Intellectual Property, Entertainment, and Technology Law

LAW 1528 v00 Advanced Antitrust Seminar: Antitrust and Intellectual Property

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 2-3 credit hours

The intersection of antitrust and intellectual property underlies many key debates in contemporary competition law and presents topics of recurring importance. This advanced seminar introduces students to the antitrust/intellectual property interface, including the economics of innovation, the debate over the relationship between the two fields, and the impact of the evolution of that relationship on the antitrust analysis of specific practices. Topics include the economics of innovation, the contemporary debate over “Big Tech,” licensing practices, product design and tying, patent settlements, patent pools, standard setting, the acquisition of intellectual property rights, patent assertion entities, the assertion of IP rights, and antitrust counterclaims in U.S. litigation.litigation, and select issues Grades will be based on weekly papers written in response to the contemporary debate over "Big Tech."  Grades will be based on bi-weekly papers written in response to assigned readings; class participation can increase, but not decrease, the assigned readings; class participation can increase, but not decrease, the course grade.

Learning Objectives:

Students taking this course will:

  1. Develop an understanding of the basic economics of innovation and their application of those principles to antitrust law and its intersection with intellectual property law.
  2. Acquire an overview of key aspects of the intersection of antitrust and intellectual property in U.S. law, both in litigation and agency settings.
  3. Explore recurring tensions between antitrust and intellectual property through the lens of particular practices.
  4. Debate competing positions on the antitrust laws’ application to cutting-edge issues in IP-rich industries.

Prerequisite: For J.D. students, prior or concurrent enrollment in Antitrust Law or Antitrust Economics and Law.  (Note that prior enrollment strongly recommended; concurrent enrollment accepted.)  For LL.M. students: prior U.S. antitrust litigation experience or U.S. antitrust coursework is strongly recommended.

Note: A limited number of students may register for the 3 credit section of this seminar if they wish to write a paper fulfilling the Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement. Students who register for the 3 credit section will write fewer weekly response papers, in addition to the paper for the Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement.

LAW 1623 v00 Advanced Legal Writing: Intellectual Property and Technology Transactions

J.D. Seminar | 3 credit hours

This three-credit seminar offers an opportunity for J.D. students interested in transactional practice to hone their legal writing, negotiating, and real-world transactional skills in a small workshop environment. Students will review, write and analyze a variety of transactional documents – including full-length contracts, unique contractual provisions, and simulated client correspondence – and will develop individualized goals for improving their writing and transactional skills throughout the semester. While this course will teach drafting, deal-structuring, negotiation, and related skills that are generally applicable for any type of deal or transactional practice, it will focus on intellectual property and technology transactions and will teach those skills through a semester-long simulation based on a fictional startup company. The course will also focus on improving students' abilities to critically assess their own and others' legal writing and to provide helpful feedback to colleagues in a professional setting. Students will receive peer critique during most classes, as well as individualized feedback from the professor on most drafts of documents.

Professor permission is not required. Background in intellectual property or technology is not required.

Participation in the in-class exercises and simulations will be a key component of student evaluation.

Learning Objectives:

My primary goal for the course is to give you real world transactional experience that you can use on day one out of law school. In addition, this course aims to expose you to new and emerging technologies and complex intellectual property licensing constructs, and give you the ability to analyze and negotiate different types of deals from both a legal and business perspective.

Prerequisite: Legal Practice: Writing and Analysis or the equivalent first year legal writing course.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for both this course and Advanced Legal Writing: Transactional Practice or Information Technology Transactions: Strategy, Negotiations and Drafting.

Note: Students may not withdraw from this class after the add/drop period ends without the permission of the professor.

LAW 040 v01 Advanced Patent Law Seminar

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 3 credit hours

This advanced seminar presumes knowledge of patent law fundamentals and examines various specific topics, including the Hatch-Waxman Act, patent administration, claim interpretation, the doctrine of equivalents, the experimental use privilege, and comparative and international patent law. Students will write papers on some specific aspect of patent law, not limited to those topics covered in class.

Prerequisite: Patent Law or equivalent experience.

LAW 038 v01 Antitrust Law

J.D. Course (cross-listed) | 3 credit hours

This course covers the major federal legislation in the field of antitrust law, with a primary focus upon governmental efforts to promote competition, including Sections 1 and 2 of the Sherman Act, and Section 7 of the Clayton Act. Emphasis is placed upon the growing role of economic analysis and other modern trends in judicial interpretation, with an emphasis on understanding the means by which courts determine whether unilateral and collaborative business conduct is pro-competitive or anticompetitive, regardless of the particular statutory provision at issue.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for both this course and Antitrust Economics and Law or Antitrust Law: A Survey from the Sherman Act of 1890 to Today’s Progressive Movement.

Note: J.D. Students: Registration for this course will be open to Evening Division students only during the initial J.D. student registration windows. Full-time Day Division students will be able to add or waitlist this course beginning at 9:30 a.m. ET on July 14.

LAW 2028 v01 Assisted Reproductive Technologies and the Law

LL.M Seminar (cross-listed) | 2-3 credit hours

This 2 or 3 credit seminar will provide an overview of the underlying and competing laws and policies arising from the assisted reproductive technologies (ARTs) that continually make front page news. Since the 1980 opening of the country’s 1st IVF clinic amidst protests and pickets, courts and legislatures have struggled to create laws and policies in response to continually evolving reproductive advances. Topics will include: the legal status of the IVF embryo in the context of procreative rights; embryo cryopreservation, storage, disposition and mix-ups; legal implications of advances in egg freezing, reproductive genetics and oncofertility; posthumous reproduction; egg and sperm donation; traditional/genetic and gestational surrogacy; unique issues for single and same-sex couples, including the rapidly changing impact of same-sex marriage; and professional standards, economic and regulatory aspects of the ARTs.

New this semester will be the inclusion of two classes that will examine selected legal and policy aspects of comparative ART law perspectives on “third-party ART” and the impact these differences have on cross-border reproductive practices, with a particular focus on surrogacy.

National experts in their respective fields will provide guest lectures on: medical advances in ART (including a field trip to a locally based national IVF clinic); psychosocial aspects of donor egg and 3rd party ART; reproductive genetics; and regulation and public relations for ART providers.

Note: This seminar requires a paper. J.D. students must register for the 3 credit section of the seminar if they wish to write a paper fulfilling the Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement for JD students. The paper requirements of the 2 credit section will not fulfill the Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement for JD students.

LAW 050 v01 Aviation Law

J.D. Course (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

The course, taught by practitioners in the field, covers contemporary and cutting-edge aviation topics such as international commercial aviation, aviation security, and the integration of unmanned aircraft systems (i.e., drones) into the national airspace. The course material will encompass most aspects of aviation law, including the law of international civil aviation, the economic and safety regulation of air transportation, aircraft registration and certification, aircraft accidents, airport law, government immunity from tort liability, and airline liability for the carriage of passengers and cargo domestically and internationally under the Montreal Convention. Students are exposed to a range of materials, including cases, treaties, executive agreements, and regulations, with a view towards imparting practical skills that can be applied to any field of law.

LAW 611 v17 Big Data, Face Recognition and the Limits of the Legislature: A Bill Negotiation Simulation

J.D. Seminar | 1 credit hour

If you have ever taken advantage of basic government services, your personal information is part of a massive trove of data that local, state and federal agencies share with one another through a variety of overlapping networks, databases and bureaucratic collaboratives. This infrastructure has been built over the course of the last 20 years, for the most part without any oversight or accountability, let alone transparency to the public.

Some policymakers–-pushed by civil rights advocates and grassroots organizations-–have begun to try to check the exponential growth in government power that these technologies have made possible. Last year, the Washington Post reported that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) was running face recognition searches on Maryland’s driver information databases. Community groups, including one group represented by Georgetown’s own Federal Legislation Clinic, demanded that legislators take action.

In this course, students will simulate the actual bill negotiation that took place last year in the Maryland State legislature. Using a fact pattern based on what unfolded, but fictionalized to protect client confidentiality, students will assume coalition roles to broker, draft, amend, and advocate for their own privacy bill from the perspective of those assigned roles.

Learning Objectives:

Through this course, students will have the opportunity to:

  • Learn the legal, political and technological frameworks around government use of face recognition.
  • Gain a basic understanding of the databases, networks and information sharing partnerships that pervade government bureaucracy.
  • Practice legislative drafting and bill amendment.
  • Create a bill pitch and deliver it for feedback to a panel of advocates and academics with first-hand knowledge of the Maryland bill.
  • Devise and execute a political strategy to build an advocacy coalition and navigate their bill through the legislature.
  • Draft hearing testimony and participate in a mock committee hearing.

Note: This course is mandatory pass/fail, and does NOT count against the 7-credit pass/fail limit for J.D. students.

This optional, elective course is for first-year J.D. students only, who will enroll via the Live Registration process.

ATTENDANCE AT ALL CLASS SESSIONS IS MANDATORY. All enrolled and waitlisted students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to be eligible for a seat in the class and must attend each class session in its entirety. For more information, please see the Week One website.

Due to the intensive nature of the course, the small-group, team, and individual work that is involved, and the preparation that is necessary to ensure a positive student experience, students who wish to drop the course after they have accepted a seat must drop by Monday, November 30, 2020 at 3:00 p.m. After that point, students must receive permission from both the course professor and Assistant Dean for Experiential Education to drop the course. Permission will only be granted when remaining enrolled in the course would cause significant hardship for the student. Students who are enrolled but do not attend the first class session will be withdrawn from the course.

LAW 1040 v01 Civ Tech: Digital Tools and Access to Justice (Project-Based Practicum)

J.D. Practicum (cross-listed) | 4 credit hours

In a project-based practicum course, students participate in a weekly seminar and work on a project under the supervision of their professors. This project-based practicum course will expose students to the varied uses of computer technologies in the practice of law, with an emphasis on technologies that enhance access to justice and make legal services more affordable for individuals of limited means. Students will participate in a two hour/week seminar and carry out 10 hours/week of project work under the direction of the course professors.

SEMINAR: The seminar portion of the class is devoted to two topics: the access to justice crisis and the role of digital tools in bridging it. Among the issues we will discuss throughout the semester are: the extent of the justice gap, the economic and regulatory barriers to access, and the problem of resource constraints. We will also discuss how legal technologies are altering the landscape for persons of limited means and empowering disadvantaged and marginalized individuals and communities. The second topic is learning to design and develop legal expert systems. To create our systems, we use a software platform that does not require a coding background.

PROJECT WORK: Students will work in small teams for a legal service organization to develop a platform, application, or automated system that increases access to justice and/or improves the effectiveness of legal representation. These organizations include civil rights organizations, direct service providers, and other public interest organizations. The course culminates in a design competition: The Georgetown Iron Tech Lawyer Competition. Along the way, students learn systems logic, teamwork, and visual literacy skills. By the end of the semester, each team will have built a functional app intended for adoption by the participating legal services organization to put into use for its clients.

No programming background is required. Students are not required to have coding experience and will not be expected to learn to write software.

Students are encouraged to check out these apps created by Georgetown Law students in earlier semesters and in use at various organizations. They are also encouraged to contact Professor Rostain at (tr238@law.georgetown.edu) with questions.

Prerequisite: Students must complete the required first-year program prior to enrolling in this course (part-time and interdivisional transfer students may enroll prior to completing Criminal Justice, Property, or their first-year elective).

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not concurrently enroll in this practicum course and a clinic. Students who wish to concurrently enroll in this course and another practicum course may only do so with the permission of the Assistant Dean of Experiential Education (lawexp@law.georgetown.edu), Professor Rostain (tr238@law.georgetown.edu), and the professor of the second practicum. Students may concurrently enroll in this practicum course and an externship.

Note: THIS PRACTICUM REQUIRES PROFESSOR PERMISSION TO ENROLL. Please email Professor Rostain (tr238@law.georgetown.edu) by Wednesday, October 5, 2022 with a  statement of interest.

This course is suitable for evening students; project work does not need to be completed during business hours.

This is a four credit course. Two credits will be awarded for the two-hour weekly seminar and two credits will be awarded for approximately 10 hours of supervised project work per week, for a minimum of 11 weeks. Both the seminar portion and the project work will be graded.

Students who enroll in this course will be automatically enrolled in both the seminar and project components and may not take either component separately. After Add/Drop, a student who wishes to withdraw from a practicum course must obtain permission from the faculty member and the Assistant Dean for Experiential Education. The Assistant Dean will grant such withdrawal requests only when remaining enrolled in the practicum would cause significant hardship for the student. A student who is granted permission to withdraw will be withdrawn from both the seminar and project components.

Default attendance rule for all practicum courses (unless the professor indicates otherwise): Regular and punctual attendance is required at all practicum seminars and fieldwork placements. Students in project-based practicum courses are similarly required to devote the requisite number of hours to their project. If a student must miss seminar, fieldwork, or project work, he or she must speak to the professor as soon as possible to discuss the absence. Unless the professor indicates otherwise, a student with more than one unexcused absence from the practicum seminar (out of 13 total seminar sessions), or one week of unexcused absences from the fieldwork or project work (out of a total of 11 weeks of fieldwork or project work), may receive a lower grade or, at the professor’s discretion, may be withdrawn from the practicum course.

LAW 611 v19 Communication Design & Law: Re-Designing Legal Information

J.D. Seminar | 1 credit hour

This is a Week One, project-based simulation course.

Communication is at the heart of law. As lawyers, we capture and share our work through briefs, memos, reports, legislation, contracts, presentations, articles, and email.

The core idea driving this course is that lawyers can have a bigger impact if they create written work that more people can understand.

This class will help you do that through the lens of communication design. Legal writing is often opaque, dense, and intimidating. Communication design is the theory and craft of transforming this into something that is approachable, actionable, and empowering.

Over four fast-paced, intense days, you will:

  • Learn about the principles of communication design
  • Practice evaluating design and giving feedback
  • Redesign a complex document into something understandable using the document design and plain language.

We include several small-but-meaningful in-class challenges to illustrate key concepts.

The class culminates with an overarching communication design project. Some examples of this final project may include re-designing:

  • The Supreme Court opinion
  • A legal contract
  • The sign-up process for a government benefit.

By the end of the course, you will share your work with the class for shared feedback.

Note: This course is mandatory pass/fail, and does NOT count against the 7-credit pass/fail limit for J.D. students.

This optional, elective course is for first-year J.D. students only, who will enroll via the Live Registration process.

ATTENDANCE AT ALL CLASS SESSIONS IS MANDATORY. All enrolled and waitlisted students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to be eligible for a seat in the class and must attend each class session in its entirety. For more information, please see the Week One website.

Due to the intensive nature of the course, the small-group, team, and individual work that is involved, and the preparation that is necessary to ensure a positive student experience, students who wish to drop the course after they have accepted a seat must drop by Monday, November 28, 2022 at 3:00 p.m. After that point, students must receive permission from both the course professor and Assistant Dean for Experiential Education to drop the course. Permission will only be granted when remaining enrolled in the course would cause significant hardship for the student. Students who are enrolled but do not attend the first class session will be withdrawn from the course.

LAW 528 v01 Communications and Technology Law Clinic (IPR)

J.D. Clinic | 12 credit hours

Please see the Communications and Technology Law Clinic (IPR) website for more detailed information about the program.

For registration-specific supplemental materials, please see the Communications and Technology Law Clinic (IPR) PDF.

For information about clinic registration generally, please see the Clinic Registration Handbook.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not concurrently enroll in this clinic and an externship or a practicum course.

LAW 073 v02 Communications Law and Policy

J.D. Course | 3 credit hours

This course is intended to help students understand the policy issues that underlie the regulation of communications industries, become familiar with the fundamental approaches to communications regulation and judicial review of that regulation, and evaluate the successes and failures of recent reforms. The course will address regulation of broadcasting, cable, wireline and wireless telephony, and broadband and Internet communications. Sections begin with a brief history of communications regulation and discuss the fundamental legal and policy decisions that have evolved through the present day. The course seeks to understand in what instances the government should intervene in the marketplace. When intervention occurs, the course seeks to evaluate government's most appropriate role in broadcast regulation, telephone regulation, wireless spectrum issues, cable television regulation and broadband regulation. We will discuss the powers of local, state, and federal regulators and attempt to identify the jurisdictional boundaries among them. The course explores the regulatory theory underlying the Communications Act of 1934 and the Telecommunications Act of 1996 and attempts to predict the regulatory models that should govern the 21st century.

LAW 200 v01 Communications Law: Law and Policy in the Internet Age

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 2-3 credit hours

The advent of the Internet has spawned massive leaps in technology and the way Americans use communications services to reach that technology. This course examines how courts, legislatures, and regulatory agencies react to constant change in communications technologies. We will focus on specific technological advances to explore the way legal, economic, social, and technological forces shape and are harnessed by legal systems faced with challenges to the status quo. The course will draw on leading communications law cases, statutes, and FCC and FTC actions. Students will explore the legal and lobbying battles raging today in Washington and across the world that are fueled by technological change, in areas such as net neutrality, privacy, broadband subsidy, competition, and spectrum policy. We will try to focus in particular on questions currently before the courts, the FCC and Congress. Note that the focus of readings and in-class discussion is on physical communications technology, not on policies relating specifically to social media sites (although such topics are not out-of-bounds for paper topics).The goal is to deepen each student's understanding of major communications law topics, to determine if a comparison of these topics reveals a set of common legal, policy, and political reactions to technological change, and to provide future policymakers with the tools to respond to change more effectively.

The class will meet for two hours once per week. Grades will be based on class participation (25%) and a final paper/oral presentation (75%). There are no course prerequisites. While there is overlap with Communications Law and Policy on several issues, we cover different issues in total. For students with no communications law background, we will cover the basic background on the law and policy needed to understand the issues addressed.

Learning Objectives:

  • Deepen each student's understanding of major communications policy topics in dispute.
  • Determine if a comparison of these topics reveals a set of common legal, policy, and political reactions to technological change.
  • Provide future policymakers with the tools to respond to change more effectively.
  • Provide insight to the role legal constraints play in policy debates and policy plays in legal challenges.
  • Improve oral and written advocacy skills through writing and presenting an advocacy white paper.

Note: This seminar requires a paper. J.D. students must register for the 3 credit section of the seminar if they wish to write a paper fulfilling the Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement. The paper requirements of the 2 credit section will not fulfill the J.D. Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement.

LAW 080 v00 Computer Crime Law

J.D. Course (cross-listed) | 3 credit hours

This course will explore the legal issues that judges, legislators, prosecutors, and defense attorneys confront as they respond to the recent dramatic increase in computer-related crime.  In particular, we will consider how crimes online challenge traditional approaches to the investigation, prosecution, and defense of crime that have evolved from our experience with crimes in physical space.  Topics will include: the Fourth Amendment online, the law of electronic surveillance, computer hacking and other computer crimes, cyberterrorism, the First Amendment and the Internet, and civil liberties online.

Although much of this class involves computer and internet technology, no prior technical background or knowledge is required.

Any technology that needs to be understood will be explained in class, and students should not hesitate to ask for other technical explanations.

LAW 1384 v00 Computer Programming for Lawyers: An Introduction

J.D. Course (cross-listed) | 3 credit hours

This class provides an introduction to computer programming for law students. The programming language taught may vary from year-to-year, but it will likely be a language designed to be both easy to learn and powerful, such as Python or Javascript. There are no prerequisites, and even students without training in computer science or engineering should be able successfully to complete the class.

The course is based on the premise that computer programming has become a vital skill for non-technical professionals generally and for future lawyers and policymakers specifically. Lawyers, irrespective of specialty or type of practice, organize, evaluate, and manipulate large sets of text-based data (e.g. cases, statutes, regulations, contracts, etc.) Increasingly, lawyers are asked to deal with quantitative data and complex databases. Very simple programming techniques can expedite and simplify these tasks, yet these programming techniques tend to be poorly understood in legal practice and nearly absent in legal education. In this class, students will gain proficiency in various programming-related skills.

A secondary goal for the class is to introduce students to computer programming and computer scientific concepts they might encounter in the substantive practice of law. Students might discuss, for example, how programming concepts illuminate and influence current debates in privacy, intellectual property, consumer protection, antidiscrimination, antitrust, and criminal procedure.

This is a hands-on class. Each student will spend most class sessions using his or her own computers, reading, writing, and debugging code. Every student must bring to every class a computer, on which free software will be provided to be installed. Students will be required to complete problem sets between class meetings. To obtain a passing grade, students must complete problem sets and larger coding assignments, participate in class sessions, and demonstrate they have learned the assigned skills.

At the completion of this class, students should be able to write simple to moderately complex computer programs that can automate text-handling and data-handling tasks that would be difficult or impossible to perform without programming skill. Students will also gain a solid foundation of programming knowledge and skills they can build upon to progress toward mastering more advanced programming techniques and other programming languages.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students who have completed at least one computer programming course in college or graduate school or who have mastered at least one computer programming language are not eligible for this course.

Note: Waitlisted students who enroll in this course after the first class meeting should contact Professor Ohm (ohm@law.georgetown.edu) for instructions on how to access the missed course recordings and the mandatory problem sets due before the second class meeting on Tuesday, January 24.  Students admitted off the waitlist who do not complete the problem sets due before the second class session on January 24th will be dropped from the course.  No student will be admitted to this course after the end of add/drop on 3 pm on Tuesday, January 24, 2023.

This course is mandatory pass/fail and will not count toward the 7 credit pass/fail limit for J.D. students.

This course will meet twice each week. There will be 1 one-hour lecture with all enrolled students, with the second hour of weekly course content delivered asynchronously.  Later in the week there will be a second class session consisting of one-hour lab sections broken into small groups of 15 students.  Students will be enrolled in only one small lab section. In preregistering for this course, students should select the section that best meets their schedule in terms of the one-hour lab session.

LAW 1499 v00 Computer Programming for Lawyers: Intermediate

J.D. Course | 3 credit hours

This class builds on Computer Programming for Lawyers: An Introduction by introducing students to intermediate-level concepts of computer programming and computer science relevant to legal practice. The students in this course will serve as the Teaching Assistants for the introductory course, which will always be taught concurrently. In addition, students in this course will complete at least one substantial programming term project.

Enrollment in this course is by prior permission of the Professor only. All students must have prior computer programming experience. Students who have successfully completed the introductory course meet this requirement. Other students must demonstrate comparable prior experience, but this experience need not be formal training or professional experience. Students need not possess a technical degree, and self-taught programmers are welcome.

The course is based on the premise that computer programming has become a vital skill for non-technical professionals generally and for future lawyers and policymakers specifically. Lawyers, irrespective of specialty or type of practice, organize, evaluate, and manipulate large sets of text-based data (e.g. cases, statutes, regulations, contracts, etc.) Increasingly, lawyers are asked to deal with quantitative data and complex databases. Programming techniques can expedite and simplify these tasks, yet these programming techniques tend to be poorly understood in legal practice and nearly absent in legal education. In this class, students will gain proficiency in various programming-related skills.

A secondary goal for the class is to introduce students to computer programming and computer scientific concepts they might encounter in the substantive practice of law. Students might discuss, for example, how programming concepts illuminate and influence current debates in privacy, intellectual property, consumer protection, antidiscrimination, antitrust, litigation and criminal procedure.

This is a hands-on class. Each student will spend most class sessions using his or her own computers, reading, writing, and debugging code. Every student must bring to every class a computer, on which free software will be provided to be installed.

Note: THIS COURSE REQUIRES PROFESSOR PERMISSION TO ENROLL. Interested students should contact Professor Ohm at (ohm@law.georgetown.edu) by Wednesday, October 5, 2022.

Withdrawal Policy: Students in Computer Programming: Intermediate serve as Teaching Assistants (TAs) to students enrolled in Computer Programming for Lawyers: An Introduction. Because the introductory class cannot operate without a minimum and stable number of TAs, it is essential we ensure a fixed enrollment for the intermediate class, by adopting special rules for dropping the class.

A student enrolled in Computer Programming for Lawyers: Intermediate may drop the class no later than 3pm on Monday, December 5, 2022 and only by notifying Professor Ohm in writing.

LAW 458 v00 Contract Law Seminar: Franchising

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

Franchised businesses account for approximately 40 percent of retail sales in the U.S., more than a trillion dollars a year, and have about 10 million employees. Franchising is growing: a new franchise opens in the U.S. roughly every eight minutes of every working day. Although most people may associate franchising with “fast food restaurants,” franchising is prevalent in many areas of the economy, including automotive, hotel, various retail establishments, and numerous business services, among others. With the explosive growth of franchising, which really began in the 1950s, has come the development of franchise law as a separate discipline during the past 60 or so years and significant growth in the number of lawyers who practice in this field. Thus, franchising and the evolving practice of franchise law have a great practical impact on the U.S. and global economy.

Franchise law is a combination of contract and statutory law and is heavily influenced by trademark, antitrust and other areas of business law. Franchise agreements tend to be lengthy multi-year trademark licensing agreements. Because franchising involves distribution of goods and services, antitrust and other competition law considerations must be taken into account. Franchising is also regulated at both the federal and state level. Many franchise sales are regulated by state and federal disclosure requirements, analogous to SEC requirements. Automotive, petroleum and certain other franchise relationships are regulated by specific statutes, while various states generally regulate aspects of the franchise relationship, such as termination or renewal of the relationship. There is a substantial amount of litigation in franchising, involving not only disputes between franchisors and franchisees, but also franchise employees, consumers and others. Many common law contract concepts, such as the “implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing,” have evolved and continue to evolve in the context of franchise law. Franchising is also growing rapidly outside the U.S.; accordingly, a variety of laws and regulations of other countries are relevant.

This course will cover the legal and practical business basics of franchising, including, structuring of the franchise relationship and the analysis of franchise agreements; the sales process and disclosure requirements; the relationship of franchising, employment, trademark, antitrust and other generally applicable statutes; contract and other common law concepts that affect the franchise relationship; statutes regulating the franchise relationship at the state and federal levels; automobile, petroleum and international franchising; and franchise-related dispute resolution. Students will be evaluated on the basis of a paper and class participation, including mock negotiations at the end of the semester.

Learning Objectives:

My principal goal is for you to gain a general understanding of franchise law. In addition, I want you to become comfortable reading complex contracts, specifically franchise agreements, and to be able to analyze and negotiate a franchise dispute.

Prerequisite: Contracts (or Bargain, Exchange, and Liability) or, for foreign-educated LL.M. students, Foundations of American Law, Introduction to U.S. Legal Systems or a Contracts equivalent course from the home country.

Note: NOTE FOR THE SUMMER 2021 SECTION: The professor will teach this course virtually via Zoom. Students may choose to participate from the classroom or via Zoom while the professor is participating remotely. Students who want to participate in person must be in the University’s COVID testing protocol and follow all other safety measures.

LAW 110 v03 Copyright Law

J.D. Course (cross-listed) | 3 credit hours

This course examines the law of copyright and its role within the overall framework of intellectual property law. Topics covered include the subject matter requirements for copyrightability; the rules that govern determination of authorship, the rights that copyright law confers on authors and the limitations and exceptions to those rights; the rules governing indirect liability of intermediaries and liability for circumvention of technological protections; and the scope of copyright preemption.

Learning goals for this course:

Critical mastery of the existing copyright statutory, doctrinal, and policy landscapes; critical mastery of strategic considerations in copyright licensing and litigation, in technology ventures that implicate copyrights, and in copyright policymaking.

LAW 110 v07 Copyright Law

J.D. Course (cross-listed) | 3 credit hours

This course examines copyright law, providing a basic understanding of its objectives and principles. Topics covered include subject matter requirements for copyrightability; rules that govern determination of authorship; rights copyright law confers on authors; rules governing indirect liability of intermediaries and liability for circumvention of technological protections; and scope of copyright preemption. The course will also consider the tensions between copyright holders and technology that threatens traditional content business models.

LAW 1127 v00 Cyber and National Security: Current Issues Seminar

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

This seminar will examine legal and policy issues related to cybersecurity -- that is, hacking and other intrusions on global computer and communications networks. The primary focus will be the national security implications of cybersecurity and the current challenges that senior lawyers, policymakers, and the private sector face in addressing those issues.  The course will look at international and U.S. domestic law and will examine cyber issues both from the perspective of (1) the U.S. government entities that seek to use cyber tools to further military and other national security aims, and (2) the many government and private sector actors who must defend against the use of these tools use by others.  The goal of the course is to introduce students to the complex legal and policy issues that senior national security decision-makers must address and to provide insight into the practical challenges they present.  The focus of the class is law and policy, not technology.  You do not need a technical background to take the course.

Recommended: International Law and/or national security related course.

LAW 1545 v00 Cyber Threats, Information Security and Technology in the Practice of Law

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

For all practical purposes, nearly every substantially-sized legal matter presents critical challenges that require attorneys to embrace and understand how to handle significant volumes of data and documents and to advise clients on the security risks threatening that information. Today’s lawyers need to be prepared to handle the increasing levels of vital threats and risks posed against their clients and their data.

This hands-on seminar will take students through an exciting, practical exploration of the ways in which the use of powerful technology-based tools is fundamentally transforming the practice of law as we know it. Data and information security as concerns are creating a ‘new normal’ in terms of how lawyers can be best prepared to help their clients, through an important understanding of technology-based solutions, to augment traditional legal representation.

In this course, we will examine some fascinating dynamics of the legal practice, as shaped by ‘information as risk’ as a new fundamental principle, with a focus on the importance of handling those concerns and evaluating how they could impact client risks and affect case outcomes.

This seminar will visit an expansive range of subtopics including data forensics, data analytics, cyber security, data privacy, Internet of Things, deep/dark web, social media, cloud computing, structured and unstructured data, and the emerging roles of lawyers as data and information-risk experts.

From an exploration of essential electronic discovery principles through non-traditional evidentiary concepts, for in-house, government, and outside lawyers alike, this seminar will prepare students to enter the job market with an enhanced understanding of what organizations require of lawyers, especially from technology and information-risk advisory perspectives.

Through a series of lectures and demonstrations that will feature industry-recognized experts, this seminar will provide valuable insights that will illuminate the fascinating interplay of technology and law, with particular focus on how case outcomes can be shaped by leveraging an understanding of data, security, and technology.

Recommended: Evidence; Civil Procedure (or Legal Process and Society).

Note: Students may not withdraw from this class after the add/drop period ends without the permission of the professor.

LAW 2052 v00 Cybersecurity Law

LL.M Course (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

This interactive lecture course will explore various legal and policy issues related to enabling a safe and secure Internet and protecting government and private sector networks. The topics to be discussed include relevant U.S. legal authorities, cybersecurity roles and responsibilities of government agencies, private sector cybersecurity risk management, information sharing, Internet governance, and the application of international law to nation state activity in cyberspace. Lectures by the professor and occasional guests with relevant expertise will be used to stimulate class discussion. Students will be assigned a reflection assignment following each of a number of in-class table top exercises. There will be a four-hour take-home exam that must be completed during the first week of the exam period.

LAW 3066 v00 Cybersecurity Law & Policy

LL.M Seminar (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

This seminar will serve as an advanced LL.M. seminar covering topics in cybersecurity law and policy, with a focus on national and homeland security, military, intelligence law and international aspects. The seminar format is a combination of lecture and class discussion. This seminar is intended to serve as a complement to Cybersecurity Law, and students are welcome to take both courses. Grading will be based on a combination of short and/or medium length papers, active class participation and a final class presentation.

Recommended: Prior coursework in national security law highly recommended.

Note: This course is part of the following graduate programs: Master of Law and Technology National Security Law LL.M. Technology Law & Policy LL.M.

LAW 1615 v00 Digital Assets and the Law Seminar

J.D. Seminar | 3 credit hours

This seminar will examine cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ether and Ripple's XRP, and their possible roles as commodities, payment instruments and investments. It will also briefly touch on “Initial Coin Offerings” ("ICOs")—fundraises by startups identifying technology-based problems and proposing the sale or financing of technology-based solutions. The primary focus will be on the US financial services regulators and their evolving treatment and regulatory approaches to digital assets beginning in 2013 up to the present.

Cryptocurrencies and ICOs have recently attracted more attention—and investment dollars—than early stage venture capital. However, governmental authorities around the world worry that they are under-regulated (or unregulated), pointing to a recent spate of fraud, market volatility, and potential money laundering associated with virtual transactions. This seminar will explore the regulatory framework for digital currencies and payments, and examine the evolving reforms and regulatory efforts arising in the sector. The course will cover topics including the differences between key cryptocurrencies; the varying regulation of cryptocurrencies and ICO tokens as “commodities” vs. “securities;” the mechanics of an ICO; and money laundering and bank secrecy laws.

Prerequisite: A course in securities, banking, or derivatives, one of the following or similar courses: Advanced Studies in Federal Securities Regulation; Derivatives Regulation; Federal Banking Regulation: Modern Financial Institutions and Change; Financial Regulation and Financial Crises; Federal Regulation of Financial Institutions; Initial Public Offerings; Securities Regulation; Securities Regulation of Financial Institutions and the Securities Markets; or The Law of Money Seminar.

LAW 219 v00 Emerging Growth Companies and Venture Capital Financings

J.D. Course | 2 credit hours

This course covers the legal and business issues that arise in the context of representing emerging growth companies and the venture capital investors who provide an important source of capital to such companies. In particular, the course will focus on the legal issues typically encountered by private companies at formation, financing, operation and key corporate events, including acquisition transactions and public offerings. Topics covered include corporate formation and governance, venture capital financing, employment and equity compensation matters, protection of intellectual property, securities laws compliance and exit strategies through merger, acquisition or initial public offering. The course will offer an introduction to these topics through the eyes of attorneys who practice in a Silicon Valley-based law firm active in the East Coast technology and life sciences market and will also include guest presentations by industry participants, such as venture capitalists, angel investors and entrepreneurs. The course will include a practice exercise designed to introduce students, working in practice teams, to the process of structuring and executing venture capital transactions.

Prerequisite: Corporations.

LAW 1737 v00 Entertainment Disputes

J.D. Seminar | 2 credit hours

This course examines the types of disputes that generally arise in the entertainment industry and the various methods by which such disputes are resolved such as litigation, arbitration, or other forms of alternative dispute resolution (ADR). The course will incorporate a mix of “hands-on” assignments, written and oral, that will endeavor to provide actual advocacy, negotiation, and courtroom/arbitration/mediation experience. Finally, we will be joined in a few classes by special guest lecturers with expertise on these issues. 

Prerequisite: Prior or concurrent enrollment in Copyright Law or Entertainment Law or prior enrollment in Introduction to Alternative Dispute Resolution.

Note: FIRST CLASS ATTENDANCE IS MANDATORY. Enrolled students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to remain enrolled. All enrolled students must attend each class session in its entirety. Failure to attend the first class session in its entirety will result in a drop; failure to attend any subsequent class session in its entirety may result in a withdrawal.  

This course is only open to J.D. students. 

LAW 137 v03 Entertainment Law

J.D. Course | 3 credit hours

This course will explore legal and business issues that arise in connection with the development, production and exploitation of entertainment product, with a primary focus on theatrical motion pictures, television and digital content. Topics will include contracts and contractual relations in the entertainment industry; individual and publicity rights; protection of literary material; the protection of ideas; representation of clients in the entertainment industry; issues raised by exploitation of entertainment works in the distribution chain; the roles of agents, managers and creative executives; and so-called “backend” participation accounting. We will explore how digital innovation and technology has dramatically transformed the production and distribution of content and how relevant law, public policy and business principles apply to this industry (including the role of copyright and antitrust throughout the history of the business). The class will strive to emphasize real-world lawyering and how to advance a client's interests through careful business analysis, the crafting of contract language and legal interpretation.

Class participation is encouraged and will form some part of the grade.

Recommended: Copyright Law and/or Trademark and Unfair Competition Law.

LAW 656 v00 Entrepreneurship and the Law: Evaluating Client Business Plans and Growth Strategies

J.D. Course (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

This two-credit course will focus on the processes and challenges of entrepreneurship and the legal and strategic roles that a lawyer plays as an advisor to early-stage and rapid-growth companies. Topics will include: the entrepreneurial mindset, capital formation, resource management, forecasts and projections, leadership and team building, the entrepreneur-attorney relationship, leveraging intellectual capital and related growth strategies. Students will work in teams on mid-term assignments and a final assignment that will include analyzing a business plan. The goal of these exercises is to develop the skills that are essential to the evaluation of business plans and strategic growth of companies and to build an advisory skill set. Guest speakers will include entrepreneurial leaders, accountants, investment bankers and others involved in the entrepreneurial advisory process. Students who are interested in representing and advising entrepreneurs and start-up companies or in becoming entrepreneurs themselves will benefit from this class. This class also will be beneficial for JD/MBA joint degree students.

Prerequisite: Corporations.

Recommended: Corporate Taxation (formerly Taxation II).

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for both this course and Entrepreneurship: The Lifecycle of a Business.

LAW 1617 v00 Entrepreneurship: The Lifecycle of a Business

J.D. Course (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

This course is targeted towards law students who are interested in participating in an entrepreneurial venture at some point in their career, whether in a business or legal role (i.e., as internal or external advisor).  To be clear, it is a business class, not a traditional law class, although legal issues will be highlighted and addressed throughout, as they would be if taught to business students since business and legal issues are always closely intertwined. The primary objective of this course is to give students an understanding of and appreciation for the primary and critical steps in the lifecycle of a start-up, from inception to raising capital to scaling/business execution to exit. 

The course takes a real-world approach to learning, leveraging heavily off the extensive experience of the Professor, who has successfully executed two entrepreneurial ventures, as well as guest speakers with particular expertise in certain topics covered by the course and a simulation group exercise involving a real-life start-up scenario.  This perspective should help prepare students for the real-life challenges – and rewards – of engaging in entrepreneurship and business building.  This course is aimed at law students who are interested in participating in an entrepreneurial venture at some point in their career, whether in a business or legal role (i.e., as internal or external advisor).  

Course Goals / Student Learning Outcomes:

  • At the end of the class, students will understand how to, among other important topics:
    • start and structure a business with the right team and idea;
    • draft an effective business plan and raise capital from different sources;
    • build a collaborative company culture and infrastructure for scalability; and
    • exit the business while maximizing value.
  • The goal is to give students an understanding of and appreciation for the primary steps in the lifecycle of a start-up, from inception to raising capital to scaling/business execution to exit.
  • Students will gain an appreciation for the practical requirements and challenges (and rewards) of starting and building a business, as well as the attendant legal issues at each step in the start-up process.

Recommended: Corporations. 

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for this course and Entrepreneurship and the Law: Evaluating Client Business Plans and Growth Strategies.

LAW 1665 v00 European Patent Law & Practice

J.D. Course (cross-listed) | 1 credit hour

Many of the high profile patent cases conducted in Germany concerned European Patents held by US companies (e.g. Qualcomm vs. Apple, Microsoft vs. Google/Motorola, InterDigital vs. Xiaomi).  It is standard procedure for US companies to litigate their European Patents in Germany as the most important venue for patent infringement lawsuits in Europe.

This course is designed to help students advise US clients when they consider filing patent infringement lawsuits in Europe or when they have to defend against allegations of patent infringement on German territory. At the end of the course, students will have acquired a basic understanding of patent litigation in Europe and of international patent law in general. This course provides an opportunity for students to understand all phases of a patent trial in Germany and before the prospective Unified Patent Court (UPC). It combines  elements of lecture and case studies, whereby the focus is laid on case studies.

Initially the course will provide an introduction to the principles of European patent law. A focus will be placed on patent infringement and nullity proceedings regarding European Patents in Germany. Especially the implications of the German bifurcation principle will be explored.  

In the second part, the course will conduct an in-depth case study of a recent patent infringement case which has been tried in Germany. The strategies both in the first instance and on appeal level will be explored. The case study will focus on the strategies of attorneys acting on behalf of patent holders and/or patent infringers. Issues of material law (literal patent infringement, infringement under the doctrine of equivalence) as well as procedural law (venue, enforcement) will be covered. 

In the following, the law relating to the enforcement of standard-essential patents (SEP) in Europe as established by the Court of Justice of the European Union and as applied by the national courts will be explained. Also the hotly debated anti-suit injunctions directed against litigation in Europe will be considered.

Given the range of competencies covered and type of work assigned, this course is recommended for students who intend to practice patent law.  

Prerequisite: Patent Law.

Note: NOTE: In the Spring 2022 semester, this course will take place online via Zoom.

WEEK ONE COURSE. This seminar will meet for one week only, on the following days: Monday, January 10, 2022, through Friday, January 14, 2022, 2:55 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. The course will have a take-home exam that must be completed between January 21 and January 28, 2022.  This course is mandatory pass/fail and will not count toward the 7 credit pass/fail limit for J.D. students.

ATTENDANCE IS MANDATORY AT ALL CLASS SESSIONS. Enrolled students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to remain enrolled. Waitlisted students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to remain eligible to be admitted off the waitlist. All enrolled students must attend each class session in its entirety. Failure to attend the first class session in its entirety will result in a drop; failure to attend any subsequent class session in its entirety may result in a withdrawal.

Enrolled students will have until the beginning of the second class session to request a drop by contacting the Office of the Registrar; a student who no longer wishes to remain enrolled after the second class session begins will not be permitted to drop the class but may request a withdrawal from an academic advisor in the Office of Academic Affairs. Withdrawals are permitted up until the last class for this specific course.

LAW 3144 v00 Federal Advocacy in Technology Law and Policy

LL.M Seminar (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

Students who take this course will better understand stakeholder politics; federal legislative, regulatory, and enforcement processes; and the advocacy skills needed to achieve policy outcomes in the interrelated fields of technology, telecommunications, and media (“TTM”). Students will gain hands-on experience practicing technology advocacy. The course first reviews key issues in technology policy and advocacy, such as competition, content moderation, net neutrality, privacy, AI & bias, and cybersecurity.

Armed with the basics of current technology policy issues, students then learn advocacy tools to “make” technology policy. Students will review and draft collateral materials used for technology policy advocacy, including white papers, talking points, comments, “op/eds,” earned media coverage, and more, gaining an appreciation for the differences from, and complementary relationship with, traditional legal materials and legal practice. Students will be introduced to the legislative process (committee hearings and markups, bicameral action, budget procedure); independent agency rulemaking and adjudication (comments, ex parte presentations, Administration and congressional input); relevant enforcement proceedings (Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission merger review); and related advocacy in the courts (amicus briefs).

This is a skill-intensive course with writing assignments, workshops, presentations, peer support, and simulations. It will have a final assessment with a written and oral component. There are no prerequisite courses required. Classes will incorporate pre-class preparations and in-class skill-building exercises.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for both this course and Technology Policy and Practice.

LAW 530 v00 Federal Legislation Clinic

J.D. Clinic | 10 credit hours

Please see the Federal Legislation Clinic website for more detailed information about the program.

For registration-specific supplemental materials, please see the Federal Legislation PDF.

For information about clinic registration, please see the Clinic Registration Handbook.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not concurrently enroll in this clinic and an externship or a practicum course.

LAW 1744 v00 FinTech and Financial Democratization Seminar

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 2-3 credit hours

“Fintech” often refers to the use of modern technologies and novel methods in offering financial services. This bourgeoning sector has significantly disrupted the financial marketplace, challenging the conventional roles of banks, other financial institutions, regulators, and policymakers. Legal scholars often evaluate how the novelties of Fintech fit or do not fit within existing legal regimes, and how such regimes should be modernized in response. Fewer scholars examine what might be the most transformative promise of Fintech – whether it does or can democratize the financial marketplace and how the law might facilitate (or frustrate) that aim. This seminar examines just this.

Seminar readings will illuminate the relationship between the financial marketplace and oft-marginalized communities and allow students to assess whether effective solutions to certain inequities lie in Fintech, fundamental policy reforms, or both. This course covers topics such as payment systems, credit markets, financial advising, savings, and security investing. It focuses on the U.S. marketplace, but will occasionally reference trends in international markets for comparative analysis. Readings are primarily drawn from legal, economic and sociological research, regulatory and legislative reports, cases, and popular news media.

The goal of this seminar is for students to develop views on the purpose and role of Fintech, the objectivity of financial markets and regulation, and whether financial democratization is a necessary or achievable aim for market providers. Students will further hone their critical analysis, research and writing, and public speaking skills.

Note: ATTENDANCE IS MANDATORY AT ALL CLASS SESSIONS. Enrolled students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to remain enrolled. Waitlisted students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to remain eligible to be admitted off the waitlist. All enrolled students must attend each class session in its entirety. Failure to attend the first class session in its entirety will result in a drop; failure to attend any subsequent class session in its entirety may result in a withdrawal.

This seminar requires a paper. J.D. students must register for the 3 credit section of the seminar if they wish to write a paper fulfilling the Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement. The paper requirements of the 2 credit section will not fulfill the J.D. Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement.

LAW 1442 v00 Fintech Law and Policy

J.D. Course (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

Technology-driven disruption has upended many industries – retail, entertainment, transportation, to name just a few – and now we are seeing it redefine financial services. The rise of Fintech is perhaps the most interesting industry transformation to study from a legal perspective because of the way it impacts complex financial services regulations. Regulatory frameworks that were created decades ago are being challenged by the rise of Internet and mobile-driven financial services providers. This course will hone in on a few areas where the US financial regulatory structure is being challenged by technological innovation and may require fresh thinking.

Financial services can be broken down into three distinct subsectors: 1) Insurance; 2) Retail Banking; and 3) Investment/Advisory Banking. This course will focus on how technology is transforming both retail and investment/advisory banking. Retail banking law was designed for a world of brick and mortar banks that accepted deposits and leveraged those deposits to provide commercial and personal loans. Investment/advisory banking law was designed for a world of a relatively small number of sophisticated investors. This traditional schema is being transformed, rapidly.

The smartphone is replacing the retail bank as the method by which a small business or consumer conducts their day-to-day banking activity. A 2015 report by Goldman Sachs found that 33% of millennials do not think they will need a traditional bank in the next five years. In fact, 73% of millennials reported that they are more excited about new offerings in the financial services space from the likes of Google, Apple and Amazon.

Moreover, in the financial services industry lines are blurring – financial tech companies are expanding financial services ecosystems and traditional financial services companies are expanding their digital capabilities. New business models are being created that leverage the data and capabilities afforded by the Internet, and seemingly diverse industries ranging from telecom to traditional banks are competing over similar financial services activities.

Crowdfunding, mobile payments, online lending, robo-advisors, and Bitcoin are new phenomenon that challenge existing regulatory structures. The SEC, Treasury Department, Office of Comptroller of Currency, Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Federal Deposit Insurance Commission, Federal Reserve Bank, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and Federal Trade Commission are just a few of the regulatory bodies that are increasingly exploring Fintech developments. Moreover, the courts have been faced with challenges to several federal and state laws that were written before modern technological innovations took hold and challenged existing concepts of Federalism. This class will focus in on these particular challenges, will question existing regulatory bodies, approaches and standards, as well as discuss the practicalities of alternative regulatory structures and rules.

The class will proceed in 4 parts. Part 1 will be an introduction to retail banking law and disruptions that are occurring due to Fintech. Part 2 will be an introduction to investment/advisory banking law and disruptions that are occurring due to Fintech. Part 3 will address cross-cutting horizontal disruptions. And, finally Part 4 will involve a high-level assessment of regulatory structures and approaches for Fintech. After this course, students should have a strong baseline knowledge of the myriad of legal and policy issues that exist in the Fintech arena.

LAW 196 v03 Free Press

J.D. Course (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

"Congress shall make no law . . .," the First Amendment commands, "abridging the freedom . . . of the press." But Congress, the Executive Branch, and the courts have promulgated a host of laws governing both print and electronic media. This survey of mass media law explores such current topics as prior restraints on publication, defamation, privacy, newsgathering liability, media liability for unlawful conduct of third parties, compelled disclosure of sources, and access to information. Practical aspects of representing media clients are examined along with public policy implications of existing legal doctrines and proposals for change. Much of the course is discussion-based, and students will be expected to make meaningful contributions to that discussion, with class participation forming the basis for one-third of the grade for the semester.

Recommended: Constitutional Law II: Individual Rights and Liberties.

LAW 1646 v00 Global Tech Law: Comparative Perspectives on Regulating New Technologies

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 2-3 credit hours

From AI to robots to social media, countries around the world are racing to regulate new technologies. Regulation is the principal mechanism to bring technology within an enforceable ethics framework. Will international competition create a race to the bottom to promote innovation at the expense of consumer protection? How can nations nurture their own Silicon Valleys consistent with their ethical values? We will examine how the same technology--from internet platforms, to algorithms, to drones, to self-driving cars, to smart cities, to sharing platforms --is regulated in various jurisdictions across the world. As countries across the world race to become the world's leader in artificial intelligence, how are they modifying their laws for a world of automated decision-making? What can countries or states or cities learn from each other? Just as there are technological network layers, there are regulatory layers: What is the proper regulatory layer for any particular technology or activity—the nation, the region, or the globe, or even city or state? In an era of unprecedented technological change, how we choose to regulate technology is more important than ever.

Note: This seminar requires a paper. J.D. students must register for the 3 credit section of the seminar if they wish to write a paper fulfilling the Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement. The paper requirements of the 2 credit section will not fulfill the J.D. Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement.

LAW 1403 v00 Hot Topics in Antitrust

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

Antitrust is dynamic. In regulating business strategy, competition law is only as effective as its understanding of each industry’s idiosyncrasies. Novel business practices reflect changing technologies, market conditions, and strategies. Antitrust lawyers do not simply master doctrine. Fluent in the basic principles of antitrust law and economics, they understand industry conditions and the enforcement agencies’ agendas. Above all, they stay abreast of cutting-edge developments in the law.

This seminar bestows that understanding. We will discuss today’s most hotly debated antitrust questions, explore how foreign jurisdictions’ competition laws and enforcement ideals deviate from U.S. practice, and delve into the industry-specific issues that arise in fields ranging from healthcare to wireless technology.

Major points of focus include the evolving relationship between antitrust law and intellectual-property rights. We shall discuss post-Actavis issues in the pay-for-delay space, including no-authorized-generic promises by pioneer-drug manufacturers and whether the continuation of infringement litigation immunizes a reverse payment. Outside of the life sciences, urgent questions involve antitrust limits on IP aggregation by patent-assertion entities and practicing firms. Further, when does a “privateering” agreement between a practicing entity and a PAE implicate competition law? Does the owner of a standard-essential patent violate antitrust law in seeking to enjoin a technology user despite its prior assurance to license on reasonable and nondiscriminatory terms? We shall also address antitrust limits on patent licensing and refusals to deal. Agency guidelines overseas, such as in China, and enforcement actions in Asia more broadly hint at the direction of international antitrust in this area.

In the larger field of antitrust and technology, some commentators argue that big data and privacy may implicate competition policy. In 2016, Germany’s Federal Cartel Office accused Facebook of abusing its dominance based on privacy and big-data theories. Do those allegations hold water? A recurring problem in antitrust, which has emerged anew in the pharmaceutical industry, is predatory innovation. A separate development goes to the nature of actionable conspiracies where the lines between vertical and horizontal agreements become blurred. The Apple e-Books saga, which came to an end in March 2016 when the Supreme Court denied cert., has important repercussions for the law in this space. We shall also address the ongoing debate about the reach of Section 5 of the FTC Act, which allows the FTC to reach beyond the Sherman Act to condemn unfair methods of competition. The FTC’s controversial 2015 statement of enforcement principles on Section 5 features here, and we shall ask whether it makes sense that the Justice Department and FTC can subject firms to distinct liability standards. We shall touch on pending legislation, the SMARTER Act, which touches upon those issues. A critical antitrust issue that remains unresolved is the scope of Noerr-Pennington immunity. Finally, we will discuss contemporary issues in healthcare-merger oversight.

Recommended: Prior or concurrent enrollment in a basic antitrust course.

LAW 3118 v00 Information Operations in the Cyber Age: Law and Policy

LL.M Seminar | 2 credit hours

Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election, the spread of misinformation related to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the threat of deep fakes have all increased government – and public – attention on the national security threats posed by both State and non-State actors use of information and disinformation. Whether referred to as propaganda, psychological operations, influence operations, or information warfare, States have used information to further their national security interests for many years.

While these activities are not new, cyber capabilities and modern communications technologies have increased both their reach and effectiveness. The use of data to micro-target audiences via social media, leveraging hacked and leaked information, the dissemination of non and misattributed messages to a mass audience, and the potential use of deep fakes all challenge current policy approaches and existing legal norms. This class will examine the U.S. domestic legal and policy issues, as well as the International legal issues, arising from the use of information and disinformation as an instrument of national power.

Learning Objectives

The learning objectives for the course are for students to:

  1. Become familiar with how States use information as an instrument of national power, to include past use of propaganda and modern use of disinformation.
  2. Appreciate how cyber capabilities have transformed the use of information by States, and the increased threats to national security posed by these activities.
  3. Gain an understanding of the domestic and international law governing State informational activities, including the limitations faced by the US Government imposed by the Constitution and US federal law.
  4. Understand the role of, and rules applicable to, private actors in monitoring and controlling online communication.
  5. Understand how to analyze the different information activities and the applicable legal regimes.

Recommended: International Law course

LAW 342 v03 Information Privacy Law

J.D. Course (cross-listed) | 3 credit hours

This course provides an introduction to information privacy law both on the books and on the ground. Topics covered include the constitutional, common law, and consumer protection foundations of U.S. information privacy law; the European approach to privacy and data protection; the “life cycle of data,” with particular regard to regulatory issues and new challenges posed by algorithmic and/or data-driven practices; and sectoral privacy regimes in national security, employment, health, education, finance, and communications.

Learning goals for this course: Critical mastery of the existing doctrinal, statutory, regulatory, and policy landscapes and the complex interrelationships among them; critical mastery of the privacy compliance considerations that confront both private- and public-sector organizations; awareness of international differences in the treatment of information privacy issues and some comparative exposure to European information privacy and data protection law in particular.

LAW 342 v05 Information Privacy Law

J.D. Course (cross-listed) | 3 credit hours

This course serves as an introduction to the field of "information privacy law." The goal of the course is to equip students with the vocabulary, legal toolkit, and conceptual knowledge to enter the this rapidly-expanding area of law as a practitioner, an academic, or something in between. The course will trace the development and meanings of privacy in American law from the famous 1890 Harvard Law Review article "The Right to Privacy" by Samuel Warren and Louis Brandeis to the modern problems of privacy in the information age. Particular emphasis will be placed upon modern policy problems involving privacy, including privacy and the media, Fourth Amendment law, health privacy, Internet privacy, FTC regulation, emerging technologies, the problems caused by government and private-sector databases, and the prospects of federal privacy reform in 2021. The focus of the course is on US law, but we will necessarily examine the internationalization of the field, including the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the "Right to Be Forgotten." Attendance and participation are essential.

Note: Please note that laptop computers are not permitted in class.

LAW 1294 v00 Information Technology and Modern Litigation

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

This course builds upon the reality that what a lawyer must know about the influence information technology has had on litigation cuts across the traditional boundaries between law school courses and will deal universally with the impact information technology has had on the management and trial of criminal, civil and administrative cases.

The course will deal with all the topics usually encompassed in so-called e-discovery, such as the meet and confer responsibility, format of production, claw back of privileged information, Rule 502 of the Federal Rules of Evidence, and preservation and sanctions. There will be a particular emphasis on the science of technology assisted review and its relationship to the reasonableness search and the implicit certification a lawyer makes under Rule 26(g) the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure by producing electronically stored information in response to a demand for it.

Throughout the course there will be practical exercises such as mock meet and confer or drafting and responding to a letter demanding the preservation of electronically stored information. The course will attempt to equip students with the practical ability to handle a case involving electronically stored information from its conception to trial.

Finally, the course will deal with the often ignored implications of electronically stored information for criminal cases. The manner in which law enforcement gathers information will be examined with a heavy emphasis on the constitutional implications of the collection of large amounts of data by law enforcement.

Prerequisite: Civil Procedure (or Legal Process and Society).

Recommended: Prior or concurrent enrollment in Evidence.

LAW 295 v00 Information Technology Transactions: Strategy, Negotiations and Drafting

J.D. Seminar | 3 credit hours

This class will consider commercial transactions structured around the transfer of information technology ("IT"), focusing primarily upon the software industry and data-centric businesses. Whereas traditional curricula have approached this subject matter as a species of intellectual property licensing, this course will emphasize the multi-disciplinary approach that tech lawyers must adopt in order to represent tech clients effectively, drawing upon, inter alia, contract law, commercial law/UCC and intellectual property law (but also from corporate law, consumer protection law, privacy law, antitrust, bankruptcy, accounting, export regulation and several international accords). The class is organized around archetypal models of commercial IT transfer; with each such model, students will study the interplay among statutory, regulatory and case law frameworks (as well as industry standard practices) that are relevant to shaping and structuring particular tech deals. At a practical level, key contractual provisions and negotiation strategies will be explored, and class assignments will include contract negotiation and drafting exercises.

Recommended: A basic intellectual property course or Copyright Law.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for both this course and Advanced Legal Writing: Intellectual Property and Technology Transactions.

LAW 1670 v00 Intellectual Property and Information Policy Clinic

J.D. Clinic | 9 credit hours

The Intellectual Property and Information Policy (iPIP) Clinic casework focuses on counseling for individuals, non-profit organizations, and other groups engaged with intellectual property and information policy matters from a public interest perspective. Past matters have included strategic advising, policymaking, and impact advocacy. Matters vary, but each presents cutting-edge or novel questions while also operating as effective teaching vehicles. The Clinic will not engage in litigation, but there may be opportunities to work on amicus briefs. Students do not need any technical background to participate in the Clinic.

Through the seminar, students can expect to learn about how substantive intellectual property law (copyright, trademark, trade secret, and patent) and information policy (privacy, right of publicity, Communications Decency Act § 230, Freedom of Information Acts, the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act) intersect with social justice movements, both historically and presently.

By the conclusion of the Clinic, students will have accomplished the following objectives:

●      Develop knowledge of the core areas of intellectual property law and information policy,

●      Analyze how social justice movements, historically and presently, shape intellectual property law and information policy;

●      Nurture the skillset necessary to become an effective lawyer, including the abilities to think, speak, and write efficiently, accurately, collaboratively, and creatively,

●      Foster a working environment rooted in hard work, trust, humility, respect, and joy.

Please see the Intellectual Property and Information Policy Clinic website for more detailed information about the program.

For registration-specific supplemental materials, please see the Intellectual Property and Information Policy Clinic PDF.

For more information about clinic registration generally, please see the Clinic Registration Handbook.

Recommended: There are no prerequisites, but students may find one or more of the following courses useful: Copyright Law, Trademark and Unfair Competition, Patent Law, or Information Privacy Law.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not concurrently enroll in this clinic and an externship or a practicum course.

LAW 233 v01 Intellectual Property and Medicines

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 2-3 credit hours

This course examines the special legal and policy issues arising from the use of intellectual property rights in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology fields. The course will cover: (1) U.S. case law impacting intellectual property, patents, trademarks and copyrights in drugs and biologics; (2) the interplay of the regulatory approval process for therapeutic products with intellectual property rights; (3) the Hatch-Waxman Act and its impact on how patent rights for pharmaceuticals are procured and enforced ; and (4) major legislative developments affecting the use of intellectual property rights in the drug, biotechnology and medical device fields, such as the Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act of 2009 and the America Invents Act of 2011. Other topics may be included depending on current judicial or legislative developments. A background in biologics or pharmaceuticals is not required, although completion of a basic patent law or a food and drug law course is recommended.

Students will have the option of taking this course for either two or three credits. The three credit option will require a paper that satisfies the upperclass legal writing requirement in compliance with Law Center regulations. The two credit option will require completion of a final paper or of several shorter legal writing samples on student-selected or assigned topics.

Strongly Recommended: Prior or concurrent enrollment in a basic patent law course or food and drug law course is highly recommended.

Note: This seminar requires a paper. J.D. students must register for the 3 credit section of the seminar if they wish to write a paper fulfilling the Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement. The paper requirements of the 2 credit section will not fulfill the J.D. Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement.

LAW 1471 v00 Intellectual Property and Startup Law

J.D. Course | 1 credit hour

This course focuses on key concepts of intellectual property law as they pertain to the start-up business environment. We initially cover the basics of patent, trademark, copyright, and trade secret law. We discuss stages of a start-up business cycle and evaluate intellectual property goals relevant to each stage. We review best practices and common mistakes of start-ups in intellectual property. The course also focuses on client communication skills, including the clear articulation of complex intellectual property problems to a start-up client.

Note: WEEK ONE COURSE. This seminar will meet for one week only on the following days: Monday, January 9, 2023, through Thursday, January 12, 2023, 6:00 p.m. - 9:20 p.m. The course will have a take-home exam that must be completed during the week of Friday, January 20th through Friday, January 27th, 2023. This course is mandatory pass/fail and will not count toward the 7 credit pass/fail limit for J.D. students.

ATTENDANCE IS MANDATORY AT ALL CLASS SESSIONS. Enrolled students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to remain enrolled. Waitlisted students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to remain eligible to be admitted off the waitlist. All enrolled students must attend each class session in its entirety. Failure to attend the first class session in its entirety will result in a drop; failure to attend any subsequent class session in its entirety may result in a withdrawal.

Enrolled students will have until the beginning of the second class session to request a drop by contacting the Office of the Registrar; a student who no longer wishes to remain enrolled after the second class session begins will not be permitted to drop the class but may request a withdrawal from an academic advisor in the Office of Academic Affairs. Withdrawals are permitted up until the last class for this specific course.

This course will not fulfill the prerequisite for advanced courses that require prior enrollment in a course in intellectual property.

LAW 226 v00 Intellectual Property in World Trade

J.D. Course (cross-listed) | 3 credit hours

The knowledge, technological inventions, creative works and accumulated experience and expertise of the professional workforce increasingly drives the global economy. Unlike physical capital, this intellectual capital cannot readily be confined to the territorial setting of its origin. The development of cohesive norms to protect intellectual properties on a global basis has thus proven to be an enormous challenge. This course considers this effort by addressing the core international agreements governing intellectual property; norms and norm-making in the international intellectual property rights system; dispute settlement and the enforcement of rights; and tensions arising between intellectual property rights and distinct legal and cultural values.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for this course and International Intellectual Property and Development and the graduate course, International Protection of Intellectual Property Through the WTO.

LAW 293 v01 Intellectual Property Litigation: Pretrial Skills

J.D. Seminar | 2 credit hours

The objective of this course is to help students develop the skills necessary to handle intellectual property disputes in the federal courts and administrative agencies. By focusing on pretrial activities, the course provides the opportunity to examine a dispute from its beginning, including the types of investigations and filings that are made and consideration of alternative forums, through discovery and the filing of a summary judgment motion. By covering this period of the litigation cycle, students will have the opportunity to develop both written and oral skills necessary for a trial lawyer. The emphasis on the pretrial aspects of a case is beneficial because most new associates spend far more time in their first few years dealing with these aspects of litigation than they do participating in actual trials. The course includes practice in drafting pleadings, discovery and motions, as well as the opportunity to hone oral skills through taking discovery depositions. Because this course focuses on pretrial activities, it also is a good companion course to the patent trial advocacy course, which focuses on the trial phase of a proceeding.

Prerequisite: Civil Procedure (or Legal Process and Society) and Evidence.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for both this course and Civil Litigation Practice or Civil Litigation Practice: From the Complaint to the Courthouse Steps.

Note: This course is open to J.D. students only.

LAW 820 v01 International Protection of Intellectual Property Through the WTO

LL.M Course | 2 credit hours

This course deals with international protection of intellectual property through the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the WTO agreements which cover intellectual property: the TRIPS Agreement, The Paris Convention and the Berne Convention. The course will also cover the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and the Dispute Settlement Understanding, which are essential in enforcing these agreements.

The course examines in detail the relevant U.S. law and how the extraterritorial application of these laws effects international enforcement of intellectual property. These laws are Section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 which prohibits the importation of articles into the United States which infringe U.S. patents, trademarks, or copyrights, and Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974 which allows retaliation against foreign countries which impose unjustifiable or unreasonable restrictions against U.S. commerce.

The main WTO cases in intellectual property will be read and analyzed. These will include the cases on Sections 337 and 301, which have limited the United States’ ability to unilaterally affect intellectual property law. Other cases will include the U.S. – Cuba Havana Club case, the Indian Pharmaceutical case, the Internet Gaming case, the U.S. Musical Copyright case, the European Geographical Indication (GI) case, the Canada Pharmaceutical patent case, and the China Intellectual Property Violation case. The course will study the Doha Agreement, which allows the compulsory licensing of pharmaceutical patents to fight pandemic diseases particularly HIV/AIDS. Finally, the course will review any significant changes in trade law or existing trade agreements, particularly as relates to intellectual property, that may occur under the Trump administration

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for both this course and Intellectual Property in World Trade (LAWG/J-226).

LAW 708 v00 International Trade, Intellectual Property Rights, & Public Health

LL.M Seminar (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

This course will cover the interface between the intellectual property rights, international trade and public health, focusing in particular on the WTO TRIPS Agreement and subsequent decisions, including on the Covid-19 waiver, if approved. It will provide an introduction to the provisions of WTO agreements relevant to public health (other than TRIPS), and to the law and economics relating to IPRs and public health; it will cover the provisions of the TRIPS Agreement relevant to public health, and discuss the relevant disputes settled in the WTO. It will examine the background, content and implications of the Doha Declaration on the TRIPS Agreement and Public Health and of the subsequent TRIPS amendment implementing compulsory licensing for exports. It will devote a session to Covid-19 and infectious disease pandemics. It will also discuss the relevance of bilateral or regional free trade area agreements to the subject.

The course would study relevant national/regional implementing legislation, for example on compulsory licenses, and discuss use of the WTO export compulsory license provisions. In addition to the final paper, students will be graded on class participation, individual presentations and group exercises, an example of the last being a hypothetical case study of exports, with students taking up the role of legal advisors based in either the importing country or the exporting country.

Finally, the course will also cover recent work on trade, intellectual property and public health in other intergovernmental organizations, in particular in the World Health Organization

Recommended: Coursework in International Trade, Intellectual Property Rights, or Public Health.

LAW 1626 v00 Internet Law

J.D. Course | 3 credit hours

Everything we do, we do at least some aspect of it online. From commerce to speech, internet companies intermediate our daily activities. In the process, internet companies are changing how we live. Is the internet a free speech zone protected by the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment, or does it heed hate speech or political speech regulations from abroad? Can copyright law survive the worldwide copying machine of the internet? Is privacy dead when corporations know where you are and what you are doing nearly 24/7? Focusing on U.S. case law and statutes, this course examines the evolving law regulating internet enterprises. 

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for this course and Digital Law & Policy (CCTP-658-01), which is offered by the Communications, Culture & Technology department on the Main Campus.

LAW 1400 v00 Law and Business of Television

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

An in-depth study of television industry legal concepts, contracts, business structures and economic models, focusing on the role of the attorney in the development and production of television programs; the relationships among attorneys, agents and entertainment executives that govern television; the legal issues innate in the of development and production of television programs; and topics involving the distribution of television product in ancillary markets (such as digital media and the role of so-called “backend” profit accounting). Class will focus both on academic and theoretical underpinnings of legal and business concepts as well as practical practitioner/clinical points-of-view (including negotiations).

Recommended: Entertainment Law and Copyright Law are recommended, but not required.

LAW 199 v03 Law and Regulation of Drugs, Biologics and Devices

J.D. Course (cross-listed) | 3 credit hours

This course explores the legal, regulatory and policy issues that shape the research, development, and commercialization of drugs, biologics, and medical devices in the United States. We will consider the history and role of federal regulation of medical technologies; legal and ethical issues in the development and testing of new therapies; managing incentives for innovation, including patent, regulatory and data exclusivity; tort liability and its function in the regulation of the life sciences industry; and other issues. We will explore these issues using real-world examples, including the government and industry response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Recommended: Prior or concurrent enrollment in Administrative Law.

Note: This is a required course for the Food and Drug Law Certificate.

LAW 1087 v00 Law and Solidarity Economy (Fieldwork Practicum)

J.D. Practicum | 5 credit hours

The interdisciplinary approach of this practicum - integrating law, business, and public policy - will be of interest to a broad spectrum of students. The practicum will appeal to students interested in becoming entrepreneurs or representing, working with, or investing in startup and early stage businesses, as well as students interested in social and economic justice movements and how innovative business and community development models can contribute to a more just world.  Finally, those interested in how public policy can facilitate the growth of the solidarity economy will find the policy innovations in financing and other areas spawned by this movement to be of great interest. 

The solidarity economy consists of enterprises and organizations like cooperatives, community land trusts, mutual benefit societies, foundations, and community anchored microbusinesses  The central aim of the solidarity economy is to build resident and community wealth by better balancing concerns for profit with concerns for people, communities, and the planet. 

It challenges the prevailing paradigms of individual self-interest, zero sum competition, the prioritization of growth over equity, and extractive forms of profit-maximization that build the wealth of those outside local communities often at the expense of those within them. The solidarity economy values shared ownership models of participatory and economic democracy, environmental sustainability, and more equitable distributions of income and wealth for those living within the communities in which economic activity is generated.  It is particularly interested in how this approach to ordering economic activity can promote equity by closing race, gendered, and place-based wealth gaps - a key driver in a broad spectrum of inequalities.  

SEMINAR: Our two-hour/week seminar functions like a Solidarity Economy Incubator for concepts the professor and/or his community partners are spearheading.  Students will develop skills around some combination of the following: case study and best practices research and analysis, market and financial feasibility studies, business, marketing, and operational planning.  For the seminar projects, students work under the supervision of the professor and seminar advisors.  The premise of the seminar project is that by understanding business models and plans, students can better fulfill their client’s legal needs and develop the capacity to evaluate key aspects of the client’s business.

FIELDWORK: In the field placement, students are supervised by attorneys partnering with the practicum.  In this role, they research legal issues, draft documents, and advise clients affiliated with the Practicum.

Between the Seminar and Fieldwork Projects (15 hours a week), students gain valuable insight into both the legal and business dimensions of a growing solidarity economy movement that promotes racial, gendered and place-based equity through models of shared ownership rooted in the principles of economic democracy.

Prerequisite: J.D. students must complete the required first-year program prior to enrolling in this course (part-time and interdivisional transfer students may enroll prior to completing Criminal Justice, Property, or their first-year elective).

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not concurrently enroll in this practicum and an externship or a clinic or another practicum course.

Note: This course will be offered during both the Fall 2022 and Spring 2023 semesters. Students can only enroll in the course for one semester, i.e., Fall 2022 OR Spring 2023.

This course is suitable for evening students who can commit to attending class and working 15 hours/week, during business hours, on site at Foley & Lardner.

This practicum course is open to LL.M. students, space permitting. Interested LL.M. students should email the Office of the Registrar (lawreg@georgetown.edu) to request admission.

This is a five credit course. Two credits will be awarded for the two-hour weekly seminar. Three credits will be awarded for 15 hours of supervised fieldwork per week, for a minimum of 11 weeks, to be scheduled with the faculty. The fieldwork must be completed during normal business hours. The two-credit seminar portion of this practicum will be graded. The fieldwork credits are mandatory pass/fail. Students will be allowed to take another course pass/fail in the same semester as the fieldwork.

Students who enroll in this course will be automatically enrolled in both the seminar and fieldwork components and may not take either component separately. After Add/Drop, a student who wishes to withdraw from a practicum course must obtain permission from the faculty member and the Assistant Dean for Experiential Education. The Assistant Dean will grant such withdrawal requests only when remaining enrolled in the practicum would cause significant hardship for the student. A student who is granted permission to withdraw will be withdrawn from both the seminar and fieldwork components.

Default attendance rule for all practicum courses (unless the professor indicates otherwise): Regular and punctual attendance is required at all practicum seminars and fieldwork placements. Students in project-based practicum courses are similarly required to devote the requisite number of hours to their project. If a student must miss seminar, fieldwork, or project work, he or she must speak to the professor as soon as possible to discuss the absence. Unless the professor indicates otherwise, a student with more than one unexcused absence from the practicum seminar (out of 13 total seminar sessions), or one week of unexcused absences from the fieldwork or project work (out of a total of 11 weeks of fieldwork or project work), may receive a lower grade or, at the professor’s discretion, may be withdrawn from the practicum course.

LAW 1087 v01 Law and Solidarity Economy (Fieldwork Practicum)

J.D. Practicum | 5 credit hours

In fieldwork practicum courses, students participate in weekly seminars and conduct related fieldwork at outside organizations. The interdisciplinary approach of this practicum - integrating law, business, and public policy - should interest a broad spectrum of students.

The practicum will appeal to students interested in becoming entrepreneurs or representing, working with, or investing in startup and early stage businesses, as well as students interested in social and economic justice movements and how innovative business and community development models can contribute to a more just world. Finally, those interested in how public policy can facilitate the growth of the solidarity economy, will find the policy innovations in financing and other areas spawned by this movement to be of great interest.

The solidarity economy is comprised of enterprises and organizations, in particular cooperatives, mutual benefit societies, associations, foundations and social enterprises, which produce goods, services and knowledge while pursuing both economic and social aims.

The central social aim of the solidarity economy is to center people and planet in economic systems rather than individual self-interest, zero sum competition, blind growth, and extractive forms of profit-maximization that build the wealth of those outside local communities rather than those within them. The solidarity economy values shared ownership models of participatory and economic democracy, environmental sustainability, and more equitable distributions of income and wealth for those living within the communities in which economic activity is generated. It is particularly interested in how this approach to ordering economic activity can help close race, gendered and place-based wealth gaps - a key driver of a broad spectrum of societal inequalities.

SEMINAR: The two-hour/week seminar functions like a Solidarity Economy Incubator for concepts the professor and/or his community development partners are spearheading. Students will develop skills around some combination of the following: case study and best practices research and analysis, market and financial feasibility studies, business, marketing, and operational planning. For the seminar projects, students work under the supervision of the professor and seminar advisors.  The premise of the seminar project is that by understanding business models and plans, students can better fulfill their client’s legal needs and develop the capacity to evaluate the viability of business ideas and plans.

FIELDWORK: In the field placement, students are supervised by attorneys partnering with the practicum. In this role, students research legal issues, draft documents, and advise clients affiliated with the Practicum.

Between the Seminar and Fieldwork Projects (21 hours a week), students gain valuable insight into both the legal and business planning dimensions of entrepreneurial ventures and the growing solidarity economy movement - one promoting racial, gendered and place-based equity through models of shared ownership rooted in participatory and economic democracy.

Prerequisite: J.D. students must complete the required first-year program prior to enrolling in this course (part-time and interdivisional transfer students may enroll prior to completing Criminal Justice, Property, or their first-year elective).

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not concurrently enroll in this practicum and an externship or a clinic or another practicum course.

Note: This course is suitable for evening students who can commit to attending class and working 21 hours/week.

This is a five credit course. Two credits will be awarded for the two-hour weekly seminar. Three credits will be awarded for 165 hours of supervised fieldwork (21 hours per week for 8 weeks, or 27.5 hours per week for a minimum of 6 weeks), to be scheduled with the faculty. The fieldwork must be completed during normal business hours. The two-credit seminar portion of this practicum will be graded. The fieldwork credits are mandatory pass/fail. Students will be allowed to take another course pass/fail in the same semester as the fieldwork.

Students who enroll in this course will be automatically enrolled in both the seminar and fieldwork components and may not take either component separately. After Add/Drop, a student who wishes to withdraw from a practicum course must obtain permission from the faculty member and the Assistant Dean for Experiential Education. The Assistant Dean will grant such withdrawal requests only when remaining enrolled in the practicum would cause significant hardship for the student. A student who is granted permission to withdraw will be withdrawn from both the seminar and fieldwork components.

Default attendance rule for all practicum courses (unless the professor indicates otherwise): Regular and punctual attendance is required at all practicum seminars and fieldwork placements. Students in project-based practicum courses are similarly required to devote the requisite number of hours to their project. If a student must miss seminar, fieldwork, or project work, he or she must speak to the professor as soon as possible to discuss the absence. Unless the professor indicates otherwise, a student with more than one unexcused absence from the practicum seminar (out of 8 total seminar sessions), or one week of unexcused absences from the fieldwork or project work (out of a total of 8 weeks of fieldwork or project work), may receive a lower grade or, at the professor’s discretion, may be withdrawn from the practicum course.

LAW 267 v04 Law of Cyberspace

J.D. Course (cross-listed) | 3 credit hours

This course examines legal and policy issues arising from the Internet, with an emphasis on three broad areas: (1) the impact of the Internet on traditional legal causes of action; (2) government regulation of the Internet; (3) international aspects of the Internet and the interplay among United States and foreign jurisdictions.

Specific areas that will be examined within this framework include: constitutional issues raised by cyberspace speech and content; privacy issues; torts occurring in cyberspace; contract and other issues related to cyberspace commerce; and the protection of intellectual property in cyberspace.

Course readings rely primarily on cases, pleadings, statutes, and regulations. However, short articles and commentaries will also be used for background and supplementary information. There are no prerequisites for the course, and a computer background is not necessary.

LAW 1616 v00 Legal and Policy Aspects of Countering Terrorist Recruiting and Online Propaganda in the Digital Age Seminar

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

Rapidly evolving technological advances over the past decade have created powerful mechanisms to instantly and directly reach billions of information consumers around the world.  Although the latest information revolution has fostered tremendous progress by connecting people in every corner of the planet, it has also been accompanied by governmental and non-governmental efforts to spread propaganda, particularly through social media platforms.  This course will review the legal and policy aspects of addressing these challenges, focusing on the rise of terrorist recruiting and other organized online propaganda efforts. 

As governments intensify their extensive counterterrorism initiatives, terrorist recruiting continues to evolve and poses a more complex threat than perhaps at any time in history.  Terrorists no longer require in-person recruiting to spread their ideology and to inspire attacks in other countries. Domestic and international extremist groups have become more adept at using online platforms and other tools to “crowd source” their recruiting in a decentralized attempt to attract and inspire disaffected individuals by exploiting grievances and offering a sense of purpose, belonging, adventure, and obligation.  At the same time, governments and other organizations are themselves using social media platforms to reach audiences in their countries and around the world.  They have done so not only to increase public support for their political leaders, but also to attempt to impact public debates on major issues, influence policy formulation, and even to sow discord between groups domestically and abroad.  These propaganda efforts have raised questions about whether social media companies, governments, and international organizations should play a larger role in determining how such information is disseminated, and how they can implement solutions without undermining freedom of expression and other legal protections. 

​In addressing online propaganda, this course will focus on legal and policy challenges and strategies in three main areas: (1) assessing and countering methods to spread propaganda online, including terrorists’ efforts to recruit followers and to inspire attacks; (2) examining innovative NGO and private sector cooperation in developing counter-propaganda initiatives; and (3) utilizing existing law enforcement tools and crafting new governmental and non-governmental prevention and intervention programs to disengage, redirect, and rehabilitate those who are radicalized online. 

LAW 611 v13 Legal Innovation: Designing Human-Centered Solutions to Challenges in Law

J.D. Seminar | 1 credit hour

This Week One, project-based simulation course is designed for students who want to learn methods and processes to create new and effective solutions to challenges in the legal industry. Working in teams of four, students will re-imagine how we can deliver some aspect of legal services. To do this, we will bring together principles from design thinking, business strategy, and behavioral science.

Some examples of legal design challenges that teams may take on:

How might we reduce the rate of default in landlord-tenant court?

How might lawyers in firms improve the billing process for clients?

How might we improve the likelihood that consumers will read, understand, and respond to a product recall notice?

How might we help qualifying pro se litigants take advantage of free filing policies in D.C. Superior Court?

Over four fast-paced, intense days, teams will: map out and study the problem, sketch out competing ideas, turn your ideas into testable prototypes, and validate the key elements you will need if your idea is going to work.  At the end of Week One, you will pitch your proposed solution to a key influencer in the legal industry.

Note: This course is mandatory pass/fail, and does NOT count against the 7-credit pass/fail limit for J.D. students.

This optional, elective course is for first-year J.D. students only, who will enroll via the Live Registration process.

ATTENDANCE AT ALL CLASS SESSIONS IS MANDATORY. All enrolled and waitlisted students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to be eligible for a seat in the class and must attend each class session in its entirety. For more information, please see the Week One website.

Due to the intensive nature of the course, the small-group, team, and individual work that is involved, and the preparation that is necessary to ensure a positive student experience, students who wish to drop the course after they have accepted a seat must drop by Monday, November 30, 2020 at 3:00 p.m. After that point, students must receive permission from both the course professor and Assistant Dean for Experiential Education to drop the course. Permission will only be granted when remaining enrolled in the course would cause significant hardship for the student. Students who are enrolled but do not attend the first class session will be withdrawn from the course.

LAW 372 v02 Music Law Seminar: Changing Landscapes in the Music Industry and the Law that Governs It

J.D. Seminar | 2-3 credit hours

This course will engage in an in-depth exploration of legal issues that arise in the music industry and the complex ways in which the law has shaped the evolution of the industry and the industry has shaped the development of the law. We will begin with a historical unit that traces the manner in which copyright and other laws affected the development of the music industry (and vice versa) in the 20th century. Our second main unit will cover a cross-section of the current legal issues faced by the music industry and the business practices that have been and are being developed to address those legal issues, and a third main unit will focus on contractual issues that arise in recording and music publishing deals.  

While some of the specific issues covered may vary in light of ongoing developments in the law and music industry business practices, as well as student interest within the class, some of the possible topics of discussion and analysis include the distinct “bundles” of rights in music and how the industry developed to exploit them; music licensing and statutory royalty regimes; illegal Internet downloading, its effect on the industry, and the industry’s response; the changing power relationships among the players in the industry and the contractual and legal issues that emerge from those changing relationships; deregulation and the effects of horizontal and vertical integration in the industry; new distribution models and new models of consumption for music and how the law is developing to accommodate them; the changing conceptions of what it means to “own” music in light of technological innovations in the industry; payola prohibitions and their impact on the industry; the future of performance royalties for sound recordings; and legislative developments affecting the music industry.

Students will be graded based upon their class participation and submission of a paper for the course; the nature of the paper(s) assigned will depend upon whether students are taking the course for 3 credits to satisfy the Writing Requirement or for 2 credits.

Learning goals for this course:

This course is designed to be a discussion-based seminar in which we explore issues of music law and policy from both historical and forward-looking perspectives. During the course of the semester, we expect that you will:

  • Gain an understanding of how the music industry is structured and how the law has impacted that structure
  • Become familiar with and be able to recognize legal themes and issues that have recurred throughout the history of the music industry in the United States
  • Be able to identify potential contractual and legal issues that arise when new technology is introduced for reproducing, distributing, and/or performing music
  • Develop in-depth knowledge and critical analysis of a narrow area of music law or policy in connection with the paper(s) written for the course
  • Enhance legal research skills by researching and critically analyzing materials relating to current legal issues in the music industry
  • Learn how to produce a piece of scholarly writing (whether the longer version required for the Writing Requirement or a shorter version required for students taking the course for 2 credits)
  • Gain an introductory understanding of issues that arise in negotiating contracts in the music industry
  • Become comfortable raising questions and debating issues in a collegial setting

Prerequisite: Prior or concurrent enrollment in Copyright Law. Students who concurrently enroll in Copyright Law are strongly encouraged to skim through Copyright in a Nut Shell before the seminar starts.

Note: This seminar requires a paper. J.D. students must register for the 3 credit section of the seminar if they wish to write a paper fulfilling the Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement. The paper requirements of the 2 credit section will not fulfill the Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement.

LAW 1429 v00 Patent Appeals at the Federal Circuit

J.D. Seminar | 3 credit hours

This seminar will teach you the mechanics, strategy, and process of filing, briefing, and arguing a patent appeal before the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, from the initial notice of appeal through requests for rehearing. We will also provide an in-depth look at the Court, common issues that arise during appeals, and best practices for crafting effective briefs and presenting oral argument. In lieu of an exam, each student will write a shortened appellate brief and present oral argument before a panel of appellate judges and/or practitioners, for an invaluable hands-on opportunity to practice the skills and theories we discuss. As part of the process, we will also meet with you one-on-one to provide feedback on your draft briefs, which will total between 6,500 and 7,500 words and are intended to fulfill the upper-level writing requirement.

Prerequisite: Patent Law; Civil Procedure or Legal Process and Society.

Note: Students may not withdraw from this class after the add/drop period ends without the permission of a professor.

LAW 332 v04 Patent Law

J.D. Course (cross-listed) | 3 credit hours

The patent law is a regime of private regulation, initiated by individual inventors and resulting in proprietary interests in an increasingly ambitious range of human endeavor. This course provides a thorough review of the requisites of patentability, including eligible subject matter, utility, novelty, nonobviousness and disclosure. It then turns to patent enforcement issues, including claim interpretation, the doctrine of equivalents and remedies. Most inventors seek to obtain proprietary rights in multiple jurisdictions, so the course includes considerable coverage of comparative and international patent law. A traditional technological background is neither required nor recommended as a prerequisite to enroll in this course.

LAW 332 v05 Patent Law

J.D. Course (cross-listed) | 3 credit hours

This course is designed for those who intend to specialize in the intellectual property field. It includes an analysis of trade secret law, inventorship and ownership of inventions, subject matter eligible for patenting, requirements for valid and enforceable patents, patent claim construction and direct and indirect patent infringement. The Advanced Patent Law Seminar is recommended to complete the student’s overview of patent law.

Recommended: A scientific or engineering background is helpful, but not a requirement.

LAW 333 v02 Patent Licensing

J.D. Course (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

Patent licenses achieve different business objectives in a range of settings. This seminar first covers patent licensing and related agreements in establishing a company’s intellectual property from start-up through later growth phases. We then probe the role of patent licensing to transfer technology in and out of a company or university and in relations with others in the marketplace. We examine the elements of a patent license in detail. Limits on patent licensing and practice imposed by supply chain considerations, antitrust law, misuse, and connections with settlements are analyzed. Finally, we look at legal principles and strategies that impact patent licensing in several sectors of a knowledge-based economy. These sectors include biotechnology, software, standards setting, and patent assertion entities in the secondary IP market. We look at patent licensing in current open innovation and IP-enabled business models too. Guest speakers will also be drawn upon for specific topics. Students will complete an in-class negotiation and license drafting assignment. A cumulative final take-home exam will be given.

Recommended: Prior or concurrent enrollment in Patent Law.

LAW 387 v01 Patent Prosecution Practice and Strategy

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

This skills and writing course will focus on the practical and strategic aspects of patent preparation and prosecution before the United States Patent and Trademark Office, and the effects of prosecution decisions on patent enforceability. Claim drafting and responding to Office Actions with an eye towards enforcement will be a primary focus, and both will be addressed with short practical writing assignments. Coverage of the appeal process will include preparing a final written Appeal Brief (in compliance with 37 CFR § 41.37) and making oral arguments before a mock panel of Administrative Law Judges. Among other topics, the strategic use of the post issuance reissue, reexamination and post-grant review procedures, especially in anticipation of litigation, will also be addressed. Given the range of competencies covered and type of work assigned, this course is recommended for students who intend to practice patent or IP law.

Prerequisite: Patent Law.

Strongly Recommended: At least one other patent law course and/or actual work experience in patent law either with the USPTO, a law firm, or an in-house IP department at a company.

LAW 334 v00 Patent Trial Practice

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 3 credit hours

This course introduces students to the elements of a typical patent trial through mock trial experiences and classroom demonstration and discussion. Topics to be covered include: developing a persuasive and comprehensive theme for your case; opening statements; direct and cross examination techniques; impeachment and rehabilitation of witnesses; qualifying and examining expert witnesses; laying the proper foundation for the introduction of evidence and using exhibits in examination to help present technical information; closing arguments; and preparing for and presenting arguments at Markman Hearings. The course will also introduce students to the use of current computer graphics and information technology in trial. The course will be taught using hypothetical fact patterns common to patent litigation. During the semester students will receive individual feedback on their individual performances.

Prerequisite: Evidence; Patent Law.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for both this course and Trial Practice or Trial Practice and Applied Evidence.

LAW 1360 v00 Policing in the 21st Century: Law Enforcement, Technology and Surveillance

J.D. Seminar | 2 credit hours

This seminar will explore the intersection of contemporary surveillance practices with the need to safeguard civil liberties, and investigate how new technologies are being used to manage and control populations of people, in particular racial and religious minorities and immigrant communities. The course will place special emphasis on the evolving right to privacy in an increasingly cyber- and technology-oriented world, the expansion of government surveillance during the Obama and Trump administrations, and the implications of new law enforcement technologies on civil liberty protections. Our texts will include a variety of sources ranging from case law, legal scholarship, government manuals and congressional testimony to congressional letters, TED Talks, and digital publications.

We will investigate a variety of electronic and non-electronic forms of surveillance, including social media monitoring, stop and frisk, license plate readers, drones, suspicious activity reporting, predictive policing, countering violent extremism programs, and NSA data collection. Throughout the course, we will specifically discuss how these technologies can be used to stifle dissent and protest.

We will discuss how judges and legislators have responded to these surveillance technologies, and pay special attention to the legal tools, doctrines, and defenses available to the government in surveillance-related matters. We will simultaneously investigate the different avenues through which today’s surveillance practices can be challenged, including lobbying, litigation, and private industry innovation. Specific reforms that will be discussed include encryption, informed consent, body cameras, diversity, community policing, and abolition.

Recommended: Prior or concurrent enrollment in Criminal Justice (or Democracy and Coercion) or Criminal Procedure.

LAW 1315 v00 Privacy Legislation: Law and Technology (Project-Based Practicum)

J.D. Practicum | 5 credit hours

Cross-Listed: JD and MLT Programs

In a project-based practicum course, students participate in a weekly seminar and work on a project under the supervision of their professor. This project-based practicum course will focus on privacy policy. Students will participate in a two hour/week seminar and carry out 15 hours/week of project work under the direction of the course professor.

SEMINAR: The aim of this practicum is to have law students and Master of Law and Technology (MLT) students jointly explore in-depth current issues in privacy policy and to propose policy solutions in the form of legislation that could be adopted by state governments. Our goal is to foster an environment that permits law students interested in a career at the intersection of law and technology to work with technology students on current issues of real gravity to (a) become literate in the technology that drives privacy issues; (b) learn to work with experts from different disciplines; and to (c) learn to work collaboratively with technologists on issues with important technological dimensions.

PROJECT WORK: The practicum will pair law students and MLT students in interdisciplinary teams, each likely consisting of two law students and one MLT student.

Each team will be assigned a specific question of public policy, and over the course of the semester the team will be responsible for preparing a detailed legal assessment of the policy question, the technological frameworks and challenges associated with the policy question, and formulating policy and technological recommendations to address the question in the form of draft state legislation. Among the kinds of questions that students may be asked to address are the following: (a) new, invasive forms of workplace and employee tracking; (b) commercial and police use of face recognition technology; and (c) state efforts to severely restrict flows of local and state government data to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Prerequisite: J.D. students must complete the required first-year program prior to enrolling (part-time and interdivisional transfer students may enroll prior to completing Criminal Justice, Property, or their first-year elective).

Strongly Recommended: Information Privacy Law with either Professor Julie Cohen, Professor Paul Ohm or Professor Marc Rotenberg.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not concurrently enroll in this practicum course and a clinic or another practicum course. Students may concurrently enroll in this practicum course and an externship.

Note: This practicum may be suitable for evening students who can commit to attending class and participating in 15 hours/week of project work.

This is a five-credit course. Two credits will be awarded for the two-hour weekly seminar and three credits will be awarded for approximately 15 hours of project work per week, for a minimum of 11 weeks. Both the seminar and the project work will be graded.

Students who enroll in this course will be automatically enrolled in both the seminar and project components and may not take either component separately. After Add/Drop, a student who wishes to withdraw from a practicum course must obtain permission from the faculty member and the Assistant Dean for Experiential Education. The Assistant Dean will grant such withdrawal requests only when remaining enrolled in the practicum would cause significant hardship for the student. A student who is granted permission to withdraw will be withdrawn from both the seminar and project components.

Default attendance rule for all practicum courses (unless the professor indicates otherwise): Regular and punctual attendance is required at all practicum seminars and fieldwork placements. Students in project-based practicum courses are similarly required to devote the requisite number of hours to their project. If a student must miss seminar, fieldwork, or project work, he or she must speak to the professor as soon as possible to discuss the absence. Unless the professor indicates otherwise, a student with more than one unexcused absence from the practicum seminar (out of 13 total seminar sessions), or one week of unexcused absences from the fieldwork or project work (out of a total of 11 weeks of fieldwork or project work), may receive a lower grade or, at the professor’s discretion, may be withdrawn from the practicum course.

LAW 361 v10 Professional Responsibility: The American Legal Profession in the 21st Century: Technology, Markets, and Regulation

J.D. Course | 2 credit hours

This class considers lawyers’ professional responsibilities through the lens of legal practice in the 21st Century. During the last decade, economic forces and the emergence of new technologies have roiled the legal services market. With the recent recession, individual and corporate clients have rejected traditional models of service delivery. In response, more entrepreneurial lawyers have developed new organizational structures and business models to serve clients more efficiently. In the meantime, new digital technologies have emerged that in some instances enhance the effectiveness of legal representation and in others risk displacing lawyers altogether. This course, which satisfies the professional responsibility requirement, explores what these trends mean for the regulation of lawyers and law as a profession.

Note: Laptop use is not permitted.

LAW 940 v00 Securities Law and the Internet

LL.M Course (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

The Internet has become more important than ever to today’s investors. Similar to the change ATM machines brought to retail banking, the Internet has now given Investors the ability to trade without human interaction. Over the last several decades this change has dramatically reduced transaction costs (commission and time), but securities regulators must constantly play catch up. Consequently, in the area of securities, investments, finance and commerce, the Internet can often seem akin to the Wild West, with the pioneers and entrepreneurs struggling within an uncharted territory of the securities laws. This course focuses on four important areas of concern for the securities lawyer: offerings conducted over the Internet, including via more opaque SPAC vehicles, and the impact of the 2012 JOBS Act; trading facilities and market centers operating over the Internet and the increasingly dark market; giving investment advice over the Internet and the importance of social media; and SEC Enforcement issues and the Internet. This course covers the nuts and bolts of the securities laws in each of the areas, and then applies existing statutes, rules and regulations to ongoing Internet activities.

Prerequisite: Securities Regulation.

LAW 1173 v00 Social Enterprise and Nonprofit Law Clinic

J.D. Clinic | 9 credit hours

Please see the Social Enterprise and Nonprofit Law Clinic website for more detailed information about the clinic.

For registration-specific supplemental materials, please see the Social Enterprise and Nonprofit Law Clinic PDF.

For information about clinic registration generally, please see the Clinic Registration Handbook.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not concurrently enroll in this clinic and an externship or a practicum course.

LAW 1314 v00 Social Entrepreneurship, Impact Investing, and the Law

J.D. Seminar | 2 credit hours

This class is for students who wish to become lawyers to pursue positive social impact, whether they enter into private practice or pursue traditional public interest legal jobs. This class explores the nexus of social entrepreneurship, impact investing, and the law. The syllabus generally covers three parts: (1) revisiting the role of the three traditional sectors of society (nonprofit, government, business/private) in addressing the world's most pressing problems; (2) new legal forms for social enterprises; and (3) how social enterprises engage in impact investment transactions.

Traditionally, the public has relied on the government to tackle society's major social issues. Eventually, the nonprofit sector began to play a larger role where the government was either unable or unwilling to take action. But today, there is a growing recognition that no one sector alone can address today’s most pressing problems. Now, the private sector is beginning to play an even larger role by applying market-based solutions to address traditional social problems at greater scale and sustainability, such as economic inequality, climate change, and access to basic resources like clean water and energy. This includes a growing recognition that businesses can also be used as a "force for good."

Social enterprise and impact investing -- driven by social entrepreneurship -- represent two areas where the traditional lines between the traditional sectors are increasingly blurred. Social entrepreneurs are individuals who develop innovative solutions to some of the world’s most pressing social and development problems. They often form social enterprises, which can be either for-profit or nonprofit entities that advance a double- or triple- bottom line approach (i.e., the pursuit of a profit, social and/or environmental objective). They also need to raise capital, often through impact investments, to grow their organizations. Through this course, we will explore the unique legal challenges and opportunities that social entrepreneurs and social enterprises typically encounter. We will also focus on the role that lawyers can play in advancing social change.

The topics we will cover include an analysis of the traditional role of the nonprofit sector and its limitations, the evolution of traditional for-profit legal forms and the use of tandem structures (the combination of both a nonprofit and for-profit entity), potential unintended consequences of relying on the private sector to provide traditional public goods, and the provision of and access to capital beyond traditional grants, including impact investing, blended finance, and pay-for-results structures.

Learning Objectives

This course will provide you with the analytical and communication (oral and written) skills as an attorney to effectively counsel social enterprises and to analyze the role of the law as a powerful tool to help social entrepreneurs achieve their objectives.

This course will utilize skill-building exercises in each class so that you have the opportunity to:

  • improve written (final research paper) and oral (class participation) communication skills critical to good lawyering;
  • apply the relevant laws and regulations that you have learned in other core law school courses to the specific legal challenges faced by social enterprises;
  • exercise a multidisciplinary approach and understand how to apply existing bodies of law in different ways that address the unique needs of social enterprises;
  • explore and critically examine the role of the law in social innovation; and

become thought leaders in this emerging area to encourage further legal innovation and legal entrepreneurship within your law firm or other place of employment after graduation.

Recommended: Social Enterprise and Nonprofit Clinic

Strongly Recommended: Corporations.

LAW 1746 v00 Social Media Law Seminar

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 2-3 credit hours

Overview:

Never before have so many individuals had such a tremendous opportunity to access information, to engage with others, and to express their views on a global scale. Simultaneously, 24/7 online access means that actors can more easily manipulate networks, foment hatred, reach audiences poised to engage in violence, and spread false information. Platforms seemingly protected by the First Amendment, moreover, can be used to undermine and destabilize democratic systems and to radicalize and recruit adherents to violent causes. The risks to national security could be profound.

Does the government have the right to remove content from these sites? Can it require the same of private actors? What should the role of the platforms themselves be in light of the enormous political, social, and economic implications of restricting—or failing to restrict—online speech and association? What options are there for dealing with false, misleading, or manipulative information? What are the risks posed by the different courses of action? How should we think about traditional areas of the law, such as antitrust, when agreement among social media providers results in effective de-platforming of certain individuals and views? What are the privacy implications of micro-targeting and social media evolution in the advertising and marketing arena? And what happens when effective targeting is moved to a political realm?

The issue is far from static: technology is catapulting social media forward at warp speed. 5G and 6G networks will make it possible to deploy online experiences previously cabined to science fiction. A number of apps such as Snapchat, have integrated real time digital overlay features, as augmented reality (AR) blends the digital and 3-Dimensional world. Apple has deployed Quick Look AR that allows customers to “see” products in AR, interact with others, and buy the products directly. Users already can build virtual worlds, in games such as Minecraft, Roblox, Fortnight, and Second Life. Niantic is now taking it to the next level, developing what it calls full-world AR, leveraging Pokemon GO to crowdsource data to generate 3D space. Google glasses and Facebook Smart Glasses transform AR to a feature of daily 3D interaction. These devices allow companies to collect engagement metrics and to use them to further target users.

The move to virtual reality will be even more profound. Patents have been filed for collecting biopotential signals, tracking muscle and eye movements to re-create individuals’ expressions and actions in an online environment. Others allow users to feel digital images in a 3D world, integrating the experience. The recording of what is done in the VR allows users to share the experience with others, even as hardware attached to other users will be able to mimic the experiences of the original user. How should we think about brain computing and online actions in light of criminal law?

In short, how should we think about social media in light of the current constitutional, statutory, and regulatory environment?

This course begins with a deep dive into technology and the business of social media before turning to First Amendment doctrine and contemporary social media cases. It then looks at issues related to misinformation and disinformation and electoral manipulation, with a particular emphasis on Russian and Chinese practices in regard to social media.

The course mixes traditional lecture background with Socratic exchange and intense debates. Students taking it for 2 credits (either p/f or for credit) will draft 8 1-page, weekly response essays for the readings. Students taking it for 3 credits will have the opportunity to develop a longer paper with the aim of developing a law review article that could be submitted for publication. Those students will also have the chance to present their work to the class for feedback.

Learning outcomes:

As a result of taking the course, students will be able to:

  • articulate the opportunities and risks presented by social media;
  • ascertain ways in which online platforms challenge our traditional understanding of the First Amendment;
  • analyze how criminal law provisions apply to the online environment;
  • identify the privacy concerns at stake in new and emerging technologies and discuss how they fit within prominent paradigms, such as the DGPR and CalECPA;
  • discuss the application of antitrust measures to deplatforming and verification regimes;
  • advance a legal position, identify the strongest counter-arguments, and respond; and
  • advocate ways in which the doctrine should evolve to take account of the rapidly-changing world in which we live.

Note: This seminar requires a paper. J.D. students must register for the 3 credit section of the seminar if they wish to write a paper fulfilling the Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement. The paper requirements of the 2 credit section will not fulfill the J.D. Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement.

LAW 406 v00 Space Law Seminar

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 3 credit hours

This seminar addresses the international and domestic laws governing outer space. Class discussion will include issues such as: liability for damage caused by space objects, use of outer space resources, rescue of astronauts and return of objects launched into outer space, environmental issues in outer space, and other more specific topics such as NASA and the International Space Station, commercial space operations, U.S. Government agencies involved in outer space, and the role of the United Nations in outer space.

Strongly Recommended: International Law I.

Note: Students may not withdraw from this class after the add/drop period ends without the permission of the professor.

LAW 417 v09 Sports Law

J.D. Course (cross-listed) | 3 credit hours

Sports law is hard. A sports lawyer knows something about torts, contracts, antitrust, labor law, intellectual property, and telecommunications/internet law. A sports lawyer’s practice consists of litigation, transactional work, and regulatory work. A sports lawyer knows the law, legal strategy, and ethics. A sports lawyer is incredibly specialized in her knowledge and, yet, winning and losing comes down to good lawyering.

Sports lawyering is not what you saw in the movie Jerry Maguire. The agent-player relationship is just a tiny fraction of sports lawyering. This class seeks to broaden the concept of sports law to anything related to the business, law, and regulation of sport.

Be prepared to learn a lot of antitrust and labor law and a lot of doctrine. But also be prepared to look at many issues in the national news – from Tom Brady’s suspension for deflating footballs to the NLRB’s ruling that Northwestern football players cannot unionize – through the lens of the law. The issues are hot off the presses (or espn.com, deadspin.com, or si.com). The class will be a lot of fun. Where else do you get to talk about sports in class, argue cases and issues, and learn some black letter law while you are doing it?

This class will combine doctrinal concepts with how to be a real sports lawyer by arguing cases, either pending or already decided, in class. Each student will be assigned a five-minute oral argument to introduce a case. The class will serve as the judges. These arguments are mandatory.

Recommended: Antitrust Law (or Antitrust Economics and Law.)

LAW 415 v00 Strategic Intelligence and Public Policy Seminar

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 3 credit hours

This seminar will explore several significant legal and policy concerns presented by the conduct of foreign intelligence activities in peace and war. To the extent possible we will focus on current issues. We will discuss the role and history of Congress in authorizing, overseeing and regulating intelligence activities. We will also briefly review the constitutional authorities (primarily Art. II) of the President to undertake activities protecting the national defense in the absence of specific statutory authority, as well as the role of the federal courts in resolving national defense disputes.

More specifically we will discuss legal and structural issues associated with covert action, espionage, electronic surveillance for foreign intelligence purposes (the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) and its impacts on privacy interests. We will consider the crimes of insurrection, conspiracy, and litigation issues involving the use of classified information in criminal and civil cases, including the use of secret evidence in criminal prosecutions. This discussion will include the state secrets privilege and the Classified Information Procedures Act (CIPA). We will examine unauthorized disclosures of classified information and whistleblower protections. And finally, we will briefly discuss the role of a free press in our democracy.

The overall approach of the seminar will be to have an open analysis and interesting discussion of these and possibly other related topics. Questions are welcome and can be addressed to Prof. Zirkle at zirklej@georgetown.edu.

Note: The Summer 2022 sections of this course will enroll via waitlist. The Writing Requirement section (LAWJ-415-06) is open to J.D. students only and non-degree students may not enroll.

LAW 1630 v00 Strategic Responses to Data Breach: "We've Been Hacked!"

J.D. Course (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

This hands-on course will explore the fast-paced, high-stakes field of data breach response. Data breaches wreak havoc at organizations of all shapes and sizes in both the public and private sectors. From hospitals and financial institutions to military installations and civilian government agencies, entities face sophisticated adversaries and a diverse range of threats. Few organizations are prepared to manage and respond to an incident. This lack of preparation and experience can turn an already high-pressure event into a full-scale crisis.

Legal experts who can provide clients with sound advice and pragmatic guidance are in high demand but there remains a dearth of lawyers with the relevant training and experience to navigate the barrage of issues that surface following an incident. This course examines the full range of challenges and questions that counsel may face, from legal compliance to risk mitigation and reputational damage.

The course will introduce the subject, focusing on the types of breaches organizations may experience and some basic technical issues. The overview is followed by a deep dive into the myriad legal issues that arise. Most notably, we’ll explore how different governments regulate breach response activities and the challenging patchwork of requirements. Other issues include: mitigating the risk of liability and potential litigation; coordinating with law enforcement; working with human resources; and examining contractual and other obligations of third parties. The course then turns to a dizzying array of policy and strategic issues: public relations and communications; government affairs; managing the investigation; coordinating with technical teams; assessing risk to potentially impacted individuals; and effective breach notification. Real world scenarios and actual data breaches will be used and referenced throughout the course to illustrate different points. By the end of the course students should be able to enter the job market prepared to develop and execute a comprehensive data breach response strategy.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand the legal and regulatory framework that governs data breach response in the United States and other jurisdictions.
  • Appreciate the importance of establishing and following clear policies for addressing a data breach.
  • Be prepared to pivot back and forth between the legal and practical functions necessary to address a serious incident.
  • Be able to manage a data breach response team composed of a range of stakeholders with potentially inconsistent priorities.
  • Tailor response strategies to different types of data breaches from a lost laptop or an insider threat to the exfiltration of sensitive data by organized crime.
  • Learn how to identify, assess, and mitigate the risk of harm to potentially impacted individuals as well as to the organization itself.
  • Become comfortable with making high-stakes decisions in short time frames and with incomplete information.

LAW 1348 v00 Strategically Managing Intellectual Property: A Study of IP in Business Transactions

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 3 credit hours

The class will address the need for companies and individual creators to strategically manage their intellectual property assets. Students will study approaches to managing patents, copyrights, trademarks and trade secrets through the spectrum of activities including creation and ownership of intellectual property; its acquisition, sale and license; due diligence and disclosure issues; protection and enforcement of rights; and litigation. The class will cover case law and real world business dynamics and provide students with insights into the role and responsibilities of in-house counsel and outside lawyers in this process. As part of the course, there will be an assignment of a corporate case study project to teams of at least two students. It will involve communication with legal representatives from the companies in the study project who have agreed to be available to the students.

Students will be evaluated based on class attendance and individual class participation; team participation and completion of team written and oral presentations related to the corporate case studies; and written assignments including a final individual paper.

Learning Objectives:

By the conclusion of the course, students will have the ability to apply intellectual property law effectively in business situations and also gain experience with some of the skills necessary in counseling business executives, inventors and others about their intellectual property assets.

Prerequisite: A basic course in Patent Law, Copyright Law or Trademark and Unfair Competition Law.

LAW 1706 v00 Surveillance and Civil Rights (Fieldwork Practicum)

J.D. Practicum | 6 credit hours

If you have ever taken advantage of basic government services, your personal information is part of a massive trove of data that local, state and federal agencies share with one another through a variety of overlapping networks, databases and bureaucratic collaboratives. Large corporations also build and sell their own datasets to government agencies, along with powerful technologies -- like face recognition and automated license plate readers -- which operate on that data.

This surveillance infrastructure has been built over the course of the last 30 years, for the most part without any oversight or accountability, let alone transparency to the public. At the same time as we seem to be arriving at a moment of socio-political consensus about the need to fundamentally rethink our most brutal systems of social control, we are also on the verge of the total suffusion of these other invisible systems of coercion in our lives.

In this fieldwork practicum, students will be placed at one of several non-profit organizations working to expose and mitigate the impact of mass surveillance on historically marginalized communities. Potential hosts include national, regional and local organizations that focus on surveillance as an aspect of mass deportation and mass incarceration. Projects may include legal and policy research, litigation support, report writing, legislative drafting and analysis, public records requests, and oral advocacy with state and federal policy makers.

Weekly seminars will alternate between case rounds, where students workshop questions and problems drawn from their field work, and discussions based on assigned readings. Assigned readings will focus on (1) substantive legal and policy questions related to surveillance and civil rights, and (2) ethical and political questions related to the practice of law in contexts of social injustice.

Through seminar and fieldwork, students can expect to engage deeply with questions such as:

  • Where does the authorization for large scale surveillance by federal immigration authorities come from? Do the Immigration and Nationality Act, the Department of Homeland Security authorizing statutes, or other federal and state surveillance statutes  and case law, alone or taken together, actually provide legal grounding for the large scale, warrantless surveillance of immigrant communities?
  • What are the civil rights implications of DHS’s new mandatory DNA collection policy?
  • What are the Fourth Amendment protections for geolocation information post-Carpenter?
  • How does information sharing across law enforcement agencies nationwide actually happen and what policy interventions can communities impacted by over policing advocate for?
  • What is the extent of the federal government’s dependence on corporate surveillance and what are the political implications of that dependence?
  • What are some strategies for forcing corporate surveillance companies to disclose information about their products, practices, and contracts?
  • What does it mean to lawyer ethically in a context of radical inequality and political corruption?

And students will develop the following skills:

  • Creative techniques for researching  surveillance technologies and the opaque procurement practices through which they are adopted;
  • Persuasive writing for policymakers and a general audience;
  • The ability to understand the administrative rules governing the deployment of complex federal technology systems;
  • Legislative analysis and drafting;
  • How to develop research strategies that can support community-led organizing and advocacy.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not concurrently enroll in this practicum and an externship or a clinic or another practicum course.

Note: Students who enroll in this course will be expected to attend a two day orientation on Tuesday August 23 and Wednesday August 24 from 1:20-3:20 pm.

This is a six credit course. Two credits will be awarded for the two-hour weekly seminar and four credits for 20 hours/week of fieldwork. The two-credit seminar portion of this practicum will be graded. The four credits of fieldwork are mandatory pass/fail. Students will be allowed to take another course pass/fail in the same semester as the fieldwork.

Students who enroll in this course will be automatically enrolled in both the seminar and fieldwork components and may not take either component separately. After Add/Drop, a student who wishes to withdraw from a practicum course must obtain permission from the faculty member and the Assistant Dean for Experiential Education. The Assistant Dean will grant such withdrawal requests only when remaining enrolled in the practicum would cause significant hardship for the student. A student who is granted permission to withdraw will be withdrawn from both the seminar and fieldwork components.

Default attendance rule for all practicum courses (unless the professor indicates otherwise): Regular and punctual attendance is required at all practicum seminars and fieldwork placements. Students in project-based practicum courses are similarly required to devote the requisite number of hours to their project. If a student must miss seminar, fieldwork, or project work, he or she must speak to the professor as soon as possible to discuss the absence. Unless the professor indicates otherwise, a student with more than one unexcused absence from the practicum seminar (out of 13 total seminar sessions) or one week of unexcused absences from the fieldwork or project work (out of a total of 11 weeks of fieldwork or project work) may receive a lower grade or, at the professor’s discretion, may be withdrawn from the practicum course.

LAW 1496 v00 Tech Law Scholars Seminar I

J.D. Seminar | 0 credit hours

This year-long course introduces Tech Law Scholars in their first year of law school to key institutions and organizations that shape technology law and policy through visitor presentations and site visits to federal agencies, Congress, the Federal Circuit, and private and not-for-profit organizations. Preparation for this class includes reading the assigned material; preparing a short reflection paper, as well as a few questions about the readings or the implications of the readings; and reading the response papers of the other Tech Law Scholars.

Learning Objectives:

Exposure to key institutions and organizations that shape technology law and policy; ability to engage on contemporary topics with leaders and experts in the field.

Note: This course is open only to first year Technology Law and Policy Scholars.

Enrollment is by professor permission.

This course is offered on a mandatory pass/fail basis. This course does not count toward the seven credit pass/fail limit.

LAW 1516 v00 Tech Law Scholars Seminar II

J.D. Seminar | 2 credit hours

This year-long seminar is the mandatory second-year course for students in the Technology Law and Policy Scholars program. The seminar takes a deep dive into current ethical, constitutional and policy issues relating to technology through bi-weekly sessions taught by members of Georgetown’s technology law faculty.

Student preparation for each session will include readings relevant to that week’s class, and submission of a written reflection paper ahead of class that draws on the reading, current events, and/or topics explored over the semester.

Learning Objectives:

Exposure to key issues and academic approaches in technology law and policy; ability to engage on contemporary topics with leaders and experts in the field.

Note: This course is open only to second year Technology Law and Policy Scholars.

Enrollment is by professor permission.

This course is offered on a mandatory pass/fail basis. This course does not count toward the seven credit pass/fail limit.

Students may not withdraw from this class after the add/drop period ends without the permission of the professor.

LAW 1656 v00 Technology and Election Integrity Seminar

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 2-3 credit hours

This course will examine the security requirements for voting systems (particularly those used for civil elections in the United States), how various technology designs and implementations meet or fail to meet these requirements, and how such systems can be improved. The course will focus on the implications of various vote-casting technologies ("voting machines") as well as the "backend" election management systems and processes that define ballots, register voters, provision precinct equipment, and count and report vote tallies. While it will not be our main focus, we will also examine the interaction between modern social media and foreign and domestic influence operations aimed at affecting election outcomes.

We will devote particular attention to understanding how the legal framework and historical threat models for elections relate to specific technical requirements, how technical failures can affect election outcomes, and the limitations of various remedies when such failures occur. We will look at a range of formal and informal proposed designs for election systems, specific systems that have been or are currently in active use, and various studies that have been made of these systems and designs. The course will focus on technical security issues, but will also touch on usability, threat modeling, and legal and governance issues. 

Our primary reference will be the 2018 National Academies study "Securing the Vote" as well as readings drawn from the technical, legal, and policy literature. 

Student papers will focus on some issue at the intersection of technology and voting, depending on the specific background and interests of the student. 

Recommended: A basic background in computer science and software will be helpful but is not essential.

Note: This seminar requires a paper. J.D. students must register for the 3 credit section of the seminar if they wish to write a paper fulfilling the Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement. The paper requirements of the 2 credit section will not fulfill the J.D. Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement.

LAW 1605 v00 Technology and the Free Press Seminar

J.D. Seminar | 3 credit hours

In the past two decades, technology has dramatically changed the American press. The Internet and mobile devices have revolutionized the creation and consumption of news. The economic structure supporting the press, and newspapers in particular, has crumbled. Readers are finding more of their news through platforms like Google, Facebook, and YouTube. Even though these companies have disavowed the “media” label, they play editorial roles—deciding what speech is allowed into the new public square and even shaping that speech.

These rapid changes lead to numerous legal questions: What is the “free press” in an era when journalists are pushed to amass clicks? Who is a journalist when access to publication technology has been democratized? Are reporter shield laws still relevant when technology allows the government to covertly spy on journalists? Does law have a role to play in combatting so-called “fake news”? Can and should the First Amendment (or other law) protect the press from being squeezed by technology platforms? More generally, what is law’s role in protecting journalists, the press, or the journalistic process? This course aims to encourage deep thinking, discussion, and writing about the answers to these questions.

Among the learning objectives for this course are: developing an understanding of how the law conceives of the press, journalists, and the audience for news; determining what legal questions arise as a result of how technology is impacting the press; creatively considering whether and how law can address these questions; improving legal research techniques as well as the ability to closely read and analyze both scholarly work and legal authorities; developing, organizing, and writing a seminar paper that is not merely descriptive but sets forth a thesis and defends it; and refining the ability to give and receive feedback as we workshop drafts.  

LAW 4000 v00 Technology Law & Policy Investigations Practicum (Project-Based Practicum)

LL.M Practicum | 4 credit hours

In a project-based practicum course, students participate in a weekly seminar and work on a project under the supervision of their professor(s). This project-based practicum course will focus on technology law and policy investigations in collaboration with the Communications & Technology Law Clinic and the Intellectual Property and Information Policy Clinic. Students will participate in a two hour/week seminar and carry out 10 hours/week of project work under the direction of Professors Barrett and Moy.

PROJECT WORK: Master of Law and Technology (M.L.T.) students will work side by side with J.D. students enrolled in the Communications & Technology Law Clinic (CTLC) and the Intellectual Property and Information Policy Clinic (iPIP) on a range of clinic projects, such as FTC requests for investigation, regulatory comments, FOIA requests, and draft legislation.

Project assignments will provide M.L.T. students with opportunities to use their technology-related skills and expertise to develop and strengthen legal and policy arguments in the clinic projects, while applying and honing the legal knowledge they have acquired in other M.L.T. classes.

Students’ work will fall into four broad categories: (i) conducting investigations into products and services that will form the evidentiary basis for clinical legal work; (ii) drafting technical explanations to be embedded in or appended to those legal writings and fillings; (iii) answering technical questions for the clinical students as they collaborate on clinical projects; and (iv) reviewing the ultimate products of those collaborations for technical accuracy.

The M.L.T. and clinic students who are paired on the same projects will meet regularly (weekly or more frequently, depending on project needs and timeline).

The projects on which M.L.T. students will work will depend on the projects that the CTLC and iPIP clinics undertake that semester, but generally speaking, the projects will focus on consumer privacy law, communications law, trademark law, copyright law, and FOIA, among others.

SEMINAR: In the seminar, M.L.T. students will gain substantive knowledge about privacy, copyright, trademark, and communications law and policy, and hone their abilities to present their ideas effectively to a range of audiences.

Students will learn how to approach legal and policy arguments critically, with an eye to structural impediments to the realization of civil rights and freedoms. Additionally, they will learn how those rights and freedoms are disproportionately less accessible or denied all together. Both clinics have a social justice mission that is reflected in the clinics’ projects; the weekly practicum seminar will also focus on the disparities between idealized values and lived reality that tech policy frequently exacerbates for marginalized groups.

The practicum students and the clinic students will occasionally attend the practicum seminar together. In addition, the M.L.T. students will occasionally attend the CTLC seminar. By collaborating with the clinic students, the practicum students will discover the challenges that working in an interdisciplinary environment brings, and improve their ability to make their ideas accessible to a sophisticated audience without technical backgrounds, as well as to the public. They will hone their abilities to triage key legal and policy issues, isolate different audiences for their arguments and frame them accordingly, and present their arguments orally in a compelling way.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not concurrently enroll in this practicum course and a clinic or another practicum course. Students may concurrently enroll in this practicum course and an externship.

Note: This practicum course is only open to Master of Law and Technology (MLT) students.

This practicum may be suitable for evening MLT students who can commit to attending class and participating in 10 hours/week of project work during business hours. Interested evening students can contact Professor Barrett (Lindsey.Barrett@georgetown.edu) if you have questions about whether this course would be compatible with your schedule.

This is a four-credit course. Two credits will be awarded for the two-hour weekly seminar and two credits will be awarded for approximately 10 hours of project work per week, for a minimum of 11 weeks. Both the seminar and the project work will be graded.

Students who enroll in this course will be automatically enrolled in both the seminar and project components and may not take either component separately. After Add/Drop, a student who wishes to withdraw from a practicum course must obtain permission from the faculty member and the Assistant Dean for Experiential Education. The Assistant Dean will grant such withdrawal requests only when remaining enrolled in the practicum would cause significant hardship for the student. A student who is granted permission to withdraw will be withdrawn from both the seminar and project components.

Default attendance rule for all practicum courses (unless the professor indicates otherwise): Regular and punctual attendance is required at all practicum seminars and fieldwork placements. Students in project-based practicum courses are similarly required to devote the requisite number of hours to their project. If a student must miss seminar, fieldwork, or project work, he or she must speak to the professor as soon as possible to discuss the absence. Unless the professor indicates otherwise, a student with more than one unexcused absence from the practicum seminar (out of 13 total seminar sessions), or one week of unexcused absences from the fieldwork or project work (out of a total of 11 weeks of fieldwork or project work), may receive a lower grade or, at the professor’s discretion, may be withdrawn from the practicum course.

LAW 1698 v00 Technology Law and Policy Colloquium: Data, Algorithms, and Platforms

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 2-3 credit hours

At this colloquium, outside speakers (typically faculty members or researchers from other institutions) will present their current works-in-progress. The focus of this year’s colloquium will be the legal and policy issues surrounding the shift to a networked environment organized around data, algorithms, and platforms. The research presented will explore a variety of current topics, such as: information privacy and data protection; competition in the platform economy; algorithmic fairness and transparency; the viral spread of fake news, hate speech, and revenge porn; online content moderation; the Internet of Things; sensor networks; automation and AI; and administrative frameworks for information economy governance. Students are responsible for reading the speakers’ papers, preparing short (2-3 page) weekly response memoranda that will be provided to the speakers in advance of the colloquium session, and attending each session prepared to ask at least one question. Students taking the seminar for WR credit additionally will write a 6000-word research paper.

Learning goals for this course: Close reading and critical interrogation of scholarly analysis and policy proposals regarding cutting-edge legal topics; refinement of analytical and writing skills.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for this course and Technology Law and Policy Colloquium: Information Platforms.

Note: NOTE FOR LAWG SECTION: This section is restricted to students enrolled in the Technology Law and Policy LL.M., Master of Law and Technology, and National Security LL.M. programs.  

FIRST CLASS ATTENDANCE IS MANDATORY.  Enrolled students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to remain enrolled. Waitlisted students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to remain eligible to be admitted off the waitlist.

This seminar requires a paper. J.D. students must register for the 3-credit section of the seminar if they wish to write a paper fulfilling the J.D. Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement. The paper requirements of the 2-credit section will not fulfill the J.D. Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement.

LAW 1786 v00 Technology Law and Policy Colloquium: Digital Sovereignty

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 2-3 credit hours

Countries are increasingly building borders in cyberspace. From the European Union's intense regulatory push to control internet companies, to Russia's desire to build a sovereign, alternative internet, to China's crackdown on its internet companies, to efforts across the Global South to change the terms of technological engagement, this seminar will hear from scholars and policy-makers working on contemporary efforts to regulate the global internet.

Note: This seminar requires a paper. J.D. students must register for the 3-credit section of the seminar if they wish to write a paper fulfilling the J.D. Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement. The paper requirements of the 2-credit section will not fulfill the J.D. Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement.

LAW 1625 v00 Technology Policy and Practice

J.D. Seminar | 2 credit hours

Discover what it means to "practice" technology policy through an innovative and experiential class using cutting-edge technology issues to teach practical writing, legal, legislative and policy making skills that can be applied to any legal and policy matter (e.g., competition, national security, health, tax policy).

Students can expect to leave with an understanding of key technology legal and policy issues and having acquired “skills of the trade” for legislative advocacy, including: persuasive advocacy for policy issues, formation of policy campaigns, legislative strategic planning, drafting of policy documents, and stakeholder politics. Specifically, students will develop practical legal and policy making skills, such as drafting talking points, creating a strategic legislative campaign, and learning the art of an elevator pitch. Students will learn skills that can help them pursue a wide-array of careers, from a law firm to the White House.

There is no prerequisite course required. Each class will incorporate pre-class preparations and an in-class skill building exercise.

Learning Objectives:

Goals:

  • Receive substantive knowledge of legal issues related to technology

  • Develop skills for successful legislative advocacy and policy making with a focus on stakeholder perspectives and tech policy issues

  • Develop legislative strategy skills needed for planning and implementing legislative advocacy/policy campaigns

  • Develop oral and written skills specific to policy making

Outcomes:

  • Students will gain substantive knowledge of technology policy issues.

  • Students will develop practical written advocacy skills through drafting advocacy papers, talking points and testimony to Congress.

  • Students will develop practical written advocacy skills for drafting testimony from the perspective of a Congressperson or policy maker.

  • Students will develop legislative strategy skills - such as how to coalition build, critically review a lobbying strategy plan, evaluate a media plan and other crucial aspects of policy campaign.

  • Students will develop oral advocacy skills for delivering prepared testimony to Congress.

  • Students will develop oral advocacy skills for delivering an elevator pitch.

  • Students will develop oral advocacy skills for preparing and implementing an effective meeting for policy making.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for both this course and Federal Advocacy in Technology Law and Policy.

LAW 1707 v00 The Color of Surveillance Seminar: Law and History

J.D. Seminar | 2-3 credit hours

In 2020, the hallmark of surveillance is its ubiquity. Any public discussion of Facebook or the National Security Agency, every edition of the Business or Technology section of any newspaper, all document the inuring, inevitable fact that “everyone is watched.”

At the same time, these discourses also tend to be anodyne, ahistorical, and often blind to the realities of race, class, and power. We talk about pervasive surveillance; we rarely discuss its disparate impact, its human toll, or its perseverance across centuries of American history. And that is a deep history. The migration of the English Separatists we know as Pilgrims, the construction of the Southern slave economy, the settlement of Mormons in the American west, the labor struggles of Appalachian coal miners, the Palmer Raids, the return of Black service members from World War I, the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II, and J. Edgar Hoover’s surveillance of nearly the entire leadership of the 20th century civil rights movement -- not to mention the boom in post-9/11 surveillance of Muslim Americans -- each of these republic-defining moments reflect an overarching reality: Everyone is watched, but everyone is not watched equally.

This seminar aims to excavate and expose that “color of surveillance.” It will also reckon with its consequence: If surveillance is indelibly marked by disparate impact, must we understand privacy to be not just a civil liberty, but also a civil right? If surveillance is a tool used to threaten vulnerable people, should we understand privacy as a shield that lets them survive and thrive? If so, the entirety of the post-9/11 National Security Agency and consumer privacy debates must be reevaluated in light of their near-total absence of considerations of disparate impact.

Note: This seminar requires a paper. J.D. students must register for the 3 credit section of the seminar if they wish to write a paper fulfilling the Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement. The paper requirements of the 2 credit section will not fulfill the J.D. Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement.

LAW 3062 v00 The Essentials of FinTech Law

LL.M Course (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

Nowhere have the recent changes wrought by technological innovation been more visible than in the financial industry.  Algorithmic robots (algo bots) can scan the equivalent of thousands of pages of information and make trading decisions based on that material in fractions of a second. People who might not be able to afford a human financial advisor can get financial advice from robots by enrolling in a “robo-advisory” service to help manage their investments. Virtual currencies such as Bitcoin and initial token offerings (ICOs) have the potential to revolutionize the financial markets. Financial institutions are taking steps to use blockchains and distributed ledger technologies to clear and settle trades in financial instruments and other transactions in a manner that upends traditional processes in this area. Data about human behavior is being collected and used in ways that had not been imagined only ten or so years ago, from uncovering financial market trends via social media sentiment analysis to discerning the success of commodities businesses by scrutinizing satellite images.   

"FinTech” is short for “financial technology,” and the term is broadly used to refer to technologies applied to financial services and within financial institutions.  This course explores some of the complex, cutting-edge legal issues that are arising at the intersection of technological innovation, business, finance, and the law.  The course will introduce several of the primary FinTech innovations and explore with students if, and how, the relevant laws and regulations apply to these new business models. This course provides a guided tour of the major legal and policy issues in banking, financial market regulation, insurance, business-entity law, and data privacy/protection that have resulted from FinTech innovations.  Accordingly, much of the course involves looking at how the existing laws and regulations governing securities, derivatives (including futures and swaps), payment systems, and banking activities apply to innovative financial products and services.   

LAW 1517 v00 The GDPR: Background, Development, and Consequences

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 1 credit hour

This course provides an intensive introduction to the General Data Protection Regulation - the EU’s influential comprehensive data protection law. The class will review foundational Articles of the Regulation, background materials, and related EU law developments. The course explores the development of privacy law in the modern democratic state, assesses the strengths and weaknesses of the Regulation including challenges for implementation and compliance, and examines the relationship to other emerging EU privacy laws. 

Learning Objectives:

The aim of this class is to provide:

  • A general understanding of the historical and political circumstances that gave rise to the adoption of the GDPR
  • A general understanding of the provisions of the General Data Protection Regulation
  • A general understanding of current developments related to the GDPR
  • A focused understanding of key provisions in the GDPR, including collective actions, data protection impact assessments, algorithmic transparency, the role of supervisory authorities, and the creation of the European Data Protection Board
  • An introduction to related legal frameworks, including the Council of Europe Convention 108 (The "Privacy Convention"), the OECD Privacy Guidelines, and the OECD AI Guidelines
  • A brief introduction to regulatory theory, “ratcheting up,” and the “California/Brussels effect”
  • Authoritative reference materials that will aid students as they undertake future work on the GDPR, including Rotenberg, Privacy Law Sourcebook, which includes the text of the GDPR  
  • An analysis of the relationship between the GDPR and other emerging EU laws, such as the Digital Services Act, Digital Markets Act, the EU Data Act, and the e-Privacy Regulation 

Recommended: Information Privacy Law.

Note: In Spring 2023, this class will meet on the following seven Thursdays: 1/19, 2/2, 2/9, 2/16, 3/2, 3/9, and 3/23.

LAW 3065 v00 The Law and Ethics of Automation, Artificial Intelligence, and Robotics

LL.M Seminar (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

Automated systems and artificial intelligence (AI) soon will be like electricity—an ever-present technology that enables many aspects of modern society to function smoothly while operating largely in the background.  Internet-connected “smart” refrigerators and kitchen shelves in “smart” homes will order food items automatically, without human direction, when existing supplies are running low.  Factories are increasingly becoming completely automated, operated by robots that can work 24-hours a day in the dark.  AI even can handle tasks that are currently performed by doctors, attorneys, and human resources executives.  For example, computer algorithms can diagnose illnesses in patients and review documents and contracts for legal and regulatory issues.  AI systems can select the job applicants that firms call in for interviews, and then use facial recognition technology to analyze video-recordings of the interviews to determine which applicants were enthusiastic, bored, or dishonest.  Automated systems already control much of the trading on stock and futures exchanges.  Regular people who want investment advice and guidance can use their smartphones to enroll in AI-powered robo-advisory services that adjust investment strategies according to individual risk preferences.  Algorithms used by online retailers decide what products to show people based on analysis of both the shopping habits of specific individuals and the behavior patterns of like-minded shoppers.  Taxis of the future may very well be self-driving cars that are robot business entities that own themselves.        

These radical changes in society will have significant implications for the legal system.  Advances in AI will necessitate changes to laws and regulations, and even to how lawyers practice law.  In this course, students will examine legal and ethical issues related to automated systems, AI, and robotics, which will involve analysis of topics in agency law, business entity law, contract law, and more.       

LAW 1526 v00 The Law of Autonomous Vehicles

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

Autonomous vehicles are roiling industries as diverse as retail, food delivery, trucking, and personal transportation. Although there is a rising consensus that autonomous, networked cars could save tens of thousands of lives, there is a similar consensus that they also will create tens of thousands of accidents that human drivers would not. Although the technology for autonomous vehicles is already on the roads, the law, ethics, and policy governing these machines is late evolving. This course will examine alternatives for regulating autonomous vehicles, including topics such as which parties should bear responsibility for the actions of autonomous vehicles, how theories of responsibility will change over time, as well as the appropriate modes and agencies of regulation. Paper required.

Recommended: Property (or Property in Time), Torts (or Bargain, Exchange and Liability), and Criminal Law.

LAW 1019 v00 The Law of Public Utilities: Bringing Competition to Historically Monopolistic Industries

J.D. Seminar | 2-3 credit hours

Our major infrastructural industries—electricity, gas, telecommunications, transportation and water—were historically controlled by monopolies. Since the 1980s, efforts to introduce competition into these industries have met obstacles. Battles before legislative bodies, regulatory agencies and courts, at the state and federal levels, have produced a distinct body of law. That body of law—the law of introducing competition into historically monopolistic industries—is the subject of this course.

From the principles learned in the course, students have written papers on such diverse topics as renewable energy, internet, movie production, chicken slaughtering, student loans, pharmaceutical research, Uber, Flint's water crisis, utility corporate form, law school admissions, farms seeds and insecticide, Youtube, private space travel, rare minerals used in solar and wind facilities, Facebook, cloud storage, electric storage, and telemedicine at the VA. Some of these papers have made their way into professional journals or law journals.

Regardless of the industry or era, the regulation of infrastructural monopolies and their competitors has  five common elements: its mission (to align business performance with the public interest); its legal principles (ranging from the state law on exclusive monopoly franchise to federal constitutional protection of shareholder investment); policy flexibility (accommodating multiple public purposes, from service reliability to environmental accountability to protection of vulnerable citizens); reliance on multiple professional disciplines (law, economics, finance, accounting, management, engineering and politics); and formal administrative procedures, such as adjudication and rulemaking.

Today, political challenges are causing policymakers to stretch regulation's core legal principles. Four examples of these challenges are: climate change (e.g., To what extent should we make utilities and their customers responsible for "greening" energy production and consumption?); universal service (e.g., Should we bring broadband to every home, and at whose cost?); privacy (How do regulators induce personal changes in energy consumption while protecting the related data from public exposure?); and protection of our infrastructure from hackers, terrorists and natural catastrophes.

Complicating these political challenges are two sources of constant tension: ideology (e.g., private vs. public ownership, government intervention vs. "free market"); and state-federal relations (e.g., Which aspects of utility service are "national," requiring uniformity; and which are "local," warranting state experimentation?).

This field has many jobs, as new issues emerge and as baby boomers retire. Lawyers play varied roles. They advise clients who are suppliers or customers of regulated services, represent parties before regulatory tribunals, advise those tribunals or their legislative overseers, and challenge or defend those tribunals on judicial review.

Note: The 3-credit Writing Requirement section of this course is restricted to J.D. students only. The 2-credit Paper section of this course is restricted to LL.M. students only.

LAW 433 v02 Trademark and Unfair Competition

J.D. Course (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

This course provides an overview of trademark and unfair competition law.   It covers the common law and statutory bases for acquiring and enforcing trademarks, as well as the requirements for federal registration of a mark.  The course will closely examine causes of action for trademark infringement, false designation of origin, and trademark dilution, along with related defenses and remedies.  Students will be exposed to important aspects of Patent and Trademark Office practice, including the advantages of federal registration and how to proceed in opposition, cancellation, and concurrent use proceedings.  This course will examine the potential conflicts between trademark protection and the First Amendment as well as the bases for losing trademark rights.  Students will develop mastery of core trademark concepts, including goodwill, consumer confusion, and acquired versus inherent distinctiveness. 

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for this course and Trademark and Unfair Competition Law or Trademarks and Brands.

LAW 433 v01 Trademark and Unfair Competition Law

J.D. Course (cross-listed) | 3 credit hours

This course will introduce students to the federal Lanham Act and related common law doctrines designed to protect against consumer confusion and appropriation of commercial goodwill. In addition to the technical requirements for trademark eligibility, registration, and infringement, we will consider the constitutional and economic underpinnings of trademark protection and evaluate current trends toward the "propertization" of trademark law. We will also review and assess the reasons that trademarks can lose protectable status (e.g., becoming generic) and examine best practices in selecting, adopting and enforcing rights in trademarks.

Learning Objectives:

By the end of the semester, you should be able to:

  • Differentiate between trademark, copyright, patent and trade dress laws;
  • Identify what designations can function as trademarks and understand the requirements for trademark protection;
  • Assess the degree of protectability of trademarks depending on their distinctiveness;
  • Understand the requirement of “use in commerce” for trademark protection, and evaluate whether particular usages of trademarks meet that requirement;
  • Grasp the process of obtaining federal registrations for trademarks;
  • Analyze whether uses of junior trademarks infringe the rights of owners of senior trademarks (i.e., whether there is a “likelihood of confusion”);
  • Evaluate whether a trademark is famous, and whether uses of other trademarks constitute dilution of famous marks by either blurring or tarnishment;
  • Determine whether a trademark owner has lost its rights in the mark, either through abandonment or “genericide”;
  • Identify and make arguments concerning defenses to trademark infringement and dilution (e.g., “fair use”); and,
  • Articulate the interplay and conflicts between trademark law and the First Amendment.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for both this course and Trademarks and Brands.

Note: J.D. Students: Registration for this course will be open to Evening Division students only during the initial J.D. student registration windows. Full-time Day Division students will be able to add or waitlist this course beginning at a later date (Date TBA).

LAW 780 v01 U.S. and International Customs Law

LL.M Course (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

As international trade and commerce have increased over the years, customs law has become increasingly more internationalized, important and complex. This course will examine and provide a basic introduction to the rules and principles relating to both U.S. and international customs law. This will include an examination of those rules and principles relating to tariff classification, customs valuation, rules of origin, border enforcement of intellectual property rights and regional trading arrangements. International efforts to facilitate trade and to harmonize and simplify customs laws and procedures will also be examined together with international organizations dealing with customs laws and procedures (such as the World Trade Organization and the World Customs Organization).

Customs authorities are the guardians of national borders. The role of customs authorities in combating terrorism and criminal activity and in securing and safeguarding national borders will also be examined.

No prerequisites.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for both this course and Customs Law.

LAW 1477 v00 Video Games in the 21st Century: Creativity and Innovation in Action

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

This course is devoted to current legal and policy issues specifically relevant to the video game industry, a business sector that generated over $43 billion in revenue in the United States, and over $120 billion worldwide, in the last year alone. In class, we will look at video games as both software and audiovisual works and examine how intellectual property, contracts, and the Internet help shape and drive their creation and distribution. Current issues in First Amendment jurisprudence, communications law, international trade, privacy, and the online marketplace will be discussed. A wide range of novel issues associated with new developments in media and technology, (i.e. esports, virtual reality, location-based gaming, and artificial intelligence) will be highlighted. This class will show how video games, which combine innovation with creativity, and are considered subjects of both commerce and art, continue to contribute to American life and culture.

Class participation is critical and counts as 25% of your grade.

Recommended: Courses that cover Communications Law, Entertainment Law, and Antitrust.

Strongly Recommended: Copyright Law and Constitutional Law II: Individual Rights and Liberties.

Note: Gamers wanted!

Full-Time Faculty

Matt Blaze
Erin Carroll
Anupam Chander
Julie E. Cohen
Laura Donohue
Michael Gottesman
Amanda Levendowski
Laura Moy
Paul Ohm
Tanina Rostain
Howard Shelanski
Brad Snyder
Neel Sukhatme
Madhavi Sunder
John R. Thomas