The beginning of June marks the arrival of summer interns — affectionately known as “Berkterns” — at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society and the Cyberlaw Clinic. As we begin to settle into our summer routine, we wanted to look back at the 2017-18 academic year and bid a fond farewell to our graduating Cyberlaw Clinic alumni from the Harvard Law School class of ’18. It has been a remarkable year at the Clinic — a year of remarkable work spearheaded by our remarkable students.
The Law School held its annual “Class Day” festivities on Wednesday, May 23, the day before Harvard’s formal commencement. The HLS-wide Class Day celebration included remarks from HLS Dean John Manning; winner of the Albert M. Sacks-Paul A. Freund Award for Teaching Excellence, HLS Professor Carol Steiker; winner of the Staff Appreciation Award, Edgar Kley Filho; and U.S. Senator Jeff Flake (among many others). The Clinic held its annual year-end event that day for students and their families on the front steps of the Berkman Klein Center’s offices in the little yellow house at 23 Everett Street. Attendees included students who had worked with the Clinic on a wide variety of matters during their time at the Law School, from amicus briefs, to direct client advising, to transactional work, litigation, and policy advocacy. It is always a pleasure to meet the families of students we have come to know so well during their time at HLS and see them off as they prepare to apply their well-earned skills and knowledge in service of new clients and constituencies.
Taking stock of the 2017-18 academic year — students worked on four amicus briefs, including three U.S. Supreme Court briefs and a D.C. Circuit brief on behalf of two members of Congress. They helped represent a coalition of librarians and archivists in a large administrative proceeding before the United States Copyright Office at the Library of Congress; supported advocacy to the Massachusetts Legislature around the use of risk assessment tools; and developed publicly-accessible resources on protest art. In their spare time, students who worked with us in the Clinic wrote Law Review notes and participated as finalists in the fall 2017 Ames moot court competition. Fifty-nine students came through the Cyberlaw Clinic during AY 2017-18, and sixty-two 2018 HLS graduates had enrolled in the Clinic during their time at the Law School.
2017-18 saw the Clinic’s teaching team contributing to publications on the role of explanation in artificial intelligence, zero rating and Internet adoption, and harmful speech online. They presented at South By Southwest, Harvard’s Fair Use / Fair Dealing Week festivities, RightsCon 2018, the University of Montreal Cyberjustice Laboratory, and beyond.
Over the summer, the Clinic team plans to keep ongoing active matters afloat with an all-star team of interns hailing from law schools around the country. We will also de-brief after a busy year, build out course materials for the 2018-19 installments of the Cyberlaw Clinic Seminar, and participate in research and writing projects at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society (including projects related to artificial intelligence ethics and governance). We also plan to do some horizon scanning to identify emerging issues that will become central to our practice and teaching activities in the years to come.
Congratulations, again, to the graduating Cyberlaw Clinic alums and to all HLS students in the class of 2018!