CS50 for Lawyers

This course is a variant of Harvard University's introduction to computer science, CS50, designed especially for lawyers (and law students).

Created by: David J. Malan

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Course Description

This course is a variant of Harvard University's introduction to computer science, CS50, designed especially for lawyers (and law students). Whereas CS50 itself takes a bottom-up approach, emphasizing mastery of low-level concepts and implementation details thereof, this course takes a top-down approach, emphasizing mastery of high-level concepts and design decisions related thereto. Ultimately, it equips students with a deeper understanding of the legal implications of technological decisions made by clients.
Through a mix of technical instruction and discussion of case studies, this course empowers students to be informed contributors to technology-driven conversations. In addition, it prepares students to formulate technology-informed legal arguments and opinions. Along the way, it equips students with hands-on experience with Python and SQL, languages via which they can mine data for answers themselves.
Topics include algorithms, cloud computing, databases, networking, privacy, programming, scalability, security, and more, with a particular emphasis on understanding how the work developers do and the technological solutions they employ may impact clients. Students emerge from this course with first-hand appreciation of how it all works and all the more confident in the factors that should guide their decision-making.
Keywords: law firm, computer programming, programming skills, computer programmers, patent attorney, legal practice, legal services, legal education, patent law

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Instructor Details

David J. Malan

David is Gordon McKay Professor of the Practice of Computer Science in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and a Member of the Faculty of Education in the Graduate School of Education at Harvard University. He received his A.B., S.M., and Ph.D. in Computer Science from Harvard in 1999, 2004, and 2007, respectively.

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