In the UCI Intellectual Property, Arts, and Technology Clinic, students work on a broad range of projects at the intersection of law, technology, and the public interest. When evaluating whether to take on a new matter, students and faculty look for both pedagogical value and public interest impact. To that end, we work with clients who cannot afford representation, are from marginalized communities, or whose voices are underrepresented in contemporary intellectual property and policy debates. In addition, before taking on any project we carefully evaluate whether the engagement will protect civil liberties, support innovation, or promote the public interest in other ways. Where our work involves intellectual property rights and related doctrines such as the right of publicity, we seek to ensure that the public receives the full benefit of the bargain that these laws were intended to strike: a robust public domain, broad access to knowledge and technology, and a rich, open, and diverse environment for cultural expression.
In light of these goals, the Clinic has developed an expertise in advocating for underrepresented creators, particularly documentary filmmakers and journalists, and much of the Clinic’s work is dedicated to assisting these communities. We also work on matters implicating the First Amendment, media law, and transparency; privacy law; and electronic voting and election systems. Finally, we engage in transactional work with early-stage tech startups with an eye to serving entrepreneurs from marginalized communities and whose businesses contain a social benefit or social impact mission.