475A Law & Policy Lab: Data Governance

Focus: Health Data and Learning Health Networks 

Data Governance 


Data-savvy lawyers and practitioners must be able to work across disciplines, solve modern problems, and steward organizations of all stripes through digital issues. This course focuses on digital governance: how organizations and communities make decisions about data, code, their missions, and their membership, and how those decisions can break down or reinforce systems of structural exclusion. 

Here, students will learn how to design, build, and govern effective data communities. They will navigate realistic scenarios and attempt to build equitable collaborations around shared missions and values. And they will use the tools of the law to build policies, procedures, and accountability structures to ensure that stakeholder communities’ data is protected and productive, and that data outputs accrue to the benefit of all. 

Health Data and Learning Health Networks
 
In this simulation class, law and graduate students will attempt to organize and govern a health data collaboration. Students will work with each other and industry mentors to role-play as hospital administrators, principal investigators, and patient advocates, and decide whether and how to collaborate and share data with one another. 

This class will go beyond negotiating a data-sharing agreement between multiple parties. Students will need to decide who should be involved in their collaboration, how it should be governed, how it should manage risks, and what policies and procedures should be in place to run the collaboration, keep data safe, and maintain trust among community members. Finally, using the governance models you’ve designed, students will make decisions about data-sharing and other scenarios. 

In addition to the simulation, the class will include a series of short guest lectures on health data and data governance from leaders in the field.As this set of technologies rapidly emerges, we must consider the extent to which we allow regulation and government intervention, balancing the maintenance of social norms against the need to let a nascent technology innovate. Moving forward, as decentralized networks possibly replace centralized systems, we must find ways to maintain rule of law through appropriate legal and regulatory levers. This course aims to help each of us become active participants in these endeavors.

Course Areas of Practice
Evaluation Methods
  • Simulated Writing, Transactional
  • Reflective Writing
  • Group project(s)
  • Class participation
Degree Requirements
Course Type
  • Simulation
Learning Outcomes
  • Knowledge and understanding of substantive and procedural law
  • Legal analysis and reasoning, legal research, problem-solving, and written and oral communication in the legal context
  • Other professional skills needed for competent and ethical participation as a member of the legal profession

Sample Syllabi

Spring 2022

2022
Course Number Course Credits Evaluation Method Instructor Meeting Days/Times Room

475A.01 2
  • Simulated Writing, Transactional
  • Reflective Writing
  • Group project(s)
  • Class participation
Jeff Ward, Keith Porcaro Tu 6:00-7:50 PM

Focus: Health Data and Learning Health Networks 

Data Governance 


Data-savvy lawyers and practitioners must be able to work across disciplines, solve modern problems, and steward organizations of all stripes through digital issues. This course focuses on digital governance: how organizations and communities make decisions about data, code, their missions, and their membership, and how those decisions can break down or reinforce systems of structural exclusion. 

Here, students will learn how to design, build, and govern effective data communities. They will navigate realistic scenarios and attempt to build equitable collaborations around shared missions and values. And they will use the tools of the law to build policies, procedures, and accountability structures to ensure that stakeholder communities’ data is protected and productive, and that data outputs accrue to the benefit of all. 

Health Data and Learning Health Networks
 
In this simulation class, law and graduate students will attempt to organize and govern a health data collaboration. Students will work with each other and industry mentors to role-play as hospital administrators, principal investigators, and patient advocates, and decide whether and how to collaborate and share data with one another. 

This class will go beyond negotiating a data-sharing agreement between multiple parties. Students will need to decide who should be involved in their collaboration, how it should be governed, how it should manage risks, and what policies and procedures should be in place to run the collaboration, keep data safe, and maintain trust among community members. Finally, using the governance models you’ve designed, students will make decisions about data-sharing and other scenarios. 

In addition to the simulation, the class will include a series of short guest lectures on health data and data governance from leaders in the field.As this set of technologies rapidly emerges, we must consider the extent to which we allow regulation and government intervention, balancing the maintenance of social norms against the need to let a nascent technology innovate. Moving forward, as decentralized networks possibly replace centralized systems, we must find ways to maintain rule of law through appropriate legal and regulatory levers. This course aims to help each of us become active participants in these endeavors.

Syllabus: 475A.01.Spring2022-syllabus.pdf1.33 MB

Pre/Co-requisites
None

Fall 2018

2018
Course Number Course Credits Evaluation Method Instructor Meeting Days/Times Room

475A.01 2
  • Research and/or analytical paper(s), 10-15 pages
  • Class participation
Jeff Ward W 2:00-3:50 PM 4044

The tech-savvy lawyer-leader of tomorrow must understand blockchains. Blockchains—decentralized databases that are maintained by a distributed network of computers—present manifold challenges and opportunities, including unprecedented potential to disrupt financial systems, to support civic participation and democratize access to resources, and even to change what we understand “law” to be.

As this set of technologies rapidly emerges, we must consider the extent to which we allow regulation and government intervention, balancing the maintenance of social norms against the need to let a nascent technology innovate. Moving forward, as decentralized networks possibly replace centralized systems, we must find ways to maintain rule of law through appropriate legal and regulatory levers. This course aims to help each of us become active participants in these endeavors.

Pre/Co-requisites
None

Fall 2017

2017
Course Number Course Credits Evaluation Method Instructor Meeting Days/Times Room

475A.01 2
  • Research and/or analytical paper(s), 10-15 pages
  • Class participation
Jeff Ward, Aaron Wright W 2:00-3:50 PM 4049

“In 1993, hardly anybody had heard the word internet.… Yahoo was two years from its founding. Not a soul foresaw Facebook, Match.com, WikiLeaks or cat videos. Mark Zuckerberg was 9 years old. Think of the explosion and disruption that happened over the following decade. Think of how our way of life was completely changed by this internet thing. And so imagine what it means when Don Tapscott, who has been writing books and advising corporations about technology since the ’80s, says the blockchain is the next internet.”

--Kevin Maney, “Trust and Verify: the Coming Blockchain Revolution” NEWSWEEK (May 23, 2016)

The lawyer-leader of tomorrow must understand blockchains. Blockchains, decentralized databases that are maintained by a distributed network of computers, present manifold challenges and opportunities. Blockchains and associated technologies offer unprecedented potential to disrupt financial systems, to support civic participation and democratized access to resources, to change the way we contract with one another, and much more.

As an initial matter, we must consider the extent to which we allow regulation and government intervention, balancing the maintenance of social norms against the need to let a nascent technology innovate. Moving forward, as decentralized networks replace centralized systems, we must find ways to maintain rule of law through appropriate legal and regulatory levers. This course aims to help each of us become active participants in these endeavors by providing an introduction to the salient features—both technical to some degree and social to a large degree—of decentralized computing platforms. It also offers students the chance to apply this knowledge through the development of, and possible advocacy for, a legal or policy proposal related to this topic.

  • Collaborative
    The course is structured as a collaboration between Cardozo Law (Professor Aaron Wright) and Duke Law (Professor Jeff Ward), and students from both schools will share experiences (e.g. common speakers) and resources and, where possible, work together to solve real-world, practical issues presented by blockchain deployment. The course is also meant to be collaborative by encouraging students to work with outside professionals to produce the required work product
  • Law-focused but interdisciplinary
    Our approach to the complex issues presented by blockchain will be grounded in the law but will also seek to be broad and interdisciplinary, with the goal that each of us will walk out of the course with a better, more nuanced understanding of the complex web of history, culture, technology, psychology, law, and regulation into which blockchain has been placed. As part of this broad and interdisciplinary approach, not only will our readings derive from various sources (law, sociology, economics, history, etc.), but so too will our guest speakers.
  • Solution-focused
    By the end of the semester, in addition to the broad overview provided in class, each student will engage in helping to solve a real, specific issue or legal quandary presented by the rise of blockchain technologi

 

Pre/Co-requisites
None

*Please note that this information is for planning purposes only, and should not be relied upon for the schedule for a given semester. Faculty leaves and sabbaticals, as well as other curriculum considerations, will sometimes affect when a course may be offered.