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George Washington Law Launches New Specialty
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GW Law

Summary: George Washington University Law School is starting a new program for students to specialize in national security and cybersecurity.

Beginning this fall, George Washington University Law School will offer a new specialization for students to explore. The new program for national security and cybersecurity will have 12 courses that can be completed within a year.


The law school developed the program a year after holding a “cybersecurity initiative that hosts monthly events with cybersecurity law experts and discussions on law and technology,” according to The GW Hatchet. According to the school, the program will prepare master of laws candidates for legal work specifically in the D.C. areas growing cybersecurity demands such as counterterrorism and information privacy.

Law school spokeswoman Liz Field said they developed the specialization to address interest from students in the national security and U.S. foreign relations law program. These students wanted to take computer and internet-related courses. With a growing number of law students finding work in the cybersecurity sector after graduation, the school thought they should provide their students with a program addressing those areas. Field said, “We hoped to give these students more specialized training.”

The courses are to be taught by new part-time faculty members who are experts in cybersecurity. One of them will be Kathleen Kedian, former chief of the Department of Justice’s counterintelligence and export control section. She will teach a course in the fall on national security and counterintelligence. Other courses will be Cybersecurity Law and Policy, Internet Law, Counterintelligence, and Artificial Intelligence Law. Field explained that the school may add additional courses and/or professors depending on “student feedback.”

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GW Law professional lecturer Paul Rosenzweig will teach the Cybersecurity Law and Policy course this fall as well as the Artificial Intelligence course. He believes the courses in cybersecurity law will let students delve into the “front burner” topics of policymaking in D.C. He said, “Students at GW have been on the forefront in learning how to think about and talk about cybersecurity problems. This is the right place for students to get a broad understanding of all that.”

GW Law currently has 10 specialized programs for the master of laws degree.

The cybersecurity initiative at GW was started last year by University of Southern California law school professor Orin Kerr. He feels that the new program will attract more students to the school wanting to study in a growing field. Kerr said, “There’s a lot of demand for cybersecurity-law-trained lawyers. Very few law schools have faculty expertise in this field, and there is both student interest and jobs in the field.” GW has focused on cybersecurity in the last few years even having 10 cybersecurity researchers at GW that were awarded National Science Foundation grants in 2015.

Loyola Law School in Los Angeles professor Karl Manheim said the new program makes sense at GW given their location in the nation’s capital where politics and policymaking are central to everything. Lawyers trained in cyber-security are in high demand, he said. “Most lawyers versed in this space get gobbled up by the tech and entertainment companies. As a result, law firms eagerly recruit for this specialty,” he added.

A 2015 study by Maurer School of Law at Indiana University found that around 70 percent of corporate law departments say there is a need for more interaction with cybersecurity and that there are not enough lawyers familiar with the topic. The rise in privacy and data breaches make the field even more important for corporate departments.

Do you think the program will be effective in drawing more students to the school? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

To learn more about other recent news from George Washington Law, read these articles:




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