Clinical Technology Teaching: Lawyering for Justice and Locating the Public Interest in Tech Law Practice


Monday, April 8, 2019, 12:00pm to 1:30pm


Maxwell Dworkin 119

Clinical Technology Teaching: Lawyering for Justice and Locating the Public Interest in Tech Law Practice


The recent announcement of a “Public Interest Technology University Network” (which includes Harvard) has shone a spotlight on the ways in which technology practitioners may pursue the public interest in their work. The idea of public interest practice has long existed in the field of law, where career paths in private law firms and companies are distinguished from career paths in government and the non-profit / advocacy sector. Those interested in public interest law practice often spend time during law school enrolled in clinics, which offer practical skills training to students and pro bono legal services to deserving clients. In this talk, Chris Bavitz will discuss the work of the Cyberlaw Clinic, Harvard Law School’s technology law and policy clinical program (which celebrates the 20th anniversary of its founding later this year). Chris will address the complexities associated with identifying and advancing the public interest (or broader concepts of social justice) as a lawyer, when one’s field is technology law.


Christopher T. Bavitz is the WilmerHale Clinical Professor of Law at Harvard Law School. He is also Managing Director of HLS’s Cyberlaw Clinic, based at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society. And, he is a Faculty Co-Director of the Berkman Klein Center. Chris teaches the Counseling and Legal Strategy in the Digital Age and Music & Digital Media seminars, and he concentrates his practice activities on intellectual property and media law (particularly in the areas of music, entertainment, and technology). He oversees many of the Cyberlaw Clinic’s projects relating to copyright, speech, advising of startups, and the use of technology to support access to justice, and he serves as the HLS Dean’s Designate to Harvard’s Innovation Lab. Chris’s research and related work at the Berkman Klein Center addresses intermediary liability and online content takedown regimes as well as regulatory, ethical, and governance issues associated with technologies that incorporate algorithms, machine learning, and artificial intelligence. Prior to joining the Clinic in 2008, Chris served as Senior Director of Legal Affairs for EMI Music North America. From 1998-2002, Chris was a litigation associate at Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal and RubinBaum LLP / Rubin Baum Levin Constant & Friedman, where he focused on copyright and trademark matters. Chris received his B.A., cum laude, and Certificate in Peace and Justice Studies from Tufts University in 1995 and his J.D. from University of Michigan Law School in 1998.