Attention Harvard Law School 1Ls and 2Ls: clinical registration for the 2023-24 academic year takes place Tuesday, March 28, 2023 through and Thursday March 30, 2023! If you are interested in exploring issues at the nexus of technology, law, policy, and social justice, while gaining real-world law practice experience, we strongly encourage to you to join us in the Cyberlaw Clinic in fall 2023 or spring 2024. Detailed information about clinical registration is available through the HLS Office of Clinical and Pro Bono Programs.
If you want to learn more about the Clinic, please stop by our open house in the Cyberlaw Clinic office suite (Lewis Hall, 4th floor) on Tuesday, March 21, 2023 from 12:15p – 1:45p. Students are encouraged to check out the Clinic’s space, meet members of the teaching team, and get information about the work of the Clinic and our students.
Here are some answers to a few commonly asked questions about the Clinic:
What is the Cyberlaw Clinic? The Cyberlaw Clinic is Harvard Law School’s technology law and policy clinical program. Our students represent real-world clients dealing with real-world tech law, policy, and advocacy issues, working under the supervision of experienced attorneys.
How does the Clinic work? Students enroll in the Cyberlaw Clinic for 3, 4, or 5 credits (corresponding to 12, 16, or 20 hours per week, respectively). Students simultaneously enroll in the Cyberlaw Clinic Seminar, a 2-credit seminar that covers fundamentals of tech practice and offers students the opportunity to share information about their cases and projects with colleagues through case rounds discussions.
What does a typical Cyberlaw Clinic client or project look like? Feel free to poke around our website for information about the Clinic, representative clients, past cases and projects, and the like. We do a lot of behind-the-scenes counseling and advising (along with transactional work) for mission-driven startups, researchers, NGOs, and the like who are encountering legal issues in their work. We also do more public-facing advocacy projects; to highlight just a few recent examples:
** the Clinic filed an amicus brief in the United States Supreme Court on behalf of Authors Alliance and ComicMix in a case about the scope of trademark protection and free expression (all in the context of whiskey bottles and dog toys…);
** the Clinic filed an administrative comment with the Federal Trade Commission on behalf of researchers, regarding transparency and commercial surveillance;
** the Clinic filed a comment with the United States Patent and Trademark Office on behalf of Engine concerning patent subject matter eligibility;
** the Clinic filed a comment with the United States Department of Education on behalf of the Center for Democracy and Technology regarding Protect LGBTQI+ Students from Discriminatory Tech
** the Clinic filed administrative comments on behalf of the Public Interest Patent Law Institute and American Civil Liberties Union regarding patent eligibility review;
** the Clinic filed an amicus brief on behalf of library and information scholars and historians in a case regarding the copyright implications of controlled digital lending;
** the Clinic filed an amicus brief in the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court on behalf of technology law scholars and clinicians in a case regarding gig workers’ rights;
** the Clinic submitted an amicus brief to the Eleventh Circuit on behalf of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Public Knowledge, and several cybersecurity researchers, supporting virtualization and security company Corellium in a case that Apple brought against the company alleging copyright infringement;
** the Clinic supported the Surveillance Technology Oversight Project with an amicus brief to the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court about the constitutionality of cell tower dumps;
** the Clinic has worked with Public.Resource.org on an effort to increase public access to state model jury instructions in the face of state efforts to claim that such instructions are protected by copyright; and
** the Cyberlaw Clinic and International Human Rights Clinic at HLS co-authored a white paper—Lockdown and Shutdown: Exposing the Impacts of Recent Network Disruptions in Myanmar and Bangladesh—in collaboration with Athan, the Kintha Peace and Development Initiative, and Rohingya Youth Association.
Do I need a technology background to enroll in the Cyberlaw Clinic? Absolutely not! We have students in the Clinic who’ve been programming computers since grade school and others with a passing or newfound curiosity about digital tech law and policy. We can accommodate anyone!
What about experience with particular tech law courses? Nope! We will ask you about your interests and experience when we begin assigning projects, including about any relevant courses you may have taken in the past. But, we go to great lengths to ensure that any student—regardless of past coursework—can succeed in the Clinic.
Who’s on the Clinic teaching team? The team includes Kendra Albert, Chris Bavitz, Alejandra Caraballo, Susan Crawford (on sabbatical F23), Jessica Fjeld, and Mason Kortz, along with Armelle Bernard and our friend Waide Warner (and other regular collaborators at firms and advocacy organizations across the world). Check out our bios and related information for details about our respective areas of interest and practice expertise. As you can see, collectively, we have decades of experience working in a diverse range of technology law and policy practice areas, on behalf of private and public sector clients.
Do not hesitate to contact anyone on the Cyberlaw Clinic teaching team directly if you have questions about the program, our work, etc. We look forward to meeting you soon.