I teach four courses at New York Law School. Rather than handing out paper copies of syllabi and other materials in class, I use a Google Site for each course. Everything, from required reading, activities, and reading questions, are available online. To visit the website for each course, please click on the respective link below.
Intellectual Property at New York Law School is a survey course that exposes students to the major intellectual property regimes — trade secrets, patents, copyrights, and trademarks. Students should take this class as a stepping stone to further enrichment in intellectual property or other law and technology courses. Many students not interested in pursuing a career in IP should also take this course: increasingly, business decisions involve considerations of IP and every business, no matter how small, has at least some IP to protect. Therefore, all lawyers should have some background knowledge in intellectual property.
My intellectual property syllabi emphasize advanced lawyering skills as well as substance. We spend roughly 1/3 of the semester on each of the three major IP regimes with a one week introduction to trade secrets. After each unit, all of which include guest lectures from distinguished practitioners, we work together on in-class exercises that allow students to practice what they have learned and also teaches them about IP litigation, negotiation, dispute resolution, and transactions. On most class days, students are given practice problems to review the material discussed and to prepare them for the exam.
Information Privacy Law
Information Privacy Law is a 3-credit course that offers students an intense study of a rapidly changing and important area of the law. The class is structured around a single salient query: How, if at all, can we protect as private information already known to some? Answering that question requires us to address issues of new technologies, social norms, gaps in current law, and vanguard questions of internet life. We cover privacy theory, privacy torts, how the Fourth Amendment adapts to new technologies, consumer privacy, healthcare and confidentiality, and international privacy law, as well as “hot” topics like nonconsensual pornography, privacy by design, and cybersecurity. Students work in teams to design privacy litigation strategies, complete practical assignments on notice and choice, and learn how to represent victims of online harassment.
Internet Law is a 3-credit course that asks a simple, but profound question: How have digital and network technologies created new questions and problems for the law? I separate this course into three distinct, yet related doctrinal areas–free speech, intellectual property (copyright and trademarks), and privacy–and challenge to students to see the effect of technology on these areas of law. Practical activities that simulate issues students may face in their professional careers are integrated with classroom work.
Torts is a 4-credit course that taught in the fall of a law student’s first year. We cover intentional torts, negligence, and some products liability. Each class ends with a review question like those students might see on the Bar Exam. We discuss the answer, and how to answer the question, in class the next day. We also finish every unit with an in-class, practice-based activity–litigating an injury claim, conducting witness interviews, trying to settle a dispute–as well as activities based on real-life scenarios, like the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and the 9/11 Victims Compensation Fund.
My Torts syllabi focus as much on lawyering and legal skills as on the substantive law of torts. We start with reading comprehension and identification of facts. Through a short (three-week) unit on intentional torts, students learn to tease out elements of a tort and are then able to distinguish irrelevant from relevant facts. We then proceed to negligence, where we continue to develop skills, particularly with respect to framing the legal question and holdings. We discuss how questions and holdings can be merely descriptive, but are also essential advocacy tools. We practice again and again how to frame questions in a given case differently given one’s role as counsel and how to marshal and manipulate (distinguishing or broadening) holdings from previous cases to support a position. I also use a diverse array of teaching techniques including digital technologies, interactive group exercises, relating old concepts to modern controversies through in-class case studies, and negotiation and dispute resolution exercises. After every class, I give students torts questions from previous Bar exams. This has two goals: (1) substantive review of material just covered and (2) reducing Bar exam anxiety by preparing students early.