Moritz College of Law The Ohio State University
This Month @ Moritz

New DC Program Brings Theory to Life

Gilda Mossadegh and Dan Chenok
Gilda Mossadeg worked with Dan Chenok, Chief of the Information and Technology Branch of the Office of Management and Budget

To bring regulatory theory to life, students took two courses, "Regulatory Theory and Policy: Cyber Security" and an externship course that included at least 20 hours of work per week at a federal agency or nonprofit organization. The regulatory focus of the program complements the experience Moritz students gain in the required first-year legislation course.

Students studied the Cyber Security Division of the newly created Homeland Security Department and examined how government can improve security at a time when an increasing portion of the country's critical infrastructure is exposed to attack.

Moritz Professor Peter Swire is the Program Director. He is a prolific scholar, gifted teacher, and has written widely about regulatory theory topics including privacy, the law of cyberspace, environmental law, and banking regulation.

From 1999 to early 2001 he was on leave from the College to serve as the Clinton Administration's Chief Counselor for Privacy, in the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB). His academic insights into regulatory theory and real-life experiences as a Washington insider enriched both the quality of the student internship placements and the caliber of guest speakers who shared their time and expertise with students.

DC participants
Professor Peter Swire flanked by inaugural
summer participants

Moritz students interned with a variety of organizations including the Homeland Security Department, the Commerce Department's Office of the Assistant Secretary for Technology Administration, OMB's Office of Information and Regulatory affairs, as well as the Health Privacy Project and the League of United Latin American Citizens.

Program participant Gilda Mossadeg says, "Clearly, my legal internship in the Office of Management and Budget, located in the White House complex, was a very memorable and challenging summer experience. On a daily basis while working at OMB, I was able to use the legal skills I've learned at Moritz and apply them in a demanding and fast-paced work environment. For example, I worked closely with the privacy officers at various federal agencies who had questions and/or concerns regarding the interpretation of statutory language found in the E-Government Act of 2002, the Freedom of Information Act, the Privacy Act of 1974, etc. To answer their questions, I was able to use the statutory interpretation skills I developed in my legislation course with Professor Brudney, and the knowledge I acquired in the data privacy in cyberspace course with Professor Swire."

Guest speakers in the classroom component of the internship included a computer science professor, vice president of a computer software company, a Federal Trade Commissioner, and a top federal computer security expert who provided technical, business, consumer, and enforcement perspectives respectively with students. This special access allowed Moritz students to interact with some of the leading participants in current regulatory debates and enabled a fuller understanding of the interconnected and complicated tensions that ultimately shape policy and legislation.

Alana Briggs
Alan Briggs '67 hosted DC participants at Squire Sanders & Dempsey's Washington office at program's end

By special arrangement, classes were held at George Washington Law School and Moritz students enjoyed library, housing, and other privileges at GW. A dozen GW students participated in the cyber security course.

According to Professor Swire, students bonded as a group and their social activities often included some of the GW students, "especially the male computer graduate students, who noticed the 10-2 female/male ratio in the Ohio State program." Students toured the CIA Headquarters and the Capitol Rotunda, and enjoyed cookouts and a soccer game outing.

Alan Briggs '67 of Squire Sanders & Dempsey's Washington Office hosted a reception for students at the end of the program.

The new DC summer program also complements the existing Oxford summer program, officering Moritz students the ability to gain experience at both the national and international levels.