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University of California, Berkeley, Boalt Hall School of Law last week named free-speech and privacy advocate Deirdre Mulligan as director of the school’s Samuelson Law, Technology and Public Policy Clinic. “I think she has the deepest background in law, technology and public policy of everyone we interviewed,” said professor Pamela Samuelson, who donated $2 million with her husband, an Internet entrepreneur, to endow the clinic. Mulligan was formerly a staff attorney of six years with Washington, D.C.’s Center for Democracy & Technology, a nonprofit public policy organization that promotes free expression, privacy, and open access on the Internet. The organization spun off of the Electronic Frontier Foundation in the mid-90s. While Mulligan is essentially in charge of running the clinic, Samuelson said the new director has already turned to Boalt’s intellectual property faculty members for their input in building the center’s program and goals. One of her first projects for the six students enrolled at the clinic this semester will be to work on the implementation of regulations for the Children’s Internet Protection Act. The federal legislation requires schools with Internet access to use filtering software. “I hope I can instill in them a desire to work in the public interest, even if they go into private practice,” Mulligan said. “There’s a real need for what I think of as a new breed of lawyer, a more creative lawyer.” She said she wants to teach her students to think beyond litigation, mergers and acquisitions and also work on social programs, standard-setting and policy development. “I think one of the things we’ve come to recognize over time is not to wait for deals or litigation,” she said. “Sometimes it’s not best to wait for something awful to happen … but to act ahead of time.” Through the clinic, students will file friend-of-the-court briefs, write model legislation and help people filing suits against corporations and the like. Mulligan previously worked with students in clinical programs from her alma mater, Georgetown University Law Center, while she was with the Center for Democracy and Technology. At the center, Mulligan worked on boosting the individual’s control over personal information held by commercial and governmental organizations. Mulligan has testified several times before the House Committee on the Judiciary’s Subcommittee on Courts and Intellectual Property arguing for increased privacy protections online.

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