About the Cyberlaw Clinic

Harvard Law School‘s Cyberlaw Clinic, based at Harvard’s Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society, provides high-quality, pro-bono legal services to appropriate clients on issues relating to the Internet, technology, and intellectual property. Students enhance their preparation for high-tech practice and earn course credit by working on real-world litigation, client counseling, advocacy, and transactional / licensing projects and cases. The Clinic strives to help clients achieve success in their activities online, mindful of (and in response to) existing law. The Clinic also works with clients to shape the law’s development through policy and advocacy efforts. The Cyberlaw Clinic was the first of its kind, and it continues its tradition of innovation in its areas of practice. The Clinic works independently, with law students supervised by experienced and licensed attorneys.  In some cases, the Clinic collaborates with counsel throughout the country to take advantage of regional or substantive legal expertise. The Cyberlaw Clinic advocates with or on behalf of collaborators and clients on a variety of law and policy topics. The Clinic generally does not take positions in its own name. It makes client selection and other decisions relevant to its practice mindful of a set of core values and actively seeks to advance those values through its work. Values at the heart of the Clinic’s practice and teaching activities include: promotion of a robust and inclusive online ecosystem for free expression; advancement of diversity as a key interest in technology development and tech policy; elimination or mitigation of the impact of bias in the development and deployment of technology; respect for and protection of privacy, vis-à-vis both private and government actors; open government; transparency with respect to public and private technical systems that impact all citizens (and, in particular, members of vulnerable populations); access to knowledge and information; advancement of cultural production through efficient and balanced regulatory and enforcement regimes; and support for broad participation in public discourse

From the Blog

Clinic Provides Legal Support for Housing Navigator Project

This fall semester, the Cyberlaw Clinic provided legal support for the initiative to create what has been dubbed the “Housing Navigator” — an online one-stop shop that will allow Massachusetts residents to easily find affordable housing throughout the Commonwealth.  The Housing Navigator will replace the difficult-to-navigate patchwork of online and offline advertisements that Massachusetts residents currently use to identify affordable housing. The initiative, led by the Kuehn Charitable Foundation, is a partnership involving more than a dozen nonprofit and government agencies.

Apply! Summer Internship 2020

The Cyberlaw Clinic is hiring summer interns for 2020! Current U.S. JD candidates with an interest in the intersection of tech, law, and social justice are invited to join our dynamic team! Summer legal interns work on all aspects of the Cyberlaw Clinic’s caseload and, like Fall and Spring semester students, take the lead on the projects they join, supported by the Clinic staff. Although Clinic projects vary from summer to summer, they often include substantive law related to the First Amendment, computer security, digital privacy, intellectual property, civic innovation, emerging technologies, and media and the arts. The Clinic also has a growing practice relating to AI, including with regard to criminal justice, human rights, and creative practice. Interns will be involved in supporting the Clinic’s ongoing docket and in planning decisions about clients, cases, and topic areas to be addressed in the Clinic’s work during the upcoming academic year. Interns are supervised and mentored by the Cyberlaw Clinic instructors, and are provided with feedback and growth opportunities.

Featured

Commonwealth v. Gelfgatt

The Cyberlaw Clinic filed an amicus brief in the Supreme Judicial Court on behalf of the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Massachusetts, the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation, and the Electronic Frontier Foundation in the case of Commonwealth v. Gelfgatt, SJC No. 11358. In the brief, we argue that the Fifth Amendment and article 12 of the Massachusetts Declaration of Rights prohibit the government from compelling a defendant to decrypt their electronic data for use against them in criminal proceedings because it involves the kind of testimonial acts protected by constitutional protections against self-incrimination. This is the Cyberlaw Clinic’s third brief filed in a series of cases before the Supreme Judicial Court addressing updates to constitutional protections in light of new technologies. Prior filings on behalf of the Electronic Frontier Foundation concerned warrant requirements for GPS tracking of suspects (Commonwealth v. Rousseau) and historical cell phone location records (Commonwealth v. Augustine).