The Samuelson Law, Technology & Public Policy Clinic at UC Berkeley School of Law gives law students the opportunity to collaborate with other graduate students and attorney faculty members in representing clients and the public interest on important and emerging issues in technology law.
The Clinic was established in January 2001 and was the first in the nation to provide students with the opportunity to represent the public interest in sound technology policy through client advocacy and participation in legislative, regulatory, litigation and technical standard setting activities. Today, the Samuelson Clinic functions as both a traditional legal Clinic and as a site of interdisciplinary, policy-relevant research.
Since its founding, the Samuelson Clinic has been extremely successful in a broad range of matters in the digital realm, working with nonprofit organizations, government agencies and legislators, and academic researchers across a range of issues including free speech, privacy, intellectual property, electronic commerce, voting systems, and open source software. In the last few years, the Samuelson Clinic has expanded its interdisciplinary research and clinical representation into the life sciences. As significant high-tech advances continue in biology, chemistry, nanotechnology and genetics the clinic is poised to extend its work to ensure that the public interest influences the legal, policy and technological developments in these diverse fields.
Samuelson clinic students have represented clients in legal matters before the Federal Communications Commission, the Federal Elections Commission, the Sixth, Ninth and 11th Circuit Courts of Appeals, the California Supreme Court, the U.S. Supreme Court, the California Assembly and Senate, and in technical standard-setting matters before the Internet Engineering Task Force and the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards. Samuelson Clinic students have written and contributed to reports, on behalf of clients, on matters of voter privacy, digital rights management technology, the relation of intellectual property laws to the manufacture and import of HIV anti-retroviral medications, the privacy issues in electronic benefit systems used to deliver financial aid to the poor, and the effect of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act on speech, competition and innovation. In addition, the Samuelson Clinic has collaboratively developed an online resource center, Chilling Effects, to assist the public in dealing with a variety of legal issues arising on the internet, including copyright, trademark, and patent infringement.