Georgetown Law Celebrates New Institute for Technology Law & Policy, Technology Review

December 16, 2016

“Technology is transforming the legal profession in every way…” said Georgetown Law Dean William M. Treanor, speaking at a recent event celebrating the launch of the new Institute for Technology Law & Policy and the first issue of the Georgetown Law Technology Review. “It is the great movement of our time…[so] the question is, what is Georgetown’s role in this?”

With a deep bench of tech faculty, popular curricular innovations including a Computer Programming for Lawyers class, and the new tech Institute, the Law Center’s role in shaping technology and policy will be significant. Focusing on intellectual property, telecommunications policy, improving access to justice and more, the Institute will provide a convening space to deepen the conversation, said Executive Director Alexandra Reeve Givens at the November 30 celebration.

“Now, of all times, we need careful thought about what technology means, what the implications are, what the opportunities are, and how lawmakers and lawyers are conversant in technology policy,” said Givens. “We want to be a home for that here at Georgetown.”

Approximately 60 students, alumni and thought leaders from the tech community, the executive branch and Capitol Hill attended the event. Victoria Espinel (F’89, L’92), who in 2009 was confirmed as the first Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator within the Executive Office of the President, spoke of the importance of diversity, including women coders, in tech.

“When you are talking about something…that is going to continue to have such a major impact on society, you want to make sure as many people are represented…as possible,” she said.

A new initiative between Georgetown Law’s Technology Institute and the D.C. Mayor’s office — working with Google and local and national leaders — is already supporting women entrepreneurs to bring more diversity into the tech industry, Espinel noted. “You are off to an amazing start.”

Kara Stoll (L’97), a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, described the need to ensure that laws and policies strike the right balance for competition and offer opportunities for small businesses. “We desperately need to develop the next generation of thought leaders to develop that area of law,” Stoll said.

Stoll and Federal Trade Commissioner Terrell McSweeny (L’04), both alumni, were quick to note how technology has changed since they graduated from Georgetown Law, not so long ago. “We are in a kind of ‘Moore’s law’ of technological expansion,” McSweeny said, “that is unlike anything we have ever seen.”