General Course Information

1.1 Course details

Course code: LLAW3255
Course name: Law, Innovation, Technology and Entrepreneurship (LITE) Lab – Tech Startup Law
Programme offered under: LLB Programme
Semester: Second
Designated research course: Not applicable
Specialization: Commercial, corporate and financial law
Prerequisites / Co-requisite LLAW3254 (highly recommended but not required)
Course offered to non-law students: Yes
Credit point value: 6 credits
Cap on student numbers: 30
Video link: https://youtu.be/GWk3bUEOctE (2022); https://youtu.be/74gRlgbz-uk (2022); https://youtu.be/zU5TtEOqwLg (2021)

1.2 Course description

Technology entrepreneurs often seek new and innovative ways of introducing products and services, whether through new business models (eg, fintech, online marketplaces, software-as-a-service) and/or new technologies (eg, use of artificial intelligence (AI), distributed ledger technology (DLT)/ blockchain, Internet of things (IoT)). Even the profession and delivery of legal services is evolving with these changing business models and technologies. Inevitably, questions arise regarding whether these new innovations conform with existing law and regulations, many of which are still evolving and differ across borders.

This experiential and interdisciplinary course enables students to co-design and create legal, regulatory and technology policy research in conjunction with members of the under-resourced technology and innovation ecosystem (eg, tech startups, social entrepreneurs, trade associations) as real-world project partners. LITE Lab works with our ecosystem partners such as Cyberport, Hong Kong Science & Technology Park, HKU’s iDendron and Fintech Association of Hong Kong to outreach to Hong Kong’s startups to be our project partners. Students will have the opportunity to visit and work at the offices of our project partners, as may be mutually agreed. Since its creation, LITE Lab has attracted student enrollments from 6 of HKU’s 10 faculties.

During class, students are also introduced to the innovation and technology methodologies of organisations (startup and established), including legal design thinking, business model canvas, , agile project management and computational thinking.

Examples of past student legal research projects cover areas such as data privacy, legal protection of artificial intelligence, metaverse, quantum computing, virtual assets(including NFTs and cryptocurrencies), environment, social and governance (ESG) issues, webscraping, cybersecurity and online platform and cross-border liabilities.

Subject to approval of the course instructor and the relevant project partner, students may elect to work on larger projects as a team to give such students the experience of working collaboratively, as they would in a real-world tech startup or social enterprise.

The semester will end with a final student presentation including invited guests, such as our project partners and ecosystem partners.

Selected final projects will have the opportunity to be hosted on the LITE Lab website to serve as a resource to more broadly benefit the Hong Kong innovation and technology ecosystem.

It is highly recommended but not required that students also enrol in LITE Lab@HKU’s foundational course LLAW3254 (First Semester), which is an interdisciplinary survey course covering the relevant substantive law

This  course is not a clinical course supervised by a licensed legal practitioner, and accordingly students cannot and do not give any legal advice.

As of 2021-22, the Faculty of Law has determined that all experiential courses (including this course) would be assessed on a pass/fail basis. Students are warned that inadequate effort in this course and their final deliverable will result in a failing grade.

To enable timely and effective matching of students and project partners, upon enrolment, students may only drop the course with the course instructor’s consent.

To learn more about LITE Lab@HKU, please see its student recently created website (which is still subject to updating) at https://litelab.law.hku.hk/.

1.3 Course teachers

Name E-mail address Office Consultation
Course convenor Brian Tang bwtang@hku.hk CCT 802 By email

Learning Outcomes

2.1 Course Learning Outcomes (CLOs) for this course

CLO 1 Demonstrate verbal and presentation communication skills with technology entrepreneurs and their legal, regulatory and/or policy issues by learning from and providing legal, regulatory and/or policy-related research and assistance directly to such Hong Kong tech startups to assist their real-world needs. Students will learn to communicate in real world client-like environments, and meet and interview with Hong Kong tech startups in class, at the startup premises and/or electronically under the supervision of instructors.

CLO 2 Apply legal, regulatory and/or policy research and reasoning to complex real-life issues raised by Hong Kong tech startups, entrepreneurs and/or trade associations, often relating to cutting-edge legal, regulatory and/or policy issues that will require multijurisdictional comparative law research, risk-reward analysis and policy proposals.

CLO 3 Demonstrate written communication skills with technology entrepreneurs and/or trade associations and their issues by creating written deliverables that apply design-thinking principles to be user-friendly, comprehensible and helpful to lay persons at project partners and//or their targeted audience.

CLO 4 Apply their skills and contribute to LITE Lab@HKU online resource and tools to enable an inclusive access to justice and democratization of legal information to empower entrepreneurship and self-sufficiency for tech startups, social entrepreneurs and citizens.

2.2 LLB Programme Learning Outcomes (PLOs)

Please refer to the following link: https://course.law.hku.hk/llb-plo/

2.3 Programme Learning Outcomes to be achieved in this course



3.1 Assessment Summary

Assessment task Due date Weighting Feedback method* Course learning outcomes
Class contribution N/A 15% 1, 2, 3, 4
Project service / product delivery TBC 45% 1, 2, 3, 4
Research / case study TBC 40% 1, 2, 3, 4
*Feedback method (to be determined by course teacher)
1 A general course report to be disseminated through Moodle
2 Individual feedback to be disseminated by email / through Moodle
3 Individual review meeting upon appointment
4 Group review meeting
5 In-class verbal feedback

3.2 Assessment Detail

To be advised by the course convenor(s).

3.3 Grading Criteria

Students will be assessed on a pass/fail basis.

Learning Activities

4.1 Learning Activity Plan

Seminar: 3 hours / week for 12 teaching weeks
Private study time: 9.5 hours / week for 12 teaching weeks

Remarks: the normative student study load per credit unit is 25 ± 5 hours (ie. 150 ± 30 hours for a 6-credit course), which includes all learning activities and experiences within and outside of classroom, and any assessment task and examinations and associated preparations.

4.2 Details of Learning Activities

To be advised by course convenor(s).

Learning Resources

5.1 Resources

Reading materials: Reading materials are posted on Moodle
Core reading list: TBA
Recommended reading list: TBA

5.2 Links

Please refer to the following link: http://www.law.hku.hk/course/learning-resources/