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, J.D.

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.


2020—2021 student initiatives

  • Inventorying surveillance technologies used by law enforcement agencies, determining if and how they are regulated and making recommendations.
  • Monitoring the privacy related work of the Washington State Legislature, providing written commentary on legislative proposals and considering the composing of a bill for introduction.
  • Analyzing ransomware attacks against smaller cities; composing “best practices” and exploring legislative and other solutions.
  • Gathering information on Connected and Autonomous Vehicle (CAV) policies from around the country with a special focus on testing of passenger and commercial vehicles; continuing to work with Washington State CAV policy making bodies.
  • Working with Washington State’s Department of Licensing on automatic license plate readers (ALPR); researching informational resources acquired by ALPR users.

Related Publications

Tech-Law Clinic News

How a Secret Google Geofence Warrant Helped Catch the Capitol Riot Mob (Technology Law & Public Policy Clinic paper cited) (Sep 30, 2021 | Source: Wired)

“It does sound unusual, but it's worth noting that this whole circumstance is unusual,” says Tim O’Brien, a tech industry executive currently working on AI policy at Microsoft, who studied geofence warrants at the University of Washington School of Law. “If I were law enforcement, I would argue that the three-step process is unnecessary in this case, because the moment you set foot inside the Capitol, you became a suspect or witness.”