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Search and explore Duke Law's wide variety of courses that comprise nearly every area of legal theory and practice. Contact the Director of Academic Advising to confirm whether a course satisfies a graduation requirement in any particular semester.

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NOTE: Course offerings change. Faculty leaves and sabbaticals, as well as other curriculum considerations, will sometimes affect when a course may be offered.

The list of classes marked Spring 2023 is incomplete and is being regularly updated.

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Areas of Study & Practice

Clear all filters 33 courses found.
Number Course Title Credits Degree Requirements Semesters Taught Methods of Evaluation

180

Torts 4.5
  • JD 1L
  • IntlLLM NY Bar
  • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
  • Fall 20
  • Spring 21
  • Fall 21
  • Fall 22
  • Final Exam
  • Class participation

An analysis of liability for personal injuries and injuries to property. The law of negligence occupies a central place in the course content, but this course also considers other aspects of tort liability such as strict liability, liability of producers and sellers of products, nuisance, liability for defamation and invasion of privacy, and commercial torts. The subjects of causation, damages, insurance (including automobile no-fault compensation systems), and workmen's compensation are also included.

238

Ethics and the Law of Lawyering 2
  • JD elective
  • JD ethics
  • IntlLLM NY Bar
  • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
  • Fall 20
  • Spring 21
  • Fall 21
  • Spring 22
  • Fall 22
  • Spring 23
  • Final Exam
  • Reflective Writing
  • Practical exercises
  • Class participation

This course examines in detail the "law of lawyering" relating to such issues as the formation of the attorney-client relationship, confidentiality, communications with clients, conflicts of interest, regulation and discipline of attorneys, and numerous other areas relating to the lawyer's role in American society. In addressing these issues, we will consider the extent to which the law governing lawyers derives from the concept of a learned profession, as well as the degree to which the ethics of lawyering may differ from personal ethics and morality. While particular attention will be paid to the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct, the class will also examine other sources of relevant law, including the Restatement (Third) of the Law Governing Lawyers, court decisions and rules, statutes, and administrative regulations.  Grading is based on a final examination, written work relating to casebook problems and reflections on current issues in legal ethics, and class participation.

 

239

Ethics and the Law of Lawyering in Civil Litigation 2
  • JD elective
  • JD ethics
  • IntlLLM NY Bar
  • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
    • Final Exam
    • Practical exercises

    This course examines the principles of legal ethics and professionalism. Our focus will be on identifying and responding to the key issues faced by a civil litigator, and on the model rules of professional conduct, case law, and ethics opinions that a lawyer must consider in resolving such issues. Topics include the formation and termination of the attorney client relationship, conflicts of interest, and communications with the court and opposing counsel through the discovery and trial process. We will examine the balancing of the duty of advocacy with the duty to the administration of justice. We will also explore issues such as admissions, discipline, and common law firm associate dilemmas such as billing and changing law firms. During the semester, students will prepare two short (3-5 pp) memoranda. There will also be an open book in-class exam at the end of the semester.

    245

    Evidence 3
    • JD elective
    • IntlLLM NY Bar
    • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
    • PIPS elective
    • Fall 20
    • Spring 21
    • Fall 21
    • Spring 22
    • Fall 22
    • Spring 23
    • Final Exam
    • Class participation

    This course covers the limitations on the information that can be introduced in court codified in the Federal Rules of Evidence. We take up the issue of relevance, including the rules concerning the balance between the probative value and the prejudicial impact of evidence and the special problems of character and credibility. Also addressed are the rules pertaining to the reliability of evidence, particularly the prohibition against hearsay and its many exceptions, the constitutional constraints on the testimony offered during criminal trials, and the screening of scientific and expert testimony. The course concludes with an introduction to evidentiary privileges.

    255

    Federal Income Taxation 4
    • JD elective
    • LLM-LE (JD) elective
    • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
    • IntlLLM Business Cert
    • IntlLLM NVE Cert
    • Fall 20
    • Spring 21
    • Fall 21
    • Spring 22
    • Fall 22
    • Spring 23
    • Final Exam

    An introduction to federal income taxation, with emphasis on the determination of income subject to taxation, deductions in computing taxable income, the proper time period for reporting income and deductions, and the proper taxpayer on which to impose the tax

    In planning their course schedules, students should keep in mind that Federal Income Taxation is a prerequisite for most other federal tax courses, including corporate tax, partnership tax, international tax, and the tax policy seminar.  For this reason, students who might want to take one or more advanced tax courses are strongly encouraged to take Federal Income Taxation during their second year of law school.

    290

    Remedies 3
    • JD elective
    • IntlLLM NY Bar
    • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
    • Spring 21
    • Spring 22
    • Fall 22
    • Final Exam
    • Class participation

    This course examines the powers and limits of the law to right those who have been wronged. We will cover different forms of remedies—including money damages, injunctions, and declaratory judgments. We will also explore ancillary remedies or enforcement mechanisms, such as the power of courts to hold parties in contempt. The course spans both private and public law contexts, with specific case studies ranging from school desegregation to the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund. Ultimately, the goal of the course is to provide an understanding of how the law responds to transgressions of substantive law, and also to provide a richer account of the power of our legal institutions more generally.

    302

    Appellate Courts 2
    • JD SRWP
    • JD elective
    • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
    • PIPS elective
    • Spring 21
    • Spring 22
    • Spring 23
    • Research paper, 25+ pages

    This course will examine the practices and powers of American appellate courts, with a particular emphasis on the federal courts of appeals.  Our discussion will focus on the goals of these institutions and the extent to which individual components of the appellate decision-making process—including oral argument and opinion-writing—further those goals.

    We will begin with an overview of the function of appellate courts—why they were created and what we expect of them today.  We will then move to the specific components of appellate adjudication, including mediation, briefing, oral argument, and judgment, as well as the personnel who contribute to the adjudication process.  Finally, we will consider the ways in which the appellate courts have been affected by an increasing caseload, and proposals for alleviating the strain on the courts.

    Ultimately, the goal of the course is to expose you to how appellate courts operate and the purported goals of these institutions.  Over the course of the semester, you should also be evaluating what you think are the fundamental objectives of appellate review and whether the current structure of the courts allows them to meet those goals.

    Evaluation in the course will be based on a final research paper, which may be used to satisfy the SRWP.

    313

    Judicial Decisionmaking 3
    • JD elective
    • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
    • Spring 23
    • Final Exam

    What decides legal cases? One obvious answer is: the law. Judges apply the law to the facts of a case and an answer presents itself. This simple understanding of how law and the judicial process work may be true in many cases, but it is not true in all of them. Social scientists have sought to explain judicial decisionmaking by reference to a variety of non-legal factors, including judges' personal characteristics, their caseloads, and their relationships with each other. The social scientific study of courts raises a host of interesting questions.

    For example, on a multi-member court like the Supreme Court, does it matter which Justice is assigned to write the opinion, or will the majority (or the whole Court) bargain to the same outcome anyway? If opinion assignment matters to outcomes, how might judges' choices about the division of labor influence the content of the law? How do higher courts ensure that lower courts comply with their decisions? Does the need to police lower courts alter legal doctrine, giving us more bright line rules and fewer fuzzy standards? Similarly, does the fact that certain groups, like the Chamber of Commerce, are repeat players, affect the outcome of cases? Does it affect doctrine? Finally, does it matter who is under the robes? Does the ideology of the judge, or her race or gender, matter to the outcome of cases? (Which cases?) If so, is it possible to predict how judicial characteristics will shape the law? Should our answers to these questions affect how we choose judges?

    This course that will examine these questions and many like them. In law schools, these sorts of questions get limited attention: our focus is primarily on the legal doctrine or rules themselves. Social scientists take a very different approach, studying the behavior of judges rather than legal doctrine and trying to understand what accounts for judicial outcomes and the shape of legal institutions. This course will marry the social science literature and the questions it raises to a set of normative problems within the law itself.

     

    315

    Complex Civil Litigation / Large Scale Litigation 3
    • JD elective
    • JD experiential
    • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
    • Spring 21
    • Spring 22
    • Spring 23
    • Final Exam
    • Oral presentation
    • In-class exercise

    This is an advanced civil procedure class taught by a former big case litigator in the Moot Courtroom (for most classes) and via Zoom (for a few classes) for those interested in learning how to litigate large cases, with an emphasis on real-world practical requirements, strategy and skills. Students will each week after the first session practice stand-up courtroom (and Zoom) 3-minute "mini- oral arguments" on many of the key cases so as to begin to prepare for big-case advocacy, which today occurs both in physical courtrooms and via video arguments. The course will focus on the problems of large multi-party and multi-forum civil cases and how courts and litigants deal with them. Coverage will include the practical steps litigators need to take as well as decision points at the outset of every litigation, joinder of parties, class actions; federal multi-district transfer and consolidation; litigation over the appropriate federal or state forum, coordination among counsel in multi-party cases, ethical issues, big-case discovery problems; ad hoc federal-state litigation coordination; judicial case management techniques and issues; arbitration; and ways of accelerating or terminating potentially or actually protracted cases, including settlement, mediation, representative trials, mini-trials and claims processing facilities.

    334

    Civil Rights Litigation 3
    • JD elective
    • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
    • PIPS elective
    • Spring 21
    • Spring 23
    • Final Exam
    • Practical exercises
    • In-class exercise
    • Class participation

    This course focuses on section 1983 of the United States Code, a Reconstruction-era statute that enables private parties to sue any other person who "under color" of law deprives them of the "rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and laws" of the United States.  Class participants will become familiar with the theoretical, procedural, and practical aspects of civil rights litigation, including constitutional and statutory claims, defenses and immunities, and available remedies, including attorney fees.   Related U.S. Code provisions concerning discrimination in housing, contractual relations, employment, and voting are examined where relevant. Exam-based evaluation.

    338

    Animal Law 2
    • JD SRWP, option
    • JD elective
    • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
    • IntlLLM Environ Cert
    • PIPS elective
    • Spring 21
    • Spring 23
    • Research paper, 25+ pages
    • Oral presentation
    • Class participation

    This course will examine a number of topics related to the law of animals, including various issues that arise under the laws of property, contracts, torts, and trusts and estates. It will also examine various criminal law issues and constitutional law questions. The class will consider such issues as the definition of "animal" as applicable to anti-cruelty statutes, the collection of damages for harm to animals, establishing standing for animal suits, first amendment protections, and the nuances of various federal laws.

    342

    Federal Courts 5
    • JD elective
    • IntlLLM NY Bar
    • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
    • PIPS elective
    • Spring 21
    • Spring 22
    • Fall 22
    • Spring 23
    • Final Exam

    The course considers the structure and powers of the federal courts and their relationship to the political branches and the state courts. The topics covered include justiciability, congressional authority to define and limit federal court jurisdiction, federal common law and implied rights of action, the application of state law in federal courts under the Erie doctrine, civil rights actions and immunities of state officials and governments, and habeas corpus. The focus of the course is on structural constitutional considerations relating to both the separation of powers between the three branches of the national government as well as the federalism relationship between the national government and the state governments.

    400

    Health Justice Clinic 4-6
    • JD elective
    • JD experiential
    • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
    • PIPS experiential
    • Fall 20
    • Spring 21
    • Fall 21
    • Spring 22
    • Fall 22
    • Spring 23
    • Reflective Writing
    • Practical exercises
    • Live-client representation and case management
    • Class participation

    This clinical course focuses on people living with serious illness. Student attorneys are the primary legal representatives for clients living with HIV, cancer, and other serious health conditions. Students may also work on policy or community education projects related to health and the law. Faculty supervisors provide back-up, training, coaching, and regular feedback as students handle cases involving access to health coverage (Medicaid, Medicare, private insurance), income (disability benefits and employment), end-of-life planning (wills, advance directives), job accommodations, and discrimination. Students may also work on cases involving health information privacy, planning for the future care of children (guardianship), and name changes and health insurance for transgender clients. In assigning cases, faculty strive to honor students' interests.

    Students engage with clients from diverse backgrounds whose lives have been disrupted by serious illness, including people living in poverty, those who have experienced the financial toxicity of illness, members of the LGBTQ community, and people struggling with addiction or mental illness. Although many of our clients are facing serious health and/or life challenges, students consistently remark on their clients’ resilience and gratitude, and value the experience of having a tangible impact on client's lives.

    In addition to extensive client interactions, students will engage with health care providers, social workers, government officials, and other professionals. Students interview and counsel clients and witnesses, draft estate planning documents, analyze medical records, collaborate with other professionals, including medical providers and social workers, interview and prepare affidavits for medical providers and other witnesses, conduct fact investigations and legal research, draft legal memoranda, and as needed, represent clients in administrative and other hearings. Interested students may have the opportunity to engage in public speaking through presentations to medical providers, social workers, or client/community groups.

    The Health Justice Clinic is appropriate for students interested in any practice area, as the skills employed are applicable to all areas of law. The Clinic may be particularly relevant for students who will work in health law, disability law, poverty law, or any administrative law field. Graduates of the clinic also report that it was especially helpful in their careers in public policy, government, and for developing a focus for their pro bono work in large firms.

    Classroom work consists of a day-long intensive training at the beginning of the semester as well as a weekly, two-hour seminar focusing on substantive law, lawyering skills, professionalism, the health care system, social safety net, social determinants of health, and the role of race and other factors in health disparities. Students work closely with clinic instructors and enjoy a uniquely supportive mentoring and coaching experience. Students work on cases with a partner and have a weekly team meeting with the clinic instructors. The instructors are available throughout the week for consultation. Faculty prioritize each student's professional development and encourage the development of a work-life balance that will be essential in law practice.

    The Health Justice Clinic is offered on a variable credit basis, 4-6 credits.

    Clinics Enrollment Policy

    Important:

    Students are required to attend the clinic intensive training session. Students who have previously completed a clinic may skip some portions of the intensive.

    International LLM students who wish to enroll in a clinic must seek the permission of the clinic's faculty director prior to the enrollment period. Permission is required to enroll but permission does not constitute entry into the clinic.

    Ethics Requirement

    Students are required to have instruction in the Model Rules of Professional Conduct prior to, or during, enrollment in the Health Justice Clinic. Examples of ethics classes that meet the requirement include Ethics in Action: Large Firm Practice (LAW 231), Ethics of Social Justice Lawyering (LAW 237), Ethics and the Law of Lawyering (LAW 238), Ethics and the Law of Lawyering in Civil Litigation (LAW 239), Criminal Justice Ethics (LAW 317) and Ethics in Action (LAW 539).

    401

    Advanced Health Justice Clinic
    • JD elective
    • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
    • PIPS elective
    • PIPS experiential
    • Spring 21
    • Fall 20
    • Fall 21
    • Spring 22
    • Spring 23
    • Live-client representation and case management

    Available to students who wish to participate for a second semester in the Health Justice Clinic. Students enrolled in advanced clinical studies are required to participate fully in the case work portion of the clinic, performing 50 or 100 hours of client representation work, depending on number of credits selected (50 hours = 1 credit; 100 hours = 2 credits), but will not be required to attend the class sessions. Consent of Director of Clinic required.

    416

    Children's Law Clinic 4-5
    • JD elective
    • JD experiential
    • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
    • PIPS elective
    • PIPS experiential
    • Fall 20
    • Spring 21
    • Fall 21
    • Spring 22
    • Fall 22
    • Spring 23
    • Practical exercises
    • In-class exercise
    • Live-client representation and case management
    • Class participation

    The Children’s Law Clinic provides students with an opportunity to represent low-income children and parents on issues relating to the social determinants of health, including education, public benefits, and access to adequate healthcare. Students will work in teams on case assignments that could involve client interviewing and counseling, negotiation, informal advocacy, and litigation in administrative hearings or court. There will also be opportunities to engage in policy and community education projects. With training and supervision from clinic faculty, students will act as the lead attorneys for the matters on their caseload allowing them to develop critical professional skills such as case strategy development and time management. In the weekly two-hour seminar, students will engage in interactive practical skills training, learn substantive law, and analyze the broader systemic injustices that impact children and families. Students work on clinic cases approximately 10-12 hours a week, for a minimum of 100 hours (4 credits) or 125 hours (5 credits) of legal work during the semester. There is no paper and no exam. Students must be in at least their second semester of law school to enroll in the clinic due to state student practice rules. Students must meet the legal ethics graduation requirement either before or during enrollment in the Children's Law Clinic.

    Important:

    • This course may not be dropped after the first class meeting.
    • Students MUST be able to attend the day-long clinic intensive training session to enroll in this course.
    • International LLM students who wish to enroll in a clinic must seek the permission of the clinic's faculty director prior to the enrollment period. Permission is required to enroll but permission does not constitute entry into the clinic.

    Ethics Requirement

    • Students are required to have instruction in the Model Rules of Professional Conduct prior to, or during, enrollment in the Children's Law Clinic. Examples of ethics classes that meet the requirement include Ethics in Action: Large Firm Practice (LAW 231), Ethics of Social Justice Lawyering (LAW 237), Ethics and the Law of Lawyering (LAW 238), Ethics and the Law of Lawyering in Civil Litigation (LAW 239), Criminal Justice Ethics (LAW 317) and Ethics in Action (LAW 539).

    417

    Advanced Children's Law Clinic 3
    • JD elective
    • PIPS elective
    • PIPS experiential
    • Fall 20
    • Spring 21
    • Fall 21
    • Spring 22
    • Spring 23
    • Practical exercises
    • Live-client representation and case management

    This two or three credit course is available to students who have participated in one semester in the Children's Law Clinic, and wish to participate for a second semester. Students may enroll only with approval of the Director of the Clinic. Supervisors will work with advanced students to develop an advanced experience that meets the interests of both the students and needs of the clinic. Students enrolled in advanced clinical studies are required to participate fully in the case work and/or policy portion of the clinic, performing a minimum of 100 hours (2 credits), 125 hours (3 credits) or 150 hours (4 credits) of client representation work, but will not be required to attend the class sessions. A classroom component is available for students using advanced clinic to satisfy their experiential learning requirement.

    420

    Trial Practice 3
    • JD elective
    • JD experiential
    • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
    • PIPS elective
    • Spring 21
    • Spring 22
    • Spring 23

    This is the basic trial skills course covering Opening Statement, Direct Examination, Cross Examination, Impeachment, Exhibits, Expert Witnesses and Closing Argument. In sections of 12 students per section, students prepare and perform the various skills using simulated problems and case files. After each performance, students receive constructive comments from faculty members who are also experienced trial lawyers. Students also get videotapes of their performances. The course ends with a full jury trial of a civil or criminal case with teams of two students on each side. At the end of the trial, the jury deliberates and students are able to watch the jury as it deliberates.

    Please note: The Trial Practice Intensive is scheduled to begin on the evening of Thursday, January 12, and continue with sessions on the afternoon of Friday, January 13; morning of Saturday, January 14; and morning of Sunday, January 15. Attendance is required at these sessions.

    421

    Pre-Trial Litigation 2
    • JD elective
    • JD experiential
    • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
    • PIPS elective
    • Fall 20
    • Spring 21
    • Fall 21
    • Spring 22
    • Fall 22
    • Spring 23
    • Practical exercises
    • In-class exercise
    • Class participation

    This practical skills course focuses on the path civil litigators must navigate prior to trial. It is becoming increasingly rare for cases to be decided by a jury.  Lawyers must instead learn to succeed during the pretrial process.  We will examine the key components of the civil pretrial litigation process, beginning with the filing of a law suit.  The class will be divided into law firms on the second week of class. You will work with co-counsel, representing a hypothetical client, for the entire semester.  Law firms will prepare and serve discovery and respond to discovery from opposing counsel. Students will prepare and argue a short discovery motion. The last four weeks of class focus on depositions, with each student taking and defending a deposition. This course will help students synthesize and more deeply understand the strategy and the practical application of civil procedure and evidence rules used in litigation advocacy. 

    Topics  include:

    • Drafting pleadings and motions
    • Preparing and responding to discovery
    • Taking and defending depositions
    • Practicing becoming a more effective advocate in the current on-line environment facing all attorneys and courts.

    The course grade is based on written and practical skills-based work product and class participation, as described in the syllabus.  There is not a final exam.

    429

    Civil Justice Clinic 4
    • JD elective
    • JD experiential
    • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
    • PIPS elective
    • PIPS experiential
    • Fall 20
    • Spring 21
    • Fall 21
    • Spring 22
    • Fall 22
    • Spring 23
    • Group project(s)
    • Practical exercises
    • Live-client representation and case management
    • Class participation

    This Clinic will develop and hone civil litigation skills in the context of working on actual cases taken in directly by the CJC or working in association with the Durham and Raleigh offices of Legal Aid of North Carolina, with the Consumer Protection Division of the North Carolina Attorney Generals’ office, and with the North Carolina Office of Administrative Hearings. Cases will focus on vindicating the rights of impoverished individuals or groups who cannot otherwise adequately find justice in the civil courts. 

    Students will be directly supervised by the Clinic Director and/or Supervising Attorney and/or Legal Aid attorneys. Cases may include prosecuting unsafe housing claims, defense of eviction claims, prosecuting unfair trade practice and debt collection claims, administrative hearing appeals for the revocation of licenses/certifications, representation of domestic violence victims, and a variety of other civil matters. 

    Initial classroom training in the various stages of civil litigation will be conducted by the Clinic Director and Supervising Attorney, followed by weekly individual or group meetings and training sessions. Skill development will include interviewing clients/witnesses, review of relevant documents/discovery, assessment of cases, drafting of pleadings, drafting of discovery, taking of depositions, recognition of ethics issues, and actual court or agency appearances. All enrolled students will be required to provide a minimum of 100 hours of client legal work per semester as well as to participate in the weekly class and training sessions. The CJC is typically taken for 4 credit hours, but with permission, it may be taken for 5 or 6 hrs. with additional minimum hour requirements.

    Students must be in at least their third semester of law school to enroll in the Clinic. Courses in Evidence and/or Trial Practice are recommended but not required as prerequisites or corequisites.

    Important:

    • This course may not be dropped after the first class meeting.
    • Students must be able to attend the day-long clinic intensive training session to enroll in this course.
    • International LLM students who wish to enroll in the clinic must seek the permission of the Clinic Director prior to the enrollment period.
    • An Advanced Civil Justice Clinic can be available for a second semester, with the permission of the Clinic Director.

    431

    Advanced Civil Justice Clinic
    • JD elective
    • PIPS elective
    • PIPS experiential
    • Spring 21
    • Fall 20
    • Fall 21
    • Spring 22
    • Spring 23
    • Group project(s)
    • Practical exercises
    • Live-client representation and case management
    • Class participation

    This course builds on the lectures, training, and work of the basic Civil Justice Clinic.

    Variable Units: 1-2 credits

    445

    Immigrant Rights Clinic 4-6
    • JD elective
    • JD experiential
    • PIPS elective
    • PIPS experiential
    • Fall 20
    • Spring 21
    • Fall 21
    • Spring 22
    • Fall 22
    • Spring 23
    • Reflective Writing
    • Live-client representation and case management
    • Class participation

    The Immigrant Rights Clinic engages students in the direct representation of noncitizens and community organizations in litigation, community outreach, and policy advocacy. Students will work in teams to represent individual clients in litigation matters, such as removal proceedings in immigration court, administrative or federal appeals, or other legal claims, as well as work with community-based organizations in advocacy projects or outreach and education campaigns. Through a mix of individual and organizational representation, students will develop an integrated approach to promoting the rights of immigrants. Direct representation of individual clients will require students to develop skills in fact-development, client interviewing, affidavit drafting, expert opinion development, testimony preparation, legal briefing, and case planning that combines client narratives with long-term appellate strategies. In working with organizational clients and partners, students may gather data and produce policy reports; develop accessible legal resources for immigrant families and their allies; and collaborate with grassroots organizers, policy-makers, pro bono counsel teams, and national advocacy groups.

    Students are directly responsible for these cases and take the leading role in defining advocacy goals and strategies with their clients. Through the clinic, students can build their litigation skills and develop a better understanding of how to engage in immigrant rights campaigns. The Immigrant Rights Clinic combines a substantive weekly seminar, case work, and weekly case supervision and instruction meetings. It is a one-semester course offered in both the fall and spring semesters and students will have an Advanced Clinic option.

    Clinics Enrollment Policy

    This course may not be dropped after the first class meeting. International LLM students who wish to enroll in a clinic must seek the permission of the clinic's faculty director prior to the enrollment period. Permission is required to enroll but permission does not constitute entry into the clinic.

    460

    Negotiation for Lawyers 3
    • JD elective
    • JD experiential
    • LLM-LE (JD) elective
    • IntlLLM NVE Cert
    • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
    • IntlLLM writing, option
    • Fall 20
    • Spring 21
    • Fall 21
    • Spring 22
    • Fall 22
    • Spring 23
    • Reflective Writing
    • Research and/or analytical paper(s), 15-20 pages
    • Practical exercises
    • Class participation

    For lawyers in every type of law practice, the ability to negotiate effectively is an essential skill.  As a lawyer, you will negotiate when you try to settle a lawsuit, close a merger, or arrange a plea bargain.  You will negotiate with counterparts, clients, and co-workers.  You will negotiate with service providers and the “system” – the court, the government, or your community.  And, you will continue to negotiate with your friends and family.  In this highly interactive seminar, we will explore the theories, skills, and ethics involved in legal negotiation.  With limited exceptions, in each class you will participate in a role-play simulation of increasing complexity, experiment with new techniques, and then reflect on what negotiation strategies worked best for you.  Over the course of the semester, in addition to in-person exercises, you will have opportunities to negotiate by email, telephone, and videoconference, and to evaluate the pros and cons of each so you understand how to select the most appropriate medium given the particular parties and circumstances.  Through this process, you will not only gain insight into your own negotiation style, you will develop the toolkit you need to approach each new negotiation with confidence. 

    Because of the nature of the course, the amount of information delivered during the first class period, the importance of participating in the first role-play simulation during the first class period, and the typical waitlists for enrollment in the course, attendance at the first class is absolutely required.  A student who fails to attend the first class without prior consent of the instructor will forfeit his or her place in the class.  (Working for an additional week in the summer and call-back interviews are not acceptable excuses for missing the first class.)  Students who are on the waitlist for the course are encouraged to attend the first class, and those who do will be given preference to fill open slots in the class.  There is a shortened drop period for this course so that students who are waitlisted can enroll before the second class occurs.  Thus, students may drop this course without permission only before the second class. 

    Because of the similarities between this course and the negotiation course taught at the Fuqua School of Business, a law student may not receive law school credit for both courses.

     

    470

    Poverty Law 3
    • JD elective
    • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
    • PIPS elective
    • Spring 21
    • Fall 21
    • Fall 22
    • Final Exam

    This course provides an introduction to the relationship between law and poverty, including the relevance of legal doctrine, policy and practice to the significant inequality in income, assets and basic social goods impacting tens of millions of people in the United States.

    We will begin by considering historical and contemporary trends in domestic poverty, U.S. social welfare policy, the legal framework under which poverty-related claims have been adjudicated, and the role of lawyers in combatting poverty.

    Grounded in poverty data, policy arguments, legal doctrine and practice, we will explore modern government anti-poverty programs and issues such as welfare, work, housing, health, education and criminalization.

    We will conclude by considering non-governmental approaches to combating poverty, including market-based solutions and international human rights, with an emphasis on the role of law, lawyers and legal institutions in such efforts.

    Drawing on the rich expertise of those in Durham and beyond, we will occasionally be joined by guest speakers. The primary textbook for the course is Poverty Law, Policy and Practice (Aspen/Wolters Kluwer, 2014).

    471

    Science Regulation Lab 2
    • JD elective
    • JD experiential
    • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
    • IntlLLM Environ Cert
    • Spring 21

    SciReg Lab teaches students about the use of emerging science and technology in the regulatory agencies through the drafting and submission of comments to federal rule-makings. The comments will be unaligned with any party and are intended to provide the regulatory agencies with unbiased, current, accurate and coherent information about the science underlying the proposed rule. The course is cross-listed in the Law School and Graduate School and the students will be drawn from the sciences, ethics, policy and law to work in interdisciplinary teams. The course will begin with a brief overview of notice-and-comment rulemaking, and how to translate scientific information into the language of courts and agencies. The ethical issues presented by this process will be an important component of the course content. With the assistance of faculty, the students will track pending rulemakings and select proceedings in which to file a comment. A background is science is recommended, but not required.

    480

    Mediation Advocacy 3
    • JD elective
    • JD experiential
    • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
    • Spring 21
    • Spring 22
    • Spring 23
    • Simulated Writing, Transactional
    • Simulated Writing, Litigation
    • Reflective Writing
    • Practical exercises
    • Class participation

    With mediation now a required step in a litigated case in most state and federal courts, and a preferred approach to conflict resolution in many parts of the world, it is a process that every litigator will no doubt use in practice.  In this advanced experiential seminar, we will explore the fundamentals of mediation theory and practice from the perspective of the mediator, the attorney, and the client.  The majority of class sessions will be dedicated to group exercises and simulated mediations in which we build upon the techniques learned in Negotiation to equip you with skills that will be invaluable whether you want to mediate, represent clients effectively in mediation, or simply be a better negotiator.  You will also have the opportunity to practice persuasive writing as you draft pre-mediation statements, and will learn the essential elements of drafting agreements memorializing your settlements.  By engaging in all phases of the mediation process, you will not only improve your social and emotional competence, you will develop skills that will be useful in client interviewing and counseling, fact development and legal analysis, and a variety of other contexts beyond mediation.

    493

    Wrongful Convictions Clinic 4
    • JD elective
    • JD experiential
    • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
    • PIPS elective
    • PIPS experiential
    • Fall 20
    • Spring 21
    • Fall 21
    • Spring 22
    • Fall 22
    • Spring 23
    • Practical exercises
    • In-class exercise
    • Live-client representation and case management
    • Class participation

    The Wrongful Convictions Clinic pursues plausible claims of legal and factual innocence made by incarcerated people in North Carolina convicted of serious felonies. 

    Students in the clinic study the causes of wrongful convictions, including mistaken eyewitness identification, false confessions, faulty forensic evidence, “jailhouse snitches,” and race. Student-attorneys work under the supervision of faculty to develop, manage, and litigate cases by carrying out a wide range of legal activities, including communicating with our clients, locating and interviewing witnesses about facts, gathering documents and records, drafting a range of legal documents and memos, working with experts, and helping to prepare for evidentiary hearings and oral arguments in state and federal courts. Most clinic cases do not involve DNA.

    Many former students describe their time in the clinic, working to exonerate individuals incarcerated for crimes they didn't commit, as their most rewarding experience during law school.

    539

    Ethics in Action 2
    • JD elective
    • JD ethics
    • IntlLLM NY Bar
    • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
    • Spring 21
    • Spring 22
    • Spring 23

    The class will function as an ethics committee considering current issues and ethics inquiries based upon actual disputes. The participants, working in small groups, will draft detailed ethics opinions that the full class will consider, revise, and the like.

    707

    Statutory Interpretation Colloquium 2
    • JD SRWP
    • JD elective
    • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
    • IntlLLM writing, option
      • Reflective Writing
      • Research paper, 25+ pages

      The objective of the course is to introduce students to important issues concerning the theory and doctrine of statutory interpretation through exposure to cutting-edge legal scholarship. The colloquium will feature bi-weekly presentations of works-in-progress by leading scholars of statutory interpretation, legislation, and administrative law. In the week preceding each presentation, students will read and discuss foundational materials (a mix of academic commentary and case law) on topics related to the work-in-progress.

      Students may opt to prepare six short (5-10 page) papers in response to each work-in-progress, which would be due in advance of the presentation and used to stimulate discussion. Alternatively, students may write one longer research paper (roughly 30 pages) dealing with a topic of their choice related to the themes of the class. Students who take the latter option may use the colloquium to satisfy the upper-level writing requirement.

      737

      Environmental Litigation 2
      • JD elective
      • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
      • IntlLLM Environ Cert
      • PIPS elective
      • Spring 21
      • Spring 22
      • Spring 23
      • Research and/or analytical paper(s), 10-15 pages
      • Practical exercises
      • Class participation

      During the past 40 years, environmental litigation in the federal courts of the United States has played an important role in shaping our quality of life.  Federal statutes designed to improve air and water quality, manage waste, protect species, and establish rules for the management of ocean resources have spawned numerous federal cases – some filed by affected industry, some by the government, and others filed by conservation groups and private citizens.  The resulting precedents affect many aspects of the environment in which we live.

      This course introduces students to the progression of a hypothetical environmental case in United States federal courts.  The course begins with the appearance of a potential client, addresses several considerations relevant to a decision whether to file a complaint, examines discovery planning and execution, studies the preparation of dispositive motions, and concludes with an overview of the appeal process.  The course assumes that the hypothetical case will be decided on motions for summary judgment or for injunctive relief.  Therefore, class discussions focus on the manner in which such a case unfolds, with particular attention to developing both the facts and the theory of the case, framing pleadings, and designing and managing discovery.  The course explores these subjects from the perspective of counsel for defendants as well as for plaintiffs.  Students should emerge from the course better equipped to handle various practical aspects of litigation.

      760E

      Practitioner's Guide to Employment Law 1
      • JD elective
      • JD experiential
      • LLM-LE (JD) elective
      • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
      • PIPS elective
      • Spring 21
      • Fall 21
      • Fall 22
      • Reflective Writing
      • Practical exercises
      • Class participation

      This a practitioner’s skills course.

      It is designed to introduce students to practitioner skills against a backdrop of some of the main employment law issues that arise on a frequent basis in the American workplace.

      Using a variety of approaches to instruction including mock exercises, outside speakers, writing exercises (such as drafting communications to government agencies or corporate clients), and drawing from current developments in the law, the student will become familiar with basic concepts underlying employment law and, equally importantly, the practice skills involved in delivering legal advice and counsel about the issues presented.

      While the focus will be on representing an employer, students will explore issues from the perspective of the employee and compliance enforcers. Through this course, students will attain practical familiarity with providing legal advice which can be applied in any business context.

      760L

      Practitioner's Guide to Labor Law 1
      • JD elective
      • JD experiential
      • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
      • PIPS elective
      • Spring 21
      • Fall 21
      • Spring 22
      • Reflective Writing
      • Practical exercises
      • Class participation

      This course is designed to provide a practical overview of the main labor law issues that arise in the U.S. workplace. Using a variety of approaches of instruction including mock exercises, outside speakers, writing exercises and analysis of current events, the course will familiarize students with not just the basic concepts underlying the broad range of labor law but cover more advanced topics. As such, the course is appropriate both for students who have taken Labor Law and those new to the topic. To a certain extent, the class topics will be “collectively bargained,” meaning students will actually bargain over class material with the Professor, much as what happens in a union-management relationship.

      Class will meet seven times through the semester.

      779

      Well-Being and the Practice of Law 1
      • JD elective
      • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
      • Spring 21
      • Spring 22
      • Spring 23
      • Reflective Writing
      • Research and/or analytical paper
      • Class participation

      Optimistic, happy people outperform their counterparts on almost every measure of job success with the notable exception of one group: lawyers. Psychological research suggests that on the whole pessimists perform better in both law school and private practice. Since research also shows that pessimism can be a predictor of depression and/or lower levels of life satisfaction, this raises a question among academics who study well-being: what do we do about the lawyers? Or is the research insufficient to make such sweeping claims?

      This class will examine why the "pursuit of happiness," a phrase written by a lawyer, has proved futile for many members of the legal profession and those aspiring to its ranks.There is considerable data indicating that lawyers and law students suffer from greater rates of depression and anxiety than other professions, along with accompanying social maladies such as substance abuse. There is also considerable evidence of high career dissatisfaction among lawyers, and many others are leaving the profession or performing well below their capability. This seems unfathomable given the high levels of education, affluence, and respect lawyers enjoy (or will enjoy), factors which predict happiness and job satisfaction in other areas of life.

      This class will present the research to date on lawyers and happiness. We will examine the scientific data and academic literature on lawyer maladies, while examining holes in the collective wisdom and why the majority of lawyers are quite content. Also, we will analyze what Covid lockdowns, remote learning and practice, etc., have done to the overall happiness of lawyers and law students. We will not ignore the questions of social justice and if different groups experience different levels of well-being in law school and practice. While acknowledging the very real problems of the profession, we will address the question many lawyers and law professors legitimately ask – so what: who said lawyers are supposed to be happy? We will then review simple actions law schools, bar associations, law firms, and individuals can take to improve the collective health of the profession, as well as the productivity and engagement of its individual practitioners. In the course of so doing, will learn the basic well-being measurement tools and practice interventions shown to increase individual happiness. Students will have the opportunity, on a volunteer basis, to take different well-being measurement tools developed at the University of Pennsylvania, where the professor obtained a master’s degree in psychology studying well-being. This is a serious course grounded in the latest science; while there will be fairly intensive reading and writing requirements, they will be within the bounds of a one-credit hour course, and should add to the overall well-being of each student.

      789

      Writing: Federal Litigation 2
      • JD elective
      • JD experiential
      • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
      • IntlLLM writing
      • PIPS elective
      • Fall 20
      • Fall 21
      • Fall 22
      • Simulated Writing, Litigation
      • Reflective Writing
      • Oral presentation
      • Practical exercises
      • In-class exercise
      • Class participation

      This writing and experiential course will provide students with the opportunity to practice several different types of persuasive writing used in federal litigation. The students will work on a hypothetical case involving an employment discrimination matter. The students will follow the case from the administrative agency level, to the filing of a complaint in federal court, through the discovery process, and culminating in the filing and arguing of a motion for summary judgment. In addition to writing, the students will have the opportunity to interview a client and a witness and to practice their oral advocacy skills in a mock meeting with a partner and a mock hearing. This course will be useful for anyone interested in practicing in federal court and/or pursuing a federal clerkship at the trial court level.

      Course Credits

      Semester

      JD Course of Study

      JD/LLM in International & Comparative Law

      JD/LLM in Law & Entrepreneurship

      International LLM - 1 year

      Certificate in Public interest and Public Service Law

      Areas of Study & Practice