Cameron Kerry Speaks at Law Center

April 8, 2013 — The general counsel for the U.S. Department of Commerce “has one of the most diverse and fascinating jobs in the federal government,” according to Professor Barry Carter. And on April 3, the current holder of that job, Cameron Kerry, spoke to Georgetown Law students about the digital economy, intellectual property and other topics.

 “Scarcely any issue arises in the U.S. government that does not become a question for legal counsel sooner or later,” said Kerry, who focuses on the legal and policy issues of everything from placing weather satellites in space to regulating trade with countries here on earth. 

 “The challenge that the United States faces … is fostering a 21st-century economy that grows consistently enough and fast enough to sustain a promising future…” he said. “We need to do more to lay a foundation for sustained growth.”

The department is working to adapt to virtual space the rules that apply in physical space, including commercial data privacy, cyber security, the free flow of information across borders and the protection of intellectual property.

On the foreign front, lawyers at Commerce have an ongoing dialogue with China on rule-of-law issues. “The course of world history … will be shaped, for good or for ill, by the course of that relationship,” Kerry said.

As for his own career, Kerry — the brother of the U.S. Secretary of State — said he feels extraordinarily fortunate. “I hope some of you will have the opportunity to serve in government,” he said. “In the 21st century, we need the best lawyers to serve our country.”

The event was sponsored by the Center on Transnational Business and the Law and the Center for the Study of the Legal Profession. 

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