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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.

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Clear all filters 79 courses found.
Number Course Title Credits Degree Requirements Semesters Taught Methods of Evaluation

120

Constitutional Law 4.5
  • JD 1L
  • IntlLLM NY Bar
  • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
  • Spring 22
  • Spring 23
  • Spring 24
  • Final Exam
  • Class participation

An examination of the distribution of and limitations upon governmental authority under the Constitution of the United States. Included are study of the doctrine of judicial review of legislative and executive action, the powers of Congress and the President, the limitations on state governmental powers resulting from the existence or exercise of congressional power, and judicial protection against the exercise of governmental power in violation of rights, liberties, privileges, or immunities conferred by the Constitution.

201

Legal Writing: Craft & Style 2
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
  • Fall 21
  • Fall 22
  • Fall 23
  • Fall 24
  • Practical exercises
  • Class participation

Legal Writing: Craft & Style is a two-credit boot camp for 2L JDs who want to work towards acquiring professional-level writing and editing skills. Through weekly writing projects, students will master the line-editing techniques for creating optimal sentences and paragraphs. Through intensive study, practice, and an exit exam, students will master the essentials of grammar, usage, and copyediting expected of professional writers. Finally, each student will deploy these skills by creating two pieces of original writing commonly expected of young lawyers: a client letter and a client update on a development in the law. Throughout the course, students will have individual support and feedback for their work.

220

Conflict of Laws 3
  • JD SRWP, option
  • JD elective
  • LLM-ICL (JD) elective
  • LLM-ICL (JD) writing
  • IntlLLM NY Bar
  • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
  • Fall 23
  • Fall 24
  • Research and/or analytical paper
  • Class participation

This course in legal reasoning highlights the central problematic of conflict of laws: the rule of law and the specter of judicial activism. It does so by way of a systematic exploration of the judicial methods and patterns of legal argument used to decide cases in which the relevant facts of the dispute are connected with multiple jurisdictions. The first half of the course is focused on domestic conflicts issues in the United States, mostly dealing with choice of law questions in tort, contract, and family law. This study examines the full range of approaches that developed in the courts between the time of Joseph Beale and rise of the Second Restatement on Conflict of Laws. The second half of the course turns from domestic to transnational conflicts problems, and in particular, brings a focus to the topic of extraterritorial jurisdiction. This study survey US federal court decisions on extraterritorial choice of law, including questions in constitutional law, civil rights law, environmental law, labor law, antitrust law, securities law, and human rights law. 

Grade is 20% class participation, 80% paper.

225

Criminal Procedure: Adjudication 2
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM NY Bar
  • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
  • PIPS elective
  • Spring 22
  • Spring 23
  • Spring 24
  • Final Exam

A study of the basic rules of criminal procedure, beginning with the institution of formal proceedings. Subjects to be covered include prosecutorial discretion, the preliminary hearing, the grand jury, criminal discovery, guilty pleas and plea bargaining, jury selection, pretrial publicity, double jeopardy, the right to counsel, and professional ethics in criminal cases.

226

Criminal Procedure: Investigation 3
  • JD elective
  • JD Standard 303(c)
  • IntlLLM NY Bar
  • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
  • PIPS elective
  • Spring 22
  • Fall 22
  • Spring 23
  • Spring 24
  • Fall 24
  • Final Exam
  • Class participation

This course in advanced constitutional law is a study of the legal limitations on criminal investigative practices contained in the Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Amendments. Topics include search and seizure, arrest, the exclusionary rule, electronic surveillance, the privilege against self-incrimination, interrogation, confessions, and the right to counsel.

229

State and Local Government Law 3
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
  • PIPS elective
  • Spring 23
  • Spring 24
  • Final Exam
  • In-class exercise
  • Class participation

Much of the business of governing takes place at the state and local level, rather than on the federal level. Competent attorneys must consider the effect that various state and local actors will have on their clients' interests, whether they represent large corporations, small franchises, or individuals. This course is designed to offer an overview of the issues concerning state and local governance from both a theoretical and practical perspective. The course will acquaint students with the broad issues surrounding state and local government, rather than focus on any particular state or municipality. Among the topics of discussion: state constitutional law, structure, and rights; distribution of authority between federal, state, and local governments; federal, state, and local government coordination and conflict; issues surrounding state and local provision of services and employment; state and municipal governance and oversight, and the role of localism and direct democracy in our constitutional structure. Evaluation will be based on class participation, class exercises, and an examination.

232

Employment Discrimination 3
  • JD elective
  • JD Standard 303(c)
  • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
  • PIPS elective
  • Spring 22
  • Spring 23
  • Spring 24
  • Final Exam
  • Class participation

A study of the law of employment discrimination, focusing mainly on federal statutes that prohibit discrimination based on race, color, sex, religion, national origin, and age. Class time is committed to both doctrinal and policy analysis. The course does not examine disability discrimination.

236

International Human Rights 2
  • JD elective
  • JD Standard 303(c)
  • LLM-ICL (JD) elective
  • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
  • PIPS elective
  • Fall 23
  • Final Exam
  • In-class exercise
  • Class participation

This course critically assesses the international and domestic laws, institutions, and legal and political theories that relate to protecting the fundamental liberties of all human beings. The course emphasizes (1) specific "hot button" topics within international human rights law, such as extraordinary renditions, hate speech, and lesbian and gay rights); (2) the judicial, legislative, and executive bodies that interpret and implement human rights; and (3) the public and private actors who commit rights violations and who seek redress for individuals whose rights have been violated. Course requirements include a final exam, a negotiation exercise, and student participation in class discussions.

250

Family Law 2
  • JD elective
  • JD Standard 303(c)
  • IntlLLM NY Bar
  • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
  • PIPS elective
  • Fall 21
  • Fall 22
  • Fall 23
  • Fall 24
  • Final Exam
  • Class participation

A study of how law regulates intimate adult relationships and relationships between parents and children. We will discuss constitutional and statutory rights and restrictions on marriage, adult relationships, adoption, parentage, child custody, dissolution of adult relationships, and financial support for children. We will explore the evolution of family law in relation to racial and gender equality and consider issues of socioeconomic inequality and access to justice.  Grading is based on a final examination and class participation. 

252

Foreign Relations Law 3
  • JD elective
  • LLM-ICL (JD) elective
  • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
  • Fall 23
  • Final Exam

This course examines the constitutional and statutory doctrines regulating the conduct of American foreign relations. Topics include the distribution of foreign relations powers between the three branches of the federal government, the status of international law in U.S. courts, the scope of the treaty power, the validity of executive agreements, the pre-emption of state foreign relations activities, the power to declare and conduct war, and the political question and other doctrines regulating judicial review in foreign relations cases. Where relevant, we will focus on current events, such as the recent lawsuits against China concerning COVID-19, controversies over immigration enforcement, the withdrawal by the United States from various treaties, and uses of military force against alleged terrorists.

265

First Amendment 3
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM NY Bar
  • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
  • PIPS elective
  • Fall 21
  • Fall 22
  • Spring 24
  • Fall 24
  • Final Exam

This course examines the legal doctrines, theories, and arguments arising out of the free speech and religion clauses of the First Amendment.

302

Appellate Courts 2
  • JD SRWP
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
  • PIPS elective
  • Spring 22
  • Spring 23
  • Spring 24
  • 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.

307

Internet and Telecommunications Regulation 3
  • JD elective
  • LLM-ICL (JD) elective
  • LLM-LE (JD) elective
  • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  • IntllLLM IP Cert
  • IntlLLM NVE Cert
  • PIPS elective
  • Fall 21
  • Spring 23
  • Final Exam
  • Class participation

This course will examine the regulation of technology, and specifically the technology of Internet and telecommunications. We will examine the possible application of antitrust law and more specific forms of regulation, and will consider pending policy proposals. We will also examine the constitutional (principally First Amendment) constraints on any such regulation.

309

Children and the Law 2
  • JD elective
  • JD Standard 303(c)
  • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
  • PIPS elective
  • Fall 23
  • Group project(s)
  • Oral presentation

This course will explore the relationship between the law and children’s status, rights, and well-being from a child-centered perspective. The course will introduce students to some of the foundational legal doctrines which govern the relationships among children, their parents, and the state. Through lecture, class discussion, and group presentations, this course will apply those foundational principles in specific contexts, including at school, home, healthcare, and community settings, with a focus on emerging and current issues in children’s law. This course will grapple with the ways in which current legal frameworks do or do not promote children’s rights and health, with a focus on the experiences of vulnerable groups, including LGBTQ+ children, children living in poverty, children of color, children involved in the child welfare and delinquency systems, and children with disabilities. This class will require collaboration in small groups as students work towards a final presentation.

313

Judicial Decisionmaking 3
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
  • Spring 23
  • Fall 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.

 

314

Federal Habeas Corpus 2
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
  • PIPS elective
  • Spring 23
  • Final Exam
  • Midterm
  • Practical exercises
  • Class participation

What is habeas corpus and why has it earned the title of the “Great Writ”? Habeas corpus allows prisoners to challenge their detentions and it empowers judges to free prisoners that are unlawfully detained. The writ reaches the most unpopular prisoners: enemies of the state, war criminals, and those convicted of the most heinous crimes. Due to its historic role as the last resort for prisoners to obtain judicial review, the U.S. Supreme Court has called the Great Writ one that is “indispensable” and one that “indisputably holds an honored position in our jurisprudence.” Thus, prisoner litigation is the subject of this course, and in particular, the rights and remedies available to prisoners who seek to challenge their detention.

We will use the co-authored casebook: the first to cover federal habeas corpus comprehensively, presenting post-conviction review and executive detention litigation in an accessible way. It is available on Sakai, along with the rest of our course materials. We will begin with an examination of the writ of habeas corpus, under which federal courts examine whether detentions are authorized. We will explore the historical evolution of the writ from a common law prerogative writ to the U.S. federal system and the meaning of the enigmatic Suspension Clause of the U.S. Constitution. We will then focus on habeas litigation by state prisoners convicted of crimes. We will study the 1996 Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act (AEDPA) and how it intersects with the key Supreme Court decisions that define the limits and procedures for habeas corpus, including through the doctrines of exhaustion, procedural default, non-retroactivity, and miscarriage of justice innocence “gateway” claims.

In the second part of the course, we will examine the Suspension Clause and how Article III of the Constitution shapes the power of judges to use habeas corpus. We will explore the use of habeas corpus to remedy unlawful executive detention, including immigration detention, military detention, and national security detention. We will study recent statutes and Supreme Court decisions relating to persons indefinitely detained or facing military commission trials post-9/11. We will conclude by studying the intersection of habeas corpus and civil litigation, and with a broader look at the future of habeas corpus.

We will conduct a series of practical exercises based on real cases, during synchronous classes and offline. Short lectures will often be recorded in advance to focus our synchronous time on engaging with the material. The goal is for you to understand the doctrine and theory but also develop practical litigation skills, directly applicable to prisoner litigation, and also to litigation generally. Some will be in-class exercises, while others will be written exercises outside of class. You will be given feedback on your work throughout the semester. Similarly, grading will be based not just on a final exam, but on class participation (in synchronous classes, in comments on each other’s work, and on the Sakai forum discussion pages), written answers to three review exercises, written comments on classmates’ answer to review exercises, a midterm exam, and a final exam. All midterm and final exam grading is blind.

317

Criminal Justice Ethics 2
  • JD elective
  • JD ethics
  • IntlLLM NY Bar
  • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
  • PIPS elective
  • Fall 21
  • Fall 22
  • Spring 23
  • Fall 23
  • Spring 24
  • Reflective Writing
  • Research and/or analytical paper(s), 15 pages
  • Class participation
  • Other

Criminal Justice Ethics (2 Credit Seminar) focuses on the professional and ethical laws governing attorneys in the criminal justice system. The course focuses on issues affecting both prosecutors and defense attorneys and the applicable rules of professional conduct. The course will work to deepen students’ understanding of the role and responsibilities of criminal justice attorneys in society. This is a specialized ethics course with a focus on lawyers working in the criminal justice system, as such our focus will not cover the Rules of Professional Conduct in their entirety. The class is discussion-based. The primary methods of assessment will be three (3), two-page reflection papers throughout the semester and a final 15-page research and/or analytical paper.

318

Comparative Constitutional Law 2
  • JD SRWP with add-on credit
  • LLM-ICL (JD) required
    • Reflective Writing
    • Research and/or analytical paper(s), 10-15 pages
    • Class participation

    This course explores constitutional law from different parts of the world. The course will start by examining the goals, methods, and practical relevance of comparative constitutional analysis. We will then turn to a comparative analysis of constitutional structures, including differing approaches to separation of powers, judicial review, and federalism. The remainder of the course will examine comparative approaches to the constitutional protection of human rights.

    This course is open only to the 2L JD-LLM-ICL students.

    318W

    Comparative Constitutional Law, Writing 1
    • JD SRWP
    • LLM-ICL (JD) elective
      • Research paper, 25+ pages

      Students enrolled in Law318 Comparative Constitutional Law may choose to write a 25-30 page research paper, in lieu of the 10-12 page paper, in order to satisfy the JD Substantial Research and Writing Project degree requirement.  Students choosing this option should enroll in Law 318W.

      329

      Education Law 2
      • JD SRWP
      • JD elective
      • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
      • PIPS elective
      • Spring 22
      • Spring 23
      • Research paper, 25+ pages
      • In-class exercise
      • Class participation

      Education Law: Constitutional, Statutory, and Policy Considerations. This seminar introduces students to the legal standards that govern public schools in the United States. Constitutional topics include the right to a public education, the financing of public schools, desegregation and equal opportunity of students, limitations on student speech, school discipline and the right to due process, religion in schools, and privacy rights of students. Statutory topics include federal laws such as the Every Student Succeeds Act, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, Title IX, and the Equal Educational Opportunities Act. Policy topics include school reforms, such as charters and vouchers, and the ongoing inequities in US public schools, and the school-to-prison pipeline, and recent restrictions on classroom curricula. A research paper is required; successful completion of the paper will satisfy the Substantial Research and Writing Project Requirement. A course pack will be used in lieu of a textbook, supplemented with materials posted on Canvas.

      330

      Federal Criminal Law 2
      • JD elective
      • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
      • PIPS elective
      • Spring 22
      • Fall 24
      • Take-home examination
      • Oral presentation
      • Practical exercises
      • In-class exercise
      • Class participation

      This course examines the role of the federal government in the criminal justice system, focusing on significant federal offenses criminalizing fraud, public corruption, drugs, money laundering, racketeering, firearms, and terrorism. We will also consider prosecutorial discretion, plea bargaining, and sentencing in the federal system. The objective of this course is to master doctrine and to learn how to debate federal criminal law's merits and proper limits. Public policy, theory, critical thinking, writing, and oral advocacy will be emphasized.

      Federal criminal law is recommended either for second- or third-year students. It is especially helpful for students who will have a federal judicial clerkship, and those who anticipate a career in litigation. There are no prerequisites.

      Each student will participate in two mock appellate cases, once as a judge and once as an advocate. The course grade will be based on class participation, the mock cases, and a take-home examination, allocated as follows:

      Points/Approximate percentage of final grade

      • 25 argument #1 28%
      • 25 argument #2 28%
      • 30 take-home exam 33.3%
      • 10 class participation 11%

      The maximum for each argument is 25 points, allocated as follows:

      Advocates:

      • 15 points: written summary of argument
      • 10 points: for the oral presentation (substance and style)

      Judges:

      • 5 points: written questions
      • 10 points: written preliminary disposition
      • 5 points: writing (questions and summary disposition)
      • 5 points: oral questions & final explanation of the decision at the close of the arguments

      334

      Civil Rights Litigation 3
      • JD elective
      • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
      • PIPS elective
      • 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 23
      • Spring 24
      • 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 4
      • JD elective
      • JD Standard 303(c)
      • IntlLLM NY Bar
      • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
      • PIPS elective
      • Spring 22
      • Fall 22
      • Spring 23
      • Spring 24
      • 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.

      343

      Federal Courts I: Constitution & Judicial Power 3
      • JD elective
      • IntlLLM NY Bar
      • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
      • PIPS elective
      • Fall 21
      • Fall 23
      • Fall 24
      • Final Exam

      Federal Courts is sometimes thought of as the love child of Constitutional Law and Civil Procedure. It takes the Con Law I themes of federalism, separation of powers, and protection of individual rights and develops them in the context of jurisdiction, procedure, and remedies. Most experienced litigators--including criminal and regulatory litigators--consider the course essential.

      Federal Courts 1 is the first of a two course sequence designed to provide exhaustive coverage of the material at a very civilized pace. Both parts one and two are three-credit courses ordinarily taken in the Fall and Spring of the same year. They have separate exams that are graded independently. There is no requirement that one take both installments, but it is strongly recommended.

      Federal Courts 1 (The Constitution and Judicial Power) focuses on the nature of the Article III judicial power and its place in the constitutional scheme. We begin with the justiciability doctrines (standing, ripeness, mootness, and finality), then move on to Congress's control over federal court jurisdiction and adjudication in non-Article III courts (e.g., bankruptcy courts and administrative agencies). This installment also addresses the relationship between federal and state courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court's power to review state court decisions, the Erie doctrine's restriction on the common lawmaking powers of federal courts, and the implication of private rights of action under federal statutes.

      344

      Federal Courts II - Public Law Litigation 3
      • JD elective
      • IntlLLM NY Bar
      • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
      • PIPS elective
      • Spring 22
      • Spring 24
      • Final Exam

      Federal Courts is sometimes thought of as the love child of Constitutional Law and Civil Procedure. It takes the Con Law I themes of federalism, separation of powers, and protection of individual rights and develops them in the context of jurisdiction, procedure, and remedies. Most experienced litigators—including criminal and regulatory litigators—consider the course essential.

      Federal Courts 2 is the second of a two course sequence designed to provide exhaustive coverage of the material at a very civilized pace. Both parts one and two are three-credit courses ordinarily taken in the Fall and Spring of the same year. They have separate exams that are graded independently. There is no requirement that one take both installments, but it is strongly recommended.

      Federal Courts 2 (Public Law Litigation) focuses on litigation meant to vindicate federal statutory and constitutional rights. We begin with the ins and outs of the Federal Question jurisdictional statute, then move on to suits against the government. We address both federal and state sovereign immunity in depth, and we explore civil rights litigation against state and federal officers under 42 U.S.C. 1983 and the Bivens doctrine. We also canvass various statutory and judge-made rules limiting parallel litigation in state and federal courts. The course concludes with an in-depth treatment of federal habeas corpus as a vehicle for judicial review of executive detention and for collateral attack on state criminal convictions.

      345

      Gender & the Law 2
      • JD elective
      • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
      • PIPS elective
      • Spring 23
      • Final Exam
      • Reflective Writing
      • Oral presentation
      • Practical exercises
      • In-class exercise
      • Class participation

      This course will explore the relationship between gender and the law, understanding gender in its broadest sense including sex, sexuality, gender identity, and gender queerness. It will focus on sex discrimination doctrines under the Equal Protection Clause of the United States Constitution as well as under federal and state statutory frameworks such as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964,Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972, and cognate state statutes. It will also address the shifting scope of substantive due process doctrine, particularly given the recent Supreme Court Dobbs opinion. Other statutes such as the Americans with Disabilities Act will also be explored. Constitutional Law is highly recommended as a prerequisite.

      The course will center around legal case studies to evaluate the relationship between law and justice in many areas that affect gender minority lives, including: employment, schools, health care, prison, public accommodations, family, youth and aging, and beyond. The emphasis will be on social justice lawyering strategies and the possibilities and limits that litigation, legislation, and policy developments present for work in these areas. Some film is used in class. Evaluation is by an end-of-term, untimed, open book examination, as well as 3 reaction papers assigned throughout the class. Other individual or group projects may also be required. Engaged student discussion and open-mindedness to new, different, and challenging ideas is invited and valued.

      350

      Advanced Constitutional Law: A Legal History of the US Civil Rights Movement 3
      • JD elective
      • JD Standard 303(c)
      • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
      • PIPS elective
      • Fall 21
      • Spring 24
      • Final Exam
      • Class participation

      This course will examine the role of the U.S. civil rights movement in the development of U.S. constitutional law. Conventional theories of judicial independence do not define a legitimate role for social movements in the transformation of U.S. constitutional law, but recent advances in legal scholarship have underscored the co-constitutive relationship between law and social movements.  Accordingly, this course will explore how movement participants engaged the U.S. Constitution and how these encounters shaped constitutional doctrine, social institutions, public discourse, and movement participants themselves. We will investigate the processes of mobilization and counter-mobilization and reflect on how the U.S. civil rights movement often spurred constitutional change through means other than constitutionally specified procedures. We will also consider how and why movements fail and will critically analyze rights-based approaches to reform. Course readings will draw from a wide range of historical, sociological, and legal sources.

      351

      U.S. Immigration and Nationality Law 3
      • JD elective
      • JD Standard 303(c)
      • LLM-ICL (JD) elective
      • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
      • PIPS elective
      • Spring 22
      • Spring 23
      • Spring 24
      • Final Exam
      • Practical exercises
      • Class participation

      This course will provide an overview of immigration law and policy. It combines a study of constitutional law, statutory interpretation, and administrative regulations. We examine the constitutional law governing noncitizens as they seek to enter and remain in the United States as well as the statutory provisions governing humanitarian protection, family-based and employment-based migration. We also discuss the immigration consequences of criminal convictions, the obligations of criminal defense attorneys to advise noncitizen clients, and the intersection of criminal and immigration enforcement systems.

      The course explores the legal, social, historical, and political factors that have constructed immigration law and policy in the U.S.  In examining these various factors, the course will analyze several inherent conflicts that arise in immigration law, including, among other things, the tension between the right of a sovereign nation to determine whom to admit to the nation state and the constitutional and human rights of noncitizens to gain admission or stay in the U.S., the power of the executive branch to set and change immigration policy, issues that arise between noncitizens and citizens of the U.S. with regard to employment, security, and civil rights and the tension between the federal and state governments in regulating immigration law. Students will participate in a mock removal proceeding and will complete hypothetical immigration problems that illustrate the application of constitutional, statutory, and regulatory immigration law.

      362

      State Constitutional Law 3
      • JD elective
      • Spring 24
      • Final Exam
      • Research and/or analytical paper(s), 10-15 pages
      • Class participation

      This course will explore the important field of State Constitutional Law.  It will focus on State Supreme Court decisions, especially those decisions that have decided important constitutional claims differently from the United States Supreme Court.  The focus will be on important constitutional law issues involving voting rights, abortion and other privacy rights, gun regulation, funding of public education, and religious freedom.  It will also explore several structural issues relating to State judiciaries and State Constitutions.

      70% of the course grade will be based on a three-hour take-home exam.  20% will be based on a 10-page paper on an approved state constitutional law topic.  And 10% will be based on class participation.

      363

      Legislation and Statutory Interpretation 3
      • JD elective
      • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
      • Spring 22
      • Spring 24
      • Final Exam

      Legislation is one of the most important forms of law in modern American society. Indeed, it has been said that we are living in an 'age of statutes.' Almost every aspect of legal practice involves construction of statutes, whether defining the jurisdiction of the courts or establishing the norms to which society must conform. In this course, we will examine the legal theory and practice of the making and enforcement of statutes. The course will begin with a study of the legislative process, with special attention to theories that seek to understand why some bills succeed where others fail. The next unit of the course will consider statutes as a unique source of law, comparing them to the common law and the Constitution. We will then move to the heart of the course, which will focus on how judges and other legal actors (agencies, enforcers, etc.) interpret statutes. There will be a take-home final for this course.

      407

      Appellate Litigation Clinic (Fall) 4
      • JD elective
      • JD experiential
      • PIPS elective
      • PIPS experiential
      • Fall 21
      • Fall 23
      • Fall 24
      • Group project(s)
      • Practical exercises
      • Live-client representation and case management
      • Class participation

      The Appellate Litigation Clinic is a yearlong clinic that offers students the opportunity to work on a federal appeal in a civil or criminal case involving complex, important legal questions. The clinic aims to advance the public interest and help secure access to justice for those who are underserved by the legal system. Because appellate practice focuses largely on legal research, brief-writing, and oral argument, students will receive intensive training in written and oral advocacy as they are practiced in some of the highest courts in the nation. Students will also engage in all the other critical aspects of appellate practice, including: meeting with clients, listening to them, learning to tell their stories, educating them (and co-counsel) about the substantive law and appellate practice, developing effective legal strategy, and identifying and addressing ethical concerns. Skills developed in the clinic will be directly transferable to trial-court litigation, regulatory work, government service, and many other career paths in the law.

      Clinic students will work in teams to review the trial-court record, identify legal issues, conduct legal research, prepare research memorandums and outlines of arguments, participate in tactical decision-making, draft and edit briefs, and prepare for oral argument. Students will also collaborate on classmates’ cases and participate in the litigation of a variety of legal issues. Subject to the clients’ permission, court approval, and an argument date during the school year, a student will argue each appeal in court. A weekly seminar will include reflection on case work, instruction in appellate procedure and effective written and oral advocacy, and exploration of how to negotiate workplace power dynamics and ethical issues that new lawyers often face.

      Enrollment is limited to third-year students (i.e., students who have completed four semesters of law school).

      To allow students to experience the entire life-cycle of an appeal, from filing the notice of appeal through oral argument, the Appellate Clinic is a full-year clinic. Students enrolled in LAW 407 will therefore also be enrolled in LAW 408, Appellate Litigation Clinic (Spring). Students will receive 4 credits in the Fall semester and 3 credits in the Spring.

      As with other clinics, students are required to attend the clinic intensive training session, and the 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 before the enrollment period. Permission is required for LLM students to enroll but does not guarantee a spot in the clinic.

      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 Appellate Litigation 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).

      408

      Appellate Litigation Clinic (Spring) 3
      • JD elective
      • JD experiential
      • JD Standard 303(c)
      • PIPS elective
      • PIPS experiential
      • Spring 22
      • Spring 24
      • Group project(s)
      • Practical exercises
      • Live-client representation and case management
      • Class participation

      Spring continuation of Appellate Litigation Clinic.

      416

      Children's Law Clinic 4-5
      • JD elective
      • JD experiential
      • JD Standard 303(c)
      • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
      • PIPS elective
      • PIPS experiential
      • Fall 21
      • Spring 22
      • Fall 22
      • Spring 23
      • Fall 23
      • Spring 24
      • Fall 24
      • 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 21
      • Spring 22
      • Spring 23
      • Fall 23
      • Spring 24
      • 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.

      435

      First Amendment Clinic 4
      • JD elective
      • JD experiential
      • JD Standard 303(c)
      • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
      • PIPS elective
      • PIPS experiential
      • Fall 21
      • Spring 22
      • Fall 22
      • Spring 23
      • Fall 23
      • Spring 24
      • Fall 24
      • Live-client representation and case management

      This clinic develops counseling, litigation, and advocacy skills through direct representation of clients and policy advocacy. Our clients include journalists, individuals, and organizations of diverse points of view whose free speech rights have been abridged. Representative matters include: defamation defense; prepublication review of news articles, podcasts, and blogs; access to public records and meetings; social media blocking; and specialized appellate representation and amicus support. The clinic also provides commentary and legal analysis on pending or enacted legislation that implicates First Amendment freedoms. Students are directly supervised by the Clinic Director, the Supervising Attorney, and the Local Journalism Fellow. All enrolled students will be required to bill at least 100 hours a semester on client matters or other professional activities, as well as to participating in the weekly seminar and supervision meetings.

      Important:

      This course may not be dropped after the first week.

      Students must be able to attend the day-long clinic intensive training session to enroll in this course.

      Ethics Requirement

      Students are required to have instruction in the Model Rules of Professional Conduct prior to, or during, enrollment in the First Amendment 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).

      435A

      Advanced First Amendment Law Clinic 2
      • JD elective
      • PIPS elective
      • PIPS experiential
      • Fall 21
      • Spring 22
      • Spring 23
      • Fall 23
      • Spring 24
      • Fall 24
      • Live-client representation and case management

      This two-credit course is available to students who have participated in one semester in the First Amendment Law clinic and wish to participate for a second semester. Students may enroll only with approval of the Director of the Clinic.. Students enrolled in Advanced Clinical Studies are required to participate fully in the case work portion of the clinic, performing 100-120 hours of client representation work, but will not be required to attend the class sessions.

      437

      International Human Rights Clinic 4-5
      • JD elective
      • JD experiential
      • JD Standard 303(c)
      • LLM-ICL (JD) elective
      • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
      • PIPS elective
      • PIPS experiential
      • Fall 21
      • Spring 22
      • Fall 22
      • Spring 23
      • Fall 23
      • Spring 24
      • Fall 24
      • Group project(s)
      • Practical exercises
      • Class participation

      The International Human Rights Clinic provides students with an opportunity to critically engage with human rights issues, strategies, tactics, institutions, and law in both domestic and international settings. Through the weekly seminar and fieldwork, students will develop practical tools for human rights advocacy—such as fact-finding, litigation, indicators, reporting, and messaging—that integrate inter-disciplinary methods and maximize the use of new technologies. Students will also develop core competencies related to managing trauma in human rights work, as well as the ethical and accountability challenges in human rights lawyering. Types of clinic projects include those that: apply a human rights framework to domestic issues; involve human rights advocacy abroad; engage with international institutions to advance human rights; and/or address human rights in U.S. foreign policy. Students work closely with local organizations, international NGOs, and U.N. human rights experts and bodies. Students are required to have taken Human Rights Advocacy (offered only in the Fall) as a pre-requisite or co-requisite. There is no ethics requirement for this course. Some travel will likely be involved. Student project teams will also meet at least once a week with the clinic instructors. Students work on clinic projects for a minimum of either 100 or 125 hours of clinical work during the semester. This course may not be dropped after the first class meeting.

      443

      Environmental Law and Policy Clinic 4
      • JD elective
      • JD experiential
      • JD Standard 303(c)
      • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
      • IntlLLM Environ Cert
      • PIPS elective
      • PIPS experiential
      • Fall 21
      • Spring 22
      • Fall 22
      • Spring 23
      • Fall 23
      • Spring 24
      • Fall 24
      • Group project(s)
      • Practical exercises
      • Live-client representation and case management
      • Class participation

      The Duke Environmental Law and Policy Clinic is an interdisciplinary clinic that represents non-profit community-based and environmental organizations throughout the region to address a wide variety of environmental concerns in a variety of different venues. Students work in interdisciplinary teams and engage directly with clients to develop legal and advocacy strategies, conduct site-based assessments, develop legislative and regulatory proposals, and participate in community outreach and education efforts. Students also may engage in litigation, regulatory, and policy proceedings as case needs dictate. Skills training is conducted in weekly seminars and case management meetings and emphasizes client counseling, legal and policy advocacy, networking and working with experts. Although the mix of topics addressed varies among semesters, common themes include environmental justice, climate change, water quality, natural resources conservation, endangered species protection, sustainable agriculture, public trust resources, and environmental health. Clinic faculty make an effort to honor student preferences for case assignments, consistent with case needs and each student’s objectives for professional growth and development.

      Clinic Enrollment and Credit Policies

      To enroll, law students must have completed their 1L year; Nicholas School students may enroll after their first semester with permission from the clinic's directors. International LLM students may enroll during their second semester with permission from the clinic's directors. Variable credit (4-6 hours) is allowed for law students with permission from the clinic’s directors.

      Although not a prerequisite, students are encouraged to have completed Environmental Law, Ocean and Coastal Law and Policy, and/or Administrative Law prior to enrollment.

      Ethics Requirement for Law Students

      Students are required to have instruction in the Model Rules of Professional Conduct prior to, or during, enrollment in the Environmental Law and Policy 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).

      Important to Note: 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.

      443A

      Advanced Environmental Law and Policy
      • JD elective
      • PIPS elective
      • PIPS experiential
      • Fall 21
      • Spring 22
      • Spring 23
      • Fall 23
      • Spring 24
      • Fall 24
      • Group project(s)
      • Practical exercises
      • Live-client representation and case management
      • Class participation

      This variable-credit (2-4 credits) course builds on the training and work of the EL&PC and offers students the opportunity to develop case leadership and deeper client relationships. Students enrolled in the Advanced Clinic are required to participate fully in the case work portion of the clinic, performing at least 100 hours of client representation work (or more, depending on credit hours), and are required to attend weekly case management meetings. In addition, Advanced students must attend two discussion sessions with other advanced clinic students that will be scheduled after the start of the semester. Instructor permission and successful completion of one semester of clinical work are required to enroll.

      445

      Immigrant Rights Clinic 4-5
      • JD elective
      • JD experiential
      • JD Standard 303(c)
      • PIPS elective
      • PIPS experiential
      • Fall 21
      • Spring 22
      • Fall 22
      • Spring 23
      • Fall 23
      • Spring 24
      • Fall 24
      • 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.

      445A

      Advanced Immigrant Rights Clinic
      • JD elective
      • PIPS elective
      • PIPS experiential
      • Fall 21
      • Spring 22
      • Spring 23
      • Fall 23
      • Spring 24
      • Fall 24
      • Reflective Writing
      • Live-client representation and case management
      • Class participation

      This course is available to students who have participated in one semester of the Immigrant Rights clinic and wish to participate for a second semester. Students may enroll only with approval of the Director of the Clinic.

      471

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

        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.

        493

        Wrongful Convictions Clinic 4
        • JD elective
        • JD experiential
        • JD Standard 303(c)
        • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
        • PIPS elective
        • PIPS experiential
        • Fall 21
        • Spring 22
        • Fall 22
        • Spring 23
        • Fall 23
        • Spring 24
        • Fall 24
        • 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.

        503

        The Constitution in Congress 2
        • JD SRWP, option
        • JD elective
        • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
        • Spring 22
        • Research paper option, 25+ pages
        • Class participation

        Many of America’s formative constitutional struggles occurred in the halls of Congress, rather than the courts. Principles now taken for granted were once vigorously contested, often along partisan or sectional lines. This course will explore moments of congressional deliberation that shaped the trajectory of American constitutional development. Likely topics include debates over the Alien and Sedition Acts, the spending power, military conscription, territorial expansion, executive power, antislavery petitioning, the Fugitive Slave Acts, the legacy of Dred Scott, women’s equality, and judicial supremacy. Students will analyze key floor debates and committee reports alongside later Supreme Court decisions covering similar substantive ground.

        Throughout the course, we will encounter sophisticated and wide-ranging arguments on matters of first impression. These episodes provide rich historical insight into contemporary debates over how the Constitution should be interpreted. We will also consider the extent to which modern constitutional law has been shaped by concepts that have fallen out of favor and by practices that are now viewed with moral revulsion. And we will reflect on the absence of perspectives that were systematically excluded from Congress until well into the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

        The course will be taught as a two-hour weekly seminar, focused on class discussion of the assigned readings. Students will complete a research paper that can be used to satisfy the upper-level writing requirement.

         

        504

        Critical Race Theory 2
        • JD elective
        • JD Standard 303(c)
        • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
        • PIPS elective
        • Spring 22
        • Reflective Writing
        • Research and/or analytical paper(s), 10-15 pages
        • Oral presentation
        • Class participation

        Critical race theory (CRT), a scholarly movement that began in the 1980s, challenges both the substance and style of conventional legal scholarship.  Substantively, critical race scholars (“race crits”) reject formal equality, individual rights, and color-blind approaches to solving legal problems.  Stylistically, race crits often employ new methodologies for legal scholarship, including storytelling and narrative.  This course introduces CRT’s core principles and explores its possibilities and limitations.  With a heavy focus on writings that shaped the movement, the course will examine the following concepts and theories: storytelling, interest convergence theory, the social construction of race, the black-white paradigm, the myth of the model minority, intersectionality, essentialism, working identity, covering, whiteness and white privilege, colorblindness, microaggressions, and implicit bias.  Students will apply these theories and frameworks to cases and topics dealing with, among other things, first amendment freedoms, affirmative action, employment discrimination, and criminal disparities and inequities.  The course affords students an opportunity to think about the ways in which racism, sexism, classism, and heterosexism are inextricably interwoven as well as an opportunity to challenge critically our most basic assumptions about race, law, and justice.

        507

        Federal Indigent Defense in Practice 3
        • JD elective
        • JD Standard 303(c)
        • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
        • PIPS elective
        • Fall 21
        • Fall 22
        • Spring 24
        • Simulated Writing, Litigation
        • Reflective Writing
        • Practical exercises
        • Class participation

        The Sixth Amendment guarantees “the right of the accused to require the prosecution’s case to survive the crucible of meaningful adversarial testing.”  United States v. Cronic (1984).  Most individuals prosecuted with federal crimes cannot afford an attorney, and thus, rely on the assistance of federal defenders and other lawyers in the community appointed to defend them.  This course provides an in-depth introduction to the substantive law and professional skills needed to represent an indigent defendant.  The course will be equally valuable to students interested in working as a federal prosecutor or as a prosecutor or defender in state court.  

        Effective representation in a federal criminal case requires an understanding not just of the substantive and procedural federal law, but also of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the interaction between federal and state law.  The attorney needs to understand the practical problems involved in representing a true underdog facing the power and endless resources of the United States government, develop sharp advocacy and negotiation skills, and possess deep empathy for individuals who would not otherwise have a voice.

        Students will study these issues from the perspective of appointed attorneys representing a defendant based on an actual federal criminal case.  Substantive areas of focus will include federal firearm and drug laws (the government’s bread and butter charges in indigent cases), challenging the guilty plea and sentence, overcoming waivers and unpreserved errors, constitutional issues including common Fourth Amendment concerns arising from police searches and seizures, and the practical considerations involved in obtaining the best outcome for the client.  The course will also necessarily consider the intersection of race, poverty, and systemic discrimination in our system of justice. 

        Professor H. Jefferson Powell will focus on relevant constitutional issues.

        518

        Constitutional Law II: Historical Cases and Contemporary Controversies 2
        • JD SRWP
        • JD elective
        • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
        • Fall 21
        • Spring 23
        • Research and/or analytical paper(s), 20+ pages
        • Class participation

        Federal constitutional law is deeply shaped by its history. Many of our hot-button issues emerged in the early Republic: the specific questions are often different but the basic disagreements and arguments are startlingly modern.  The modern “canon” of US Supreme Court cases through which constitutional law is taught is an abstraction from this history.  Even if this is mostly unavoidable, the result is that in important ways our understanding of constitutional history, and thus of contemporary constitutional law as well, is distorted.  In this course we will look at a series of contemporary issues  - such as freedom of speech and religion, unenumerated rights, and federalism, through the lens provided by cases and controversies in the first century of the Constitution’s existence that for the most part have dropped out of our field of vision.  Our goal is not simply to develop a deeper understanding of the constitutional past but just as importantly to acquire fresh perspectives on contemporary law.

        543

        State Constitutional Law and Localism 1
        • JD SRWP with add-on credit
        • JD elective
        • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
        • Spring 22
        • Reflective Writing
        • Class participation

        This seminar discusses issues concerning state constitutional law and localism. The readings for the course will be classic written works on the topic as well as new contributions by contemporary scholars. The course will focus on the doctrinal and theoretical issues surrounding state constitutional law and localism. Among the topics in the seminar: the interpretation of state constitutions; state constitutions as the source of both negative and positive rights; the "new preemption" of local government; the role of mayors and municipal government in setting public policy, political polarization and localism, and related topics. Class will meet every other week. Evaluation will be based on class participation and short reflection papers distributed prior to class. Students can take the class for one or two credits. The two credit option will require a substantial paper.

        543W

        State Constitutional Law and Localism, Writing Credit 1
        • JD SRWP
        • JD elective
        • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
        • IntlLLM writing
        • Spring 22
        • Research paper, 25+ pages

        While enrolled in Law 543 State Constitutional Law and Localism, students who plan significant research projects on related topics may register for a second credit in order to satisfy the JD Writing Requirement. *LAW 543W must be added no later than 7th week of class.*

        544

        The Collective Action Constitution 3
        • JD SRWP
        • JD elective
        • LLM-ICL (JD) writing
        • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
        • IntlLLM writing
        • PIPS elective
        • Spring 23
        • Fall 23
        • Reflective Writing
        • Research paper, 25+ pages
        • Class participation

        Collective action problems arise where every member of a group has a choice between alternatives, and if each member acts in a narrowly self-interested fashion or all members are unable to coordinate their actions, the outcome will be worse for all members by their own estimations than it will be if all or some of them choose another alternative.  Collective action problems are caused either by externalities (e.g., a prisoners’ dilemma), or by coordination difficulties (e.g., deciding which side of the road to drive on).  This seminar will examine the extent to which the United States Constitution can be understood as solving collective action problems that arise for the states and as empowering the states themselves and the federal government to solve such problems.  Topics will include:

        1. the number and importance of multi-state collective action problems both today and at the time of the creation of the Constitution;
        2. collective action theory in the social sciences;
        3. the promise and perils of relying on interstate compacts and other agreements to solve multi-state collective action problems;
        4. the necessity of federal power to solve such problems and a general examination of how Article I, Section 8, of the Constitution authorizes Congress to do so;
        5. the Interstate Commerce Clause and related structural principles (i.e., the anti-commandeering doctrine and the dormant commerce doctrine);
        6. the Taxing and Spending Clause and the Necessary and Proper Clause;
        7. the many other parts of the Constitution that can be explained to a significant extent by the logic of collective action (e.g., the Foreign and Indian Commerce Clauses; Article I, Section 10; the Treaty Clause of Article II; certain heads of federal jurisdiction in Article III, especially diversity and suits between states; the Privileges and Immunities Clause and the Territories Clause, both of Article IV; Article V’s requirements for constitutional amendments; and Article VII’s requirements for ratification of the Constitution);
        8. the inability of the collective action theory of the Constitution to explain certain parts of the Constitution, especially the Reconstruction Amendments, which follow a different structural logic;
        9. various challenges to the theory (e.g., that partisan polarization and congressional dysfunction undermine federal power to solve collective action problems; that the theory threatens to collapse the text of the Constitution into its underlying purposes; that the theory limits federal power too much (according to legal liberals) or not enough (according to legal conservatives); and that claims about whether collective action is rational or likely to occur are historically contingent and normatively contestable; and
        10. why the theory should matter to judges, elected officials, academics in several disciplines, and engaged citizens.

        Readings will draw from The Federalist Papers and other Founding materials (e.g., the Articles of Confederation, Madison’s Vices memorandum, various letters of the Founders, the Virginia Plan, and the Constitution); book chapters (by, e.g., Akhil Amar, Jack Balkin, Daniel Farber, Jack Rakove, and Neil Siegel); law review articles (by, e.g., Robert Stern, Donald Regan, Steven Calabresi, Robert Bork, Robert Cooter, Neil Siegel, and Ernest Young); U.S. Supreme Court opinions from the Marshall Court to the present; and select draft chapters of my book manuscript.

        Students will be required to write a 30-page research paper on a topic related to the substance of the seminar, which may be used to fulfill the JD SRWP degree requirements, the LLM writing requirement, or the special writing requirement for JD/LLMs. 

        Grades will be based on the quality of students’ course participation (40%) and the quality of their research papers (60%).

        545

        Urban Legal History 3
        • JD SRWP
        • JD elective
        • JD Standard 303(c)
        • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
        • IntlLLM writing
        • Fall 22
        • Fall 23
        • Research paper, 25+ pages
        • Class participation

        Urban Legal History is a research seminar which will focus on the legal issues relating to Durham's political, social, and economic development. The class will involve intensive study of primary and secondary materials, and will require students to produce substantial (45 page) research papers.

        551

        Civil Rights Enforcement Colloquium 2
        • JD SRWP, option
        • JD elective
        • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
        • IntlLLM writing
        • PIPS elective
        • Spring 22
        • Reflective Writing
        • Research paper option, 30 pages
        • Class participation

        This two-credit colloquium is designed to engage students on questions concerning the enforcement of civil rights (broadly defined) in America. Whereas most law school classes focus on the substance of such rights, this class will examine how civil rights are conceived and enforced – by individual rights-holders, by movement lawyers, or by governments. The colloquium will feature workshop-style presentations of works by scholars working in diverse fields, including civil rights, legal history, federal courts, and state and local government; as well as presentations by advocates involved in the work of civil rights enforcement. Students will be expected to engage with the speaker and with each other in discussion. Faculty interested in these topics also will be invited to attend and participate in the discussions.

        Students have two options for completing the requirements of the course:  1) short (5-10 page) papers in response to at least six of the works presented, due in advance of the presentation; or 2) a 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 could use the colloquium to satisfy the upper-level writing requirement. Contributions to class discussions will also be a component of the course grade.

        556

        Second Amendment: History, Theory, and Practice 2
        • JD SRWP, option
        • JD elective
        • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
        • IntlLLM writing
        • PIPS elective
        • Fall 21
        • Fall 22
        • Fall 23
        • Fall 24
        • Reaction Papers
        • Research paper, 25+ pages
        • Class participation

        Recent Supreme Court decisions have ushered in a new era of Second Amendment theory, litigation, and politics. Current events keep issues of firearms, gun violence, gun safety, and self-defense constantly in the news. This seminar will explore the Second Amendment and other aspects of federal and state firearms law. Students will be introduced to the historical and public policy materials surrounding the Second Amendment, the regulatory environment concerning firearms, and the political and legal issues pertaining to firearm rights-enforcement and policy design. Evaluation for the seminar will be based on in-class participation and a choice between six short reaction papers or one thirty-page paper.

        562

        Sentencing & Punishment 2
        • JD SRWP
        • JD elective
        • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
        • IntlLLM writing
        • IntlLLM Business Cert
        • PIPS elective
        • Fall 21
        • Fall 22
        • Research paper, 25+ pages
        • Class participation

        This seminar will focus on the process of imposing sentences in criminal cases, administering punishment, and attempting rehabilitation of convicted criminals. The course will first provide background regarding the purposes of punishment and the history of mandatory sentences, presumptive sentences, and sentencing guidelines, and focus on some of these issues in more detail through the use of a expert guest lecturers and a tour of the Federal Correctional Facility in Butner, NC. Students will be expected to participate meaningfully in the lectures, guest speakers and field trip, and produce a research paper on a related topic.

        565

        The Reconstruction Amendments: Our Second Founding 2-3
        • JD SRWP, option
        • JD elective
        • JD Standard 303(c)
        • IntlLLM writing, option
        • PIPS elective
        • Spring 24
        • Reflective Writing
        • Reaction Papers
        • Class participation

        The Reconstruction Amendments (the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments) are cornerstones to what has been described as our nation’s “Second Founding.”   Although students may be familiar with discrete clauses of these amendments from a general constitutional law or federal courts class, this seminar offers a chance to study the Reconstruction Amendments in more detail, and as a unit.   We will become acquainted with the key figures, events, and primary documents that surround the drafting, ratification, interpretation and enforcement of these Amendments.   We will consult the work of luminaries such as Frederick Douglass, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and John Bingham, as well as contemporary sources like newspaper articles, congressional reports, and the Proceedings of the Black National and State Conventions.    We will also examine select secondary works by legal scholars and historians that shed light on these amendments both descriptively and theoretically.  

        Students may enroll in the course for 2 or 3 credits.  Evaluation for the 2 credit course will be short reflective papers and class participation.  Evaluation for the 3 credit course will be short reflective papers, class participation, and a research paper suitable to satisfy the substantial writing requirement. 

        582

        National Security Law 3
        • JD SRWP
        • JD elective
        • LLM-ICL (JD) elective
        • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
        • IntlLLM writing
        • PIPS elective
        • Fall 21
        • Fall 22
        • Fall 23
        • Fall 24
        • Research paper, 25+ pages
        • Oral presentation
        • Class participation

        This fall-only survey course is designed to provide students (particularly those with no background in the topic) with an overview of the American legal architecture related to the U.S. security enterprise. The class will also examine related issues that arise "in the news." It is aimed not only at students considering a career in government or the military but also for those headed to private practice, including those who appreciate that the U.S.’s $849 billion ($2 trillion in defense outlays worldwide) impacts virtually all potential clients.

        The course includes analyzing the constitutional structure governing national security matters and the role played by the three branches of government (with special emphasis on Presidential power). It will also examine domestic authority for the use of force overseas, governmental surveillance, the investigation and prosecution of national security cases, as well as First Amendment issues and environmental matters related to national security. In addition, homeland security issues (to include the domestic use of the armed forces), security-based travel restrictions, public health emergencies, civil-military relations, and the impact of national security issues on business transactions will be reviewed. The textbook for this course will be Dycus, et al., National Security Law (7th ed., 2020). Other materials may be provided as necessary. The instructor will offer practical, real-world perspectives on the issues discussed based on their extensive careers in government.

        There is one assigned time block for the course, but the structure of classes may vary, and students may be divided into sections, discussion groups, and panels.

        The course is expected to include guest speakers. There may be occasional asynchronous content, including short lectures, podcasts, and some documentary footage. Students will have advance notice of all required participation elements.

        Given this is a course in national security, class instruction will likely include written, oral, and visual depictions of physical force and violence—and occasionally extreme representations of the same.

        There is no examination for this course, but a 30-page research paper (constituting 60% of the grade) is required on a topic chosen by the student and approved by the instructors. The course paper may fulfill the Substantial Research and Writing Project with instructor approval, provided all SRWP requirements are met. The remainder of the grade (40%) is based on the quality and frequency of class participation (which may include short papers and/or brief oral presentations).

        583

        Public Law Colloquium 2
        • JD elective
        • Fall 23
        • Fall 24
        • Research and/or analytical paper
        • Class participation

        The Public Law Colloquium is the flagship offering of the Richard A. Horvitz Program in Constitutional and Public Law. The goals of this two-credit Colloquium are to expose students to the academic enterprise, by workshopping works-in-progress by leading law professors, and to develop deeper knowledge in a particular area of public law. The theme of the Colloquium in Fall 2023 will be “Judicial Power,” including topics such as law and equity, justiciability of disputes, the relationship between judicial and administrative adjudication, judicial remedies, and the nature of judicial decisionmaking.

        The Colloquium will revolve around six workshops in which professors from other law schools will present works-in-progress falling within the broad theme of the course. Those workshops will meet in the lunch hour on alternate Thursdays. Students will be expected to engage with the speaker and with each other in discussion. Faculty interested in these topics also will be invited to attend and participate in the discussions. On the off-weeks, the class will meet with the instructors on Thursday afternoons (4 to 5:50 pm) to discuss the paper for the next workshop. These classes will develop the general legal area that the paper addresses; we will assign background reading in that area to enhance understanding of the paper’s argument.

        The Colloquium will be graded. Students will have two “deliverables”: Prior to each workshop, students will submit two detailed questions for the author about the paper. (Students will then be expected to ask at least one of their questions at the workshop.) And each student will select one of the papers and write a substantial essay responding to or critiquing it. Grades in the course will be a function of these two deliverables with a significant component for the student’s participation in workshops and off-week discussions. Students wishing to expand their paper to satisfy the requirements of the Law School’s Substantial Research and Writing Project may do so as an independent study in the spring semester.

        587

        Race and the Law 3
        • JD elective
        • JD Standard 303(c)
        • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
        • PIPS elective
        • Fall 23
        • Fall 24
        • Final Exam
        • Class participation

        This course will examine the social, political, and legal forces that shape race relations in the United States. Students will engage competing visions of racial equality through law by examining major civil rights issues such as affirmative action, voting rights, and mass incarceration. This course will also highlight the limitations of law in racial reform and will consider the ways in which law can perpetuate race, gender, and class hierarchies. The course’s readings will draw from a wide range of interdisciplinary materials. Evaluation will be based on class participation and an examination.

        593

        Sexuality and the Law 2
        • JD SRWP
        • JD elective
        • JD Standard 303(c)
        • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
        • IntlLLM writing
        • PIPS elective
        • Fall 21
        • Fall 22
        • Spring 24
        • Research and/or analytical paper(s), 10-15 pages
        • Midterm
        • Class participation

        Issues in the legal regulation of sexuality and gender identity are among the most contested in US law today. Issues which either have been litigated in US courts in recent years or are currently being litigated include the ability of same-sex couples to marry, people’s access to contraception or abortion, as well as the ability of LGBTQ persons to access health care, public accommodations, employment, and education without discrimination. This course takes an interdisciplinary approach to the investigation of the legal regulation of human sexuality and gender identity. It examines the historical and jurisprudential foundations of these legal constructs with insights developed through feminist and queer theory. These disciplines will be deployed to better understand the scope of the rights to sexual and gender equality, liberty, and autonomy available to people not only in theory, but in fact, and not only at the national level, but at the state and local levels.

        605

        Race and the Law Speakers Series 1
        • JD elective
        • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
        • PIPS elective
        • Spring 23
        • Reflective Writing
        • Class participation

        In this Speakers Series, leading scholars and activists will share insights on pressing questions shaping U.S. race relations, including: (1) what would an anti-racist society look like; (2) what should and can be done about the carceral state; and (3) how do we address challenges inherent in concepts like allyship, representation, and intersectionality. Participation from a diverse group of students is encouraged.

        639

        Movement Lawyering Lab 3
        • JD elective
        • JD experiential
        • JD Standard 303(c)
        • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
        • PIPS elective
        • PIPS experiential
        • Fall 21
        • Spring 22
        • Fall 22
        • Spring 23
        • Fall 23
        • Spring 24
        • Reflective Writing
        • Research and/or analytical paper(s), 5-10 pages
        • Group project(s)
        • Practical exercises
        • Class participation

        This three-credit integrated externship will immerse students in the theory, practice, and politics of Movement Lawyering. The course proceeds in two parts: a weekly seminar and partner work. In the seminar, students learn the foundations and tactics of movement activism and discover how lawyers work with social movements to build power and create change. In the partner work portion, students are paired with lawyers and organizers from around the Southeast to produce legal analyses, policy papers, legislative reviews, rapid response documents, outreach materials, and more, with a special emphasis on racial and reproductive justice. Past and current projects include:

        • Data collection and analysis on local police budgets
        • Legal research on the viability of decarcerating people imprisoned during the War on Drugs
        • Background research for a bill outlawing unauthorized pelvic exams in teaching hospitals
        • Drafting a policy paper on the family policing system (often called the foster care system) and convening a working group
        • Compiling geographic and demographic information for a project on infrastructure justice and food apartheid

        Course enrollment is by application. Students interested in applying for the course should submit their CV and an approximately one-paragraph statement of interest about their background and why they would like to enroll in the course.

        646

        Center for Public Research and Learning (CPRL) Integrated Externship 13
        • Other

        In partnership with Columbia Law School’s Center for Public Research and Learning (CPRL), Duke Law offers an integrated externship to spend a semester in New York in an interdisciplinary leadership development program in public education policy that combines a live-client project, an academic seminar on structural change in public education, professional skills development, and networking and job opportunities. CPRL student projects serve school districts, education departments, non-profit organizations and foundations driving transformational change in public education and improved outcomes for all children.

        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.

          716

          Cybersecurity and National Security Law and Policy 3
          • JD elective
          • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
          • Fall 21
          • Fall 22
          • Reflective Writing
          • Research and/or analytical paper(s), 10-15 pages
          • Group project(s)
          • In-class exercise
          • Class participation

          The acquisition, management, analysis, dissemination, and security of data are increasing important issues for individuals, commercial enterprises and governments.   New technologies create a more connected and personal digital society.  Every day, transactions engaged in by individuals generate ever expanding amounts of personal information, including credit card transaction information, purchasing histories, bank and other financial transaction information, location information, health information, real property ownership information, information relating to interactions with the criminal justice system, information shared on social media and other types of information.  Not only is the volume of personal information escalating rapidly; much of it is revealed in on line transactions, enabling it to be acquired for multiple uses, and much resides on servers and storage media where it can be accessible or potentially accessible to commercial enterprises and government agencies. New cybersecurity risks are demanding responses from governments as they address attacks on critical infrastructure, election interference and the potential for manipulation of the data used to train artificial intelligence tools.

          In both the commercial sector and the government sector, the legal and policy issues associated with data, cybersecurity and surveillance are growing in importance.   Discussion of these issues in either sector cannot ignore the others, because the issues frequently intersect.  They also transcend national boundaries. For example, in President Obama’s proposals to revise government policy towards signals intelligence collection, he states that such policies implicate “the cooperation we receive from other nations on law enforcement, counterterrorism, and other issues; our commercial, economic, and financial interests, including a potential loss of international trust in U.S. firms and the decreased willingness of other nations to participate in international data sharing, privacy, and regulatory regimes …”[1]  This intersection of issues creates particular challenges for existing constitutional, legislative and international governance models.

          In the government sector, increased risks such as nation state cyber threats now create new priorities to add to those efforts spurred by the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.  Combating and preventing terrorist and cybersecurity attacks relies heavily on the collection of information through electronic surveillance.  The tension between these efforts and individual privacy creates frictions that are forcing reconsideration of existing methods of mediating these interests.  This tension then creates challenges for long accepted ideas of nation state use of signals intelligence interception and other information gathering operations (such as the gathering of intelligence about potentially hostile governments).  Similar reconsideration is occurring in the commercial sector, where consumers’ desire for confidentiality in the data that relates to them can conflict with markets for information and commercial and entrepreneurial interests that wish to take advantage of such data to provide new goods and services that consumers value.  


          [1] Presidential Policy Directive/PPD-28, p. 1 (January 17, 2014).

           

          717

          Comparative Constitutional Design 2
          • JD SRWP
          • JD elective
          • JD Standard 303(c)
          • LLM-ICL (JD) elective
          • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
          • Spring 23
          • Spring 24
          • Research paper, 25+ pages

          Recent constitutional reconstructions in various parts of the world have called new attention to the problems of institutional design of political systems. In this course we will examine the design and implementation of national constitutions. In particular, we will address the following questions. What are the basic elements of constitutions? How do these elements differ across time, across region, and across regime type? What is the process by which states draft and implement constitutions? What models, theories, and writings have influenced the framers of constitutions?

          In the first half of the course, we will review the historical roots of constitutions and investigate their provisions and formal characteristics. We will also discuss the circumstances surrounding the drafting of several exemplary or noteworthy constitutions, from various regions of the world. We will then examine particular features of institutional design in depth. These will include judicial review, presidentialism vs. parliamentarism, federalism, and the relationship of the national legal system to international law.

          718

          Social Choice Theory: Cost-Benefit Analysis and Beyond 2
          • JD elective
          • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
          • Spring 22
          • Spring 24
          • Reflective Writing
          • Research and/or analytical paper(s), 10-15 pages
          • Class participation

          Social choice theory is the systematic study of how to combine individual preferences, or some other indicator of individual well-being, into a collective ranking. Although scholars have worried about this problem for centuries, most intellectual progress in social choice theory has occurred in the last century, with Arrow's stunning "impossibility theorem," and the development of the notion of the "social welfare function." This latter construct serves as the foundation for many disciplines within economics (such as optimal tax theory or the economics of climate change). It also provides a rigorous and comprehensive framework for thinking about cost-benefit analysis--currently the dominant policy tool in the U.S. government.

          This course will provide an introduction to social choice theory, with a particular focus on the social welfare function and on cost-benefit analysis. In the course of addressing these topics, we will also spend substantial time discussing the philosophical literatures on well-being and on inequality. What is the connection between someone's well-being and her preferences, her happiness, or her realization of various "objective goods"? And--on any conception of well-being--how should we structure policy choice to take account of the distribution of individual welfare? Addressing these questions is essential for thinking clearly about collective choice and, in particular, social welfare functions and cost-benefit analysis.

          The book Measuring Social Welfare: An Introduction (Oxford University Press, 2019) will serve as the main text for the course, with additional readings from philosophy, economics, and law.  The course does not require advanced mathematics. However, students should not be "math phobic". The readings and our discussion will use some mathematical notation to communicate key ideas--as does, of course, any economics text on cost-benefit analysis--and students should not be afraid of seeing this notation. Students should also be prepared to engage in philosophical discussion.

          The course will be taught as a 2-hour weekly seminar. Students will be asked to do the reading for each seminar; to write short (1 page) reaction papers each week; and to participate in class discussion. Students will also write a 10-page final analytical (not research) paper.  This final paper can either be (a) a critical discussion of one or more chapters from Measuring Social Welfare, or (b) a critical discussion of some other book or article relevant to the topics of the seminar.

          727

          Current Issues in Constitutional Interpretation 1
          • JD elective
            • Research and/or analytical paper(s), 10-15 pages

            This seminar will examine important constitutional issues that have arisen in recent Supreme Court cases and will use those cases as a vehicle for considering broader questions of constitutional interpretation and Supreme Court practice, such as theories of interpretation and the role of stare decisis. Among the issues that may be studied are the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms, the Sixth Amendment rights to counsel and trial by jury, the Eighth Amendment right to be free of cruel and unusual punishment, and the right to petition for a writ of habeas corpus.

            Enrollment for Current Issues in Constitutional Interpretation is limited to 15 students.  Only third-year students are eligible to apply for enrollment, as it is anticipated that students in their final year of law school will be best prepared to engage fully in the course.

            732

            Topics in Access to Justice 2
            • JD elective
            • JD Standard 303(c)
            • IntlLLM writing, option
            • PIPS elective
            • Spring 23
            • Spring 24
            • Reflective Writing
            • Class participation
            • Other

            “Access to justice” (sometimes denominated “A2J”) is a multidimensional concept that eludes easy definition. This course will use the term expansively, to capture the ways in which our civil legal system does or does not respond to the legal needs of ordinary people.
            This course will examine the structural obstacles that impede access to civil justice as well as contemporary opportunities for reform. Access barriers can have a variety of sources. Barriers can be doctrinal (e.g., the civil right to counsel), practical (e.g., courts’ ability to accommodate non-English-speaking litigants), economic (e.g., the rise of binding arbitration), or political (e.g., limited funding for legal aid offices), and nearly all are multifactorial. Similarly, opportunities for improvement can be found in doctrine, institutional design, community engagement, and technology. Compared to a course on substantive law, our focus will be on the institutional, procedural, and practical dimensions of the access problem.

            The course will be divided into roughly three components. In Part I, we will consider theories and doctrines of civil legal access. In Part II, we will consider institutional and procedural features that shape access to our civil legal system, as well as the roles of different actors and constituencies in the civil justice system, including: lawyers and the legal profession; self-represented litigants; community organizations; courts; and non-judicial government institutions. In Part III, we will consider a handful of “pressure points” in access to civil justices—that is, areas of the law where legal needs are especially significant, and where access is especially challenging. Among the areas will consider will be family law, housing law, consumer law and consumer bankruptcy, and immigration law. Solutions and opportunities for change will be discussed throughout all three parts of the course.

            Students will be evaluated on the basis of class participation, four response papers and a research proposal.

            744

            Philosophy for Constitutional Lawyers 3
            • JD SRWP
            • JD elective
            • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
              • Reflective Writing
              • Research and/or analytical paper(s), 10-15 pages
              • Class participation

              This seminar will investigate the possibility and promise of substantive reason in constitutional law. Doubts that reason plays any non-instrumental role in constitutional decisions often reflect a broad skepticism that constitutional law can be anything other than political decision-making in disguise. We do not share that skepticism, but we readily concede that many constitutional arguments and opinions are poorly reasoned, and that constitutional lawyers often seem unable to offer a coherent account of what they are doing, or what constitutional decision-making is or ought to be, that doesn't collapse into a species of political choice.

              Our goal is to explore some of the resources that contemporary philosophy may offer constitutional lawyers in the effort to understand and practice constitutional law as a distinct and coherent form of thought and decision.
              Attention will be paid to the work of Alasdair MacIntyre and Ludwig Wittgenstein, among others.

              Students will be expected to participate actively in class discussion and to prepare a seminar paper, which can be written to satisfy the upper-level writing requirement.

              753

              Law and Literature: Race & Gender 3
              • JD elective
              • JD Standard 303(c)
              • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
              • PIPS elective
              • Fall 22
              • Take-home examination
              • Reflective Writing
              • Class participation

              This seminar explores the intersection between literary and legal studies, with a particular focus on race and gender. Through literature and some film, the seminar examines the role of law in the structure of conflict, personal relationships, social hierarchy and social change, with attention to privilege, perspective, and voice.  Possible authors include Margaret Atwood, James Baldwin, Octavia Butler, Ava DuVernay, Lorraine Hansberry, Ursula Hegi, Kazuo Ishiguro, Nella Larsen, Gabriel García Márquez, Toni Morrison, Colson Whitehead, and Richard Wright.

              Grades will be determined from class participation, weekly response papers, and a final take-home examination.

              758

              Originalism: An Overview of Theory and Practice 2
              • JD SRWP, option
              • JD elective
              • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
              • Spring 24
              • Reflective Writing
              • Class participation

              Originalism has become a major force in constitutional interpretation throughout the federal and state judiciaries.  The theory’s merits and the merits of the outcome it yields are the subject of intense debate in the legal community and across the country.

              This two-hour weekly seminar is designed to help acquaint you with the history of Originalism, developments in Originalism over time, criticisms of the theory, current controversies among originalists, and how lawyers and judges engage in originalist analysis. 

              Students will be evaluated on papers responding to the course readings and on class participation.

              764

              Privacy in a Post-Dobbs World: Sex, Contraception, Abortion and Surveillance 2
              • JD elective
              • JD Standard 303(c)
              • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
              • IntlLLM writing
              • PIPS elective
              • Fall 23
              • Fall 24
              • Research and/or analytical paper(s), 10-15 pages
              • Oral presentation
              • Class participation

              This two-credit seminar will examine the extent to which the criminalization of abortion in the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization (2022), together with 21st century surveillance, compromises or eliminates the physical, decisional, and informational privacy of women and people who can become pregnant.

              We will review the history of the Supreme Court’s contraception and abortion cases and carefully read Dobbs. We will learn about the historical criminalization of abortion and pregnancy outcomes in the US and related surveillance. We will then examine current state laws criminalizing abortion, defining a fetus as a person, and creating civil liability schemes, and discuss how these laws affect privacy. We will learn about the laws that protect (and fail to protect) privacy in our modern information economy and consider the ways privacy law intersects with abortion law. In this context, we will consider both commercial surveillance and surveillance by law enforcement.  Other topics will include: the privacy implications of medication abortion and the current litigation that threatens its continued availability in the US; the extent to which providers, aiders and abettors, and women who self-manage abortion may be subject to prosecution in ban states; the increasing legal conflicts between shield states and ban states; the effects of criminalization on the privacy of the physician-patient relationship and the associated disincentives for seeking reproductive health care; the implications of laws purporting to control, limit or prohibit access to or dissemination of information about abortion in ban states; and attempts to affect or restrict individuals’ movement within and between states to obtain care.

              Both privacy and abortion law are rapidly changing environments in the United States, and attention to current developments in both arenas will be part of the class. We will make every effort to address and incorporate developments as they occur. Assignments will include interactive online comments and responses about the readings, a research project and presentation on the developing law in a particular state, and a writing assignment. There is no final exam.

              This course is not open to students who took Law 611.45 - Readings: Privacy in a Post-Dobbs World in Fall 2022.

              768

              Race & Immigration Policy 2
              • JD elective
              • JD Standard 303(c)
              • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
              • PIPS elective
              • Fall 23
              • Reflective Writing
              • Research and/or analytical paper(s), 15 pages
              • Class participation

              This two credit course will examine the role race has played since the birth of the United States in driving immigration policy both in terms of who is permitted to enter the United States and who is targeted for detention and removal. Topics will include the Chinese Exclusion Act, the national origin quota system, Japanese internment, the Bracero program, post-9/11 registration, expansion of immigration enforcement through the criminal justice system, border policy, and the narratives constructed around Latinx, Black, Asian, and White immigration. We will also analyze the roles Congress, the executive branch, the courts, and the public have played in creating and responding to these policies. Students will be required to engage with written and other documentary material through drafting regular blog posts, commenting on other students’ posts, and a final substantive research paper.

              Students must take this course, or U.S. Immigration and Nationality Law (LAW 351), prior to or during enrollment in the Immigrant Rights Clinic

              771

              Defamation and Invasion of Privacy 3
              • JD elective
              • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
              • IntlLLM writing
              • Fall 21
              • Fall 22
              • Fall 24
              • Research paper, 25+ pages
              • Class participation

              American law attempts to protect individual interests in personal dignity and to guarantee a robust system of free expression. Both concerns are implemented, in part, through the common law of dignitary torts, and US constitutional law addresses their overlap and potential conflict. This course will cover the torts of defamation, invasion of privacy, and intentional infliction of emotional harm, and the related constitutional doctrines that the Supreme Court has developed since 1964.

               

              786

              Media Law 2
              • JD elective
              • LLM-LE (JD) elective
              • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
              • IntllLLM IP Cert
              • Fall 23
              • Simulated Writing, Litigation
              • Class participation

              Today, thanks to the internet, everyone is a publisher. This class will examine the regulation of communications media, including newspapers, broadcast media, social media, and internet content generally. It will survey the First Amendment principles underpinning protection for speech and address current events and ongoing debates about the media, including “fake news,” blockbuster defamation cases, and social media content moderation. This class will also cover topics specific to the practice of media lawyers, such as pre-publication review, prior restraints on speech, defending subpoenas, reporters’ privilege, and access to information. Students will be assessed on their completion of three written projects.

              794

              Slavery and the Law 2
              • JD SRWP with add-on credit
              • JD elective
              • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
              • PIPS elective
              • Spring 23
              • Reflective Writing
              • Research and/or analytical paper(s), 10-15 pages
              • Oral presentation
              • Class participation

              The laws of slavery defined property in people, governed the relations between slaveholders and the enslaved and between the enslaved and non-slaveholders, and codified the conditions under which enslaved people could live, be manumitted, or become free.  This seminar is concerned with how the law created, addressed, and sustained the category of “slave,” how the courts interpreted the laws of slavery, and how the status of slave was determined in everyday social life. It looks at the structures and practices of law that codified the ownership of property in human beings, their evolution across time and space, the interaction of law, slavery and race, specifically the production of racial slavery. It examines how enslaved and free black people interacted with the law, including initiatives by enslaved people to secure freedom and citizenship rights in the courts.  The course emphasizes close readings of primary documents—including congressional and state legislation, trial transcripts, appellate opinions, treatises, and codes—and books and journal articles by legal scholars and historians. Beginning with the adoption of slavery in the 16th century Atlantic world, it traces slavery’s evolution on the North American continent and concludes with the adoption of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution.

              794W

              Slavery and the Law/Writing Credit 1
              • JD SRWP
              • JD elective
              • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
              • Spring 23
              • Research paper, 25+ pages

              Students enrolled in Law 794 Slavery and the Law, may earn an additional credit by writing an additional 25+ page paper, due at the end of the semester . *LAW 794W must be added no later than 7th week of class.*

              797

              Juries, Race, and Citizenship 2
              • JD elective
              • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
              • PIPS elective
              • Fall 24
              • Research and/or analytical paper(s), 5-10 pages
              • Research and/or analytical paper(s) option, 10-15 pages
              • Oral presentation
              • Class participation

              This seminar explores the history and impact of racial discrimination in jury selection, the constitutional rights and legal framework governing jury formation, and modern jury reform efforts.

              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