Policy

Improving the Civil Justice System

Access to technology can greatly improve access to justice. The Institute is dedicated to improving access to the civil justice system and does so through partnerships with: Self Represented Litigation Network (SRLN)—which connects lawyers, judges, and other professionals; the Iron Tech Lawyer program, which brings together students from across the world to develop new and innovative solutions for individuals to navigate legal obstacles; and the Civil Justice Data Commons (CJDC), which is laying the foundation for a data commons connecting civil justice institution data to study and improve the civil justice system.

The Institute serves as a thought leader on the role technology has to address civil legal needs. By conducting research, advancing legal education, and engaging in solution building, the Institute is well-positioned to leverage technology to help improve the civil justice system.

Promoting Digital Equity and Access

Large swathes of America remain unconnected to digital services. Lack of digital equity and access persist despite twenty years of policies striving to close the “digital divide.” This divide is more crucial now than ever, as we learn, work, live, and play on digital platforms.

The Institute’s work promoting digital equity and access includes participating in and hosting the first convening of the Public Interest Technology University Network, (“PIT-UN”), testifying before Congress and state legislatures on digital equity and Internet adoption rates, and convening symposia highlighting equity issues at the intersections of artificial intelligence R&D, broadband deployment, and Internet use.

The Institute further supports educational offerings at Georgetown, including the Technology & Communications Clinic, which represents public-interest clients in telecommunications and digital-equity matters.

Technology Education for Policymakers

As digital platforms become increasingly entrenched in every aspect of modern life, developing new and thoughtful governance and regulatory structures is critical. The Institute convenes leading academics, policymakers, and stakeholders to reframe the debate around the governance of new and entrenched technologies and proposes new frameworks for governance in the networked era.

The Institute engages stakeholders through its policy proposals and education programs, including its annual Tech Foundations for Congressional Staff, the Attorney Generals Technology Education Network project, and ongoing convenings. The Institute also supports key work at Georgetown through collaborations with clinical programs and classroom education.

Enhancing Innovation

Through its convenings and publications, the Institute supports deep engagement and discussion on the legal and policy issues associated with the development and broad deployment of technologies and the need for public access.

The Institute co-hosts the Georgetown-Berkeley Annual Patent Law and Policy Conference which brings together experts from government, civil society, and academia and is now in its 11th year running. This symposium, as well as other Institute events, explores how expertise about technology is generated, introduced, and used in legal and policy decision making.

The Institute has also helped to develop robust clinical and classroom offerings in intellectual property and innovation policy as part of the core technology curriculum at Georgetown Law.

Advancing Civil Rights and Digital Personhood

Too often, discussions about advancing technology sideline users or leave rights as secondary concerns. However, as Americans increasingly live their lives online, questions of rights, equity, and fairness must be at the forefront of technology policy.

The Institute partners with leaders in the field to ensure that civil and democratic rights remain an essential part of any question about technology. The Institute regularly hosts events on election integrity, disability rights, and the essential role of individual rights in any conversation about privacy online.