Students use case studies to explore information law, policy

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The buzz in the classroom was palpable. About 20 Harvard Law students were huddled in small groups, tasked with formulating an action plan to deal with leaked evidence of the CIA’s sabotage of a North Korean nuclear missile test. The sabotage had claimed the lives of dozens of North Korean scientists and workers; the revelation that it was perpetrated by the U.S. could lead to war between the two countries.

The session and the hypothetical case the students were discussing was part of Information Law and Policy: Advanced Problem Solving Workshop, an innovative class taught this fall by Visiting Professor Susan Crawford, involving a team-based approach to delving deeply into information law, intellectual property and cyberlaw.

Based on a workshop taught for the first time last spring by Professor Jonathan Zittrain ’95 and John Palfrey ’01, the class presents students with several case studies and asks them to complete team exercises, which include conducting negotiations, writing legal briefs, and drafting policies and legislation. Readings prepare the students to carry out the exercises, while lectures and Q&A sessions with guest speakers help summarize and solidify the concepts.

Read more about the workshop on the Harvard Law School website.