UW School of Law > Clinical Law Program > Technology Law and Public Policy

Technology Law & Public Policy Clinic

The Technology Law and Public Policy Clinic has two missions: using year-long projects to provide students with an opportunity to craft policy in those areas where public policy and high technology intersect and allowing students to work in conjunction with elected officials, business people, representatives of the public and others in crafting policy.

In 2013-2014 the Clinic is working on two projects:

  1. Explore and develop policy proposals on the use by law enforcement of unmanned aerial vehicles (“drones”).

    Focus: Establishing rules and guidelines to insure the appropriate and safe use of drones by law enforcement; special emphasis is to be placed on the protection of privacy rights.
    Key Stakeholders: Seattle City Council; Public Safety Committee, Washington State Legislature; Public Safety Committee.
  2. Examine the current status of driverless cars and develop policy recommendations for their introduction onto public roadways.

    Focus: Determine when and how this new technology shall be “mainstreamed.” Educate elected officials on the benefits and risks of driverless vehicles and make policy recommendations on how to best go forward.
    Key Stakeholders: Seattle City Council, Public Safety Committee; Washington State Legislature, Public Safety Committee.

Technology Law Clinic News

  • - A variety of topics will be included during the Symposium including crowdfunding, food systems and co-ops, workforce programs, exporting, social media and so much more. For more information and to register go to www.wamicrobiz.org.
  • - Reclaim the Media Last year, House Bill 2601 examined telecommunications reform, including the possibilty of municipality and public utility district provisioning. The UW School of Law examined the issues and released a report that recognizes the important role public sector investments can play.
  • Washington State Legislature Recognizes Tech-Law Clinic Students as Key Players in State’s Efforts to Develop Distributed Energy Policy - Distributed Energy (DE) policy encourages homes and businesses to use alternative forms of energy. Over the next 16 months the Legislature’s Technology, Energy and Communications Committee, with the assistance of Tech-Law Clinic students will conduct hearings, interview stakeholders and develop policy proposals. Representative Deborah Eddy, 48th District, stated “We look forward to working with UW Law’s Technology Law and Public Policy Clinic in developing cutting edge DE policies for Washington State. The students will conduct research, monitor meetings and bring priceless drive and intelligence to this process.” 
  • Tech-Law Clinic Students Meet with State Representative to Discuss “Box Fee” - Rurally isolated Washington residents would be eligible for reasonably priced Internet access if the Washington State Legislature embraces an idea developed by Tech-Law students. Representative Bob Hasegawa, 11th District, met with students and legislative staff to discuss a “box fee” (a charge on devices such as cellular telephones and personal computers which connect to the Internet). This fee would be used to subsidize access to the Internet for those living in areas which are currently unserved.
  • Technology Law and Public Policy Clinic Second Interim Report - A public hearing on Telecommunications Policy will be held at the UW School of Law on June 3 from 4:00 to 6:00 pm. The Second Interim Report Pursuant to House Bill 2601contains issues Technology Law and Public Policy clinic members hope to have discussed.
  • Clinic students to engage in two year study on energy policy - The Technology Law and Public Policy Clinic will undertake a two part examination of Washington State’s energy policies. Representative John McCoy, chair of the state legislature’s Technology, Energy and Communications Committee asked students to review existing statutory and regulatory energy policies. This will be followed by a second energy-related research project addressing a wide range of issues relating to the electricity sector Over the next four quarters students shall meet with stakeholders, engage in research,  compose proposed policies, hold at least two public hearings and formulate proposals for legislative consideration.
  • Tech-Law Clinic presents interim findings to the Seattle Citizens Telecommunications and Technology Advisory Board (CTTAB) - On May 10, 2011, clinic director William Covington, with students Nathan Barnes, Neil Fauerso and Lawrence Wang met with the City of Seattle’s citizen’s advisory group on telecommunications policy. The students presented and received feedback on their proposals for increasing broadband access, spurring competition in the telecommunications arena and easing regulatory bottlenecks. CTTAB members urged the students to recommend the creation of a state wide consumer protection agency, retaining the current cable franchising structure and to bring the benefits of broadband to those who are economically disadvantaged.
  • Students appear before Washington State legislature and make interim report on telecommunications policy - On March 4, 2011, ten members of the Technology Law and Public Policy Clinic presented a policy report to the Technology, Energy and Communications Committee of the Washington State Legislature. Committee chairman Representative John McCoy commended the clinicians for producing a well thought out, detailed and forward looking set of proposals. Following the presentation the students met with a group of industry lobbyists interested in the students’ proposals.  A final report is to be submitted to the committee on December 1 of this year.
  • William Covington Presents to the State Legislature on Statewide Video Franchising - William Covington, director of the Technology Law & Public Policy Clinic, lad a legislative workshop on the issue of statewide video franchising for the Technology, Energy and Communications committee of the Washington State legislature on November 30, 2007. Washington State is considering following the lead of seventeen other states in taking the video franchising authority away from local government and transferring it to the state.
  • - The Superior Court of California for the County of Santa Clara has approved the distribution of $80,000 in cy pres award funds to the UW School of Law's Shidler Center for Law, Commerce & Technology and the University of California, Berkeley School of Law's Samuelson Law, Technology & Public Policy Clinic, to host conferences on the subjects of internet consumer protection and security breaches.

Faculty Profiles

Technology Law & Policy (E)
Quarters Offered: Fall-Winter-Spring
Credits: 12, 4 Fall, 4 Winter, 4 Spring
Required quarters: Full year preferred
Number of Students accepted: 12
Eligible Students: 2Ls, 3Ls, LL.M.s
Selection Basis: Application

For 2012-2013
Recommended Courses: Administrative Law (A509); Law & Econ (A562); Legislative Externship (B535); Legislation (B555) Local Government Law (A563)
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Last updated 1/8/2015