About the Cyberlaw Clinic

Harvard Law School‘s Cyberlaw Clinic, based at Harvard’s Berkman 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.

Upcoming Events

Innovating in the Open

InnovatingINNOVATING IN THE OPEN | Harvard Law School, Wasserstein Hall, Room WCC 1010 | January 29, 2015, 3:30pm – 4:30 pm | Efforts to innovate and promote innovation often proceed in black boxes, out of concern for intellectual property protection and first-mover advantage.An alternative model, however, prioritizes engagement with users, consumers, competitors, and the general public throughout the creative process. Devotees of this more open approach to innovation view the risks of early disclosure as outweighed by the benefits of drawing on the wisdom of the crowd. The Cyberlaw Clinic and the Berkman Center for Internet & Society — along with the Harvard Innovation Lab, the HLS Food Law and Policy Clinic, and the Harvard Business School Digital Initiative — are pleased to present this panel discussion. The event will feature Matt Tucker from the HBS Digital Initiative (talking about the Open Forum platform), Hila Lifshitz-Assaf from NYU’s Stern School of Business, Jeff Warren from Public Lab, and Emily Broad Leib from the HLS Food Law and Policy Clinic, in a discussion moderated by the Cyberlaw Clinic’s Chris Bavitz. Panelists will address the topic of open innovation and how it can be used to improve development of everything from consumer products and services to software code to policy proposals. The event will cover the topic from theoretical and practical perspectives and will inform the audience about ways to get involved in open innovation at Harvard, including through the Deans’ Food System Challenge (share ideas here; apply here).

From the Blog

2014 Cyberlaw Clinic Year in Review

2014 ImageOverview

The Cyberlaw Clinic began in 1999, with the Berkman Center for Internet & Society’s announcement of a new “Clinical Research Program.” As the program heads into its sixteenth year, we at the Clinic have the opportunity to reflect on the events of 2014­. From student work and public events, to changes among the Clinic staff, to new modes of teaching and updates to structure of the program itself, we wanted to share some highlights of the past calendar year as we look ahead to the rest of 2015.

Protecting Anonymous Speech Under California’s Anti-SLAPP Law

WinelandThomsonamicuslettercoverOn Friday the Cyberlaw Clinic filed an amicus letter (PDF) on behalf of Global Voices Advocacy and the Media Legal Defence Initiative on an important case concerning anti-SLAPP law in California, currently being petitioned for review by the Supreme Court of California. Anti-SLAPP laws exist in numerous states to protect those speaking in government proceedings or on matters of public concern from facing frivilous lawsuits designed to dissuade them from speaking out. (“SLAPP” is an acronym for “Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation.”) In order to quickly remove vexatious lawsuits while allowing valid claims to go through, courts considering an anti-SLAPP motion require plaintiffs to show that a lawsuit has merit before before allowing the litigation go forward. Under California’s anti-SLAPP law, this means the plaintiff must state and substantiate all elements of their claim if they want to proceed. When a lawsuit is based on a claim of defamation, this includes proving that the speaker acted with fault, either with negligence or “actual malice.”


Enhancing Child Safety & Online Technologies

ENHANCING CHILD SAFETY & ONLINE TECHNOLOGIES  |  Final Report of the Internet Safety Technical Task Force to the Multi-State Working Group on Social Networking of State Attorneys General of the United States  |  January 14, 2009  |  Cyberlaw Clinic students, working under the direction of Clinic Assistant Director and Internet Safety Technical Task Force Co-Director Dena Sacco, contrinbuted extensively to the Task Force’s  Final Report.