Genomics for Law


Genomics for Law provides a unique framework to review the history and basics of genomics research as well as explore how genomics has, and will continue to, interact with the law.

Throughout this course you will explore the implications of genomics research on law, as well as law’s influence and implications on genomics research, as it pertains to the following topics:
• Genomics and Criminal Law
• Genomics and Criminal Procedure
• Forensic Genomics
• Intellectual Property Protection and Biotechnology
• Genomics and Tort Law
• Genomics and Privacy Law
• Legal and Ethical Issues in Genomics
This course can be taken to fulfill continuing legal education (CLE) credits for practicing lawyers. 10.25 hours have been approved in Illinois.

What you will learn

Introduction to Genomics for Law

In this module, you will review what genomics is and discuss the relationship of genomics to the law. You will review the basic structure and function of the genome, the vocabulary used to describe its components, and understand how technology has and will continue to influence genomics, as well as how genomics is used in a variety of fields including healthcare, food security, energy, and law.

Genomics and Criminal Law

In this module, you will discuss the relationship of genomics to criminal law, how genetic evidence and genomic defenses currently operate in the criminal justice system and explore how fully allowing genetic evidence and genomic defenses might improve or harm criminal law. You will understand how criminal law might or might not recognize genomics as a defense, review types of changes needed in criminal law to accommodate genetic evidence, and examine how changes in the criminal law, to accommodate genetic evidence and defenses, could impact criminal law.

Genomics and Criminal Procedure

In this module, you will explore how private individuals’ genomes are in a criminal law context, how DNA is examined and processed in criminal investigations, and examine under what circumstances individuals’ genomes are protected from access by the government in a criminal law context. You will also recognize under which circumstances the government has an interest in individuals’ genomes in a criminal law context and review the basics of the CODIS STRs (Combined DNA Indexing System).

Forensic Genomics

In this module, you will learn about how genomics is used to estimate ancestry and predict physical appearance or traits in criminal investigations, and review the current evidentiary standards for utilizing genetic evidence. You will also examine the scientific viability of using genomics to estimate phenotypic traits, understand the accuracy of genetic estimates for ancestry and phenotypic traits, review the current evidentiary standards under Frye and Daubert, and identify the best methods to utilize genomics evidence under current legal evidentiary standards.

What’s included