In 1966, the US Court of Appeals first recognized that listeners and viewers had standing to challenge the renewals of broadcast licenses of stations serving their communities. Office of Communication of the United Church of Christ v. FCC, 359 F.2d 994 (D.C. Cir. 1966). Albert H. Kramer founded the Citizens Communications Center (CCC) in 1969 to provide legal representation to listeners and viewers and “for the purposes of improving radio and TV service, of promoting the responsiveness of broadcast media to their local communities, of improving the position of minority groups in media ownership, access and coverage, and of generally presenting a public voice in proceedings before the FCC.” Citizens Communications Center v. FCC, 447 F.2d 1201 (D.C.Cir. 1971).
As newer communications technologies came along and began to challenge the dominance of broadcasting, CCC evolved to take on new issues. In 1980, CCC merged with Georgetown Law’s Institute for Public Representation (IPR). IPR, founded in 1972, was one of the earliest clinics at Georgetown. It provided Georgetown Law students with the opportunity to learn about the practice of public interest law by spending a semester working with experienced attorneys and faculty members on a variety of cases.
With the addition of the communications practice, IPR focused its practice in three areas: communications, environmental, and civil rights law. In the 1990s, IPR’s communications practice expanded to include the FTC, where it played a key role in the adoption and implementation of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). In 2018, IPR’s communications practice began the process of becoming a stand-alone clinic at Georgetown. Law and changed its name to the Communications and Technology Law Clinic.