Carla L. Reyes

Headshot of Carla L. Reyes, faculty member at SMU Dedman School of Law.

Associate Professor of Law

Full-time faculty


Carla L. Reyes is an Associate Professor of Law at SMU Dedman School of Law. Professor Reyes is a nationally and internationally recognized leader on issues raised by the intersection of business law and technology. Professor Reyes is a Faculty Fellow at the SMU Hunt Institute for Engineering and Humanity at the SMU Lyle School of Engineering, and serves as a faculty affiliate with the Imitative for CryptoCurrencies and Contracts (IC3) and the University College London Centre for Blockchain Research. Professor Reyes also currently serves as the Research Director for the Uniform Law Commission’s Technology Committee, an Associate Research Director of the Permanent Editorial Board of the Uniform Commercial Code, and an Expert Member of the UNIDROIT Work Group on Best Practices for Effective Enforcement.

Professor Reyes’ scholarship has been published in law journals at George Washington, William & Mary, Washington & Lee, Wisconsin, University of Washington, and Fordham. She is the co-author of Business Organizations: An Experiential Approach (Carolina Academic Press 2022, with Carliss Chatman). She has presented her research at international conferences in Italy, France, Luxembourg, Austria, Australia, and Columbia, as well as at law schools across the country such as Yale, Harvard, University of Michigan, Wisconsin, Northwestern University, and Cardozo, among others.

Professor Reyes has been an integral participant in legal reform efforts related to blockchain technologies and cryptocurrencies. Professor Reyes served as an Advisor to the Uniform Law Commission and American Law Institute 2022 Amendments to the Uniform Commercial Code, served as an Expert Member of the UNIDROIT Work Group on Private Law and Digital Assets which drafted UNIDROIT principles designed to serve as starting point for legal harmonization of commercial law rules for digital assets, and served as Chair of the Texas Work Group on Blockchain Matters.

Professor Reyes’ has received several honors for her work. She was named one of three finalists for the 2023 American Legal Technology Award in Education, was named an American Bar Foundation Fellow in June 2021, and named one of the Women of Legal Tech 2020, an honor bestowed by the American Bar Association Legal Technology Resource Center. Prior to joining SMU Dedman School of Law, Professor Reyes served Michigan State University College of Law as an Assistant Professor of Law and Director of the Center for Law, Technology & Innovation, and taught Business Enterprises, Technology Transactions, Artificial Intelligence & the Law, and Blockchain Law & Policy. Prior to teaching law, Professor Reyes practiced law as an associate in the Blockchain Technology and Digital Currency industry group at Perkins Coie LLP.

A former Fulbright Scholar, Professor Reyes had the opportunity to pursue her research as a Faculty Associate at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University from September 2017-August 2019. Professor Reyes also actively contributes to blockchain technology initiatives at the Stanford CodeX as a RegTrax Curator, MIT’s Cryptoeconomic Systems program, and the American Bar Association.

Area of expertise

  • Commercial Law
  • Corporate Law
  • Law and Technology as it relates to Blockchain Technology and Artificial Intelligence


B.A., summa cum laude, Whitworth University
J.D., magna cum laude, Duke University School of Law
L.LM., (in International and Comparative Law), Duke University School of Law
M.P.P., Duke University


Secured Transactions
Artificial Intelligence & the Law
Blockchain Law & Policy


THE CAMBRIDGE HANDBOOK OF ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE AND THE LAW (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming 2024) (with Kristin N. Johnson)

BLOCKCHAIN LAW & POLICY: MATERIALS, CASES, AND PROBLEMS (West Academic, forthcoming 2024) (with Del Wright)

BUSINESS ORGANIZATIONS: AN EXPERIENTIAL APPROACH (Carolina Academic Press 2022) (with Carliss N. Chatman)


Law's Detrimental Reliance on Intermediaries, George Washington Law Review (forthcoming 2024)

Uncovering Elon's Data Empire, Stetson Law Review (forthcoming 2023) (with Carliss Chatman)

Emerging Technology’s Language Wars: Cryptocurrency, 64 William and Mary Law Review 1193 (2023)
SSRN | SMU Repository 

Emerging Technology’s Language Wars: Artificial Intelligence in Criminal Justice, 5 Journal of Law & Innovation 1 (2023)
SSRN | SMU Repository 

Emerging Technology's Language Wars: Smart Contracts, 85 Wisconsin Law Review Forward 588 (2023)
SSRN | SMU Repository

Creating Cryptolaw for the Uniform Commercial Code, 78 Washington & Lee Law Review 1521 (2021)
SSRN | SMU Repository

Autonomous Corporate Personhood, 96 Washington Law Review 1453 (2021)
SSRN | SMU Repository

Autonomous Business Reality, 21 Nevada Law Journal 437 (2021)
SSRN | SMU Repository

A Unified Theory of Code-Connected Contracts, 46 Journal of Corporate Law 981 (2021)
SSRN | SMU Repository

Digging Into Algorithms: Legal Ethics and Legal Access, 21 Nevada Law Journal 325 (2020) (with Jeff Ward)
SSRN | SMU Repository

(Un)Corporate Crypto-Governance, 88 Fordham Law Review 1875 (2020)
SSRN | SMU Repository

If Rockefeller Were a Coder, 87 George Washington Law Review 373 (2019)
SSRN | SMU Repository

Conceptualizing Cryptolaw, 96 Nebraska Law Review 601 (2017)
SSRN | SMU Repository

Distributed Governance, 59 William & Mary Law Review Online 1 (2017) (with Ben Edwards and Nizan Packin)
SSRN | SMU Repository

Moving Beyond Bitcoin to an Endogenous Theory of Decentralized Technology Regulation: An Initial Proposal, 61 Villanova Law Review 191 (2016)
SSRN | SMU Repository

WTO Compliant Protection of Fundamental Rights: Lessons from the EU Privacy Directive, 12 Melbourne Journal of International Law (2011) (peer reviewed)
SSRN | SMU Repository

Book chapters

The Language Landmines of Blockchain Technology and Digital Assets, in THE CAMBRIDGE HANDBOOK ON LAW AND POLICY FOR NFTS (forthcoming 2023) 


Reimagining Investor Protection: Commentary on Rewritten SEC v. Howey, in FEMINIST JUDGEMENTS: REWRITTEN CORPORATE LAW (Cambridge University Press 2022) (with Kristin Johnson)

Other publications

Emerging Technology's Unfamiliarity with Commercial Law, Northwestern University Law Review Online (forthcoming 2023)

Emerging Technology’s Language Wars: Smart Contracts, 2022 Wisconsin Law Review Forward (forthcoming 2023)

Exploring the implications of Artificial Intelligence, 8 Journal of International & Comparative Law (2021)
SMU Repository

Cryptolaw for Distributed Ledger Technologies: A Jurisprudential Framework, 58 Jurimetrics Journal 283 (2018) (peer reviewed)
SMU Repository

More Legal Aspects of Smart Contract Applications, Perkins Coie LLP Whitepaper (May 2018) (with J. Dax Hansen & Laurie Rosini)

Regulatory Framework for Token Sales: An Overview of Relevant Laws and Regulations in Different Jurisdictions. COALA Report, with the Blockchain Research Institute (January 2018) (with P. De Filippi et al.)

Blockchain-Based Agencies, 42 Administrative & Regulatory Law News 9 (Summer 2017)

Legal Aspects of Smart Contract Applications, Perkins Coie LLP Whitepaper (May 2017) (with J. Dax Hansen)

Distributed Ledger Technology Will Drive Legal Innovationin WHITE PAPER ON DISTRIBUTED LEDGER TECHNOLOGY 58 (Hong Kong Monetary Authority, Nov. 11, 2016)


Barron's, Op-Ed, Crypto’s Future Is at Stake in a Dispute Over Commercial Law’s Definition of Money (April 2023) (with Andrea Tostao)

Law of Code, Interview, Explaining the 2022 UCC Amendments, with Professor Carla Reyes (podcast) (April 2023)

Forbes, quoted in No Tax On Crypto Purchases — Texas Proposals Go Big On Digital Assets (February 2023)

Bloomberg News, quoted in A Handful of Simple Rules Might Have Prevented FTX’s Demise (December 2022)

Voice America, featured on Getting Common (podcast) (September 2022)

The Encrypted Economy, featured on How Do You Create a Security Interest in a Digital Asset? Professor Carla Reyes, Southern Methodist University School of Law – E72 (podcast) (March 2022)

Legal Tech Live, featured on Human Readable Smart Contract Programming with Carla & Henning of Lexon.Tech (podcast) (February 2020)