(LAWP-8040) - 1 UNIT

The world has entered a new industrial revolution driven by the convergence of high-performance computing, artificial intelligence (AI), and quantum technology (which encompasses quantum computing, sensing, and communication). With global funding for quantum technology exploding and a burgeoning arms race between China and the US and its western allies, lawyers must understand quantum technology, the costs and benefits it will provide to society, and how the law will respond to what could be the most important technology to develop this century.

Quantum computing is a fundamentally different approach to computing that promises to solve problems that even super computers can never realistically solve. It holds the promise to help humanity confront many important challenges: from combating climate change to faster drug discovery, from efficient supply chains to improved manufacturing design processes, from complex financial modeling to optimizing energy systems, and beyond. The extreme sensitivity of quantum sensors will deliver greater precision in various types of measurement and will have a transformative impact in the defense and aerospace, health care, electronics, geology, and energy sectors. Lastly, quantum communications leverage quantum physics to secure data transmission and connect computers across high-speed quantum networks in what will become the "quantum internet".

However, quantum technologies pose immense challenges for privacy, cybersecurity, and national security. The power of quantum computers will supercharge AI and, by extension, all the associated legal and societal risks. Additionally, it is widely agreed that in the not distant future, a quantum computer will likely be able to easily break the encryption which currently protects the vast majority of personal, financial, IP, and nationals security data in the digital age. Data that can be hacked and downloaded today can be decrypted later once more powerful quantum computers are available to nation states, cybercriminals, and multi-national organizations. Thus, the need to protect data and develop new quantum-leveraged cybersecurity tools and legal responses for the quantum age is paramount.

Cybersecurity is one of the fastest growing and evolving areas of the law both in the United States and around the world today. From individuals to corporations to governments, cybersecurity matters more than ever. As every lawyer should have a basic understanding of cybersecurity law, this course will focus on understanding the interplay between quantum technology and cybersecurity and best practices for assessing and communicating cybersecurity risks and ensuring cybersecurity compliance in an age of burgeoning AI and quantum capabilities.

This course seeks to empower law students with a foundational understanding of quantum technology and its various implications across different industries and areas of law. In so doing, students will learn how to assess, analyze, and communicate the benefits and risks related to quantum technology to potential clients, regulators, and governing bodies.

In the first half of the short course, students will glean an understanding of the use cases for quantum computing, quantum sensing, and quantum communications. This will lead to a discussion about the interplay between quantum technology and privacy/cybersecurity law, national security law, international trade law, antitrust law, intellectual property law, space law, and the law of armed conflict, among others.

In the second half of the short course, students will dive into the legal implications of quantum technology to provide a high-level report to a fictitious client looking to invest offensively and defensively in quantum technology, a regulator bringing an action against their client related to quantum technology, or a legislator/representative issuing a law or guidance governing quantum technology. Students will analyze real-world fact patterns to identify relevant issues of law, fact, and procedure.

Throughout the course, students will be asked to consider whether existing legal frameworks are sufficient to address quantum technology. As a result, students will enter practice as quantum and cybersecurity-savvy lawyers, ready to contribute risk assessment and management strategies to their organizations. Such skills will enhance both the delivery of legal services and the quality of legal work.


Cyber Security and Regulatory Compliance (LAWP-4018)