The Duke D.C. Summer Institute on Law and Policy curriculum will focus on topics important to current and aspiring practitioners in fields that require mastery of constitutional, statutory, and regulatory law and policymaking. Courses will meet in the evenings, at the close of the workday, at the Duke in Washington office located near Metro Center at 1201 New York Ave., NW, Suite 1110, in Washington.
Classes will be limited in size in order to facilitate interaction between faculty members and students. Written materials will be provided to participants at no additional cost. Upon successful completion of the program, participants will be awarded a certificate endorsed by the Dean of Duke Law School, David Levi, and Faculty Director of the Institute, Neil Siegel.
2014 courses will introduce participants to US constitutional law, with a focus on timely subjects such as the constitutionality of affirmative action in higher education and state bans on same-sex marriage.
Courses offered in July 2013
American Constitutional Structure: Congressional Power and the Affordable Care Act (Siegel)
- This course will examine judicial doctrines, historical understandings, and theoretical perspectives on the expanse and limits of Congress's power under the Necessary and Proper Clause, the Commerce Clause, the Taxing Clause, and the Spending Clause. After studying the seminal decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court, the course will analyze the constitutionality of the "individual mandate" in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. This provision requires most Americans either to obtain a minimum level of health insurance coverage or else to pay a certain amount of money to the Internal Revenue Service each year.
Deconstructing Wrongful Convictions (Coleman, Newman)
- Using real cases of wrongful convictions, this course will examine the causes of wrongful convictions, the investigative and legal approaches to remedying individual cases, and the broader, systemic remedies that will help to prevent them in the future. Students will gain an understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of the U.S. criminal justice system, and, as a final project, will work with detailed case documents to resolve an important issue in a wrongful conviction. This course will appeal to law and public policy students, as well as individuals working or interested in the field of criminal law and journalists reporting on such cases.
Frack to the Future! An Introduction to Environmental and Economic Issues Arising from Shale Gas Development (Longest)
- In this course we will study shale gas resource exploration, development and production processes and their ecological and economic impacts. Legal responses to the issues presented by these impacts will be examined. Course participants will learn the basic contours of the debate on the world's fastest growing fossil fuel source.
Hot Topics in National and International Security Law: Drones, Cyberwar, Lawfare, War Powers and More (Dunlap)
- This course will examine the hottest topics in national and international security law, including such issues as drones, cyberwar, and civil-military relations. In addition, the course will address the U.S. military justice system now involved in high-profile prosecutions such as those involving Bradley Manning, Major Nidal Hassan, and SSgt Robert Bales, as well as the Lackland sexual assault cases. Students will also analyze the constitutional and statutory architecture of the American defense establishment, consider the international phenomena of “lawfare,” and discuss the ethical issues of national security law. This course is aimed at legal professionals, policymakers, concerned citizens, and others wanting to understand the legal aspects of the security-related issues that dominate today’s headlines.
The Federal Policymaking Process: An Inside Look (Schroeder, Kaufman, Peck)
- Learn how policy gets developed and sometimes made in Washington. This course examines the influences that affect the actors who ultimately decide whether and how policy debates will be acted upon by the Congress and the executive branch, including the electorate, the media, organized interests, ideology and money. The goal of the course is to examine the policymaking process from the inside.
The Changing Landscape of Health Law & Policy: How’d We Get Here, and Where Are We Going? (Richman, Robinson)
- This course offers an overview of the central legal and economic forces that shape our national market for healthcare services. We will examine the causes of our persistent health care crisis, evaluate the Affordable Care Act’s response, and examine what lies ahead in healthcare’s rapidly changing industrial and regulatory landscape. This course is designed for graduate students and professionals working in law and healthcare related fields, journalists reporting on healthcare, and anyone seeking to better understand the forces at play in this complex market.
Big Finance: How Big is Too Big? (Baxter)
- The course will examine one of the great issues of modern law and finance, namely whether big banks and other large scale financial institution should be subject to size limitations. The subject is a regular feature in the media and numerous, high-level legislators, regulator and observers have addressed it, yet the discrete issues underlying the debate are seldom identified. We will review the current state of the industry, how financial institutions got to be so big and the legal framework within which this growth took place, and whether additional constraints should be applied. The various dimensions of the debate will be considered, ranging from whether and why large-scale financial institutions are "too big to fail," "too big to regulate," "too big to manage" and/or "too big to jail." The course will conclude with the question "how big is too big" and the legal and policy possibilities available for devising an optimal, if any, size limitation on individual financial institutions. Big Finance: How Big is Too Big? will appeal to law, business and public policy students as well as journalists reporting in the field and individuals involved in the formulation of the public policy of financial regulation.
American Constitutional Equality: Race, Gender, and Sexual Orientation (Siegel)
- The Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution prohibits "any State" from "deny[ing] to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws." This course will examine the significant changes over time in how the U.S. Supreme Court has understood the Equal Protection Clause to police discrimination based on race, gender, and sexual orientation. The course will include analysis of the Court's responses to cases involving the constitutionality of affirmative action in higher education, the federal Defense of Marriage Act, and state prohibitions on gay marriage. These cases are due to be decided by the end of June 2013.