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W&L Law Offers DC-based Cyber Law and Privacy Seminar with Future of Privacy Forum

Washington and Lee University School of Law has launched a new summer program in Washington, DC for students interested in studying cyber and privacy law.

The program is part of W&L’s exclusive academic partnership launched last year with the Future of Privacy Forum (FPF), a DC-based think tank that promotes responsible data privacy policies. The FPF was founded by W&L alumnus Christopher Wolf ‘80L, senior partner and former director of the Information Privacy Practice Group of Hogan Lovells.

The course, titled “Cyber Policy and Privacy Law,” will be co-taught by Professor Margaret Hu and Jules Polonetsky, CEO at FPF. The course will examine how the expanding role of the internet, big data, e-commerce, social media, and wearable technology has strained the preexisting regulatory and constitutional frameworks that have guided privacy protections under the law. The seminar will delve into these topics in both corporate and government contexts.

The first class will be held in the U.S. House of Representatives. W&L Law alumnus Bart Forsyth will be the host and guest speaker. Forsyth is currently Chief of Staff of Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wisc), who helped to lead the effort on surveillance reform legislation and the passage of the USA FREEDOM Act following the Snowden disclosures.

Wolf also will serve as a guest speaker during the seminar. He will address the rise of privacy law and information privacy practices in the corporate sector and discuss several early cases involving data privacy in which he served as lead counsel. In addition, students will visit Google’s DC corporate office to meet with Google’s legal team for a discussion of privacy-related practice issues, including recent cases on privacy law both in the U.S. and in Europe.

According to Prof. Hu, the course also will incorporate a hands-on curriculum for students in order to position them for practical success in the profession.

“Students will select a summer research project that has a practical component, such as drafting a comment to federal rulemaking or proposing draft language for regulatory proposals for consumer protection in data privacy or cybersecurity,” said Hu.

The program has an additional career development component. FPF worked closely with W&L to help students without a summer position secure summer internships with some of the FPF’s 120 plus corporate and nonprofit affiliates. Internships that were facilitated by the summer program include: AT&T, Mozilla/Firefox, Software and Information Industries Association, Network Advertising Initiative, and the Future of Privacy Forum.

14 rising second- and third-year students are currently enrolled in the summer program. The 8-week session will begin June 9 and conclude in late July, with most classes being held at the FPF’s downtown office in Washington, D.C.