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Thomas B

- Research Program Mentor

JD candidate at University of California Los Angeles (UCLA)


Contemporary/comparative legal responses to emergencies; legal and geopolitical ramifications of the Russian invasion of Ukraine


Hello! My name is Thomas Briggs, and I'm excited to be a Polygence Mentor for students interested in topics like law and legal theory, political philosophy, and international relations. Whether researching or teaching I emphasize the importance of history and historical knowledge as essential tools for understanding why law, philosophy, and international relations look the way they do today. Some of my current research interests include the expansion of executive (Presidential) power in the United States and Europe, and the way governments and international institutions have responded to emergencies like COVID, the 2008 Financial Crisis, and the Russian invasion of Ukraine. I have also started mentoring students interested in China's economy, politics, and society. In my free time I like to play trading card games, and I occasionally travel to different parts of the United States (and sometimes other countries!) to play in competitive tournaments. I also like to learn the guitar and drum parts of some of my favorite songs.

Project ideas

Project ideas are meant to help inspire student thinking about their own project. Students are in the driver seat of their research and are free to use any or none of the ideas shared by their mentors.

How have different countries tried to police social media during emergencies?

A number of worldwide, history-altering emergencies and crises have occurred in our recent lifetimes, and events like the COVID-19 Pandemic, the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and the 2008 Financial Crisis have all greatly affected our lives, in ways we notice and in ways we might not. In this project a student could pick one, two, or three countries, and examine how they have attempted to regulate and police social media during a recent economic, military, legal, or public health crisis. This sort of comparative analysis will provide a student with the awareness, skills, and resources they would need to better understand these and other impactful events in the future.

Languages I know

Latin, intermediate

Teaching experience

The two years I spent teaching undergraduate philosophy courses in my master's program in Atlanta was the most intellectually and professionally fulfilling experience of my adult life. Getting to design lessons, deliver lectures, and lead class discussions for over a hundred students never got old. I'm thrilled to get another opportunity to teach again with Polygence!



College of William & Mary
BA Bachelor of Arts (2018)
Georgia State University
MA Master of Arts (2020)
University of California Los Angeles (UCLA)
JD Juris Doctorate candidate
United States Law

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