Course Browser

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

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

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

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Areas of Study & Practice

Clear all filters 32 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
  • Fall 20
  • Spring 21
  • Spring 22
  • Spring 23
  • 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.

225

Criminal Procedure: Adjudication 3
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM NY Bar
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • PIPS elective
  • Spring 21
  • Spring 22
  • Spring 23
  • 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
  • IntlLLM NY Bar
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • PIPS elective
  • Spring 21
  • Spring 22
  • Fall 22
  • Spring 23
  • 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 21
  • Spring 23
  • 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
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • PIPS elective
  • Spring 21
  • Spring 22
  • Spring 23
  • 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.

265

First Amendment 3
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM NY Bar
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • PIPS elective
  • Spring 21
  • Fall 21
  • Fall 22
  • 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 21
  • Spring 22
  • Spring 23
  • Research paper, 25+ pages

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

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

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

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

317

Criminal Justice Ethics 2
  • JD elective
  • JD ethics
  • IntlLLM NY Bar
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • PIPS elective
  • Spring 21
  • Fall 21
  • Fall 22
  • Spring 23
  • 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.

330

Federal Criminal Law 4
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • PIPS elective
  • Spring 21
  • Spring 22
  • 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 21
  • Spring 23
  • Final Exam
  • Practical exercises
  • In-class exercise
  • Class participation

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

338

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

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

342

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

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

344

Federal Courts II - Public Law Litigation 3
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM NY Bar
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • PIPS elective
  • Spring 21
  • Spring 22
  • 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.

351

U.S. Immigration and Nationality Law 3
  • JD elective
  • LLM-ICL (JD) elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • PIPS elective
  • Spring 21
  • Spring 22
  • Spring 23
  • 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.

416

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

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

Important:

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

Ethics Requirement

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

417

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

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

435

First Amendment Clinic 4
  • JD elective
  • JD experiential
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • PIPS elective
  • PIPS experiential
  • Fall 20
  • Spring 21
  • Fall 21
  • Spring 22
  • Fall 22
  • Spring 23
  • Live-client representation and case management

This clinic will develop counseling, litigation, and legal commentary skills in the context of working on actual cases and issues involving the First Amendment freedoms of speech, press, assembly and petition.  We will advise and represent individuals and groups with First Amendment concerns or claims who cannot afford the assistance of lawyers with specialized First Amendment expertise.  We will also provide commentary and legal analysis on pending or enacted legislation that implicates First Amendment freedoms, and other governmental as well as academic developments. Students will be directly supervised by the Clinic Director and the Supervising Attorney  All enrolled students will be required to work a minimum of 100 hours a semester with clients or in other professional activities such as answering questions from journalists or analyzing and preparing commentary on pending legislation, as well as to participate in the weekly class and training sessions.

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.

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
  • Spring 21
  • Fall 20
  • Fall 21
  • Spring 22
  • Spring 23
  • 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
  • LLM-ICL (JD) elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • PIPS elective
  • PIPS experiential
  • Fall 20
  • Spring 21
  • Fall 21
  • Spring 22
  • Fall 22
  • Spring 23
  • Group project(s)
  • Practical exercises
  • 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.

Enrollment Pre-/Co- Requisite Information

Students are required to have taken Human Rights Advocacy (offered only in the Fall) as either a pre-requisite or co-requisite. LL.M. students are eligible for enrollment in the Clinic in the Spring semester with instructor permission and should contact Prof. Huckerby to discuss eligibility requirements.

443

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

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, working with experts, and networking. Although the mix of topics addressed varies among semesters, matters typically 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 and Nicholas School students must have completed their first semester. 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
  • Spring 21
  • Fall 20
  • Fall 21
  • Spring 22
  • Spring 23
  • 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 4-6
  • JD elective
  • JD experiential
  • PIPS elective
  • PIPS experiential
  • Fall 20
  • Spring 21
  • Fall 21
  • Spring 22
  • Fall 22
  • Spring 23
  • Reflective Writing
  • Live-client representation and case management
  • Class participation

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

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

Clinics Enrollment Policy

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

445A

Advanced Immigrant Rights Clinic
  • JD elective
  • PIPS elective
  • PIPS experiential
  • Spring 21
  • Fall 21
  • Spring 22
  • Spring 23
  • 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
  • Spring 21

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

493

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

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

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

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

503

The Constitution in Congress 2
  • JD SRWP, option
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • Spring 21
  • 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.

 

587

Race and the Law 3
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • PIPS elective
  • Spring 21
  • Reflective Writing
  • Research and/or analytical paper(s), 10-15 pages
  • Class participation

This seminar will examine the social, political, and legal forces that shape race relations in the United States. Using interdisciplinary materials, participants will engage three core questions:  (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. The seminar will include a speakers’ series in which leading experts and commentators will assist seminar participants to think through these pressing questions.  Evaluation will consist of class attendance and participation, reflection papers, and a final project directed toward devising solutions. Participation from a diverse group of students is encouraged. 

605

Race and the Law Speakers Series 1
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • PIPS elective
  • Spring 21
  • 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.

717

Comparative Constitutional Design 2
  • JD SRWP
  • JD elective
  • LLM-ICL (JD) elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • Spring 21
  • Spring 23
  • 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 21
  • Spring 22
  • 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.

My 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
  • Spring 21
  • 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.

753

Law and Literature: Race & Gender 3
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • PIPS elective
  • Spring 21
  • 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.

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