Clinic matters span the spectrum of non-litigation practices, including counseling, legislative, regulatory, policy, and transactional work. (Applicants can learn more about past casework from the iPIP Clinic website.) Past matters touched upon many areas of IP and information policy, including copyright, trademark, patent, privacy, cybersecurity, professional ethics, and sometimes several at once. Prior matters implicated a variety of social justice issues, from ensuring the public’s rights to critique power and access knowledge to empowering victims of nonconsensual intimate imagery and targets of face surveillance to resist abusive technologies through creative use of law. Previous work product has run the gamut from traditional fare like regulatory comments, white papers, model legislation, and presentations to more unusual work product like guides, checklists, flow charts, and FAQs, often combining several in the same project.

Students in the Clinic develop their lawyering skills by working directly with clients on these IP or information policy matters. Working in teams of two or three, students are responsible for moving their project forward, from setting agendas and arranging meetings to researching legal issues, drafting work products, and presenting to clients. Teams develop their projects through independent and collaborative work, as well as weekly meetings with supervisors, weekly meetings with their team, and biweekly meetings with clients. Matters vary, but students can expect to gain experience with skills such as client interviewing, fact investigation, legal research, legal writing, giving and receiving constructive feedback, professional judgment, and creative problem-solving. Students generally work with a single client throughout the semester.

Past Casework matters include:

  • Advising a coalition of library stakeholders on creating a federal commemorative day to celebrate the public domain;
  • Counseling an individual artist on copyright, trademark, and trade dress issues related to her “appropriation” art;
  • Collaborating with a digital civil liberties nonprofit to draft an Initial Comment defending the right to repair and modify devices in the triennial Section 1201 rulemaking proceedings;
  • Developing best practices for using new technologies within the Georgetown clinics;
  • Counseling an educational arts collective on developing copyright policies;
  • Developing FAQs on faculty copyrights in online course materials for author advocacy nonprofit;
  • Drafting a policy paper supporting controlled digital lending for a library nonprofit;
  • Drafting a letter to President Biden on behalf of a coalition of thirty-eight civil rights, medical, scientific, technology, patient advocacy, and environmental organizations to address patent subject matter eligibility reform efforts;
  • Drafting model legislation to secure fair ebook sales terms to libraries on behalf of a library nonprofit;
  • Developing a guide to taking down nonconsensual pornography from the Internet for a coalition of domestic violence service providers;
  • Producing a policy paper predicting the future of controlled digital lending for a library nonprofit;
  • Counseling a nonprofit newsroom on developing an equitable freelancer contract and copyright guide;
  • Advocating for the creation of digital reading rooms in private libraries for a library nonprofit;
  • Advising an open knowledge nonprofit on addressing the appropriation of copyrighted works for face surveillance;
  • Filing an amicus brief arguing for open access to standards incorporated into law;
  • Drafting model legislation to ensure that objections to the content in library databases are reviewed fairly and transparently;
  • Producing an FAQ and Explainer for proposed legislation to expand patentable subject matter;
  • Providing policy guidance regarding digital lending of library collections.