hidden National DNA Database, 100 Texas Law Review 1253 (2022).

The Future of Wastewater Monitoring for the Public Health, 56 University of Richmond Law Review 911 (2022) (with Lance Gable & Jeffrey L. Ram). Abstract

Regulating Forensic Genetic Genealogy, 373 Science 1444 (2021) (with Erin E. Murphy and Sonia M. Suter).

Mass Surveillance in the Age of COVID-19, Journal of Law & the Biosciences, June 2020, doi:10.1093/jlb/lsaa023 (with David Gray).

Legal and Ethical Implications of Wastewater SARS-CoV-2 Monitoring for COVID-19 Surveillance, 7 Journal of Law & the Biosciences, no. 1, lsaa039 (2020) (with Lance Gable and Jeffrey L. Ram). Abstract

Investigative Genetic Genealogy and the Future of Genetic Privacy, 16 SciTech Lawyer, Summer 2020, at 18.

Genetic Privacy After Carpenter, 105 Virginia Law Review 1357 (2019). Abstract

Forensic Genealogy and the Power of Defaults, 37 Nature Biotechnology 707 (2019) (with Jessica L. Roberts).

Incidental Informants: Police Can Use Genealogy Databases to Help Identify Criminal Relatives--But Should They?, Maryland Bar Journal, July/August 2018, at 8.

Innovating Criminal Justice, 112 Northwestern University Law Review 659 (2018). Abstract

Science as Speech, 102 Iowa Law Review 1187 (2017). Abstract

Body Banking from the Bench to the Bedside, 129 Harvard Law Review 491 (2015) (reviewing Kara W. Swanson, Banking on the Body: The Market in Blood, Milk, and Sperm in Modern America (2014)).

DNA by the Entirety, 115 Columbia Law Review 872 (2015). Abstract

Fortuity and Forensic Familial Identification, 63 Stanford Law Review 751 (2011).

The Mismatch Between Probable Cause and Partial Matching, 118 Yale Law Journal Pocket Part 182 (2009). Abstract

Assigning Rights and Protecting Interests: Constructing Ethical and Efficient Legal Rights in Human Tissue Research, 23 Harvard Journal of Law and Technology 119 (2009).

Tiered Consent and the Tyranny of Choice, 48 Jurimetrics 253 (2008).