The work is rewarding, challenging and relevant to my chosen career path. I am confident that being a part of the Clinic has given me opportunities and perspectives that would not have been available otherwise.
— Beth Hutchens, JD

About the Technology Law and Public Policy Clinic

The Technology Law and Public Policy Clinic (Tech-Law Clinic) works at the intersection of public policy and technology. Students have the opportunity to write laws, compose policy papers, meet with stakeholders and provide legislative testimony. In the last few years, Tech-Law Clinicians wrote legislation establishing Washington state's Office of Privacy and Data Security, composed materials leading to the passage of Washington House Bill 1788, which outlawed non-consensual pornography (also known as "revenge porn") and assisted in the successful passage of Washington House Bill 2970 establishing a working group which will assist the state in crafting policies governing the testing and use of autonomous vehicles. Locally, the Tech-Law Clinic assisted in updating and amending the City of Seattle’s Surveillance Ordinance. Students in the Tech-Law Clinic have written and shared policy papers on topics such as algorithmic discrimination; distributed energy; TOR exit nodes; three dimensional printers and police use of body cameras. Tech-Law clinicians learn about the policy making process, work with a project team and select and address a current issue where high tech and public policy cross. The Tech-Law Clinic is a unique opportunity to learn about and influence the policy making process.

Projects

2019—2020 student initiatives

  • Working with State Representative Norma Smith, composed legislation banning the use of facial analytics software as a dangerous and unproven technology (see: The AI hiring industry is under scrutiny—but it’ll be hard to fix, MIT Technology Review)
  • Monitoring the privacy related work of the Washington State Legislature and providing written commentary on legislative proposals
  • Assisting the Oregon State Department of Justice in rewriting legislation on breach notification; proposed modifications would require informing those whose information was compromised in a ransomware attack
  • Composing materials for local government on warding off ransomware attacks using “best practices”
  • Presented information on state policies governing Connected and Automated Vehicles (CAVs); major presentation made to the Washington State Executive Committee on CAV policy (see: Autonomous Vehicle Work Group/, Washington State Transportation Commission)
  • Monitored and on occasion made presentations to Washington state policy committees composing CAV policy
  • Assisted the Uniform Law Commission in monitoring new technologies and determining which would benefit from state regulation