Area of Study & Practice
- Interdisciplinary Studies
- Legal Skills
- Public Policy
JD Graduation RequirementsThis course typically satisfies all or some of the following JD graduation requirements:
- Professional Skills
The seminar meets for two hours per week and two course credits are awarded. Students can choose to earn a third credit through the clinical component. Students choosing the clinical component work for a minimum of twenty hours over the semester. Clinic placements may include Legal Aid offices, policy advocacy groups, Guardian Ad Litem attorney placements, private lawyers in the community representing low income people, and an additional 20-hours with other specified Duke Law clinics (with the permission of those instructors). The course instructor will work with students to find suitable placements.
The Course Homepage on the Web includes the syllabus, links to related sites, and a web-based discussion group. Students may use this site to continue class discussion. Occasional homework assignments require posting messages on assigned topics.
A variety of pedagogical methods are used to encourage active class interaction and participation. These include hypotheticals, simulations, small group work, and a "Poverty IQ Test."
The course grade is based on a 20-to 30-page paper. (A limited number of students can meet their Advanced Writing Requirement through this seminar and their papers are a minimum of 30 pages.) In the papers, students conduct an in depth exploration of an area of Poverty Law in which they have developed an interest. Some may choose to use their placement experience as a starting point, but most pick a different topic. Students must also complete the web posting assignments to pass the course. The quality of participation in other aspects of the course may alter the paper grade slightly. These aspects include meaningful work on class assignments, class discussion, web discussion, class presentations, and clinical work beyond the minimal required.
The instructor requires class attendance and does not allow laptops or other computer devices to be used during class time.
This class is well suited for students who plan to work in public interest law through legal services, non-profits or the government. It is useful for students who will join firms and hope to participate in law firm pro bono projects. In addition, students who plan to be active on community boards or in elected or appointed offices may find this information useful. It is meant to expose students to a very wide variety of topics within poverty law and give students the means to do more detailed work in the areas that they find particularly interesting.
This is a two-credit seminar with an optional third credit for at least 20 hours of a clinical externship.
Students enrolled in this course will not be required to attend the Intensive Training Session at the start of the semester.
Please note that course organization and content may vary substantially from semester to semester and descriptions are not necessarily professor specific. Please contact the instructor directly if you have particular course-related questions.