JD Program at Cornell Tech Curriculum
Please Note: All courses offered at Cornell Tech campus and streamed to Myron Taylor except for Intellectual Property.
Fall 2018 Curriculum
Intellectual Property (3 credits)
M/W 12:30-1:45 (Tech Campus Only)
This is a survey course in intellectual property (IP) law. It covers the what, when, who, how, and why of IP: what kinds of information can be protected, when these rights arise, who owns them, how they are enforced, and why the legal system goes to all this trouble. We will perform comparative anatomy on bodies of law including trade secret, patent, copyright, trademark, false advertising, right of publicity, and design patent, dissecting them to understand them on their own terms and in relationship to each other. After you complete this course, you will be able to understand how each field of IP thinks about the world, to identify what kinds of information are and are not covered by different types of IP, and to advise creators, innovators, entrepreneurs, and citizens how to deal with IP assets and threats in a wide variety of technological settings.
Law of Financial Technology (2 credits)
Stephanie Sharron (Morrison & Foerster)
Financial technology, also known as FinTech, is a field focused on novel and innovative financial services business models as well as new applications of technology for use within financial services businesses. High margins, underserved customers, and accumulated inefficiencies have made the financial services industry a perfect target for entrepreneurs and innovators. This course will dissect emerging business models and technology for alternative lending, blockchain and distributed ledgers, crypto-currency, and payment solutions, among others, and provide an introduction to the regulations that govern and the key legal issues that arise in counseling both financial services and technology companies operating in this space.
Lifecycle of a Venture-Funded Tech Startup: Business Issues and Legal Considerations (0.5 credits)
Steve Venuto (Orrick)
Sept. 21 and 22, 9:30-12:30. Required for Tech JD and LLM students.
The business model for venture -funded startups is high risk, high reward and very binary; this business model results in the jobs of an attorney, a founder, and an investor being very specialized and different than in typical business relationships. This course will survey the business and legal relationships and interactions between founders, board members, and investors at key moments in the life-cycle of a private company startup. These key moments include: (1) Founding Stage (pre-formation relationship between founders, formation and initial structure of startup); (2) Angel-Investing Stage (structuring of angel investments in startups); (3) Early-Stage Venture Capital Financings (terms of preferred stock financings (multiple rounds), board structuring, dilution of founders over time by these investments, and related company control issues post-VC financing); (4) Later-Stage (Unicorn) Venture Capital Financings; and (5) Exits (high-level end result of a startup, such as M&A, IPO or (gasp) bankruptcy). For each stage that we discuss, we will review real-world examples that illustrate the unique business and legal issues startups face.
Digital Health Law (2 credits)
Mark Lutes and David E. Weiss (Epstein Becker & Green)
This course is designed to provide an understanding of the legal issues that arise in the world of digital health. Advances in technology have transformed the delivery of healthcare, improving the efficacy of care as well as its efficiency; electronic medical records, digital clinical decision support and “big data” analysis are just a few areas where entrepreneurs are bringing forth new technology-enabled enterprises. In this course, we will explore the opportunities and challenges that healthcare lawyers, providers, investors and entrepreneurs face, from a legal and regulatory perspective, in the digital health space. The course will cover a wide array of topics, including FDA (genetics, clinical decision support software, artificial intelligence and algorithms), privacy/HIPAA and data security, and telehealth and telemedicine. The course will also discuss the reimbursement landscape, from both a governmental and private payor perspective, with an emphasis on reimbursement challenges faced by new technologies. We will also cover more traditional healthcare concepts such as fraud and abuse, Stark and anti-kickback laws, as applied to digital health. We will also discuss issues to be considered when engaging in corporate healthcare mergers/acquisitions and financing transactions.
Cyber Enforcement, Regulation & Policy Analysis
P. Quinones (Former Deputy Chief, Fraud Division, Department of Justice; currently Senior Fellow, NYU Law School)
This course will focus on analyzing government enforcement actions (both criminal and civil), regulations, and policies that seek to prevent cyber misconduct. The course will cover a variety of areas, such as cyber threats to national security, economic espionage, hacking, fraud, initial coin offerings, cryptocurrencies, cybersecurity, and data breaches. Students will hear directly from current and former enforcement officials, explore problems of public and private cyberspace regulation, and analyze how existing and emerging government cyber policies can impact technological innovation.
Internet Transactions (1.5 credits)
Charles Torres et al. (Perkins Coie)
W: 10:45-12:10 (recommended for Cornell Tech JD students with externships; not open to Tech LLMs)
This course will focus on the legal issues associated with internet transactions (including e-commerce, social media platforms, blockchain and digital currency, and interactive entertainment). The course will consider data protection and privacy, compliance and cybersecurity, as well as the legal, social and political impact from the democratization of media content. Moreover, the course will examine certain regulatory frameworks developed to address the legal concerns posed by such internet transactions.
Practical Lawyering (1.5 credits)
Mark Underberg (formerly Paul Weiss)
M: 10:45-12:10 (required for Cornell Tech JD students with externships; not open to Tech LLMs)
This class focuses on the practical aspects of lawyering, doing so by exploring the lawyer’s role in four typical situations: advising clients in connection with (a) the formation and early financing of a business entity; (b) the exercise of boards of directors and management of their fiduciary duty of oversight; (c) the day-to-day operations of a business, including contractual and online relationships with customers and suppliers; and (d) sale or change-of-control transactions. While exploring these substantive topics, the class will explore a variety of skills and “know how” that enable lawyers to succeed in practice—whether in business or otherwise—including the use (and misuse) of forms and precedent agreements; drafting with clarity and precision; communicating with both clients and other lawyers within a firm or legal department; and spotting and resolving ethical issues. To the extent practicable, the class discussion will incorporate matters relating to students’ externship experiences, although an externship is not required to take the course. In preparation for most classes, students will review selected provisions of agreements and other documents, consider specific questions and issues and come to class prepared to discuss those matters. The assignment for other classes will include relevant case law and drafting of memoranda, terms sheets or other documents.