Technology Law & Policy

More than ever, lawyers and policymakers need a deep understanding of technology and the legal frameworks around it. Law firms are building specialized practices to meet increased legal demands around data security, privacy, artificial intelligence, fintech, and emerging technologies. Elected officials and government agencies require well-grounded counsel to update tech law and regulations. The business and public interest worlds alike demand advocates who can address new legal, ethical and societal challenges as they arise alongside rapid advances in technology.

The Technology Law & Policy LL.M. is designed both for recent law school graduates interested in entering technology-related fields, and for mid-career lawyers and policymakers seeking to hone their expertise in this specialty. Home to the nation’s leading academic program in technology law and policy, Georgetown Law is the ideal place for this innovative degree. We offer more than 70 tech law courses and have 17 full-time Law Center faculty.

Requirement U.S.-Trained Students Foreign-Trained Students
Total Number of Credits Required 24 20
Number of Specialization Credits Required 18 14
Course Requirements As part of the required 18 specialization credits, students must complete a capstone experience, either the Federal Advocacy in Technology Law and Policy course or a program approved alternate. As part of the required 14 specialization credits, students must complete a capstone experience, either the Federal Advocacy in Technology Law and Policy course or a program approved alternate.
GPA Requirements Earn a cumulative minimum grade point average of "B‑" in the courses that are counted toward the LL.M. in Technology Law & Policy specialization requirements Earn a cumulative minimum grade point average of "B‑" in the courses that are counted toward the LL.M. in Technology Law & Policy specialization requirements

Application forms and other information on requirements, deadlines and processes are available now on the Graduate Admissions section of Georgetown Law’s website.

Learn more about Georgetown’s offerings in tech law and policy at The Institute for Tech Law & Policy.


Note on Admissions and Application for Technology Law & Policy LL.M.

Application materials and answers to tuition related questions can be found by going to the Graduate Admissions page. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis.

Contact Information
To learn more, please contact:
Mary Pat Dwyer, Program Director, Technology and Law Policy
Phone: (202) 662 - 9036
Email: Mary Pat Dwyer

Please address any questions about admissions the Office of Graduate Admissions.

LAW 025 v00 Administrative Law

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

This course considers the constitutional, statutory, and other legal limitations on what government agencies can do and how they can do it. What constraints govern the power of agencies to make law, decide cases involving private parties, and investigate citizens? How much "due process" must government agencies give citizens whose lives they affect; what limits has Congress imposed on the procedures for agency decision making; and to what extent can people call on courts to check what they regard as abuses of governmental power? These are among the questions addressed in the course, which draws together problems ranging from the legitimacy of New Deal institutions to the dramatic procedural innovations of recent federal administrations and problems created by renewed Congressional interest in the details of agency decision making.

Recommended: For Professor Nager's section: Prior or concurrent enrollment in Constitutional Law I: The Federal System.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for both this course and the first-year elective by the same name or the first-year course, Government Processes.

LAW 025 v08 Administrative Law

J.D. Course | 3 credit hours

Virtually all areas of law today involve a substantial element of administrative law.  This course introduces you to the role of administrative agencies and how law and political factors shape their powers and work.  This includes materials on how they are empowered and constrained by the Constitution, Congress, presidents, and the courts.  We also study ways in which agencies generate law and develop policies.  This class coverage includes, among other topics, materials on citizens’ abilities to petition, shape, and litigate over agency actions; changing views of presidents’ roles and powers over agencies; and statutory factors and doctrine shaping judicial review of agency law interpretation, reasoning, responsiveness, policy shifts, and engagement with science and facts.   

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for both this course and the first-year elective by the same name or the first-year course, Government Processes.  

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, 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, antitrust counterclaims in U.S. litigation, and select contemporary debates.  Grades will be based on bi-weekly papers written in response to 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 1745 v00 Advanced Foreign Intelligence Law

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

Foreign Intelligence (FI) law as a field is marked by a complex statutory and regulatory framing. Increasingly, it is coming into play in ordinary Article III courts in the United States, as well as in European courts overseas. Simultaneously, new and emerging technologies present fundamental challenges to the traditional FI collection paradigms. This course, accordingly, provides students already broadly familiar with the contours of the national security infrastructure and foreign intelligence collection with the opportunity to do a deep dive with a particular eye towards ways in which technology alters threat vectors and presents new opportunities, and risks, to the foreign intelligence regime.

It begins with the constitutional framing and historical background undergirding the introduction of statutory and regulatory measures. The course then dissects the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) and its expansion in 1994 to incorporate physical search and again in 1998 to include the use of pen register and trap and trace devices, as well as certain business records. The attacks of 9/11 led to additional changes, with further alterations implemented by the 2008 FISA Amendments Act. Discussion centers on targeting, querying, and minimization procedures adopted by the National Security Agency/Central Security Service, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), and National Counterterrorism Center, as well as reports detailing use of FISA.

The course next turns to new technologies that have fundamentally shifted the type of information available to the intelligence community (IC). Special emphasis is given to technologies of import for metadata: social network analytics and algorithmic sciences. It looks at how these technologies mesh with the legal analysis, with particular attention paid to FISA sections 215 and 702.

The course then addresses Executive Order 12333, delving into the associated DoD Directives, Instructions, Manuals, and Annexes; Attorney General Guidelines; CIA Regulations and Directives; and parallel regulatory and policy documents throughout the IC. With the advent of the Internet of Things, next generation social media, 6G networks, artificial intelligence and machine learning, the landscape is about to again shift. Accordingly, the course will further address new and emerging technologies, looking at how they fit – or fail to fit – current law.

The course ends with a unit focused on doctrinal developments (specialized Article III courts, geographic Article III courts, and European tribunals), as well as Article II deliberations introduced via Executive Order in autumn 2022.

Prerequisite: Constitutional Law I or Democracy and Coercion.

Note: THIS COURSE REQUIRES PROFESSOR PERMISSION TO ENROLL. Interested students should email Todd Huntley (todd.huntley@law.georgetown.edu), Director of the National Security Law Program, explaining any relevant school or professional experience and attaching a resume. 

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.

Note: Enrollment in the LAWG section of the seminar is restricted to students in the Technology Law and Policy LL.M. and the Master of Law and Technology programs.

LAW 3144 v00 Advocacy in the Digital Age

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.

Note: This course is only open to LL.M students admitted into the LL.M in Technology Law & Policy program or the Master of Law and Technology program.

LAW 1852 v00 AI and the Law Seminar: Principles and Problems

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

The ongoing development of artificial intelligence (AI) technologies poses significant challenges and opportunities that the law must grapple with. This course will explore some of the normative and theoretical questions raised by the use of AI tools in different legal contexts. Topics to be covered include the use of AI as a substitute or guide for professional judgment; the use of AI as part of systems of government enforcement and adjudication; the use of AI by the private sector to predict, manage, and differentiate consumers; and the use of AI to generate texts, sounds, images, and other products. 

Throughout, we will consider the principles at issue in debates over AI in the context of specific case studies of real world AI legal “problems.” We will ask whether existing legal theories and frameworks are up to the task of fostering the beneficial use of AI or whether and where new approaches may be necessary. We will also explore how understanding the marginal costs and benefits associated with AI sheds light on the uses and limitations of unassisted human judgment in the legal system as it currently exists.

No technical background is assumed. 

Learning Objectives: This course is designed for students to improve their understanding of the following: (1) how artificial intelligence works, both in terms of existing technology as well as the pace and nature of its ongoing development; (2) how artificial intelligence is employed by the private and public sectors; (3) the concerns and hopes that these uses raise; (4) the possibilities and limitations of regulatory approaches to managing those concerns and encouraging AI’s benefits; and (5) how to identify what kinds of claims and concerns are driven by realistic assessments of current and near-future technology versus “hype” or ungrounded projections.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for this course and The Law and Ethics of Automation, Artificial Intelligence, and Robotics. 

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 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 or Antitrust Law and Policy.

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. on Thursday, July 11, 2024.

LAW 038 v05 Antitrust Law

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

This class will serve as a basic survey and introduction to U.S. antitrust law, including coverage of recent critiques and policy developments.  As such, the reading will include the traditional case law, but also some examples of proposed legislation and contemporary advocacy material from policy activists.  Thus, we will learn the basics of antitrust doctrine but also seek to understand the merits (or lack thereof) of contemporary critiques and proposed policy responses. 

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.

LAW 038 v06 Antitrust Law and Policy

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

This class will serve as a basic survey and introduction to U.S. antitrust law, covering both the historical evolution of antitrust policy objectives and the modern antitrust case law. The course readings will include a narrowed selection of traditional case law as well as historical analyses, scholarly commentaries, and contemporary materials. The objective of this course will be not just to learn the basics of antitrust doctrine but to understand and assess contemporary critiques and proposed policy responses to the current state of that doctrine.

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 or Antitrust Law.

LAW 1396 v00 Antitrust Law Seminar: Case Development and Litigation Strategy

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

This course explores the process of raising and defending against antitrust challenges. Through a series of contemporary case studies, we will examine the resolution of antitrust disputes, focusing on the substantive strategies and procedural tools available to the litigants. In the context of these case studies, we will discuss criminal indictments, plea agreements and the DOJ's leniency policy, sufficiency of pleading, presumptions and burdens of proof, rules of evidence (including the use of expert evidence), dispositive pretrial motions, class actions and class action settlement strategies, temporary restraining orders and preliminary injunctions, treble damage judgments, interlocutory and final appeals, and Supreme Court review. There will be no exam but a paper will be required.

Recommended: Antitrust Law, Antitrust Economics and Law, or Antitrust Law: A Survey from the Sherman Act of 1890 to Today’s Progressive Movement.

Note: This seminar requires a paper. 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 038 v03 Antitrust Law: A Survey from the Sherman Act of 1890 to Today’s Progressive Movement

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

This class will serve as a basic survey and introduction to U.S. antitrust law, but with as much focus on the historical evolution of antitrust policy objectives as on antitrust case law. The course readings will therefore include historical analyses, scholarly commentaries, proposed legislation, and contemporary advocacy material from policy activists in addition to a narrowed selection of traditional case law. The objective of this course will be not just to learn the basics of antitrust doctrine but to understand and assess contemporary critiques and proposed policy responses to the current state of that doctrine.

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

LAW 1796 v00 Antitrust Seminar: From the Chicago School to the New Progressives: Regulating Technology Platforms, Durable Monopolies, and Mega-Firms

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

In recent years, progressive groups, Congress, and government antitrust agencies have taken an increasingly aggressive approach to enforcement against “big tech” and monopoly power more generally. In this seminar, we will examine current legislative and enforcement initiatives toward particular kinds of firms and economic conduct. We will examine how these enforcement initiatives differ in their presumptions, analysis, and objectives from antitrust enforcement principles and doctrine that rose to prominence over the second half of the twentieth century. We will trace the evolution of those principles from the “Chicago School” revolution in antitrust of the 1970’s and 1980’s to the current “New Progressive” era, and critically assess both the new progressive policies and the shortcomings of the doctrine and theory to which those policies respond.

Strongly Recommended: This seminar assumes basic familiarity with antitrust precedent and concepts. Prior completion of an antitrust survey course is thus strongly 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 1740 v00 Artificial Intelligence and National Security: Law, Ethics, and Technology

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

This two-credit course provides students with an appreciation of the legal, ethical, and technical issues raised by the proliferation of artificial intelligence in the field of national security. The focus of the course is to enable students as lawyers, leaders, and policymakers to grapple with these issues by giving them an understanding of how artificial intelligence operates; its potential and likely use in different national security settings; and how each use raises distinctive legal and ethical questions involving predictability, trustworthiness, responsibility, and accountability. The course will use examples and case studies to illustrate these issues, as well as videos to depict some of the technical aspects of artificial intelligence.

The specific learning objectives for the course are for students to understand the following:

(1) How artificial intelligence operates, including the concept of an algorithm, how it is trained on data, the statistical models that underlie this training and the basis for its outputs, machine learning, deep learning and neural networks, and the ways in which human choices and interactions shape this process. No technical background in statistics or computer science is necessary, since the goal is to explain these concepts in accessible terms.

(2)  Artificial intelligence as a system involving human-machine teaming, the roles that each member of the team potentially plays at different points in the process, and the concept of trustworthy artificial intelligence.

(3) The role that artificial intelligence is playing in the national security field, its capabilities and potential applications to specific areas, and the extent to which global competition to employ and refine artificial intelligence is itself a national security issue.

(4) Limitations and risks of artificial intelligence, and possible ways to address them.

Assessment will be based on paper of 3,000 words (about 12 doubled-spaced pages) discussing a legal, ethical, or technological issue relevant to the course.

LAW 1856 v00 Artificial Intelligence and the Law

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

Machine Learning (ML) and other forms of Artificial Intelligence (AI) are rapidly transforming the way we make decisions, conduct business, and express ourselves. Our legal institutions are struggling to respond, and policymakers around the world are tweaking, overhauling, or remaking just about every area of law. This course will investigate the emerging legal frameworks being created to address the way ML and AI are reshaping society. Students will survey laws at the local, state, and federal levels from the United States as well as engage in comparative analyses of approaches in other countries.

The course will cover how AI is reshaping venerable common law doctrines–how should  tort law treat autonomous vehicles?–Constitutional Law–do large language models produce protected speech under the First Amendment?–statutory protections–when do algorithmic hiring practices violate the Civil Rights Act?–and regulatory approaches–does high-frequency trading raise risks not currently accounted for in Securities Law? The course will investigate the use of AI by private parties and by public actors alike.

A core premise of this course is that students must deeply understand the technological advances that are spurring the rapid development of AI. Although no prior technical knowledge is required, students should expect to devote several dedicated class hours training neural networks and studying the computer code underlying recent advances in AI to understand the legal developments in a deeper manner.

Learning Outcomes.

At the end of the semester, students will have gained or strengthened the ability to:

  • Understand the technological advances that have led to the rapid advance of AI technology and develop a foundation of technical knowledge to better understand future advances;
  • Apply the emerging legal frameworks for regulating AI surveyed in the course and anticipate and understand future developments in this area of law;
  • Articulate moral, ethical, and policy-focused positions underpinning AI regulation;
  • Place the current developments and approaches in AI regulation into longer historical arcs of regulating technology and other complex systems; and
  • Diagnose the way AI and related technologies can exacerbate or alleviate pre-existing disparities such as in the differential treatment of individuals and groups based on race, ethnicity, gender, and disability. 

Prerequisite: Torts (or Government Processes) and Contracts (or Bargain, Exchange, and Liability).

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for this course and The Law and Ethics of Automation, Artificial Intelligence, and Robotics.

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 (highlighted by the currently changing and challenging legal context); 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 impact of legally recognized same-sex marriage; and professional and regulatory aspects of the ARTs.

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; psychosocial aspects of donor egg and 3rd party ART;  reproductive genetics; and potentially other emerging developments. 

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 advanced aviation (i.e., drones and advanced air mobility aircraft) 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.

Recommended: Administrative Law

Federal Courts

LAW 1789 v00 Biotechnology and the Law Seminar

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

This is a survey class, examining issues ranging from drug regulation, clinical trials, assisted reproductive technology, telemedicine, and stem cell development/regulation to the commercialization of the human body.  For this class we will use the Biotechnology, Bioethics, & The Law Casebook (Goodwin, et. al., eds).  This course requires substantial reading, preparation, organization, and the ability to analyze subtle nuances between various judicial decisions, legislative enactments, ethics, and legal rules, which sometimes may seem in conflict.     

In this class, we will examine whether emerging biotechnological conflicts are best resolved by regulation, judicial intervention, or private negotiation.  Professor Goodwin encourages robust dialogue.  As such, students should come to class prepared with their ideas, intuitions, and opinions.  Their analysis should demonstrate a grasp of the materials.   Students are expected to discuss the materials, act responsibly toward their peers, as well as conduct themselves in a professional manner.  There are no prerequisites for this course. However, students must be prepared for rigorous discussions and substantial reading assignments.  This course is a building block for the other courses in ethics, health law, and a law and science curriculum, including Patents, Food & Drug Law, Health Regulations, and Bioethics. The core competencies expected in this class are critical thinking and the application of social, legal, moral, and economic reasoning.

Much of the reading assigned for class will be covered during discussion.  However, some assigned readings may not be covered given limited class time.  Nonetheless, students are responsible for all reading materials.  The readings include excerpts from medical journals, regulations, cases, newspapers, and social science periodicals.

Course Goals

The goals of this course are to:

  • Introduce students to the study of biotechnological developments, health policy, and ethics;
  • Familiarize students with the medical and legal literature on the topic;
  • Engage students with practical as well as theoretical ideas in biotechnology law;
  • Stimulate intellectual curiosity about the subject matter;
  • And inspire critical thinking and thoughtful analysis.

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 3078 v00 Commercial Space Law

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

This course will provide an overview of U.S. domestic legal regimes that govern commercial spaceflight activities, including those managed by the Federal Aviation Administration, Federal Communications Commission, Department of Commerce, U.S. Defense Department and State Department. The course will examine existing regulations and statutes as well as current discussions about changes to policy and law to address the evolving nature of the space industry and U.S. national space priorities. Examples include the Space Force, space traffic management, and oversight of non-traditional commercial activities in light of international treaty obligations. 

Recommended: Prior or concurrent enrollment in administrative law, regulatory law or international law

LAW 1835 v00 Communications Law

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

This course will examine the historical, current, and prospective legal and regulatory treatment of communications services, devices, service providers, and platforms. Focusing on current regulatory and policy developments, we will cover issues concerning telephone companies, wireless carriers, Internet application and service providers, device manufacturers, and broadband network operators. The emphasis of the course will be on the rules, policies, and processes of the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”), but we also will discuss the roles of Congress, courts, and the Executive Branch. Once armed with a firm background in existing statutory and regulatory requirements, students will explore current legal and policy questions regarding communications law. In particular, our focus this semester will be on the structure and functions of the FCC, mobile broadband networks; recent debates surrounding the regulation of broadband networks and online platforms; and some special “hot topics.”

 

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for this course and Communications Law and Policy.

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 073 v05 Communications Law and Policy

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

This course will survey the historical, current, and prospective legal and regulatory treatment of communications services, devices, service providers, and platforms. We will examine legal and regulatory issues regarding telecommunications services, mobile communications, broadcasting, cable, and broadband networks. The emphasis will be on the rules, policies, and processes of the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”), but we will also discuss the roles of Congress, courts, the Executive branch, states, and localities.  Armed with a firm background in statutory and regulatory models, students will explore current and future legal and policy questions regarding communications law, considering the challenges technological convergence and innovation pose for existing regulatory frameworks in areas such as competition, spectrum policy, broadband subsidy, and net neutrality.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand the regulatory framework for the communications sector, including the statutory framework for the FCC’s regulatory authority.
  • Understand the roles, as well as the institutional competence and limitations, of the other key players in communications law and policy – Congress, the Executive branch, courts, states, and localities.
  • Deepen students’ understanding of major communications policy topics, so that they can identify key concepts and attendant arguments in play.
  • Analyze communications issues in an interdisciplinary manner, recognizing the intersection of economics, technology, policy, and law. 
  • Practice skills useful to participating in the regulatory advocacy process by drafting a short, mock ex parte letter to the FCC on a designated issue.  Skills practiced will include, among others, making legal arguments, discussing policy rationales, and appealing to policymakers’ agendas.

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) | 2 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) | 2 credit hours

This class provides an introduction to computer programming for law students. Students will learn to code in Python, a language which is both easy to learn and powerful. There are no prerequisites, and 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.) Additionally, lawyers are increasingly 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. Recognizing that artificial intelligence (AI) is changing what it means to program, the course will instill both fundamental programming knowledge and, once basics are established, techniques for using AI to solve complex problems. The course is designed to give students the skills and understanding necessary to create time-saving programs amid a rapidly evolving technological landscape.

The course will also feature discussions around the social and ethical implications of computer programming, with a focus on privacy, intellectual property, consumer protection, equity, and antidiscrimination.

This class will consist of weekly lectures, consisting of both lectures and guided group and independent activities. There will also be weekly labs, in which students will go over issues they might be having with the problem set and work in small groups with their TA.

Students will be required to complete problem sets between class meetings. To obtain a passing grade, students must complete problem sets, participate in class sessions, and demonstrate that 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: FIRST CLASS ATTENDANCE IS MANDATORY. Enrolled students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session and the first lab session in order to remain enrolled. Waitlisted students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session and the first lab session in order to remain eligible to be admitted off the waitlist.

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 two-hour lecture with all enrolled students.  Later in the week there will be a second class session consisting of a one-hour lab.

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 Adler at (wta13@georgetown.edu). Priority will be given to students who express interest at least one month before classes start.

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, August 5, 2024 and only by notifying Professor Adler in writing.

LAW 215 v00 Constitutional Law II: Individual Rights and Liberties

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

This course focuses primarily on the First, Fifth, and Fourteenth Amendments (free speech, due process, and equal protection) and the role of the Supreme Court as ultimate interpreter and guardian of the Bill of Rights.

Note for Professor Barnett's Fall section: As a way to understand the structure of current doctrines, Professor Barnett’s course will stress how and why the doctrines evolved from the Founding through the Civil War, Reconstruction, the Progressive Era, the New Deal, the Warren and Rehnquist Courts to the Roberts Court today. The course will also stress the effect that slavery had on the original Constitution and the Reconstruction Amendments. Coverage will include the Second and Ninth Amendments. Professor Barnett's section will consist of a 3-hour unit consisting of two 85 minute class sessions and a 1-hour unit consisting of video presentations on the theory and practice of originalism that students can view at their convenience at any time before or during the semester.  Internet access on any device is not allowed during class; all laptop use is disallowed in Professor Barnett's course (unless necessary to conduct Zoom instruction).  

Learning goals for Professor Spann's section

The primary goal of the course is to teach students how to manipulate the doctri­nal rules and underlying policy consid­era­tions that govern the topics in the course, and to get students to confront the norma­tive implications raised by such vast amounts of doctrinal indetermi­nacy, especially for the law’s claim of neutrality toward subordinated groups. 

Note: Note for students in Professor Goodwin's section (LAWJ-215-07): Laptops may not be used during class sessions.

LAW 1881 v00 Constitutional Law: Federal Courts Tackle the Digital World

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

For more than a century, court decisions have lagged advances in technology. The advent of the Internet and developments in artificial intelligence, particularly generative artificial intelligence, have accelerated this gap. This course explores how federal courts are tackling disruptive technologies and digital challenges. The focus will be on a few select areas, including speech, Section 230 of the Communications in Decency Act, privacy, and artificial intelligence, though in reality the lines are blurred between these topics. We will look at cases that serve as the analytical foundation for these issues and consider contemporary judicial efforts to address the shifting legal and digital landscape in an ambiguous environment. Students will have an opportunity to engage in structured, in-class debates and exercises to highlight conflicting views in this arena. The course will also address how judges are engaging with technology in their chambers and courtrooms and how this engagement may impact the decision-making process.

Recommended: Constitutional Law

Note: WEEK ONE COURSE. This seminar will meet for one week only, on the following days: Monday, January 6, 2025, through Thursday, January 9, 2025, 9:00 a.m. - 12:20 p.m. 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 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 110 v08 Copyright Law

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

This course will cover the system of legal protection for creative expression and content dissemination in the United States, with a particular emphasis on policy and policy implications. Topics covered include: requirements for copyright protection, copyrightable subject matter, authorship, useful articles, Section 106 rights (including moral rights), copyright infringement and its elements, exceptions (especially fair use), copyright licensing (via the music industry), copyright infringement (with a focus on substantial similarity analysis), direct and secondary liability, and remedies. When applicable, we will include and encourage discussion of the historical, cultural, political and racial contexts in which copyright law arose, and how lawmakers have (and haven’t) accommodated evolving norms.

LAW 2070 v00 Corporate National Security Law

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

Corporate National Security Law explores important legal issues arising out of the U.S. government’s reliance on the private sector for its national security, and the increasing convergence and conflict between national security, technology, and the private sector. The course will focus on: (1) privatization and insourcing/outsourcing issues for the U.S. government in the national security arena; (2) government contracts issues in the national security sphere; (3) export controls; (4) classified information and secrecy issues; and (5) emerging issues at the intersection of national security, technology, and the private sector. 

LAW 121 v01 Corporations

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

Students should note that Corporations is a prerequisite for Corporate Finance, Securities Regulation, Business Planning Seminar, and many corporate law seminars.

This is a basic course in business corporations. Brief coverage is given to factors bearing on choice of organization, including partnership attributes, process of corporate formation, corporate privileges and powers, corporate capital structure, and limited liability. Close examination is given to the governance structure of the corporation and the fiduciary obligations of directors and officers. The particular nature of the public corporation is explored. Topics studied may include stock trading by corporate insiders, transactions in corporation control, and the procedural problems in stockholder derivative suits. Along with a focus on such policy questions as federal-state jurisdiction, the nature of the corporate governance system, and the role of the corporation in modern society, the course deals with the role of the lawyer in corporate matters.  Finally, in Professor Zytnick's section, the course serves to introduce the students to basic concepts in accounting, investment, business, and law and economics.

LAW 121 v05 Corporations

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

Students should note that Corporations is a prerequisite for Corporate Finance, Securities Regulation, Business Planning Seminar, and many corporate law seminars.

This is a basic course in business corporations. This course explores the governance structure of the corporation and the fiduciary obligations of directors and officers, with a particular focus on the nature of the public corporation. Topics studied may include: the role of shareholders in contrast with the role of directors and officers, the issues surrounding transactions in corporation control, and the procedural problems in stockholder derivative suits. Policy questions such as federal-state jurisdiction, the nature of the corporate governance system, the role of the corporation in modern society, and the role of the lawyer in corporate matters may also be included.

Note: This course will not cover alternative entities or federal securities law.

Note: Laptops may not be used during class sessions.

LAW 121 v08 Corporations

LL.M Course | 3 credit hours

Students should note that Corporations is a prerequisite for Advanced Corporate Law, Comparative Corporate Law, Corporate Finance, Securities Regulation, Business Planning Seminar, and corporate law seminars.

This is a basic course in business corporations. Brief coverage is given to factors bearing on choice of organization, including partnership attributes, process of corporate formation, corporate privileges and powers, corporate capital structure, and limited liability. Close examination is given to the governance structure of the corporation and the fiduciary obligations of directors and officers. The particular nature of the public corporation is explored. Topics studied may include stock trading by corporate insiders, transactions in corporation control, and the procedural problems in stockholder derivative suits. Along with a focus on such policy questions as federal-state jurisdiction, the nature of the corporate governance system, and the role of the corporation in modern society, the course deals with the role of the lawyer in corporate matters.

This course will presume familiarity with the basic vocabulary and fundamental concepts of corporate law and focus on salient divergent features of US corporate law.

Note: This section is for foreign-educated LL.M.s only. J.D. students and LL.M. students who received their law degrees in the U.S. MAY NOT register for this course.

LAW 121 v09 Corporations

LL.M Course | 3 credit hours

Students should note that Corporations is a prerequisite for Advanced Corporate Law, Comparative Corporate Law, Corporate Finance, Securities Regulation, Business Planning Seminar, and corporate law seminars.

This is a basic course in business organizations with a primary focus on corporations and including a brief examination of limited liability companies. Throughout the course, students will consider the role of lawyers in corporate matters. Brief coverage is given to factors bearing on choice of organization, including process of corporate formation, corporate privileges and powers, corporate capital structure, and limited liability. Close examination is given to the governance structure of the corporation and the obligations of directors and officers. The particular nature of the public corporation is explored. Topics studied may include stock trading by corporate insiders, transactions in corporation control, the procedural problems in stockholder derivative suits, and judicial disregard of the corporate form.

Note: This section is for foreign-educated LL.M.s only. J.D. students and LL.M. students who received their law degrees in the U.S. MAY NOT register for this course.

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 3171 v00 Cyber Threat Landscape: Legal Considerations at the Crossroads of the Public and Private Sectors

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

The cyber threat landscape is constantly changing: threat actor tactics and technological advances, including the proliferation of AI solutions, are rapidly evolving as the legal field tries to keep pace. While cyber defense and national security considerations are often thought of as governmental responsibilities, the private sector has a critical role to play in addressing cybersecurity threats. The management and mitigation of, and defense against, cybersecurity risks is multifaceted, and the public and private sectors are closely intertwined in this effort. 

This advanced, discussion-based seminar will focus on the intersection of the private and public sectors in the cybersecurity field with a particular focus on legal considerations and challenges the private sector faces in the industry. We will cover a range of topics, including: intelligence and information sharing; cybersecurity threats, updates, and trends; private sector cybersecurity laws and regulations; cybersecurity investigations and threat actor disruptions and prosecutions; and challenges and tensions between the public and private sectors in these contexts. At the end of the seminar, students will participate in a live “tabletop” cyber-attack simulation with the goal of developing practical skills in the practice of cybersecurity law. 

 

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 1825 v00 Cybersecurity Risks, Rules and Responsibilities

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

This class will focus on the laws, standards and liabilities that govern cybersecurity. The course will examine cyber threats and risks such as ransomware/extortion, destructive malware, critical infrastructure attacks, personal data breaches, email account take-overs, exfiltration of proprietary data and intellectual property, exploitation of software and internet hardware vulnerabilities, insider threats, malicious and defensive use of artificial intelligence, and state-sponsored cyberattacks. 

Students will examine the roles of various government agencies such as the White House, FBI, DOJ, NSA, HHS, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Commerce Department, Treasury Department, the intelligence community, financial regulators, and their respective international counterparts, etc. 

The roles of boards of directors and corporate governance will also be explored. Readings will include a broad range of cybersecurity laws and regulations, executive orders, judicial decisions, enforcement actions and settlements, government and expert reports, agency guidance, corporate filings, and news articles. Current cyber developments will be discussed regularly, and students will be expected to participate actively. 

LAW 1551 v00 Decarbonizing the Energy Sphere: A Federal Regulatory Approach

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

Burgeoning climate concerns, abetted by technological advances, have permitted new federal regulatory strategies to reduce carbon emissions in the energy sphere. Relying mostly on precedents less than four years old, this course will explore environmental policy involving wholesale energy sales, transmission of electricity, and transportation of natural gas. We will apply the legal framework of statutes organic to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission as a starting point to examine incentives and impediments to new wind and solar generation and strategies such as carbon pricing. The operation and continuing relevance of the Public Utility Regulatory Policy Act in competitive wholesale markets with also be examined.

The course will further address how seemingly local concerns, such as rooftop solar, may implicate federal energy regulation and policy interests. Turning to pipelines, we will examine how National Environmental Policy Act, Clean Air Act, and Clean Water Act requirements affect authorization of new construction, applied concepts of environmental justice, law and policy regarding export of liquified natural gas, and potential remedies for pipeline construction subsequently found to have been unlawfully authorized, among other topics.

Decarbonizing the Energy Sphere: A Federal Regulatory Approach will provide students the foundation to critically assess the balance of environmental values and ubiquitous consumer demands, such as reliability and affordability. Case readings will be paired with a policy text to undergird discussions of means within the broader investment and technological context to achieve environmental objectives. Our examination of policy options will be informed by consideration of a broad array of stakeholder interests. By gaining exposure to major environmental controversies in federal energy regulation, students will gain deep practical knowledge and develop insights into the formulation of decarbonization strategies.

To provide opportunities to apply course concepts and materials, students will participate during class time, and with ample advance notice, in oral argument and judging. By creating an outline in support of scenario-based legal positions and arguing for them in a supportive environment and reaching a determination in the context of a well-defined legal controversy, students will gain experience in the advocacy and evaluation of complex, contemporary legal issues where federal energy and environmental law intersect.

Recommended: Administrative Law.

LAW 1815 v00 Decentralization, Finance, and the Law

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

This seminar will examine the concept of decentralization and finance as it is applied across various issue areas:  securities law, antitrust law, intellectual property, and financial stability.  

Decentralization has attracted enormous attention with the rise of cryptocurrencies and decentralized finance. However, the term “decentralization” is a term of art rather than a legal concept—although the norms and general understanding of particular uses of the term can have decisive legal consequences.  In this seminar, students will compare and contrast the contexts and settings in which the decentralization conversation has had particular salience, particularly when applied to Web 3 and blockchain technologies.  Guest speakers will additionally visit the class to provide real world applications and perspective.  A basic understanding of what a cryptocurrency is will be useful to students taking the course.

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 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 1918 v00 Emerging Topics in Social Media Law

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

Social media is revolutionizing what we buy, who our friends are, where we work, how we game, why we vote for certain candidates, and so much more. For the first time in history, anyone with an internet connection can speak and be heard across the globe in seconds, by audiences of one to one million. Rapper Travis Scott held a metaverse concert with tens of millions of viewers, South Korean president Yoon Suk-yeol generated huge campaign buzz with his charming digital avatar AI Yoon, and generative AI companies like ChatGPT and Midjourney can turn us all into Shakespeare, Taylor Swift, or Picasso (as long as they don’t try to manipulate us or take over the world). This is just the beginning—Meta is building AI that interprets brain waves, and Google has filed similar patents. Haptics allow users to physically feel feedback from digital images, integrating the experience. Such innovations will continue to transform our daily interactions, melding our digital and physical lives in ways we cannot yet fully predict. The impacts on society are profound, and yet social media is fundamentally a business. 

In most cases, a social media platform’s first loyalty is to shareholders. As social media swells, the legal frameworks lag far behind in recognizing the critical roles social media and the internet play in our lives. Courts are only now starting to tackle the thorny issues raised by social media across a variety of contexts.

This course offers an overview of social media law through the lens of its economic, policy, and national security implications. In the social media space, the realpolitik of corporate regulatory strategy collides with the pressing needs of society unlike almost anywhere else in the law. Students will leave this course able to converse about the major legal and policy issues in a practical and compelling way with anyone in the social media ecosystem—be it consumer advocates, regulators, platform leaders, entrepreneurs, financiers, engineers, or others.

Recommended: Constitutional Law.

 

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for this course and Social Media Law or Social Media Law Seminar.

 

Note: UPPERCLASS WEEK ONE COURSE: This will meet on the following days: Monday, January 6, 2025 through Thursday, January 9, 2025. This course is offered on a mandatory pass/fail basis and will not count toward the 7 credit pass/fail limit for J.D. students.

ATTENDANCE IS MANDATORY AT ALL CLASS SESSIONS. 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.

Note: Enrolled students will have until the beginning of the second class session to request a drop by contacting the Office of the Registrar at lawreg@georgetown.edu. 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 the Assistant Dean for Experiential Education. Withdrawals are permitted up until the last class for this specific course.

LAW 1337 v00 Empirical Analysis for Lawyers and Policymakers Seminar

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

This seminar is intended to help students become better consumers of empirical work in the law and social sciences. By the end of the semester, students should: (1) understand the basics of some common empirical methodologies; (2) see how empirical work can inform public policy; and (3) have a better sense of the limits and problems inherent in empirical work.
 

Each week, we will cover one or more policy-relevant empirical papers that students will be expected to read. Students will submit a 1-2 page analysis of an assigned paper before class. Each paper will introduce students to a particular empirical methodology, or show how it might be applied in a particular policy setting.
 

Topics will be drawn from a variety of areas, including criminal law, education, health, development, and labor. For example, we might study questions like: what is the impact of education on earnings? How do 401(k) plans affect people’s savings decisions? How does a change in the minimum wage affect labor supply? Do minimum drinking ages reduce drunken driving deaths? What are the benefits and limits of randomized controlled trials?
 

Toward the end of the semester, students will be asked to write an 10-12 page paper that analyzes in detail an empirical paper of their own choosing. If there is time, students will be asked to present their analysis to the class in a final presentation.
 

Grades will be based on the short 1-2 page analyses, the 10-12 page final paper and presentation, and classroom participation.

Recommended: Some background in statistics or econometrics is helpful but not required. More important is a willingness to engage with unfamiliar material and a deep interest in learning.

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 2044 v00 Financial Market Reform and Innovation

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

This course examines the ever-evolving regulation of financial markets, institutions, and innovative financial products. We will evaluate the emerging regulatory issues and reform of over-the-counter derivatives markets, analyzes changes to federal banking laws (including systemic risk regulations), and explores enhanced consumer protection rules.  The course will also explore advances in financial technology (commonly referred to as ‘FinTech’), specifically virtual currency. We will examine how virtual currencies are used by financial market participants and evaluate major developments in the regulation of virtual currencies, such as Bitcoin, Ether, Ripple, Litecoin, and others.


This course will also compare and contrast 2008 Financial Crisis and 2020 Covid Pandemic. In particular, we will discuss financial impacts and policy responses. This course also provides a comprehensive overview of the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 (“Dodd-Frank Act”) and its ongoing implementation efforts by Federal financial regulators. The Dodd-Frank Act is the most consequential reform of the financial services industry since the Great Depression. We will analyze financial market reform efforts emerging regulatory issues that are intended to increase transparency in financial markets, reduce systemic risks, increase the safety and soundness of the financial system, and enhance protections for consumers.


Learning objectives:
By the end of this course, I hope you will have a comprehensive overview of the ever-evolving regulation of financial markets, institutions, and innovative financial products. You will gain a sense of the genesis and policy developments underpinning financial markets regulation, an overview of fundamental aspects of financial  reform in Dodd-Frank, its basic requirements, its overarching goals, and its upsides and downsides. You will not learn every detail of financial services regulation or every part of Dodd-Frank, but you should grasp the nature and structure of the central tenants of federal oversight of the financial services industry and its market participants.
Another aim of the course is skills-oriented. By participating in class discussions and preparing and presenting the Comment Letter Group Project, I hope you will hone your skills in speaking fluently and comfortably about legal issues. The Comment Letter Group Project is designed to give you real-world experience/exposure to what regulatory lawyers actually do in private and government practice in the financial services space. I want students to be able to identify an issue, think critically about how to solve it, employ legal reasoning to defend their approach, and practice legal writing. My specific expectations for the comment letter project are set out in the “Comment Letter Group Project” section of the syllabus.

LAW 193 v01 Financial Services: Regulation in the Age of Disruption

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

This two-hour lecture and discussion course covers regulation of financial services providers, from traditional banks to fintechs, cryptocurrencies, DeFi, stablecoins and other challengers. The course provides a grounding in money and payments and how banks are structured and regulated: the balance sheet, the role of insured deposits, and the purpose of capital and liquidity. We review regulations designed to promote safety and soundness, privacy and cybersecurity, consumer protection, and international consistency. We then examine how fintechs, cryptocurrencies, stablecoins and money market funds all attempt to disintermediate traditional banks, and the regulatory challenges they pose. We examine the 2007-09 Global Financial Crisis and the economic effects of the 2020 global pandemic, and the lessons learned from each. Grades in this course are determined by class participation and a final take-home examination.

Recommended: Prior or concurrent enrollment in Administrative Law and Corporations.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for both this course and Federal Banking Regulation: Modern Financial Institutions and Change, or the LL.M. course, Financial Regulation and Financial Crises.

Note: This course is part of the following graduate programs: Securities and Financial Regulation LL.M.

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.

NOTE: For the Fall 2022 semester, mandatory attendance rules will not be enforced for this course; students will not automatically be dropped or withdrawn upon missing a class session. Students who miss class due to COVID-19 symptoms, quarantine, isolation, or other disruptions should contact the professor(s). Regular attendance and participation in all class sessions is expected, and students may be withdrawn, at the request of the faculty, if absent without good cause.

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-fourth of the grade for the semester.

Recommended: Constitutional Law II: Individual Rights and Liberties.

Note: THIS COURSE REQUIRES THE PROFESSORS’ PERMISSION TO ENROLL. Students should complete a brief Google form found here with a short explanation of their interest in the course by 5:00 p.m. on June 13, 2023.  Thereafter, the professors will admit students into open seats from the waitlist on a rolling basis.  PLEASE NOTE:  This course will not be offered during the 2024-25 academic year.

LAW 1829 v00 From Formation to Exit - Capital Formation for Startups

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

This course is early stage financing from formation to a $75M Reg A+ round in hyper-speed. Students will play the role of the company’s outside legal counsel. Students will assist with formation, capital formation, and general legal guidance. They’ll assist with raising a $1 million pre-seed round from friends and family, a $5 million Regulation Crowdfunding Offering, and eventually a $75M Regulation A+ offering. Lastly, the company will receive a term sheet from a prominent VC which students will assess, issue spot, and advise the company thereon.

 

Strongly Recommended: Securities, Corporations

Note: UPPERCLASS WEEK ONE COURSE: This course will meet for one week only on the following days: Monday, January 8, 2024 through Thursday, January 11, 2024, 6:00 p.m. - 9:20 p.m. This course is offered on a mandatory pass/fail basis and will not count toward the 7 credit pass/fail limit for J.D. students.

ATTENDANCE IS MANDATORY AT ALL CLASS SESSIONS. 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.

Note: Enrolled students will have until the beginning of the second class session to request a drop by contacting the Office of the Registrar at lawreg@georgetown.edu. 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 3152 v00 Front Lines and Foreign Risk: National Security Through the Lens of CFIUS and Team Telecom

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

This course examines how the United States increasingly relies on two committees to assess risks to national security arising from foreign investment in the United States and foreign participation in U.S. telecommunications. Specifically, this course provides students the opportunity to compare and contrast the assessment processes established by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) and the Committee for the Assessment of Foreign Participation in the United States Telecommunications Services Sector (Team Telecom). To establish a foundation, students will consider the history of CFIUS and Team Telecom since the millennium and examine how successive administrations and Congress have shaped foreign risk reviews, which have dramatically increased in frequency, gravity, and complexity with greater public visibility. Students will assess how CFIUS and Team Telecom reviews fit within the broader U.S. national security strategy and will consider the increasingly prevalent view that economic security is national security. Students will learn that although national security priorities vary from administration to administration, bipartisan attention has continued to focus on risks related to foreign investment in the United States, particularly regarding the development of critical technologies (e.g., microelectronics, artificial intelligence, and quantum computing among others). Throughout this course, students will be encouraged to consider how the government balances the benefits of foreign investment and participation, including promotion of economic growth, productivity, competitiveness, and job promotion, while protecting national security.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for both this seminar and Foreign Investment & National Security: The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States.

LAW 1930 v00 Gen AI and Big Law

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

The rapid rise of generative AI is creating new challenges for corporate law practice. Law firm leaders are concerned that using Gen AI. for legal tasks will create significant legal and financial risks. At the same time, clients are saying they will not pay for services provided by associates if those services could have been performed by AI. Caught between these poles, corporate firms are trying to figure out how Gen AI fits into their service delivery and business models. Meanwhile, several legal research/legal tech companies are developing increasingly sophisticated legal AI tools in the hope of harnessing the power of Gen AI for research, writing, and analysis to capture a piece of the very sizable corporate legal market. 

This course is intended to teach students how to use Gen AI in a corporate practice setting and expose them to the ethical, business, and other challenges that Gen AI poses for that sector. To learn how to research and perform legal tasks aided by gen AI, students will have the opportunity to work with Vincent AI, a cutting-edge legal research platform developed by VLex, a global legal intelligence that provides access to the most extensive collection of legal and regulatory information worldwide. We will also consider legal Gen AI through a broader lens and explore the ethical issues raised by legal Gen AI how it fits – or doesn’t -- into the traditional corporate law business model; and what the future of corporate practice might hold.

Learning Outcomes.

By the end of the semester, students will:

  • understand how to use legal Gen AI to assist in legal research, writing, and analysis.
  • understand the risks and benefits of using legal Gen AI
  • understand the professional responsibility issues raised by legal Gen AI
  • understand the opportunities and challenges legal Gen AI for corporate service delivery and Big Law’s business model.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for this course and Advanced Legal Writing with Generative AI.

Note: This course is offered on a mandatory pass/fail basis. This course does not count toward the seven credit pass/fail limit. This class will meet in Fall 2024 on Wednesdays, 11:10 a.m. - 1:10 p.m. on the following dates: 8/28, 9/11, 9/25, 10/9, 10/23, 11/6, and 11/20.

Enrollment in the LAWG section of this course is restricted to students in the Technology Law and Policy LL.M. and the Master of Law and Technology programs.

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.

LAW 1882 v00 Generative AI and the Future of Free Speech & Copyright Law

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

In this course, students will gain an understanding of the technical basics of generative AI models and the copyright, First Amendment, and intermediary liability legal questions that will shape these models’ development and use. Through course readings—including case law excerpts, law review articles, technical briefings, and policy white papers—class discussion, and experimentation with generative AI tools, students will develop familiarity with the capabilities and limitations of these tools and an understanding of how questions around generative AI relate to broader law and policy debates about freedom of expression in the digital age.

Note: WEEK ONE COURSE. This seminar will meet for one week only, on the following days: Monday, January 6, 2025, through Thursday, January 9, 2025, 9:00 a.m. - 12:20 p.m. 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 726 v00 Global Competition Law and Policy

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

This course examines the current state of competition (or “antitrust”) policies and enforcement mechanisms around the world, using case studies from the US, EU, Asia and elsewhere. The international competition community is in the throes of a vigorous re-examination of the goals and tools of competition regulation and policy: has inadequate or ineffective competition regulation contributed to excessive industry concentration, income inequality, stagnant wage growth, and related harm to consumers and society? Or are existing competition enforcement tools sufficient to address actual competition problems, leaving other economic and social issues to be better addressed by other public policies and tools? Do digital markets and “platforms” require special rules? These issues present the challenges of accommodating competition policy to evolving political, economic and social demands.

Prerequisite: For J.D. students: Antitrust Law or Antitrust Economics and Law. LL.M. students should have some previous work experience or coursework in U.S. antitrust law or competition regulation in other jurisdictions; otherwise professor's approval required before enrolling.

Note: This course is part of the following graduate programs: International Business and Economic Law LL.M. International Business and Economic Law LL.M. - List A International Legal Studies LL.M.

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 726 v01 Global Competition Law and Policy

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

This seminar will examine the development of competition laws around the world, differences in substantive standards among the major enforcement jurisdictions; the role of historical, political, and economic forces that affect those differences; and the possible consequences of those differences. We will start with a basic understanding of competition principles common to key jurisdictions including the U.S., Canada, the EC, the UK, and Japan, and will compare and contrast these with the principles applied in developing and transition economies, such as China, Mexico, India, and South Africa. Particular emphasis will be on current issues and trends including the role of antitrust in a digital economy, multi-jurisdictional merger control, and regulation of dominant firm conduct. We will also consider the role of competition policy in economic and political development generally.

Prerequisite: For J.D. students: Antitrust Law or Antitrust Economics and Law. LL.M. students should have some previous work experience or coursework U.S. antitrust law or competition regulation in other jurisdictions; otherwise professor's approval required before enrolling.

LAW 068 v01 Global Revolutions, Civic Activism, and Civil Society

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

Around the world, people are mobilizing to defend democracy, protect human rights, and promote sustainable development. We’ll study the international legal framework for civic activism, examining laws governing protests, social justice movements, and and nonprofit organizations. We’ll also explore the impact of national security, authoritarianism, and digital technology on civic space.

We'll take a global tour, comparing approaches in the US, Europe, Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and Latin America. We'll discuss current events, play the role of UN Ambassadors, and help countries draft laws.

This class will provide skills and contacts to help you pursue a career in international human rights law. Past classes have spoken with UN officials, a lawyer for a group allegedly engaged in terrorism, and frontline human rights defenders.

Learning Objectives:

By the end of the semester, you should have the ability to:

  1. Analyze international law governing the freedoms of association, assembly, and expression;
  2. Evaluate the extent to which national legislation complies with international law;
  3. Craft arguments to bring national legislation closer to international law and good practice;
  4. Communicate effectively with diplomats, government officials, and civic activists;
  5. Analyze ethical aspects that arise in crafting laws that affect the freedoms of association, assembly, and expression; and
  6. Assess the impact of law on nonprofit organizations, social movements, and protests.

Note: Space is limited.

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, or to make suitable alternative arrangements with the professor, 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 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 565 v00 Globalization, Work, and Inequality Seminar

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

A backlash against globalization has emerged in advanced economies as a result of job loss, wage stagnation, precarious work and economic insecurity for the middle class. The liberal globalization of the last three decades is under attack for the unequal distribution of its gains and its failure to provide better opportunities for ordinary working people. Reimagining the global economy will require placing work front and center. This seminar will explore the changing nature of the workplace due to global competition and technological change. It will examine important policy debates about how best to create jobs, improve working conditions, and promote economic growth and well-being. We will analyze how a variety of factors, such as new modes of production and technologies, increasing participation of women in the economy, widespread migration flows, increasing global trade and capital mobility, and the rise of informal economies challenge the assumptions underlying traditional labor and employment regulation in both developed and developing countries. We will consider an array of innovative attempts – national, international, transnational, public, private and mixed -- to improve workplace conditions and assure employment opportunity consistent with economic growth and stability. We will also inquire about the moral and political commitments associated with various approaches.
There are no prerequisites. All students are welcome.

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 3165 v00 Health Care Privacy and Security

LL.M. Seminar (cross-listed) | 1 credit hour

This course will explore the primary legal and policy principles surrounding the use and disclosure of personal data across the healthcare industry – the key privacy and security laws, regulations and principles that govern how the healthcare industry operates. We also will focus on the concepts surrounding the privacy of health information, and evaluate why this information should be treated differently than other personal information (if at all). We will learn through understanding the relevant legislative and regulatory provisions, and by applying a series of case/situation examples for class discussion. The overall goal of the course is to provide both an understanding of the relevant legal principles for health care privacy in general and to develop an ability to address how these issues arise in legal practice.  

This course will emphasize the primary privacy and information security principles set out in the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (“HIPAA”) as a baseline framework for compliance, and will explore how these rules apply in theory and in practice. We will discuss the best approaches for overall HIPAA compliance. We also will explore emerging areas for privacy and information security, including new enforcement principles, issues related to security breaches and breach notification, and the emergence of “non-HIPAA” data as a new challenge to the privacy and data security regulatory structure (including important developments connected to the Dobbs decision and the COVID-19 pandemic). We will spend some time on issues related to privacy and medical research. We also will assess how these issues affect the business of healthcare, including a broad range of strategic and compliance issues affecting healthcare companies and others that use personal data. We will conclude with an analysis of these issues going forward – how the law and the health care system are changing and how the regulation of the privacy of personal health data can impact these developments.

 

Recommended: Information Privacy Law (recommended but not required)

Note: WEEK ONE COURSE. This course will meet for one week only on the following days: Monday, January 6, 2025, through Thursday, January 9, 2025, 1:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. The course will have a take-home exam that must be completed during the week of January 18 and January 25, 2025.

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 2037 v00 Health Information Technology and the Law

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

Health care decision-making and innovation are increasingly driven and made possibly by vast stores of data. The importance of data has created an inevitable push-pull dynamic between concerns for confidentiality and demands for medical progress and cost containment. Data is both a privacy risk and a tremendous asset. This course will explore the legal and ethical issues at the intersection of health information, including where data comes from, how it is and should be protected, how it can be used, and risks to its integrity and security. In doing so, this course will cover a range of topics including health information privacy, future use of data assets, and conflicts of interest.

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

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 1921 v00 How to Design Your Own Data Privacy Law Seminar

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

Imagine you are the benevolent dictator of a country, and your population wants a new personal data privacy law. You are then tasked to design such a policy from scratch. This class discusses the many relevant decisions policymakers should make when shaping data privacy regimes.

In particular, this class covers: (i) what are the economic and non-economic reasons to regulate data privacy; (ii) what different bundles of rights are usually found in different data privacy laws, and how they interact with one another; (iii) the trade-offs involved in adopting a single comprehensive regime versus many sector-specific regimes; (iv) what are enforcement options to ensure that parties follow the laws on the books; and (v) how privacy laws interact with competition, innovation, national security, and other policies.

The focus of this class will be on consumer/citizen data privacy laws. While students will get exposure to black-letter law in many different fields, this course is not a general survey. Rather, students will be encouraged to think about law as institutional engineers. Data privacy is a field in flux, so class readings will be a mixture of privacy laws from different jurisdictions and academic articles in fields such as law, economics, computer science, and others.

Students should have some prior knowledge of privacy/data protection law before enrolling. Please check the requirements.

Learning Objectives:

  • Exposure to an array of doctrinal, statutory, regulatory, and policy landscapes in privacy law, and the complex interrelationships among them.
  • Exposure to privacy compliance considerations that confront both private- and public-sector organizations.
  • Awareness of international differences in the treatment of information privacy issues and comparative exposure to European data protection law in particular.
  • Refinement of analytical and writing skills.

Prerequisite: This is intended as an advanced data privacy seminar. Students should have some prior exposure to data privacy law and policy. More specifically JD students must have taken Information Privacy Course (LAWJ-342).  LL.M. students should have taken an introductory survey course in privacy law course in their home countries and/or have worked with the topic before the beginning of their Georgetown studies. 

Note: LL.M. students need professor permission to enroll in this seminar.  In order to receive permission to enroll, LL.M. students should send Professor Lancieri an email to fl505@georgetown.edu with a brief explanation of their prior coursework and/or professional experience. 

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 long used the information domain to further their national interests.
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 U.S. Government imposed by the Constitution and U.S. 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: Constitutional Law

International Law 

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 common law, constitutional, and statutory foundations of U.S. information privacy law; philosophical bases for privacy protection; first amendment constraints on privacy law; information privacy compliance, enforcement, and regulatory practice; the European approach to privacy and data protection; privacy constraints on law enforcement activities; cybersecurity; and cross-border data flows. Special attention will be paid to issues raised by the information economy.

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; introduction to European information privacy and data protection law and the relationship between privacy and global information flows.

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.

Recommended: Prior or concurrent enrollment in Evidence.

LAW 197 v00 Innovation, Technology, and International Financial Regulation

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

This course explores international finance and regulation as phenomena embedded in the concept of money.  As such, it provides an overview of the theory of money, and then explores key financial and regulatory developments tied to it, including banking and banking regulation.  A significant portion of the class will be spent exploring how these phenomena apply to digital assets, including native cryptocurrencies (e.g. Bitcoin), stablecoins and central bank digital currencies.  The course also addresses the intersection of financial regulation and international monetary law by surveying the 2008 financial crisis, the European debt crisis, recent attempts to internationalize the renminbi, and the future of the dollar as an international currency.

Prerequisite: Prior enrollment in Corporations. Prior or concurrent enrollment in Securities Regulation.

Note: The first class is not mandatory, though it is highly advised.

Note for LL.M. students: The LAWG section of this course requires departmental permission. Please contact lawgradprog@georgetown.edu to request permission.

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 patents and other intellectual property  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 legislation  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 (cross-listed) | 1 credit hour

This course explores key concepts of intellectual property, corporate, and securities law as applied to the startup business environment. We will examine the basic principles of patent, trademark, copyright, and trade secret law. We will discuss the stages of the startup business cycle and evaluate the intellectual property, corporate, and securities issues relevant to each stage. This course explores the best practices and common mistakes of startups while pursuing intellectual property protection. Finally, the course focuses on client communication skills, including the clear articulation of complex legal problems to a startup client.

Note: WEEK ONE COURSE. This seminar will meet for one week only on the following days: Monday, January 6, 2025, through Thursday, January 9, 2025, 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 17th through Friday, January 24th, 2025. 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.

Note for LL.M.s: The LAWG section is restricted to students enrolled in the Technology Law and Policy LL.M.

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.

Note: Enrollment in the LAWG section of the seminar is restricted to students in the Technology Law and Policy LL.M. and the Master of Law and Technology programs.

LAW 2079 v00 International and Comparative Antitrust Law

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

More than a hundred countries have enacted competition laws and modeled their laws either on the U.S. or on the EU system. This course will focus on the U.S. and the EU antitrust regimes by comparing and contrasting their principles and procedures. Some other jurisdictions at the center of the international antitrust arena, such as China and Brazil, will also be discussed. This course will start with an overview of the institutional design and of the substantive standards applied by the FTC/DOJ in the U.S. and by the European Commission in the EU, and will then delve into various areas of antitrust law, with particular emphasis on cartels, horizontal and vertical restraints, abuse of dominance, and mergers. This course will also examine process and procedures in the U.S. and the EU, and consider practices that facilitate international cooperation in antitrust investigations.

Learning objectives:

Students attending this course (i) will receive an overview of the international dimension of the various areas of antitrust law (horizontal agreements; monopolization/abuse of dominance; mergers); (ii) will learn to compare and contrast antitrust principles and procedures of the two systems (EU and U.S.) that most have influenced antitrust laws and institutions around the world; (iii) will familiarize with new actors and current challenges of the international antitrust arena. As a result, students will learn how to navigate multi-jurisdictional antitrust matters.

Prerequisite: For J.D. students: Antitrust Law or Antitrust Economics and Law. Prerequisite for LL.M students: None, although it is recommended that LL.M students have some previous coursework or work experience in competition law in the U.S. or another jurisdiction.

LAW 780 v01 International and U.S. Customs Law

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

Whenever merchandise crosses an international border, it is subject to customs laws and procedures.  And with the grow of international trade and commerce over the years, customs laws and procedures have become increasingly more internationalized, important, and complex.  Therefore, knowledge of customs laws and procedures is important to the practice of international trade law.

This course will provide a basic introduction to the rules and principles relating to both international and U.S. customs laws and procedures.  This will include an examination and review 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 be examined and reviewed together with international organizations dealing with international 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 and reviewed.

There are no prerequisite courses required for this course. 

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

LAW 3148 v00 International Business Negotiations (Negotiating International Technology Licenses, International Joint-Venture Contracts and Foreign Investment Contracts)

LL.M Seminar | 2 credit hours

As firms from developed countries expand overseas, there is a growing demand for lawyers able to negotiate three types of contracts of increasing importance worldwide: Technology license contracts, contracts governing international joint-ventures, and contracts governing investment by firms in countries other than their own, in particular in developing countries.

The purpose of this experiential course is to make it possible for LL.M. students to acquire the practical knowledge and to hone the skills needed to serve effectively in teams negotiating such contracts.

To this end, the course will be structured around three simulated negotiations of increasing difficulty:

-A simulated negotiation focused on the international licensing of a patented new medical technology. 

Note:  The licensing of technology is an increasingly important dimension of international joint-ventures and of foreign investments.

-A simulated negotiation focused on the formation of an international joint-venture to produce and commercialize green hydrogen based upon a new technology.

-A simulated negotiation focused on an investment by a firm from a developed country, into an oil-rich developing country, to make it possible to transform gas currently flared, a major source of pollution, into non-polluting products of significant commercial value. 

Note: The parties intend for this investment to take the form of a Public Private Partnership (PPP).

Each simulated negotiation will be based upon a case study created by the Professor, drawing upon his professional experience.

For each simulated negotiation, the class will be divided into two teams that will negotiate with each other.

In order for the two teams to be of similar strength and competence, the students, when registering for the course, will fill out the attached questionnaire about their prior experience with negotiations and with business transactions. These questionnaires will be used by the Professor to propose to the class the composition of each team.

During the simulated negotiations, each student will serve at least twice as negotiator for her/his team, engaging the other team on specific issues. After each simulated negotiation, each student will draft a memorandum of understanding summarizing what the parties agreed upon.

Learning Objectives:

By the end of the course, the students:

  1. Will have gained an understanding of: a) the main issues that arise in the negotiation of each type of contract mentioned above (technology license; international joint venture; foreign direct investment), and b) the usual contractual ways to address such issues.
  2. Will have honed three main types of skills: a) analysis skills required to design contracts that help both parties in a negotiation reach key strategic objectives; b) interpersonal skills required to constructively engage the other side during a negotiation; and c) writing skills needed to prepare memorandums of understanding (MoUs) that will be a solid basis for the drafting of durable contracts.

Recommended: International Business Negotiations.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for both this course and the course formerly known as International Business Negotiations (Negotiating International Joint-Venture Contracts and Foreign Investment Contracts).

Note: Interested students should complete a brief Google form found here with a short explanation of their interest in the course. This seminar is open to LL.M. 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 vaccines waiver and its possible extension to diagnostics and therapeutics.  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 also discuss the TRIPS-plus provisions in bilateral or regional free trade area agreements. The course would study relevant national/regional implementing legislation, for example on compulsory licenses, and discuss use of the WTO export compulsory license provisions. It will devote a session to Covid-19 and infectious disease pandemics.It will devote a session to Covid-19 and infectious disease pandemics. 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, including negotiations on the pandemic agreement.
In addition to the final paper, students will be graded on class participation, individual/group class presentations.
The learning objectives and outcomes of this course are to be able to:

  • Identify the legal and policy implications of international trade rules, particularly those on intellectual property rights (IPRs), for public health, and critically evaluate proposals for changes to these rules; 
  • Understand past and current legal work of international institutions in this field, particularly the WTO and the WHO, and evaluate the way forward; 
  • Improve the basic skill of communicating effectively, both in writing and orally, on a legal topic covered by the course, for example by explaining clearly how the provisions of TRIPS could be used to promote both the innovation of and access to needed medicines; 
  • Improve the skill of independently conducting legal and policy research; 
  • Demonstrate the basic value of being respectful of the different views in this area, including during group work and in class.

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 3130 v00 Investigating Transnational Cyber Threats

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

As a rule, investigating and prosecuting cybercrime is fraught with challenges. Ephemeral electronic evidence, international evidence-gathering obstacles, and anonymizing technologies can frustrate conventional law enforcement investigative techniques. Recently, distinctions between traditional cybercrimes and crimes committed by foreign actors with national security objectives have eroded, creating new investigative challenges: cybercriminals and national security cyber actors now both steal information for personal financial gain; nation-states have reportedly enlisted criminal organizations to act as their proxies to conduct cyber attacks against United States companies; and the tradecraft used by some nation-state actors includes tools and tactics commonly used by cybercriminals, such as botnets and ransomware. The intersection between conventional cybercrimes and national security crimes with a cyber nexus raises novel legal and policy questions involving the extraterritoriality of criminal statutes, the application of international data privacy regulations, and the boundaries of international legal cooperation. Furthermore, the burgeoning role of private actors in data breach response and cyber threat intelligence gathering are altering how cyber offenses are investigated.

This course will take a practical look at how U.S. federal law enforcement pursues investigations and prosecutions of sophisticated cyber threat actors using investigative and prosecutorial criminal tools that at times are augmented by national security authorities. It will furnish a background in criminal statutes that are the bedrock of electronic evidence gathering (e.g., the Wiretap Act, 18 U.S.C. § 2510 et seq.; the Stored Communications Act, 18 U.S.C. § 2701 et seq.; and the Pen Register/Trap and Trace Act, 18 U.S.C. §  3121 et seq.); the substantive laws used to indict cyber actors (e.g., the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, 18 U.S.C. § 1030); the constitutional questions raised by surveillance techniques used to gather domestic evidence against international actors; and national security issues that prosecutors confront when handling hybrid criminal cases (e.g., discovery issues associated with the use of national security authorities). Students in this class will learn how a federal case against transnational cybercriminals and national security cyber actors is built and the legal landmines that can surface while gathering evidence in "cyberspace."

No technical background is required to take this course, but you will be taught the basics of Internet technology to better understand how technology affects the application of certain criminal laws.

Strongly Recommended: Criminal Justice, Criminal Law, or Criminal Procedure.

LAW 1714 v00 Labor Law and the Changing US Workforce Seminar

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

This is a 2- credit seminar examining modern day labor law interpretation and enforcement, with a particular focus on how the National Labor Relations Act, an eight decade old statute, is being applied to the 21st century workforce. This course will examine the application of National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) to the private sector workforce under Obama, Trump and Biden administrations. This will involve a study of the uniquely described “gig” workforce, joint employer status, independent contractors, graduate students, contingent and immigrant workers and others.  The course will explore the impact of working under modern business models, technological advancement, electronic communication and the effect of social media. We will examine the effectiveness of protections afforded to employees exercising their rights to address terms and conditions of employment, through their unions, and in non unionized workplaces by means of employee collective action. We will study how the Boards of several recent administrations applied the NLRA in this modern age.  We will also examine how a change in administration has affected the way the NLRA is interpreted and enforced.

The course is organized into general topic areas; in each two- or three-week unit we will focus on a particular issue, such as:

  •  statutory framework of the NLRA and its rights and limits
  • concerted activity for mutual aid and protection.
  • the cyber workplace: new technologies & challenges.
  • the “gig” economy, students, immigrants, contingent workers.
  • identifying who is classified as an employee and employer.

There are no prerequisites although labor law is recommended.

Course Goals

By the end of the semester, students should be able to do the following:

  • Demonstrate a general understanding of the impact that modern business models, technological advancement, electronic communication and changing administrations has on how laws are interpreted and applied to the modern workforce.
  • Recognize how the NLRB and other agencies charged with providing worker protections have changed over time and understand what has driven those changes.
  • Critically assess legal and historical scholarship on the NLRB and courts’ role in interpreting and enforcing the labor laws.
  • Critically assess the structure and intent of key elements of the NLRA and its effectiveness in the modern workplace.
  • Respond constructively to classmates’ questions, comments, and ideas.

Recommended: Labor Law or Employment Law. 

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 3172 v00 Law and National Security Space Operations

LL.M. Seminar | 2 credit hours

This course explores the development of law (domestic and international) governing space operations generally, application of the law to present day national security activities, and emerging issues in national security space law. The course will address the impact of the UN space treaties to national security activities, international and domestic law governing national security space operations, the role of commercial space actors in conflict, and current issues in national security space law. It will also consider U.S. strategic competitors’ (Russia and China) approaches to the law of space operations.

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 1289 v00 Law of Robots

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

Robots, artificial intelligence, and autonomous systems have long been the realm of science fiction, but they are increasingly a part of contemporary life as well. Computers fly airplanes, write compelling text, play Jeopardy, drive cars, trade stocks, and fight in wars. Autonomous systems are no longer a thing of the future, but a fact of modern life, and Moore’s Law suggests that these changes will increase not incrementally, but exponentially. This course will examine whether or when we need a Law of Robots to regulate these autonomous agents, or where it is more appropriate to reason by analogy and regulate these systems by existing statute, regulation, or common law. The course will examine emerging issues across the spectrum of tort law, property law, copyright law, the laws of war, laws of agency, and criminal law. The class will not be a survey of existing law, but instead an examination of how to regulate emerging issues in law – how to extrapolate and reason by analogy, in robotics and beyond. Paper required.

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

LAW 1469 v00 Merger Antitrust Law

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

This is a course on identifying and resolving antitrust problems that arise in mergers and acquisitions. Using case studies of contemporary transactions ranging from simple negotiated acquisitions to hard-fought contested takeovers, we will examine anticipating antitrust problems and identifying possible defenses and solutions at the early stage of a deal when information is typically scare, performing more detailed analyses when more information becomes available, organizing the prosecution/defense of a transaction, navigating the DOJ/FTC merger review process, anticipating and structuring consent decree settlements, litigating merger antitrust cases, and negotiating provisions in merger agreements to allocate antitrust risk between the parties. The case studies will include such recent high-profile transactions as Hertz/Avis Budget/Dollar Thrifty, Halliburton/Baker Hughes, Staples/Office Depot, American Airlines/USAir, Comcast/NBCUniversal, Anheuser-Busch InBev/Grupo Modelo, Anthem/Cigna, and Nielsen/Arbitron. The course will be sufficiently self-contained for students interested in business combinations who have not taken an antitrust course. There will be several short, graded assignments throughout the course and a five-hour, open book, take-home examination at the end of the course.

Learning Objectives:

By the end of the course, a diligent student should be able to do the following:

  1. Perform a preliminary merger analysis, spotting at a high-level both potential substantive issues and possible remedies, in common transaction scenarios involving public companies given only publicly available facts.
  2. Describe the merger review process from the filing of an HSR premerger notification report through a preliminary investigation, second request investigation, and final arguments to the heads of the investigating agency. If the agency concludes that the deal has antitrust problems, be able to describe the process for negotiating consent decree relief.
  3. Understand the major theories of antitrust harm that apply to mergers and acquisitions and the major types of defenses available to the merging parties and be able to apply them to an arbitrary transaction.
  4. Structure a merger antitrust challenge (as the investigating staff) and a merger antitrust defense (as defense counsel) before the decision-making officials at the DOJ and FTC.
  5. Anticipate and structure a consent decree remedy minimally satisfactory to the DOJ and FTC in light of their expressed concerns about a transaction.
  6. Describe the basic considerations and timing implications of litigating a merger antitrust case, the standards for granting preliminary and permanent injunctive relief, what the government and the merging parties each must show to prevail, and the allocation of the burden of proof (both persuasion and going forward) between the two sides, and the strategic and tactical implications of these factors to the prosecution and defense of a merger antitrust case in court.
  7. Describe the legal and strategic significance of the antitrust-relation provisions in an Agreement and Plan of Merger (e.g., reps and warranties on antitrust-related consents and approvals, merger control and litigation conditions precedents, general efforts covenants, conduct of business covenants, merger control filing covenants, investigation and litigation cooperation covenants, shift-shifting covenants (including covenants to divest businesses or assets if necessary to avoid an agency challenge or settle a litigation), antitrust reverse termination fees, purchase price adjustments for divestitures, damages for breach of antitrust-related covenants, ticking fees, “take or pay” provisions, termination provisions).

Recommended: Prior or concurrent enrollment in Antitrust Law or Antitrust Economics and Law is recommended but not required.

LAW 3156 v00 National Security Cyber Law & Policy: Encouraging Responsible State Conduct in Cyberspace

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

The seminar will address the pernicious problem of malicious use of the Internet by States and the efforts both internationally and domestically to use law and policy to define responsible state behavior in cyberspace. Students will learn about the framework on Responsible State Use of ICTs developed in two United Nations cyber working group processes and will discuss U.S. and other countries’ domestic efforts to deter malicious state activity below the use of force, including the use of diplomatic, law enforcement, military, and economic tools.

Students will discuss the applicability to state cyber operations of international rules and principles, including sovereignty, non-intervention, and the prohibition on the use of force, and will consider the thresholds under the law of state responsibility for potential response options, including the differences among unfriendly acts, retorsions, and countermeasures. The class will also explore the concept of due diligence. In an interconnected world, a state’s failure to act—whether to secure its own systems or to take steps to address malicious activity that is emanating from its territory—can also be destabilizing. The class will consider several contexts—hacking by non-state malicious actors, disinformation on social media, and poor private sector cybersecurity—and discuss whether there is a requirement or expectation for states to ensure that information and communications technology infrastructure in their territory is not used to inflict significant harm on another state.

Recommended: International Law

LAW 972 v03 National Security Law

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

This introductory, survey course will explore national security law as developed from the U.S. Constitution, relevant federal statutes, case law, and historical experience, as well as from principles and influences of international law and foreign relations.  It will cover key components of, and debates over, the Federal Government’s exercise of national security authorities, including: decisions to use force and how to employ it; detention and interrogation of combatants; collection, protection, and sharing of intelligence; military and civilian prosecutions for national security-related criminal charges, including terrorism, espionage, export control, and state-sponsored cybercrimes; civil litigation involving national security interests and concerns; protection of homeland security; and economic aspects of national security policy. Themes of the course will include: (1) the separation of powers among the three branches of the Federal Government, and appropriate roles for these branches in the conduct of national security activities; (2) the interplay between international law and domestic law; (3) textual, historical, and functional modes of legal argument as applied to national security issues; and (4) the evolution of modern warfare and its implications for relevant legal regimes. 

Course Goals/Student Learning Outcomes:

This course will provide students with exposure to the broad reach of modern national security law in the United States, and the many as-yet unresolved and knotty legal, policy, practical, and moral issues that arise as the Government strives to protect national security, while preserving the generally free and open society that most U.S. persons expect.  Students will examine with a critical eye the justifications offered for, and scope of, security-based governmental actions, while considering practical alternatives and results.

The student learning outcomes will be the following:

  1. Analyze current and emerging issues in national security law, and understand the policy arguments underlying the balance of ensuring security and protecting individual rights
  2. Assess the justifications offered for, and scope of, security-based governmental actions
  3. Examine the effects that national security measures have on individual rights of U.S. citizens and non-citizens, and on U.S. institutions, norms, and governance.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for this course and the graduate course by the same name. 

Note: LL.M. STUDENTS: THIS COURSE REQUIRES PROFESSOR PERMISSION TO ENROLL. Priority will be given to LL.M. students in the National Security program. Students must submit a resume/CV and a statement of interest in the course to Professor Huntley (Todd.Huntley@law.georgetown.edu) by 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, August 7th, 2024. After the August 7th application deadline, students will be admitted into open seats on a rolling basis.

LAW 1151 v00 National Security Lawyering Seminar

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

This course will examine the substantive, ethical, moral, procedural, and practical challenges of practicing national security law in the government. Government national security and foreign affairs lawyers have significant influence on operational and policy decision-making, but generally encounter fewer external checks and less oversight than lawyers in other areas. Because of threshold doctrines such as standing and political question, courts address national security legal questions relatively rarely. There are few timely, formal checks in the area of international law, which develops over time and by consensus and often lacks a direct enforcement mechanism. In addition, much of the subject matter about which national security lawyers provide advice is classified, which can limit the scrutiny of legal analysis by Congress, the press, and the public. Therefore, national security lawyers, who provide advice on what are often extremely high stakes and difficult legal issues, shoulder a great deal of responsibility to carry out their roles ethically and effectively.

The course will use case studies and hypotheticals to explore these important challenges. Students will discuss a variety of issues, including: the players and process of national security legal decision-making; flexibility, constraint, and accountability for the national security lawyer; the challenges in providing balanced advice; whether and when it is appropriate to “push the envelope” on legal advice; the impact of secrecy on legal advice and decision-making; the importance of transparency about national security legal advice and why it is so difficult; prosecution, litigation, and national security; the appropriate role of lawyers and the law in the national security policymaking process; lawyering when the law is not developed; and the challenges and responsibilities of lawyering during war and other national security crises.

Students will be graded on several short reaction papers and one longer final paper. Class discussion will also be considered in grading.

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

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 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, AI, 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 Office 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 practice before the United States Patent and Trademark Office, including 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. 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 1227 v00 Payment Systems: Law, Technology, and Policy

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

Payments are the most ubiquitous type of transaction: every movement of money is a payment. This course introduces students to the technologies used to move money in domestic and international transactions and the law governing such transactions.  The course provides students with an in-depth look at the major consumer and business payment systems: cash, checks, debit cards, credit cards, wire transfers, automated clearinghouse transactions, cryptocurrencies (focused on Bitcoin and Ether), and peer-to-peer systems like PayPal, Venmo, and Zelle. For each of the payment systems, the course explores how federal, state, and private law and technology determine (1) risk allocation for fraud and error, (2) speed and finality of payment, (3) privacy of payments (including anti-money laundering regulations), (4) the effect of making payment on contractual and tort obligations, and (5) the cost and cost-allocation of effectuating payment.  Particular attention will be given to the key policy debates regarding payments. 

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for both this course and Commercial Law: Secured Transactions and Payment Systems. 

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

J.D. Seminar | 2 credit hours

Government agencies have broad powers to act for the public good. This includes the ability to investigate individuals and organizations and to conduct surveillance about their activities, a capacity strengthened by recent technological advances. But the ability to perform these functions is limited by various constitutional protections, including the First Amendment, Fourth Amendment, and various statutory laws.

This course will explore the intersection of contemporary surveillance practices with the need to safeguard civil liberties. The course will place special emphasis on the ways in which surveillance is used to control and manage populations of people, the intersection between mass incarceration and surveillance, and the communities that experience the greatest degree of scrutiny. Throughout the course, we will investigate how race, faith, national origin, immigration status, penal status, class and other categories fundamentally shape who is being watched and why.

The course will begin with an exploration of privacy law and the limits that apply to surveillance practices, both electronic and non-electronic. We will examine free speech and freedom of expression under the First Amendment, search and seizure under the Fourth Amendment, and relevant statutory and regulatory laws. We will then explore an array of surveillance and policing practices.

We will also discuss how lawmakers, advocates and local communities are pushing back against overreaching policies, and situate these calls for reform amidst broader social and political movements, including Black Lives Matter. Our texts will include a variety of sources ranging from case law, legal scholarship, government manuals, and coalition letters to podcasts, TED Talks, and investigative journalism.

Learning Objectives: 

1. Introduce some of the major issues in state surveillance, law enforcement, and privacy, and critically examine different approaches to these issues;

2. Test our approaches against current and rapidly developing surveillance practices, both electronic and nonelectronic;

3. Explore the intersection between mass incarceration and surveillance, and the war on crime and the war on terror;

4. Understand how surveillance practices are used to profile and monitor particular communities, including on account of race, faith, national origin, immigration status, penal status, class and other categories;

5. Examine different methods for challenging surveillance; 6. Anticipate the durability of these methods going forward.

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

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

J.D. Course (cross-listed) | 3 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 sector. At the same time, the pandemic has exposed an ever-deepening crisis in access to civil justice, experienced by a large portion of Americans. Meanwhile in the political sphere, lawyers have been enlisted in the service of anti-democratic forces that threaten the rule of law.  The course will be devoted to discussing what these trends mean for the regulation of lawyers and law as a profession. This course satisfies the professional responsibility requirement, but is not intended to prepare you for the MPRE. The course does not satisfy the credit requirements for students who need the LL.M. to become eligible to sit for the NY Bar.

Note: Note: Enrollment in LAWG-361-02 is restricted to LL.M. students in the Technology Law and Policy LL.M. program.

LAW 2054 v00 Regulation of Commodities and Derivatives Markets

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

This course will focus on US federal and state laws and regulations affecting commodities (e.g., energy, GHG emissions, agriculture, metals, forex, cryptocurrency) and the related derivatives (i.e., swaps, futures, and options) markets. Topics include: (1) overview of the origins of derivatives, commodity trading generally and US federal regulation of commodity markets; (2) the concepts of hedging and speculation and risk mitigation; (3) the evolution of the Commodity Exchange Act of 1936 (CEA); (4) the current jurisdiction of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC); (5) application of commodity trading and derivatives statutes, regulations and Congressional proposals for new products (crypto) and other FinTech innovations; (6) analysis of energy and emissions-based derivatives as well as ESG and climate change mitigation policies; (7) discussion of recent developments in exchange trading, such as De-Fi and event contract trading; (8) registration and regulation of market participants, such as brokers, hedge fund operators, investment advisers, swap dealers, cryptocurrency intermediaries; (9) administrative and injunctive enforcement powers involving violations of the CEA; (10) current developments in self-regulatory oversight; (11) documentation of derivatives (e.g., ISDA) and commodity transactions; and (12) foreign market access to commodity and derivatives trading and developments in the EU and Asia.

Students who complete this course will have a solid understanding of the CEA and CFTC’s rules and regulations under the CEA as well as federal relevant cases.  In addition to learning the black-letter law, the students will learn how derivatives and commodities markets work in the US and overseas and how securities, energy, emissions, agricultural and financial markets interact with these markets. Through a series of in-class exercises culminating with the final paper students will develop their research, analytical and writing skills.

 

Recommended: Bankruptcy, banking.

Strongly Recommended: Securities, corporations.

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. Finally, we will explore the growing debate over the current and potential increased regulation of cryptocurrencies and other digital assets and how various regulators fall into the existing regulatory framework.

Prerequisite: Securities Regulation.

Note: NOTE FOR SUMMER 2024: The professor will teach this course virtually via Zoom.

LAW 1746 v01 Social Media Law

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

This course offers an understanding of social media law in the face of disruptive technologies like artificial intelligence, extended reality, and blockchain.  For the first time in history, anyone with an internet connection can speak and be heard across the globe in seconds, by audiences of one to one million.  Traditionally in-person activities are going digital, as the Super Bowl held a virtual halftime show with Saweetie, and South Korean president Yoon Suk-yeol generated huge campaign buzz with his avatar AI Yoon.  User-generated content is also changing, as generative AI companies like Midjourney and ChatGPT can turn you into Frida Kahlo or Shakespeare with just a written prompt.  This is only the beginning—haptics will allow users to physically feel their online interactions, while companies like Meta and Google are experimenting with AI that interprets brain waves.
In this course, we will examine these developments through a legal lens, discussing issues like Section 230, the First Amendment, antitrust, and privacy laws.  Students will also leave the course conversant in the economic and policy considerations that frame regulatory discussions in the space, including platform business models, the creator economy, and national security concerns. As social media and the internet increasingly swallow all aspects of public life, lawyers of all stripes will need to tackle the new challenges that arise. This course is an all-important first step.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for this course and Emerging Topics in Social Media Law.

LAW 1746 v02 Social Media Law

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

In the age of social media, private companies have unprecedented power to shape and control the visibility and content of online speech.  And as government struggles to keep pace with developing technology in an age of political polarization, litigation has emerged as a key tool for questioning and challenging the role social media platforms have come to play in American society.  This course is designed to introduce students to the legal principles that have shaped the birth, growth, and dominance of social media platforms over online speech, from the First Amendment to Section 230.  It will explore the history of the main players in this space and invite students to consider how different legal avenues might lead to change in this ever-developing industry.

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.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for this course and Emerging Topics in Social Media Law.

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 4001 v00 State Cyber Operations and Responses

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

This course will examine the applicable international and domestic law to State actions in cyberspace, including affirmative State actions such as intelligence collection, information warfare, and cyber effects operations; the responses by victim States and entities; and responses by private actors in the United States. The course will specifically delve into the international legal regimes pertaining to State sovereignty and the United Nations Charter; draft Articles of State responsibility and the doctrine of prohibited intervention; responsive actions under the doctrines of countermeasures, retorsion, and reprisal; and the application of the Jus-In-Bello. Additionally, the course will review current U.S. domestic law governing both actions by the U.S. government in cyberspace, whether in offense or defense, as well as limitations on response options by private entities. These legal and policy regimes will be explored through historic case studies and hypotheticals with a focus on analysis of those areas where there are competing views and interpretations. Students will assess the various legal and policy regimes through the lens of multiple actors, both States and non-States, with constantly evolving and advancing technology.

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 or recent 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. Dyson at dd1117@georgetown.edu.

Note: The Summer 2024 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, mass incarceration, social control, and/or conditions of work. 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 or exercises 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 of all types nationwide actually happen and what policy interventions can communities impacted by overpolicing 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 Wednesday, August 21 and Thursday, August 22 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.

In practicum courses, students do not provide legal advice, prepare legal documents, appear in court or before agencies, or do any course work that is construed as practicing law under D.C. Court of Appeals Rule 49 (Unauthorized Practice of Law). No attorney-client relationship is created by students’ work in this practicum course.

LAW 976 v00 Taxation of Intellectual Property

LL.M Course | 2 credit hours

This course covers the tax treatment applicable to the development, purchases, sales, transfers, licensing, and valuation of intellectual property (IP), such as patents, trade secrets, trademarks, copyrights, and computer software. It will begin with a brief introduction to the field of intellectual property for those unfamiliar with this area of law, along with the policies behind U.S. and foreign taxation of intellectual property.  Specific tax areas then covered will include some or all of the following: the different tax treatment afforded to the development, acquisitions, and transfer of IP; cross-border IP transaction issues; transfer pricing considerations; and considerations relating to other non-federal areas of taxation.

Students should come away from the course with a substantial working knowledge of how IP is integrated into basic and advanced tax transactions, what are the hot areas for IP tax planning, and how to spot issues relating to IP assets in multinational organizational structures. 

Prerequisite: Federal Income Taxation.

Recommended: Corporate Income Tax I and a course on international taxation.

Note: NOTE FOR SUMMER 2024: The professors will teach this course virtually via Zoom. 

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 3170 v00 Technology and Society Impact Lab (Project-Based Practicum)

LL.M. Practicum | 3 credit hours

In this interdisciplinary, inter-school, interdepartmental, inter-campus, innovative course, students from across Georgetown work together in teams on high-impact projects aimed at bending the path of technological progress toward human flourishing, justice, and equality, and away from suffering, injustice, and bias. Students in the course will consult with and serve partners such as nonprofit organizations, government agencies, and individuals, selected to maximize both pedagogical value and societal and individual impact. Possibilities include organizations such as Upturn or the Center on Privacy and Technology; government agencies such as State Attorneys General; and individuals such as criminal defendants. Students in the course will develop, lead, organize, and execute hands-on projects with close guidance from the Professors and fellows.

The beneficiaries of the course will be: (1) the students, who will develop leadership, organization, and cross-disciplinary collaboration skills, subject matter expertise, and a humanistic orientation toward technology and society that will guide them throughout their careers; (2) the partners, who will benefit from the work the class produces; and (3) broader communities who will benefit from the impact we have on technology policy and law debates.

The course is open to students from across Georgetown University. It is open for enrollment by professor permission only. Prospective students interested in learning more or those ready to apply for a seat should email Jon Brescia at jon.brescia@georgetown.edu. Several seats are reserved for students in the CCT Department and in the MLT degree program of the Law Center. Graduate students (Masters or Doctoral) and professional students (JD) are the intended audience. This is intended to be a graduate- and professional-level course and will not ordinarily be open to undergraduate students. In extraordinary circumstances, Seniors and Juniors of the Georgetown University College of Arts & Sciences can apply for enrollment, subject to professor permission. Only undergraduates with direct relevant experience and faculty recommendations will be considered.

This is a three-credit course. Two credits will be awarded for the two-hour-thirty-minute weekly seminar and one credit will be awarded for approximately 5 hours of supervised project work per week, for a minimum of 11 weeks. Both the seminar and the project work will be graded.

SEMINAR: Students will meet for two hours, thirty minutes each week in a seminar format to discuss their project work and to develop a broader framework for thinking about issues at the intersection of law, technology, and policy. Because this is not a traditional law school course, not all of the seminar materials will be legal in nature. PLEASE NOTE THAT THE CLASS WILL MEET ACROSS TOWN ON MAIN CAMPUS! LAW STUDENTS SHOULD FACTOR IN THE COMMUTE ACROSS TOWN WHEN DECIDING TO APPLY FOR THIS COURSE

PROJECT WORK: This will be an advanced and intensive course. Students will work closely in teams to conduct the research requested by our project partners, as shaped and elaborated by the professors. All students will produce a work-product portfolio. The portfolio will ask the student teams to reflect upon and write clearly about all of the following: (a) a concise summary of their findings; (b) a description of the history of prior work by others relating to the question explored; (c) a reflection on the impact of the findings for the work of their partner organization; (d) a reflection on the impact of the findings for the field in general; (e) a list of potential future follow-up studies, setting an agenda for future work by these same students or future students in the course.

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 course and a clinic or another practicum course. Students may concurrently enroll in this practicum course and an externship.

Note: THIS PRACTICUM REQUIRES PROFESSOR PERMISSION TO ENROLL. If interested, please email Jon Brescia at jon.brescia@georgetown.edu who will explain how to apply.

Students who enroll in this course will be automatically enrolled in both the seminar and practicum 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 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 1862 v00 Technology Law and Policy Colloquium: Content and Platforms

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

This course is a small, intense colloquium featuring outside speakers presenting scholarly works-in-progress. 

The focus of this year’s colloquium will be legal and policy issues relating to, and stemming from, the intersection and interaction of laws regulating content (i.e., copyright, trademark, and rights of publicity), and the laws regulating content distribution platforms (like Amazon and Netflix), including social media platforms (like Twitter, Facebook, and Tik-Tok). Topics may include, among other things: competition, content moderation, fake news, artificial intelligence, revenge porn, attention markets, big data, privacy, anonymity and harassment, influencers, dark patterns, deep fakes, bots, memes, and online fandom.

Students are expected to (i) carefully read the speakers’ papers; (ii) prepare short (2-3 page) weekly response memoranda that will be provided to the speakers in advance of the colloquium session, and (iii) attend, and actively engage in, weekly, in-person sessions, including the preparation and asking of at least two questions per class meeting.

Recommended: Copyright Law and Trademark and Unfair Competition Law.

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

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. and the Master of Law and Technology.

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 1824 v00 Technology Platform Governance in Global Perspective Seminar

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

This course will explore the political economy, governance, and legal regulation of global technology platform giants. After providing an introduction to the structure and operation of technology platforms, it will consider case studies from different parts of the globe that spotlight a range of current legal and policy problems, including, among others: content governance (including both content removal and content provision); privacy and data protection; internet access and digital inclusion; competition, consumer protection, and worker protection issues created by and within platform ecosystems; and platform entanglements with geopolitical and state security concerns.

Note: Enrollment in the LAWG section of the seminar is restricted to students in the Technology Law and Policy LL.M. and the Master of Law and Technology 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.

The 2-credit version of this seminar requires multiple short papers. 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 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 1868 v00 The Four Pillars of Fashion Law

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

By introducing you to current issues in the global fashion industry, thereby allowing to you anticipate and address them, this course will prepare you to think and act as a trusted counselor to brands and designers. You will learn aspects of the law that arise throughout the life of a garment, starting with the designer’s original idea and continuing all the way to the consumer’s closet. During this course, we will analyze and discuss the changing nature of the fashion system and the opportunities it presents, focusing on the four pillars of Fashion Law: (1) intellectual property, (2) business and finance, (3) international trade and government regulation, and (4) consumer culture and civil rights.

 

Note: WEEK ONE COURSE. This seminar will meet for one week only, on the following days: Monday, January 6, 2025, through Thursday, January 09, 2025, 6:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m. 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 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 digital laws, including the EU AI Act.
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, including the status of the EU-US Data Protection Framework
  • 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
  • A close examination of a few leading GDPR judgments
  • An introduction to related legal frameworks, including the Council of Europe Convention 108 (The "Privacy Convention"), the OECD Privacy Guidelines, and the EU-US Data Privacy Framework
  • A brief introduction to regulatory theory, “ratcheting up,” and the “California/Brussels effect”
  • An examination of emerging issues including Artificial Intelligence and the EU AI Act
  • The ability to identify authoritative sources for GDPR judgments, opinions, and commentary

Recommended: Information Privacy Law.

Note: In Spring 2025, this class will meet on the following seven Thursdays: 1/16, 1/30, 2/6, 2/13, 2/27, 3/6, and 3/20.

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.       

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for this course and AI and the Law Seminar: Principles and Problems or Artificial Intelligence and the Law.

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 1875 v00 The Law of Open Source Software

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

In this course, students will explore the relationship between open source software (OSS) and the law. OSS refers to a type of software whose source code is made publicly available, allowing anyone to view, use, modify, and distribute the software freely. Open source software makes up our digital infrastructure that we all use today across various industries, from web development and operating systems to AI and machine learning. Open source software is increasingly used to develop popular AI applications like ChatGPT, Stable Diffusion and Midjourney.

This accessibility and openness encourage collaboration, innovation, and transparency, but also bring to the fore different harms that interact with the law. Indeed, many scholars, regulators, and entrepreneurs are concerned about how the open source nature and rapid adoption of such collaborative models interacts with harms such as discrimination, misinformation, bias and more. As the legal profession grapples with the increased role of OSS, students should be familiar with questions of legal compliance, intellectual property, contract and liability issues, data privacy and security, and ethical considerations as they relate to OSS.

This is a student-initiated seminar, which is student-led and supervised by a faculty member. This seminar is organized by Esther Tetruashvily and Ashwin Ramaswami and supervised by Professor Paul Ohm.

 

Note: This is a student-initiated seminar and is run by students under the supervision of the professor. This seminar is mandatory pass/fail.

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 v00 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 the long-term trend toward its “propertization.”  The course also will include material on the trademark treatment of Internet domain names, metatags, and links.

Learning Objectives:

Critical mastery of the existing statutory, doctrinal, and policy landscapes; critical mastery of strategic considerations in trademark and brand licensing and litigation, in technology ventures that implicate trademarks, and in trademark and unfair competition policymaking.

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. In addition to the final take-home exam, students will be required to write a mid-semester paper that will account for 20% of their final grade.

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;
  • Navigate key online resources from the USPTO, including the USPTO trademark search system;
  • Write an Office Action response addressing a USPTO trademark application refusal;
  • 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”); 
  • Articulate the interplay and conflicts between trademark law and the First Amendment; and 
  • Navigate issues of false advertising and right of publicity.

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 at a later date. Date TBA.

LAW 433 v03 Trademark and Unfair Competition Law

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

This course will cover U.S. federal law relating to trademark; specifically: words, phrases, slogans, logos, trade dress, product packaging, and other identifiers that both identify a source of a good or service to the public, and create an identity for the producer that—at least in theory—encourages the protection of goods and services of consistent and predictable quality. We will discuss the value of competition, the importance of consumer protection, and the unique status of brands and branding as a form of intellectual property. Topics covered include acquisition & maintenance of trademark protection, trade dress and distinctiveness, the geographic scope of trademarks, trademark infringement and dilution, trademark rights online, First Amendment limits on trademark enforcement, defenses and remedies, false advertising, and rights of publicity. Wherever possible, we will include and encourage discussion of the historical, cultural, and racial contexts in which trademark law arose, and how lawmakers have (and haven’t) accommodated evolving norms.

LAW 962 v00 U.S. Export Controls and Economic Sanctions

LL.M Course | 2 credit hours

Understanding and dealing with U.S. export control and sanction laws have become increasingly important skills for lawyers advising clients who compete in the global economy, including manufacturers, service enterprises, financial institutions, and companies licensing their technology abroad.  This course surveys the federal laws and implementing regulations governing the export and re-export of goods, services, technology and software from the United States or by persons subject to U.S. jurisdiction, the extraterritorial reach of re-export controls, prosecution strategies, restrictions on dealings with or in sanctioned countries, prohibitions against dealing with blacklisted parties, and other sanctions that apply to non-U.S. companies and individuals.
The course is designed to impart the practical skill sets and strategies you will need to use and understand the complex regulatory regimes underpinning U.S. export controls and sanctions, and to communicate effectively with the relevant government actors.  The applicable laws include statutes such as the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, Trading with the Enemy Act, the Export Control Reform Act, and regulations issued by federal agencies such as the U.S. Departments of Commerce and Treasury. Our study of these rules will include review of case law, agency guidance and prior government enforcement actions.
The course will also focus on the enforcement environment, including the trend of ever-increasing fines.  We will discuss defense strategies and the potential for global settlements with the Departments of Justice, Treasury, and Commerce.
Finally, the course will emphasize developing the working knowledge necessary for hands-on practice and problem-solving in this field.

 

Recommended:  Administrative Law; International Law I: Introduction to International Law.

 

LAW 962 v03 U.S. Export Controls and Economic Sanctions

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

Understanding and dealing with U.S. export control and sanction laws and regulations have become increasingly important skills for lawyers advising clients who compete in the global economy, including manufacturers, service enterprises, financial institutions, and companies licensing their technology abroad. This course provides an in-depth survey of the federal laws and implementing regulations governing the export and re-export of goods, services, technology and software from the United States or by persons subject to U.S. jurisdiction, the extraterritorial reach of re-export controls, restrictions on dealings with or in sanctioned countries, prohibitions against dealing with blacklisted parties, and other sanctions. 

The course is designed to impart the hands-on, practical skill sets needed by those who wish to practice in the increasingly in-demand area of export controls and sanctions compliance, including the skills needed to use and understand the various complex laws and regulations systems that implement U.S. export controls and sanctions, such as the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, the Trading with the Enemy Act, the Arms Export Control Act, and the Export Control Reform Act, as well as regulations issued by various federal agencies, including the U.S. Departments of Commerce, Treasury, and State. 

This course also will provide the skill sets necessary to communicate effectively with licensing agencies, how to approach foundational determinations of agency jurisdiction and classification, and how these issues affect direct investment in the United States as regulated by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States.

The course also will focus on the civil and criminal enforcement environment, including the trends of ever-increasing fines and global settlements with the Departments of Justice, State, Treasury, and Commerce. 

 

Recommended: Administrative Law; International Law I.

Note: This course is recommended for those students who have a strong desire to practice in the area of export controls and sanctions compliance, whether with law firms, government agencies, or companies.  Although national security and foreign policy considerations will be touched on in the context of understanding, interpreting, and using the laws and regulations that will be the focus of this course, these policy considerations will not be a primary focus of the course. 

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 nearly $50 billion in revenue in the United States, and over $180 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, consumer protection, privacy, and competition in the online marketplace will be discussed. A wide range of novel issues associated with new developments in media and technology, (i.e. esports, gametech, 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.

Prerequisite: Prior or concurrent enrollment in Copyright Law

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

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

Note: Gamers wanted!

Admissions

  • What application materials are required? Information is available here.

  • Is tuition assistance available? Yes, please review the information available here.  If you are interested in merit aid, please apply as early as possible.

  • I have another question about the application process or materials. Where can I find the answer? Frequently asked questions have been compiled and answered here by the Office of Graduate Admissions. If you do not see the answer to your question, please reach out to them here.

Class Registration

  • What are the minimum and maximum number of credits I can enroll in? Part-time students can enroll in up to seven credits. Part time students can enroll in as few as one credit and maintain their active student status. Full time students must enroll in at least eight credits, and they can take up to 13 per semester. If you are an international student, your visa may have additional requirements, so please consult with your visa advisor before dropping below 10 credits per semester.

  • I saw a class in the curriculum guide but there is not a professor, date, or time listed. Is the class being offered? The curriculum guide contains all the classes that have been offered during the past three years, not only the courses scheduled for this year. To ensure you are looking at the classes being offered in a particular semester, please use the filter to limit your search to one semester only.

Capstone Requirement

  • How can I meet the Capstone requirement? Classes marked as practicum in the curriculum guide count for this requirement, as does the course Federal Advocacy in Technology Law and Policy. You can also use an approved externship for this requirement or a substantial paper from a seminar class, which would also require approval.

  • I want to use an externship to meet the Capstone requirement. What are the requirements? LLM students may extern at companies, government agencies, non-profits, or law firms. To receive Tech LLM capstone credit, there needs to be a connection to technology law and policy in the day-to-day work you'll be doing. Once you have finalized an externship opportunity please get the Academic Program Director’s approval to use it as your capstone.

  • I want to do an independent study in an area of interest where there isn’t an available class, and I found a faculty member to supervise.  What else do you need from me? Please confirm with the Academic Program Director that the independent study will be eligible for Capstone credit. Then please fill out the Graduate Independent Research form.

Transfers to the Tech LLM Program

  • I am a two-year LLM student at Georgetown Law.  Can I apply to transfer to the Tech LLM? Students enrolled in Georgetown's Two-Year LL.M. with Certificate in Legal English for Foreign-Trained Lawyers program can apply at the end of their first year at Georgetown to transfer into the Tech LLM program for their second year. Space in the program is limited and admission cannot be guaranteed. The application is available here and is due on June 1. Applications are considered during the summer and are not reviewed on a rolling basis. Decisions will be communicated in July.

  • I am a one-year LLM student and was admitted to another LLM program. Can I apply to transfer to the Tech LLM? Applications to transfer to the Tech LLM from another LLM program are considered only if space in the cohort is available. Please reach out to TechInstitute@georgetown.edu for information on whether applications are currently open.