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Lawyering for Justice in the United States (Winter 2019)
First published Jan 2019

Cyberlaw and Practicing Tech Law in the Public Interest

This collection of readings relates to the course, "Lawyering for Justice in the United States." The course is taught during the winter term, 2019, at Harvard Law School, by Clinical Professors Esme Caramello, Michael Gregory, Tyler Giannini, and Dehlia Umunna. These readings will be addressed during a session facilitated by guest lecturer and HLS Clinical Professor Christopher Bavitz, along with Kendra Albert, Jessica Fjeld, and Mason Kortz from the Cyberlaw Clinic. The session will focus on the practice of Internet law or "cyberlaw." It will provide an overview of substantive legal issues at the heart of cyberlaw, touching on free speech and the First Amendment; laws governing copyright and other intellectual property protections; and privacy vis-à-vis both private actors and the government. The session will address the range of tools in the toolkits of lawyers who practice and advocate for policy change in this space, examining what it means to pursue the public interest in the practice of tech law. It will use the work of Harvard Law School's Cyberlaw Clinic as a case study, addressing its broad-based practice and examining how lawyers' and clients' interests may be advanced via counseling and advising; negotiation and drafting of agreements and other transactional documents; litigation; amicus and policy advocacy; and efforts to promote public education and engagement. Finally, the session will explore some tensions that arise in public interest technology law, particularly tensions between a desire to promote a robust environment for free expression in the digitally-networked environment and an interest in protecting against the adverse impacts of "harmful speech" online.