A Center for Cyber Law

09.03.2013 | Law, Students

The University of Dayton School of Law will unveil a CyberLaw Center led by world-renowned cyber law expert Susan Brenner this fall.

Courses complementing the center's work will focus on cybersecurity and national security law, cyberspace law, social media and criminal law, digital evidence, data privacy and protection of children from online pornography. The center is working on a proposal to offer a certificate in cyber law for law students around those courses. The law school also is exploring an online certificate for non-lawyers.

If approved, the certificate for law students would be one of five in the nation offered by a law school while the certificate for non-lawyers would be one of the first in the nation, according to School of Law Dean Paul McGreal.

"Cyber attacks on United States government and infrastructure by foreign nations, terrorists, rogue actors and hackers are no longer science fiction, but reality," said Brenner, whose internationally known website, http://cyb3rcrim3.blogspot.com/, was featured on NBC Nightly News. "Cyber attacks on United States power plants are now routine, with two plants shut down by hackers within the last year, one for two weeks."

And just last week, a group believed to be the Syrian Electronic Army took down The New York Times website.

NPR, Houston Chronicle, USA Today, The Associated Press and Reforma (Mexico City) are among the media that have interviewed Brenner on cybercrime issues.

Dayton Law also is working on a proposal for a certificate in global corporate compliance that focuses on foreign corrupt practices and bribery, trade laws and money laundering. Those subjects have been in the news recently with IBM settling a case for $10 million and Microsoft and JPMorgan coming under fire. This certificate would be the first in the nation, according to McGreal.

"There is huge job growth projected for compliance officers. Lawyers have a serious leg up in this job market," McGreal said. According to U.S. News & World Report, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects compliance officer employment growth of 15 percent between 2010 and 2020. 

Also new for this year, select upper-level students will receive leadership training from the University's Center for Leadership. These dean's fellows, along with a faculty advisor, will lead new learning communities designed to assist first-year students with the transition to law school and offer tips for success.

"This program is more than just study skills. It also focuses on professional skills and service," McGreal said. "This formalizes something students have been asking for. We want the dean's fellows and advisors leading the program to engage in community building."

Jack Hemenway embraces his role as a dean's fellow and hopes he can pass lessons learned during his professional experience prior to law school to first-year students.

"As a teaching assistant last year, I became passionate about helping first-year students learn how to analyze issues properly, write efficiently and I witnessed their progress and growth as students," he said. "Also, I believe I can help students understand how best to take advantage of opportunities available to them on campus and in our community. I bring a unique viewpoint as I have both operational and legal business experience, as well as experience at a large firm, which is an asset in helping students learn about and understand potential career paths."

Entering his third year as dean, these initiatives are part of McGreal's emphasis on encouraging academic success and preparing students for life beyond the classroom.

McGreal has worked with the law school community to further strengthen the school's Road to Bar Pass program. Enhancements include better faculty-student ratios for bar exam preparation courses, an additional full-time instructor to support the academic success and bar passage programs, analyzing data about graduates' performance on specific parts of the bar exam from the Ohio Supreme Court to see where extra emphasis is needed, providing financial support to students for bar prep courses and allowing students to stay on campus to study for the bar exam.

He also worked with a pioneer in online lawyering to offer one of the nation's first free digital lawyering programs for University of Dayton law students. 

For more information, contact Shawn Robinson, associate director of media relations, at 937-229-3391 or srobinson@udayton.edu.