C7) WhatNext.Law


About Us

Created in 2021 as a partnership between Nova School of Law (NOVA) and Vieira de Almeida & Associados – Sociedade de Advogados (VdA), the knowledge centre WhatNext.Law (WNL) focuses on exploring, disseminating, and shaping discussions, conducting research, and capacity development on the pressing current and upcoming challenges of law, economy, and society. Every year, WNL organize events and activities that contribute to the pursuit of its objectives, ranging from talks, workshops, and publications to scholarships, internships, and awards.

WNL seeks to connect academia, law practitioners and industry stakeholders. With the powerful knowledge of experienced professors and researchers, the profound expertise of leading lawyers and professionals, and the valuable insights of private and public stakeholders, WNL pursuits research and analysis on an array of different topics, including, amongst others, the legal challenges of emerging technologies, environment and sustainability, mobility, automation, digital economy, space, biotechnology, and smart cities. WNL is not directed only at an academic audience, but it is open to society. It produces content that fits within the interests of business leaders, policymakers, students from all areas of knowledge, and the general public.

WNL embodies the enduring core values of NOVA School of Law and Vieira de Almeida, notably the commitment to quality and excellence in our work, a culture of continuous questioning and innovation, and a foundation of strong teamwork.


Over the years, WNL has promoted different projects, varying from research activities, education activities, participation in international conferences, and the attribution of scholarships and awards.

From the publication of theses and scholarly articles to podcasts, at WNL, we develop and publish various types of publications. Additionally, to help keep our readers up to date with the latest developments, we regularly post contributions called “insights” on our Insights page to achieve a high level of work and legal research in the fields of emerging technologies, energy and environmental sustainability, public administration, mobility, automation, digital economy, and digital contracts, biotechnology, and smart cities, among others. Among the various publishers with whom we publish are Cambridge University Press and Nomos/Beck.

Varying from hosting multiple conferences to talks with experts, this Centre promotes various educational initiatives. For students of law at different graduate levels, it provides scholarships to fund innovative legal research.. To achieve this, the centre will launch contests over the years, during which students can apply and present their research plan and methodology.

Highlights in Outputs and Impact

WNL’s outputs encompass a diverse range of contributions, including scholarly publications, conference presentations, podcasts, and collaborative research initiatives. Serving as valuable resources for scholars, practitioners, and policymakers, they actively shape legal discourse, drive innovation in legal scholarship in the realms of emerging technologies, environmental sustainability, public administration and promote the advancement of law and technology in the public interest. Noteworthy publications, such as articles and chapters in edited volumes by presses like Nomos/Beck and Cambridge University Press, widely disseminate research findings.

WNL’s involvement in international conferences, like the Digital Vulnerability and EU Private Law conference at the University of Ferrara, highlights its global influence on emerging legal issues. The European Commission’s invitation to Prof. Fabrizio Esposito for an expert interview on digital fitness checks demonstrates WNL’s role in shaping the legal discourse. Additionally, the establishment of the FutureHealth research area by Prof. Vera Lúcia Raposo, and the collaboration with the Norwegian Research Centre for Computers and Law (NRCCL) to host the AI Robotics in Healthcare conference, showcases its commitment to fostering interdisciplinary dialogue and addressing pressing societal and legal challenges.


Collaborations/Partnerships/External Funding

Joint initiative of NOVA School of Law and Vieira de Almeida

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