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The Nexus of Law and Technology

June 15, 2023

Jessie Levin L'25
Jessie Levin L’25

Jessie Levin L’25, MCIT’25 is the 2023 recipient of the annual CTIC Interdisciplinary Scholarship.

Each year, the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School’s Center for Technology, Innovation & Competition (CTIC) awards CTIC Interdisciplinary Scholarships to students pursuing joint-degree programs in law and technology. This year, CTIC has awarded the scholarship to Jessie Levin L’25, who is pursuing a Master of Computing and Information Technology (MCIT) at Penn’s School of Engineering and Applied Science.

“I am seeking a joint degree to learn how to effectively translate between the technology world and the legal world when advising businesses and policymakers in the innovation sphere,” she said. “The MCIT’s strong technical focus will give me the coding and engineering skills and experience to become a better ‘translator’.”

Levin, whose career interests include legal practice focusing on privacy, data security, and intellectual property, has been involved with CTIC since her 1L year and chose Penn Carey Law because of CTIC’s strong programming for students interested in technology and the law.

“The course offerings, mentorship with professors, monthly lunches with tech law practitioners, and the Journal of Law and Innovation have all provided me with both the knowledge and community to engage in the tech law space,” she said.

Interdisciplinary education expands the traditional law school experience and strengthens students’ legal education. A competitive scholarship, the CTIC Interdisciplinary Scholarship increases access to interdisciplinary education by reducing the cost of the additional year of study necessary to fulfill the joint-degree requirements.

For Levin, the joint JD/MCIT degree is a path to a lifelong career exploring the relationship between new technologies and the law.

“The CTIC Interdisciplinary Scholarship makes the MCIT joint-degree financially possible,” she said. “It will allow me to better reach my short-term career goals and advance my lifelong career goals, including going into technology regulations through government service, academia, or an in-house practice.”

The JD/MCIT is one of two joint-degree programs in law and technology. A four-year program with flexible coursework options, the JD/MCIT does not requires a background or prior degree in engineering or computer science.

After completing their 1L year at the Law School, students typically spend their second year enrolled in engineering courses at Penn Engineering, followed by taking courses from both schools during their third and fourth year. JD/MCIT candidates also complete a capstone course on Technology and Policy co-taught by faculty from both schools. Some JD students elect to apply to the MCIT in their 2L year, spend year three at Penn Engineering, and complete the capstone course and other degree requirements for both schools during their fourth year.

Reflecting on her upcoming course work, Levin is particularly excited to bolster her engineering knowledge. “I’ve already a taste of how the Internet works through my Internet Law course,” she said. “I am excited to take Introduction to Computer Systems and Applied Machine Learning, as I am yearning to learn more about how computers process data and build foundational knowledge to understand how big data will continue to influence regulatory and compliance spaces across all fields.”

Learn more about Penn Carey Law’s joint-degrees and certificates.