Washington Lawyer - May 2020 - 36

MEMBER SPOTLIGHT
of the two summers spent on the island, in
part because he met his future wife there.
Kosseff brought the same resourcefulness
he learned on the island to The Oregonian.
Covering technology and politics would eventually earn him public acclaim. He was a corecipient of the 2006 George Polk Award for
national reporting and a finalist for the 2007
Pulitzer Prize for national reporting. Both
awards recognized articles he co-wrote on
the failures of a $2.25 billion federal program
intended to help people with disabilities to
find jobs.
Kosseff was already two years into his JD at
Georgetown University Law Center when
The Oregonian's Washington bureau closed in
2008. It allowed him to focus on the final year
of his legal training, although he wasn't certain
at that point what he would do with a law
degree.
"I was really interested in writing about the
law," says Kosseff, whose research interests
now include cybersecurity regulation, online
intermediary liability, and the law of armed
conflict as applied to cyberspace. "You can
only do so much of that for a general interest
newspaper. I really liked to get into the nuts
and bolts of things, but I wasn't totally sure
whether I wanted to practice law or do legal
journalism."

A SHIFT TO LAW
Practicing law eventually became the priority.
After graduation, Kosseff clerked for Judge
Milan D. Smith Jr. of the U.S. Court of Appeals
for the Ninth Circuit and Judge Leonie M.
Brinkema of the U.S. District Court for the
Eastern District of Virginia.
But it was at Covington & Burling LLP where
Kosseff discovered the promise of his legal
future. As an associate, he practiced cybersecurity, privacy, and First Amendment law.
More importantly, he was researching, writing,
and speaking about cybersecurity around
Washington, D.C., and across the country.
The skills that made him a good reporter kept
resurfacing as he became a thought leader
at the firm.
"Covington was great about giving me a lot
of business development opportunities," says
Kosseff. "I really enjoyed writing articles and
giving presentations, but that's not billable.
While business development is important for
law firms, you also do have to bill."

36 WASHINGTON LAWYER

*

MAY 2020

"I really liked to get into the nuts and bolts
of things, but I wasn't totally sure whether I wanted
to practice law or do legal journalism."

Kosseff credits Covington partner Kurt
Wimmer, U.S. chair of the firm's data privacy
and cybersecurity practice group, as playing
an important role in his career development.
"He is one of the most established lawyers in
our field, and he took all the time in the world
to mentor people who not only worked for
him directly but also anyone who came
seeking his advice," Kosseff says.
Despite his positive experience at Covington,
Kosseff decided to take on the challenge of
starting a new academic department at the
Naval Academy. He became the first tenuretrack faculty member in the Cyber Science
Department, which has grown significantly
in size and popularity since its creation.
"You can't really address the bigger issues in
private practice because your duty is to your
client and not necessarily to broader national
security and cybersecurity policy," says Kosseff.
"I had gotten a handle on what the problems
were, and I really wanted to address them in
a broader way."

They'll stay at attention until you tell them
to 'carry on.'"

NEXT ON THE HORIZON
Carrying on definitely describes Kosseff's next
foray as an author. His upcoming book, tentatively titled United States of Anonymous Speech,
will examine U.S. protections for anonymous
speech, which is a natural extension of The
Twenty-Six Words That Created the Internet. This
is a potent subject given how many of today's
arguments around the First Amendment rest
on protecting personal anonymity.
"One of the main arguments in favor of
Section 230 is you can't sue the platform
for what users post, but you can always sue
the users," says Kosseff, who was named an
Andrew Carnegie Fellow in 2019. "In many
cases, in some of the worst cases, the users
are anonymous. We have a strong tradition
of protecting anonymity, even back to the
Federalist Papers, which were published
anonymously."

And the Naval Academy - both the institution and the people who study there -
has proven a revelation. "The students are
so smart. You have this student body that can
really grasp the concepts that you'd normally
be teaching in graduate school. They're
incredibly dedicated. You don't get to the
Naval Academy by accident," says Kosseff.

Kosseff says the unlikely twists and turns of
his career have proved advantageous. "It's
been a lot of fun so far, especially at the Naval
Academy," he says. "I get opportunities that
I wouldn't have at other schools. I get to
interact with a lot of government leaders,
and it's really been exciting for me."

That doesn't mean Kosseff didn't have a
few adjustment issues at first, especially for
someone coming from the irreverent world of
journalism. On his first day in 2015, he walked
into a class of midshipmen who were standing
at attention. Unprepared, he told them to sit
down, but they continued to stand, waiting
for a particular verbal signal.

Sarah Kellogg is a regular contributor to
Washington Lawyer.

"No one had told me that was going to
happen," says Kosseff. "I asked the class, and
then one of the students felt sorry for me
and told me how to get them to sit down.

Do you know a D.C. Bar member who has
done outstanding work in his or her area of
practice? We are interested in hearing stories
about the careers and personal journeys of
our diverse members around the country
and the world. Pitch us a profile story at
editorial@dcbar.org.



Washington Lawyer - May 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Washington Lawyer - May 2020

LETTER TO MEMBERS ON COVID-19 CRISIS
FROM OUR PRESIDENT
PRACTICE MANAGEMENT
ABA DELEGATE’S CORNER
CALENDAR OF EVENTS
REVOLUTIONIZING THE BUSINESS OF LAW
DIGITAL JUSTICE
ADVANCING THE HUMAN RIGHTS C AUSE ACROSS BORDERS
TAKING THE STAND
ON FURTHER REVIEW
MEMBER SPOTLIGHT
WORTH READING
ATTORNEY BRIEFS
SPEAKING OF ETHICS
DISCIPLINARY SUMMARIES
THE PRO BONO EFFECT
SPECIAL SECTION: THE REVOLUTIONARY C RYSTAL EASTMAN
Washington Lawyer - May 2020 - Cover1
Washington Lawyer - May 2020 - Cover2
Washington Lawyer - May 2020 - 1
Washington Lawyer - May 2020 - 2
Washington Lawyer - May 2020 - 3
Washington Lawyer - May 2020 - 4
Washington Lawyer - May 2020 - LETTER TO MEMBERS ON COVID-19 CRISIS
Washington Lawyer - May 2020 - FROM OUR PRESIDENT
Washington Lawyer - May 2020 - PRACTICE MANAGEMENT
Washington Lawyer - May 2020 - 8
Washington Lawyer - May 2020 - ABA DELEGATE’S CORNER
Washington Lawyer - May 2020 - CALENDAR OF EVENTS
Washington Lawyer - May 2020 - 11
Washington Lawyer - May 2020 - REVOLUTIONIZING THE BUSINESS OF LAW
Washington Lawyer - May 2020 - 13
Washington Lawyer - May 2020 - 14
Washington Lawyer - May 2020 - 15
Washington Lawyer - May 2020 - 16
Washington Lawyer - May 2020 - 17
Washington Lawyer - May 2020 - DIGITAL JUSTICE
Washington Lawyer - May 2020 - 19
Washington Lawyer - May 2020 - 20
Washington Lawyer - May 2020 - 21
Washington Lawyer - May 2020 - 22
Washington Lawyer - May 2020 - 23
Washington Lawyer - May 2020 - ADVANCING THE HUMAN RIGHTS C AUSE ACROSS BORDERS
Washington Lawyer - May 2020 - 25
Washington Lawyer - May 2020 - 26
Washington Lawyer - May 2020 - 27
Washington Lawyer - May 2020 - 28
Washington Lawyer - May 2020 - 29
Washington Lawyer - May 2020 - TAKING THE STAND
Washington Lawyer - May 2020 - 31
Washington Lawyer - May 2020 - ON FURTHER REVIEW
Washington Lawyer - May 2020 - 33
Washington Lawyer - May 2020 - MEMBER SPOTLIGHT
Washington Lawyer - May 2020 - 35
Washington Lawyer - May 2020 - 36
Washington Lawyer - May 2020 - 37
Washington Lawyer - May 2020 - WORTH READING
Washington Lawyer - May 2020 - 39
Washington Lawyer - May 2020 - 40
Washington Lawyer - May 2020 - ATTORNEY BRIEFS
Washington Lawyer - May 2020 - SPEAKING OF ETHICS
Washington Lawyer - May 2020 - 43
Washington Lawyer - May 2020 - DISCIPLINARY SUMMARIES
Washington Lawyer - May 2020 - 45
Washington Lawyer - May 2020 - THE PRO BONO EFFECT
Washington Lawyer - May 2020 - 47
Washington Lawyer - May 2020 - SPECIAL SECTION: THE REVOLUTIONARY C RYSTAL EASTMAN
Washington Lawyer - May 2020 - 49
Washington Lawyer - May 2020 - 50
Washington Lawyer - May 2020 - 51
Washington Lawyer - May 2020 - 52
Washington Lawyer - May 2020 - Cover3
Washington Lawyer - May 2020 - Cover4
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