Communications lawyers play an important role in advising and representing clients in the rapidly changing field of technology and communications law. This field covers sectors including broadband, infrastructure, internet service providers (ISPs), wireless, wireline, media, and satellite, as well as the emerging regulation of information communications and technology (ICT).

The communication industry has been revolutionized by the internet and social media. News, opinions, and messages are easily spread all over the world. Messages usually arrive to several jurisdictions and are regulated by different laws, each one with quite different requirements. Attorneys in this field rely on their knowledge and understanding of the federal and state regulatory requirements that apply to telecommunications services, broadband and IP-enabled services, Ethernet, broadband data services (BDS), and emerging technologies, including unified communications, Internet of Things (IoT), and the rules governing Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP).

The role of a communications lawyer is to represent clients before Congress, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), the United States Department of Agriculture/Rural Utilities Service, the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC), the Department of Commerce, and state regulatory agencies. They help clients navigate the legal complexities of mergers, acquisitions, and partnerships in the telecommunications industry. They can work in private practice, for the government at any of the above agencies, or in-house for companies like Meta, Verizon, Google, and CBS. They also advise trade associations representing the media, entertainment, professional sports, artists, and publishers or public interest organizations representing consumers or state, local, and Tribal governments.

Foundational Courses

  • Administrative Law
  • Technology and Communications Law Practicum

Specialization Courses

  • Copyright Law
  • Cyber Law
  • e-Discovery
  • International Communications Law
  • First Amendment Problems of the Media
  • Information Privacy
  • Legal Aspects of Social Media
  • Lobbying and the Law

Highly Recommended Courses

  • Agency
  • Antitrust
  • Legislation or Statutory Interpretation course
  • Remedies

Clinics, Skills, and Externships

Students oriented toward Communications Law may wish to consider the Law and Technology Institute’s Certificate Program, with a Communications track:

Faculty: Professors Fischer, La Belle, Winston