10 Questions with Shaun Jamison


Shaun Jamison is an associate dean and professor of law with Concord Law School at Purdue University. He answers 10 Questions about cybersecurity, working from home, and his love of triathlons. 

1. As a professor of privacy law, what do you see as the number one threat to privacy in 2022?
I’d like to say something cool like it’s AI or ubiquitous surveillance (which definitely is an issue), but I’m afraid it is still people and processes that are the greatest threat. Organizations need to train and audit better to see if they are complying with both the law and their own standards. Individual employees need to take the commitment to protect people’s privacy as part of their job regardless of their formal job description. We need to take responsibility ourselves for protecting our privacy and the privacy of others. We should push back when people ask for information they don’t need. We should be careful what we say in person or share online that could impact our privacy or other people’s privacy.

2. What’s the most rewarding part of your job?
Seeing students succeed is rewarding, whether it is finally mastering a difficult concept, overcoming personal challenges to completing school, or getting a job offer. School can be a grind and emotionally exhausting for students. I’m so glad when they see a payoff for all that hard work. Most of our students are mid-career, so they often have family responsibilities and substantial work commitments on top of school.

3. What should law firms be thinking more about in terms of cybersecurity as so many parts of practice remain virtual?
A secure portal is a great cybersecurity tool and, importantly, an opportunity to give the customer an organized communication tool for their legal matters. Too many things can go wrong with email when you are dealing with sensitive information. If you have employees, training is essential. Phishing still works or they wouldn’t try it, and training helps prevent successful phishing. You might have great cybersecurity hygiene, but are you confident your employees do?

4. You’ve worked remotely since before the pandemic, what piece of advice do you have for those who still might not be used to it?
Schedule regular meetings with other members of the firm or other practitioners to stay connected. You can always cancel meetings if you don’t need them, but have them scheduled so they happen. Sometimes if I’ve spent too much time alone, I’ll work out of a Caribou just to hear some noise and see people moving around. On the other hand, if your cohabitants are home, you may need to set ground rules on noise levels and when you can be interrupted. As to the security question above, your family members who are not part of your firm should not have access to devices you use for work. And you want to to ensure they cannot see confidential papers or information on your screen.

5. You’ve taught law school online for over 20 years, what do you see as the next big frontier in legal education?
If bar admission is reformed in a positive way, this will remove a major obstacle to greatly improving law school curriculum. The proposed reduction in subjects tested, for instance, means that more time can be dedicated to practice-ready skills—and more flexibility for the students in picking a more specialized legal education if they like, as there will likely be more room for electives. I think more schools will start having support from professional curriculum developers like Concord does, to make sure that the student is getting a well-designed experience that is informed by learning theory.

6. Why did you start taking part in triathlons?
I was trying to get into condition so I could keep up with my kids. I had to take lessons at the same place as them so I could swim properly. As a side effect of training, I went from many colds a year to almost none and I was able to drop some medication. I do try to place in my age group, but it’s mostly self-competition.  This year I’m training for my second Ironman Wisconsin, which is a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride, and 26.2 mile run. Wish me luck!

7. What non-legal books are you reading at the moment?
I am reading Leviathan Falls, which is the last book in The Expanse series. It’s one of those unusual situations where both the TV series and the books are excellent.

8. What do you do to unwind/destress/disconnect from work? 
My triathlon training is a big part of that, but I also enjoy hiking, going to restaurants, and family time.

9. Complete this sentence: Everybody I know me knows I love...

Science fiction.

10. Who is your dream dinner party guest?

David Byrne of Talking Heads fame. I have a feeling it would be a weird and interesting dinner.

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