475A.01 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.

Special Notes:


Spring 2022

Course Number Course Credits Evaluation Method Instructor Meeting Day/Times Room
Course Credits
Simulated Writing, Transactional
Reflective Writing
Group project(s)
Class participation
Jeff Ward, Keith Porcaro Tu 6:00-7:50 PM 3000
Sakai site: https://sakai.duke.edu/portal/site/LAW-475A-01-Sp22
Email list: LAW-475A-01-Sp22@sakai.duke.edu
Degree Requirements
Course Requirements - JD
Course Requirements - JD-LLM-LE
Course Areas of Practice
Course Areas of Practice