The Cyberlaw Clinic at Harvard Law School, based at Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society, is hiring a Clinical Instructor! We are seeking an attorney with at least 3-5 years experience working w/clients on tech law issues. The Clinic’s practice is broad-based, and we welcome a wide variety of applicants. Our ideal candidate will have a strong background with issues at the heart of our work (including intellectual property, speech, privacy, and the like) while bringing a unique skillset and vision to the clinical teaching team.
Some further details about the job appear below; the job listing and application information are available here. Information about the Clinic and its practice — including info about representative clients and projects and copies of filings and publications — is available here.
What is the Berkman Center for Internet & Society?
The Berkman Center for Internet & Society is a research center founded at Harvard Law School in 1997. Now a university-wide center, it serves as the locus for a network of Harvard and other faculty, students, fellows, lawyers, entrepreneurs, and others working to identify and engage with the challenges and opportunities presented by the Internet. The Center is devoted to research and teaching on issues at the intersection of emerging technologies, law, public policy, industry, and education and to the development of dynamic approaches and rigorous scholarship that can affect and support the public interest.
What does the Cyberlaw Clinic do?
The rapid expansion of the Internet during the 1990s and the increasing ability of individuals and organizations to locate and retrieve content online had two important and related effects relevant to the law school clinical model. First, it allowed a wide range of users to obtain and share information at an extraordinary rate. Second, it posed enormous challenges to existing legal regimes in areas such as intellectual property, speech, and privacy. Whereas some could afford to pay for high-quality legal services in the emerging area of “cyberlaw,” the need for free or low-cost legal service organizations to meet the needs of individuals, academics, startups, and others was apparent.
At the same time, students graduating from law schools in the late-1990s and early-2000s were increasingly expected by their employers, clients, and others, to come to the workforce prepared to grapple with complex questions relevant to organizations, businesses, and individuals that operate in an online world. The importance of legal issues relevant to the Internet was clear even in areas of practice with no apparent connection to the web, as questions about the intersection technology and law (including laws relating to contracts, intellectual property, jurisdiction, privacy, and speech) impacted virtually everyone.
The Cyberlaw Clinic was born of the need to serve these two constituencies — prospective clients and students — and a central aim of the Clinic remains balancing the provision of top-notch legal services to Clinic clients with teaching and pedagogy geared toward students. The Clinic offers HLS students a unique opportunity to engage directly with the practice of law as it relates to the Internet, technology, and new media. It does so by providing high-quality, pro-bono legal services to appropriate individuals, small start-ups, non-profit groups, and government entities regarding cutting-edge issues of the Internet, new technology, and intellectual property. Consistent with the needs of its clients and the interests of its students, the Clinic’s practice covers a wide variety of types of work and a broad range of substantive areas of the law.
What will the Clinical Instructor do?
The Clinical Instructor’s primary duty will be to manage and mentor students as they work with clients on a range of challenging cyberlaw cases and matters. The Clinic maintains a broad-based practice, and clients come to the Clinic with a variety of questions about licensing; online liability; copyright, fair use, trademark, and other intellectual property; new media and online speech; startups, innovation and entrepreneurship; privacy and security; cybercrime; and youth online safety (among others). Interacting closely with both students and clients, the Clinical Instructor will help to manage client intake and the maintenance of relationships with existing clients; identify, frame, and scope projects with students, to ensure a client’s needs can be met in the Clinic setting; and oversee students’ performing the actual legal work (from research to drafting to preparing and filing briefs). The Clinical Instructor’s duties will require regular meetings with students, observation of students in client interactions, and frequent formal and informal review of students. The Clinical Instructor will have regular opportunities to engage in substantive instruction on relevant areas of the law. The Clinical Instructor will also assist with client development; managing relationships with existing clients, law firms, and others; and all aspects of day-to-day administration of the Clinic and its caseload.
What qualifications are necessary?
Candidates must have a Juris Doctor degree with (a) admission to the Massachusetts bar; or (b) admission to and active status in at least one U.S. state bar and immediate eligibility for admission on motion to the Massachusetts bar. A minimum of 3-5 years legal-practice experience with significant Internet/technology and/or relevant intellectual property law background is required. Expertise in the areas of online transactional/licensing law, start-up (both for-profit and non-profit) legal assessment and advising, is preferred. Previous experience in a clinical legal setting or the direct supervision and mentoring of young attorneys is highly desirable. A strong technical background or prior technical experience is advantageous but not required. Candidates should be energetic and passionate about working on a variety of cyberlaw, technology policy, and IP cases and projects. Top academic credentials, superior writing and verbal skills, sound judgment, exceptional ethical standards, and proven abilities in interpersonal communication, supervision, and team building are required.