Citizen Clinic

What is Citizen Clinic?

Similar to university clinics in law and medicine, we train teams of students to help civil society organizations defend themselves against digital threats.

Who We Serve

We serve underfunded non-profit clients locally and around the world, free of charge. Past clients include women’s reproductive justice organizations, LGBTQ rights groups, and organizations serving refugee, immigrant, and indigenous communities.

Digital Security for Civil Society

Citizen Clinic is a trailblazing multidisciplinary, public-interest digital security clinic.

Civil society organizations, including journalists, human rights defenders, and social justice activists, are essential for healthy democracies, human rights, and justice to thrive. But many lack the resources to secure their digital operations. These organizations face growing threats of cyberattacks, targeted surveillance, online harassment, and disinformation.

Citizen Clinic empowers civil society organizations to fulfill their missions, defend against digital threats, and build digital capabilities so they can drive social change.


Prospective Students

Citizen Clinic is training the next generation of digital security leaders. By engaging students from varying backgrounds and disciplines with a hands-on approach, we encourage a diverse group to pursue careers in public-interest technology.

Citizen Clinic shows students that they don’t have to choose between a career in technology or a career in the public interest. They can do both.

Citizen Clinic is offered simultaneously under two course titles:

Clinic student participants will be chosen by application.

Apply for course enrollment


What We Do

Defend Civil Society

We offer custom, long-term client engagements to build the digital capacity of civil society organizations and provide them with the tools and knowledge to proactively defend themselves against digital threats.

Train Digital Security Leaders

Citizen Clinic students are the next generation of digital security leaders. Students from varying backgrounds and disciplines are empowered to pursue careers in public-interest technology, expanding the cybersecurity workforce. Citizen Clinic students don’t have to choose between a career in tech or a career in the public interest. They can do both.

Grow the Public-Interest Technology Community

We are building a new public-interest technology community with digital security as bedrock of civil society. We share our institutional knowledge and serve as a model for other universities establishing similar clinics.

CLTC Research Exchange 2021: The Future of Public Interest Cybersecurity Clinics

CLTC Research Exchange 2021: The Future of Public Interest Cybersecurity Clinics

Students: Apply Now

Citizen Clinic is offered simultaneously under two course titles: CYBER 289 and INFO 289. Clinic student participants are chosen by application.

Apply Now

Consortium of Cybersecurity Clinics

We are proud to be a founding member of the Consortium of Cybersecurity Clinics, an international network of university-based cybersecurity clinics.

Learn more (PDF)

Starting Your Own Cybersecurity Clinic?

The Citizen Clinic Cybersecurity Education Center shares our syllabi, curriculum, case studies, and infrastructure for other academic institutions interested in the clinic model, along with basic cybersecurity resources for civil society organizations.

“Our team created a cybersecurity playbook for a nonprofit law firm that advocates for human and environmental rights in developing countries. Working with incredible thought leaders in the tech, law, and human rights space fueled my passion for social impact by eradicating the digital divide through safe cybersecurity practices and access to information.”

– Boikanyo Tefu, Citizen Clinic alumna
UC Berkeley Master of Journalism 2020
Multimedia Journalist and Content Manager at the UC Berkeley School of Law’s Human Rights Center

Center for Long-Term Cybersecurity

The Citizen Clinic program was pioneered at the UC Berkeley Center for Long-Term Cybersecurity, whose mission is to amplify the upside of the digital revolution, help decision-makers act with foresight, and expand who has access to and participates in cybersecurity. CLTC’s work focuses on:

  • Shaping the future of digital security
  • Advancing cutting-edge research
  • Helping industry partners look over the horizon
  • Preparing the next generation of cybersecurity professionals
  • Growing diversity in the field
  • Forging new models for cybersecurity training
  • Illuminating the cultural dimensions of cybersecurity

“My goal is to improve information technologies that support communities and civil society. The I School and Citizen Clinic have given me the skills and confidence to be a better advocate for users and socially conscious products. I’m excited to bring this knowledge to my new role as a Program Manager at Microsoft’s Artificial Intelligence and Research group.”

– Lily Lin, Citizen Clinic alumna
UC Berkeley Master of Information Management & Systems 2019
Program Manager at Microsoft

Prospective Clients

Are you a part of a civil society organization that is vulnerable to digital attacks, surveillance, or harassment? We may be able to help you. For more information, contact Lisa Ho:

Profile profile for lisaho

i-school-lisa_ho_2018-09.jpg
Lisa Ho
Academic Director, Cybersecurity Program
South Hall

Thank You to Our Supporters

Citizen Clinic relies on the generosity of our donors. Gifts of all sizes support our students and faculty to advance groundbreaking research, growthe public interest technology community, expand our services and outreach to civil societyorganizations, and create diverse pathways into public-interest cybersecurity careers.

To discuss how you might support Citizen Clinic, please contact Shanti Corrigan:

Profile profile for shanti

Shanti Corrigan
Shanti Corrigan
Senior Director of Philanthropy
103A South Hall

Last updated:

July 26, 2022