Curricular Areas

“Law Powering Innovation”

As future leaders in the innovation economy, you will play a central role in ensuring that all members of society have access to new products, new ideas, and new technologies. To prepare you for that important career, the innovation and information law curriculum explores how law shapes the creation and dissemination of information, and how in return information technology is shaping the law and our society. We train you to be creative, to be leaders in a modern economy powered by innovators, and to protect those left behind.

The curriculum is divided into three overlapping sub-fields:

  • Intellectual Property Law, which examines the law of creative expression and invention;
  • Information, Privacy, and Internet Law, which examines legal control of the Internet and other information technologies and the effects of the Internet on society and in our daily lives;
  • Entrepreneurship and Digital Practice, which examines how legal institutions and lawyers can help innovators make the most of the digital world.

Intellectual Property Law

What is intellectual property?

Intellectual property law focuses on the protection of intangible creative works, like music, television, and games, or poems, plays, and movies. It includes three major federal legal regimes (patent, copyright, and trademark), and a wide range of related international, state, and contractual systems.  Our intellectual property curriculum also focuses on the role technology plays in promoting (or hindering) creativity and innovation.

What courses to take?

After the initial Intellectual Property course, a variety of advanced courses offer intensive looks at major doctrinal areas of IP, including Copyright Law, Patent Law, and Trademarks and Unfair Competition, along with cross-cutting introductions to specific IP-intensive industries, including art, entertainment, fashion, and sports. We offer an extensive experiential learning curriculum, including simulation-based litigation courses (Litigating an IP Case), clinical practice opportunities (PTO Clinic), and licensing and drafting classes.

What to do after law school?

While some intellectual property lawyers specialize in patents or copyrights or trademarks, many more use their IP knowledge as part of a general business or litigation practice. Other lawyers work within information industries, overseeing a portfolio of IP-based assets. Some do policy-related work for foundations, consultancies, non-profits, or government. Many use their IP knowledge to start businesses and design their own creative products.  We teach our students to recognize intangible assets and to develop strategies for enhancing creativity, profitability, and innovation.

Information, Privacy, and Internet Law

What is information, privacy, and Internet law?

Courses in this area look at how internet and other digital technologies not only force or require changes in the law, but also how we interact with each other, with corporations, and the state. This area of law deals with some of the hottest topics in law and policy today: data mining, data tracking, privacy on the Internet, revenge porn, and cyberbullying and harassment online, to name just a few. You don’t have to be a computer programmer to learn a lot from the Information Technology Law curriculum: these courses provide you with the technological foundations to understand the field, and the main requirement is a willingness to consider the dramatic changes that information technology has made to our society and the way that the law responds to these changes.

What courses to take?

Internet Law focuses on the substantive doctrines and policies of laws affecting the Internet; Privacy Law focuses on the way our personal information is at risk online. Some of the topics we discuss are as follows: how to regulate the internet, harmful conduct online, cyberbullying, privacy policies, sharing on social networking websites, anonymity on the internet, the effects of the internet on IP, and so many others.

What to do after law school?

Every branch of law is being affected by the Internet.  Both large and small firms regularly represent companies that are developing innovative technologies or using the Internet to engage with the market. In-house legal positions often require the ability to understand and avoid security risks posed by the Internet, to understand privacy issues for consumers, and be able to exploit new opportunities presented by a global marketplace. Many non-profit, advocacy, and political organizations focus on solving the problems associated with the “darker” side of the Internet. And government agencies offer employment opportunities for lawyers who want to grapple with the challenge of regulating new technologies or of using new technologies to enhance governmental efficiency and effectiveness.

 

Entrepreneurship and Digital Practice

What is entrepreneurship law?

We live in an information society. Changes in how we produce and distribute information in turn alter how we do business, engage in politics, socialize, play, and create—and how we study and practice law.

What courses to take?

Our courses focus on training the lawyer for practice in the digital age, such as Visual Persuasion in the Law and our many Entrepreneurship courses.  The modern lawyer should know how to defend clients and pursue social justice in multiple media: verbal, visual, written, and interactive media. Students can learn to create video closing arguments, to make software to solve a policy problem, and to understand the technologies being used in government, courts, legislatures, and law offices today.

What to do after law school?

Training in law practice technologies allows every student, regardless of practice area, to develop the skills necessary for effective lawyering in contemporary society.  These practical skills give students a competitive edge with potential employers.