Georgetown Law Launches Public Interest Communications Law Project

February 18, 2014 —

Georgetown University Law Center, in partnership with the Benton Foundation, is pleased to announce the launch of the Public Interest Communications Law Project. The initiative will allow Georgetown Law students to represent the nation’s most vulnerable populations in critical policy debates, such as the transition of traditional wireline telephone service to broadband. 

“Two of our essential goals at Georgetown Law are to provide our students with hands-on experience, and to achieve justice for people from all walks of life, regardless of ability to pay for legal representation,” said Georgetown Law Dean William M. Treanor. “The creation of the Public Interest Communications Law Project bolsters both of these missions.” 

The Public Interest Communications Law Project is founded on the premise that the experiences of all people should inform media and telecommunications policy decisions. Andrew Jay Schwartzman joins Georgetown Law as the Benton Senior Counselor to oversee the project. Schwartzman, a member of the Federal Communications Commission’s Advisory Committee on Diversity in the Digital Age, led the Media Access Project, a non-profit public interest telecommunications law firm, for 34 years. 

The project is housed within Georgetown Law’s Institute for Public Representation, which provides counsel for groups and individuals unable to obtain effective legal representation on issues of broad public importance. The Institute works in the areas of First Amendment and media law, environmental law, civil rights and general public interest matters.

“Andrew and I have worked together for many years,” said Professor Angela J. Campbell, co-director of the Institute for Public Representation. “Our students and clients will benefit greatly from his participation.” 

In addition to the transition to broadband, the project’s students will work on other key matters, including Universal Service Fund reform, diversity of media ownership and spectrum policy. 

The Benton Foundation strives to enhance democracy and to ensure that media and telecommunications serve the public interest. The Public Interest Communications Law Project was made possible by generous grants from The Alphawood Foundation, Ford Foundation and the Media Democracy Fund.