Nicholas W. Allard

President, Joseph Crea Dean and Professor of Law

250 Joralemon Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201
(718) 780-7902 |  Email
Areas of Expertise

Privacy, Technology, and Communications Law
Internet Law and New Media
Government Relations


B.A., Princeton University
B.A./M.A., Oxford University
J.D., Yale Law School

Government Advocacy Seminar

This seminar will examine the role of attorney advocates in the public policy process. The focus of the seminar will be on the United States federal congressional legislative, oversight and investigative processes, as well as the interplay between the Congress and the federal agency regulatory process. The multiple arenas where policy issues are addressed on parallel tracks including, the courts, the press and new media, and at grass roots and treetop levels also will be considered. The increasingly international, multidimensional aspect of the policy process with respect to global trans-border issues and also the impact of state and local influences in a federal system will be noted and considered, but only insofar as they impact advocacy in Washington on the federal level. The course will begin with a review of the mechanics of how the public policy process works and where it breaks down. Class discussion will be directed to a critical consideration of both myths and realities about how laws and rules are made and implemented, problems and possible solutions on issues ranging from corruption, campaign finance, undue influence, lack of transparency, conflict of interest, the so-called "revolving door," and other controversies. The course will also examine best practices for government advocacy by attorneys and offer a primer on compliance with the myriad rules governing Washington representation of clients in the public, private and not-for-profit sector. Readings will be drawn from recent books by the leading commentators of the modern policy process, a range of articles covering the spectrum of views and positions about public policy, and compliance manuals. These readings will include, but not be limited to, Bertram J. Levine, The Art of Lobbying: Building Trust and Selling Policy; Lawrence Lessig, Republic Lost; and Norman Ornstein and Thomas Mann, The Broken Branch. From time to time such authors, former law makers, lobbyists and other experts will be invited to class to join discussions.

Grading and Method of Evaluation:

A final paper of 20-25 pages will be required on a topic approved by Allard. By midterm each student will be expected to turn in an outline, and a bibliography for the paper. With permission of the instructor, a limited number of students will be permitted to write a paper that satisfies the UCWR. Final grades will be based on the paper grade and class participation which will include making in class-presentations during the term, and briefing the class on the final paper topic near the end of term.

Privacy Law in a Digital World

Information privacy is among the core civil liberties issues of our age. In a culture and global economy built on ever-increasing connectivity and transparent borders, the right to control and publicize personal information is in a perpetual state of flux. It routinely does battle with pressing state, federal, and international policy considerations, presenting in a new light centuries-old questions of sacrificing personal liberty in the name of public safety or the public's right to be informed of the freedom of expression. The law of privacy offers no unified body of rules. It is instead an amalgamation of torts, statutes, Constitutional questions, and administrative adjudications. Accordingly, this course trains students to recognize the body of law that applies to any given privacy issue. It begins by examining the origins of privacy rights in early 20th century common law and philosophical discourse. The course then quickly progresses to modern applications of privacy law, where case studies include the media's gathering and disclosure of private facts, national security and the erosion of the Fourth Amendment, the privacy of health records and genetic information, anonymity and associational privacy, control of financial and commercial data, and international privacy protections. The course will conclude with a survey of unresolved problems and the future of privacy, questioning and considering whether the right can exist at all as constant sharing becomes the new normal in a digital world. Recent news stories, policy studies, and books about privacy rights will be discussed routinely.

Grading and Method of Evaluation:

Letter grade with pass/fail option. Final exam.