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Intellectual Property Law

Intellectual Property is the body of law that governs rights to ideas and information. Basic courses in the field include Copyright, which will be taught in Spring 2016 by Professor Fisher; and Patents, which will be taught in Fall 2015 by Professor Okediji. Students interested in litigation in this field should consider taking Copyright and Trademark Litigation taught by Ms. Cendali in Fall 2015, and the Patent Litigation Workshop, taught by Mr. Porcelli in Spring 2016. Other courses in the field include Trademark and Unfair Competition, taught by Professor Rebecca Tushnet in Fall 2015, Entertainment and Media Law, taught by Mr. Brotman and Mr. Basin in Winter 2016, and Music and Digital Media taught by Mr. Bavitz in Spring 2016. Legal practice in these fields increasingly requires knowledge of the laws of other countries and of the network of multilateral treaties that limit each country’s discretion is framing its own laws. To obtain that knowledge, students are strongly encouraged to take International Intellectual Property, taught in Spring 2016 by Professor Okediji, as well as courses in International and Comparative Law including Public International Law and International Trade.

Health Law, Biotechnology, and Bioethics

The second cluster consists of courses pertaining to Health Law, Biotechnology, and Bioethics. An introduction to the field is offered in Health Care Law, taught in Spring 2016 by Professor Madison.

Students interested in more advanced work can choose from a variety of upper-level classes including Drug Product Liability Litigation taught by Mr. Grossi in Fall 2015; the Food Law and Policy Seminar taught by Ms. Broad Leib in Fall 2015 and Spring 2016; Food and Drug Law taught by Mr. Hutt in Winter 2016; Global Effects of EU Law, taught by Professors Lang and Perisin in Winter 2016; the Food Law seminar taught by Professor Gersen in Spring 2016; the Innovation in Medical Technologies: Law and Policy seminar, taught by Professor Sachs in Spring 2016; and the Public Health Law and Policy seminar, taught by Professor Greenwald in Fall 2015 and Spring 2016. In addition, the year-long Health Law, Policy, Bioethics and Biotechnology Workshop with Professor Cohen represents an ideal capstone experience for students interested in the field, as it features presentations of major scholars’ works-in-progress in health law and policy, bioethics, and biotechnology. Students are also encouraged to consider the Health Law and Policy Clinic of the Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation and the Food Law Policy Clinic of the Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation (focusing on policy rather than offering direct legal services), each of which allows students to transfer the skills and ideas they learn in the classroom to the real world. Patents is also recommended for students seeking to specialize in biotechnology and pharmaceutical innovation.

Beyond the classroom, students interested in Health Law are also encouraged to attend the various lectures organized by the Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology, and Bioethics. Students with an academic interest in health law should also consider applying to be student fellows at the Petrie-Flom Center, which provides law students and graduate students elsewhere in the university intensive mentoring and funding to produce works of scholarship. Finally, students interested in health law should consider the joint JD/MPH program with the Harvard School of Public Health.

Internet Law

The third cluster consists of courses examining different aspects of Internet Law. The course offerings in this area include City Use of Technology, taught by Professor Crawford in Fall 2015;  Counseling and Legal Strategy in the Digital Age, taught by Mr. Bavitz and Ms. Topelson Ritvo in Fall 2015; Communications and Internet Law and Policy, taught by Professor Benkler in Spring 2015, and Technology and Inequality, also taught by Professor Benkler in Spring 2015. Students interested in digital media may also wish to consider Digital Storytelling and the Law, taught by Professor Richman Cohen in Fall 2015; Music and Digital Media, taught by Mr. Bavitz in Spring 2015, and The Two-Way Mirror: Media Imaging in the 21st Century, a reading group taught by Professor Robinson in Spring 2015. In addition, clinical placements in the field are available at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society through the Cyberlaw Clinic.

The Berkman Center also affords a wide variety of opportunities to participate in research projects pertaining to internet and society as a research assistant. In addition, Berkman offers weekly luncheons (Tuesdays at noon) at which its fellows present their work. Students are encouraged to attend to get to know the community and learn about cutting-edge research in the field.

Technology and Civil Liberties 

Changing technologies raise novel questions about how to safeguard civil liberties, particularly privacy and freedom of expression. Courses in this field include Digital Privacy, taught by Mr. Fertik in Spring 2016, Comparative Online Privacy, taught by Professor Gasser in Spring 2016, and Frontiers of Cyberlaw: Artificial Intelligence, Automation and Information Security taught by Justice Cuéllar in  Winter 2016. To gain expertise on technology and civil liberties, student are encouraged to take courses on constitutional law, including First Amendment, Criminal Procedure, and Civil Rights Litigation. Courses in national security law, such as the seminar Privacy, Technology, and National Security, taught by Professor Heymann in Spring 2016, may also be of interest.

Regardless of whether a student concentrates in one of these areas of the law or develops a program by combining course work in the four fields, she should strongly consider wrapping up her sequence of courses with an extended research project of her own, typically culminating with original scholarship. All of the faculty listed above are available to supervise such projects. Students should also consider contacting the Law, Science, and Technology Program of Study student fellows to discuss research topics.

Academic Careers

Students who wish to pursue academic careers in this area should think about combining the course work discussed above with opportunities for significant research and writing.