Course Browser

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

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

 

Credits
Semester
JD Course of Study
JD/LLM in International & Comparative Law
JD/LLM in Law & Entrepreneurship
International LLM - 1 year
LLM in Law & Entrepreneurship - 1 year
Certificate in Public interest and Public Service Law
 
Clear all filters18 courses found.
Course Number Course Title Course Credits Degree Requirements Semesters Taught Methods of Evaluation

301

AIDS and the Law 2
  • JD elective
  • JD SRWP
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • PIPS elective
  1. Fall 17
The course will explore the legal and policy landscape of the HIV/AIDS epidemic primarily in the United States. We will employ a multi-disciplinary approach to teaching about HIV law and policy, including the legal issues faced by persons with HIV disease. Speakers will include medical specialists, social workers, and persons living with HIV. Topics covered include HIV-related stigma and discrimination, HIV testing and public health laws, confidentiality and privacy rights, estate planning issues, HIV criminalization, health disparities, access to health care and health insurance, permanency planning for children and other family law issues, employee benefit issues, and torts and HIV-related private lawsuits. There is an opportunity for student presentations on AIDS Law issues. In lieu of an exam, there is a paper requirement for the course. The course is helpful but not required for those intending to enroll in the Health Justice Clinic.

This course is only offered in the fall semester.

311

Election Law 3
  • JD elective
  • JD SRWP
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • PIPS elective
  1. Fall 17
  2. Spring 20
  • Research and/or analytical paper(s), 10-15 pages
  • Research paper, 25+ pages
  • Reflective Writing
  • Group project(s)
  • Oral presentation
  • Practical exercises
  • In-class exercise
  • Class participation

This course will explore selected topics in Law and Politics of American Democracy. We will examine the way the law and other forces have shaped the structure of American political participation, and we will consider alternative directions American democracy might take. Time permitting, we will focus on the right to vote, racial and political gerrymandering, campaign finance, political parties, ballot access, reapportionment/redistricting, and the Voting Rights Act.

318W

Comparative Constitutional Law, Writing 1
  • JD SRWP
  • LLM-ICL (JD) elective
  1. Fall 19
  • 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.

320

Water Resources Law 2
  • JD SRWP
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Environ Cert
  • PIPS elective
  1. Spring 18
  2. Spring 19
  3. Spring 20
  • Research paper, 25+ pages

This survey course studies the legal and policy issues governing water resource allocation in the United States. Students will be introduced to both the Prior Appropriation systems of the western United States and the Reasonable Use systems dominating the eastern states. We will study the law applied to groundwater use as well as issues of federalism. Examples from disputes around ACF basin and the Colorado River will be contrasted. We will examine the issues from the perspective of different user groups.

 

329

Education Law 2
  • JD SRWP
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • PIPS elective
  1. Fall 17
  2. Fall 18
  3. Fall 19
  • 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. A research paper is required; successful completion of the paper will satisfy the upper-level writing requirement. A course pack will be used in lieu of a textbook.

536W

The Presidency and Criminal Investigations, Writing 1
  • JD SRWP
  • JD elective
  • PIPS elective
  1. Spring 18
  • Research paper, 25+ pages

While enrolled in LAW 536 The Presidency and Criminal Investigations, students may submit a significant research paper and earn an additional one credit for the course. 

545

Urban Legal History 3
  • JD SRWP
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  1. Fall 17
  • 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.

562

Sentencing & Punishment 2
  • JD SRWP
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • PIPS elective
  1. Fall 17
  2. Fall 18
  3. Fall 19
  • Research paper, 25+ pages
  • Class participation

This new 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.

579W

Mass Torts Writing Credit 1
  • JD SRWP
  • JD elective
    • Add on credit

    While enrolled in Law 579 Mass Torts, students have the option to take an additional 1 credit if they wish to expand the required 15 page paper to 30 pages in order to satisfy the JD Writing Requirement. *LAW 579W MUST be added no later than 7th week of class.*

    582

    National Security Law 3
    • JD SRWP
    • JD elective
    • LLM-ICL (JD) elective
    • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
    • PIPS elective
    1. Fall 19
    2. Fall 17
    3. Fall 18
    • Research paper, 25+ pages
    • Oral presentation
    • Class participation

    This fall-only course is designed to provide students, particularly those with no background in the topic, with an overview of the American legal architecture for its 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 who appreciate that the U.S.’s $719 billion defense budget, along with $1.7 trillion in defense outlays worldwide impacts virtually all potential clients.

    The course analyzes 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 governmental surveillance, the investigation and prosecution of national security cases, as well as First Amendment issues related to national security.  In addition, domestic security issues (to include the domestic use of the armed forces), security-based travel restrictions, the role of the Centers for Disease Control, the military justice system, civil-military relations, and the impact of national security issues on business transactions will be reviewed.

    There is no examination for this course, but a 30-page research paper (constituting 65% of the grade) is required on a topic chosen by the student and approved by the instructor.  With instructor approval, the course paper may fulfill the Substantial Research and Writing Project or other writing requirements.  The remainder of the grade (35%) is based on the quality and frequency of class participation, and may require short, written products.

     

    590

    Risk Regulation in the US, Europe and Beyond 2
    • JD SRWP
    • JD elective
    • LLM-ICL (JD) elective
    • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
    • IntlLLM Environ Cert
    1. Spring 18
    2. Fall 19
    • Research paper, 25+ pages
    • Class participation

    This seminar pursues an advanced, integrated analysis of the law, science and economics of societies' efforts to assess and manage risks of harm to human health, safety, environment and security. The course will examine the regulation of a wide array of risks, such as those from food, drugs, medical care, automobiles, air travel, drinking water, air pollution, energy, climate change, finance, terrorism, emerging technologies, and extreme catastrophic risks (students may propose to research other risks as well). Across these diverse contexts, the course will explore the components of regulatory analysis: risk assessment, risk management (including the debate over "precaution" versus benefit-cost analysis), risk evaluations by experts vs. the public, and risk-risk tradeoffs.  And it will explore options for institutional design and structure, including the interrelated roles of legislative, executive, and judicial functions; delegation and oversight; fragmentation and integration; and international cooperation.

    The course examines these issues through a comparative approach to risk regulation in the United States, Europe, and other countries.  These comparisons address topics including the choice of policy instruments, the selection of which risks to regulate, "precautionary" regulation, "better regulation" initiatives, regulatory impact assessment and regulatory oversight bodies, and others.   It examines the divergence, convergence, and exchange of ideas across regulatory systems; the causes of these patterns; the consequences of regulatory choices; and what regulatory systems can learn from each other.

    Students' research papers in this seminar may analyze specific risk regulations; compare regulations, institutions or tools across countries; formulate and advocate original proposals to improve the regulatory state; or other related topics.

    593

    Sexuality and the Law 2
    • JD SRWP
    • JD elective
    • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
    • PIPS elective
    1. Spring 18
    2. Spring 19
    • Research and/or analytical paper(s), 10-15 pages
    • Midterm
    • Class participation

    Issues in the legal regulation of sexuality are among the most contested in US law today.  Determining a) whether gays and lesbians are entitled to the same marriage rights as heterosexual couples, b) whether the gender identities of transgender persons are to be accepted in public facilities like restrooms, c) if and when women should have access to contraception or abortion, and d) whether LGBTQ persons can rely on constitutional and statutory provisions providing for equal protection or nondiscrimination when availing of government provided services or commercial services, are all questions which either have been litigated in US courts in recent years, or are currently being litigated.  Assessing the merits of the arguments of parties involved in litigating these issues requires delving into the disparate areas of law which converge in these cases.  These areas of law include the jurisprudences of liberty, privacy, equal protection and the free exercise of religion, as well as issues concerning the extent of executive authority.  This course will explore these issues through an examination of recent US jurisprudence, as well as statutory law and regulatory actions, as they pertain to LGBTQ rights and women’s reproductive rights at both the state and national level.  While the primary focus will be on developments in the US, the treatment of similar issues in selected foreign jurisdictions will be introduced occasionally to present alternative approaches.

    636

    Food, Agriculture and the Environment: Law & Policy 2
    • JD SRWP
    • JD elective
    • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
    • IntlLLM Environ Cert
    • PIPS elective
    1. Fall 17
    2. Fall 18
    3. Fall 19
    • Reflective Writing
    • Research and/or analytical paper(s), 10-15 pages
    • Oral presentation
    • Class participation

    In many areas of the country, and especially in North Carolina, sustainable, local food markets represent one of the most exciting opportunities for environmental stewardship, economic growth, value-added agricultural niches, job creation, and community building. However, these opportunities require careful and sustained attention to the legal and regulatory requirements at the international, national, state, and local levels, many of which inhibit the development of sustainable, local food systems.

    The course will focus on (1) the interrelationship of food and agricultural production and environmental sustainability and (2) the ways in which the law influences, and can be used to overcome impediments to, the development of sustainable, local foods-based markets. Students will explore readings from a variety of sources, hear directly from guest speakers from North Carolina's strong network of organizations involved in the local foods movement, and delve into a research project of their own choosing.* Through the semester, students will gain an understanding of how legal rules interact with food safety research, physical infrastructure, personal consumption habits, patterns of private sector investment, race-based and other structural inequalities, to notions of community, underlying cultural and religious values, etc.

    *This project will allow students to explore an issue of interest and contribute their knowledge to this developing field. Papers may be scholarly in nature, but students are encouraged to shape their projects as practical case studies that directly engage the issues and players in the local foods community.

    707

    Statutory Interpretation Colloquium 2
    • JD SRWP
    • JD elective
    • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
    1. Spring 20
    • 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.

    717

    Comparative Constitutional Design 2
    • JD SRWP
    • JD elective
    • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
    1. Spring 18
    • 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.

    758

    Originalism and Its Discontents 3
    • JD SRWP
    • JD elective
    • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
    1. Spring 18
    2. Spring 19
    • Reflective Writing
    • Research paper, 25+ pages
    • Class participation

    Originalism is a major school of constitutional interpretation and a growing field of study. Both public discourse and legal practice commonly feature originalist arguments as well as criticisms of originalism. To engage these arguments, lawyers and citizens should be able to weigh the merits of a diverse set of originalist theories. This course is designed to acquaint you with a number of originalist and nonoriginalist arguments; enable you to judge for yourself the strengths and weaknesses of each; and give you an opportunity to sharpen your own views on the topic. It examines various originalist theories (original intentions, original meanings, original methods, and so on), different emphases in originalist argumentation over time (the “old” originalism vs. the “new”), and forms of argument used in support or opposition (conceptual, normative, positive). The course will be taught as a two-hour weekly seminar, focused on class discussion of the readings. Each student will choose weeks in which to submit a total of eight short papers (5-8 pp.) in response to the readings. These papers will be circulated to all participants via Sakai and will serve, together with my own comments at the start of each session, as a basis for class discussion. Alternatively, students may instead pursue independent research projects related to originalism, submitting first and final drafts (~30 pp.) in compliance with the upper-level writing requirement. Students choosing this option must do so prior to the close of the Drop/Add period.

    776

    Supreme Court Litigation 2
    • JD elective
    • JD SRWP
    • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
    1. Fall 17

    This course has three objectives:  

    1. To gain a working knowledge of the unique role the Supreme Court plays in our legal system—identifying and resolving important disputed recurring issues of federal law—and of the demands thus placed on lawyers who practice before it;
    2. To provide a very intense experience in honing your legal writing skills, by the preparation of two short (10-12 page double spaced) briefs reflecting different phases of Supreme Court litigation, each to be prepared over a separate four week period, with on-going one-on-one interaction with the professor and detailed comments on the final brief;
    3. To study the oral argument process as now practiced in the Court, including moot court arguments be each student in a current case, study of actual arguments from the present Court Term and, if possible, attendance at one or more moot courts by arguing lawyers and discussions with those lawyers.  

      The uniqueness of practice in the Supreme Court stems primarily from the certiorari process, by which the Court identifies the 1% of petitioning cases it will hear on the merits. Lawyers on both sides must convince the Court that the case at hand does or does not present a legal issue of sufficient moment and controversy as to presently demand the Court's attention. We will discuss in detail the features of a case that enhance or detract from its chances for certiorari.  After a case is granted and goes forward on the merits, the selective nature of the Court's jurisdiction—and its focus on resolving recurring legal issues rather than simply deciding cases—shapes the lawyer's approach to the case in important ways, which will be considered in class sessions dealing with the drafting of merits briefs and the role that amicus briefs play in the Court's work.

      All of these goals will be pursued through the study of three or four actual cases from the present Term.  The greatest amount of effort, by both the students and the professor, will be invested in the two short brief writing assignments.  These assignments, an Opposition to Certiorari and a Reply Brief on the merits, will demand both an understanding of the nature of the Supreme Court's process and a firm grasp on the law and facts of the particular case.  In both instances you will prepare an outline, meet with the professor to discuss your approach, and then prepare the final brief.  Neither brief will require extensive research beyond the materials cited in the case filings you will be provided with.  Both briefs will demand an ability to think and write in clear simple English, and self-critically evaluate and revise what you have written—with feedback from the instructor - to make it as coherent and persuasive as possible to the Justices and their clerks.    A limited number of students may satisfy the upper-level writing requirement through an additional credit of work and with the permission of the instructor.  

    794W

    Law in Slavery & Freedom: From the Historical to the Contemporary/ Writing Credit
    • JD SRWP
    • JD elective
    • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
    1. Spring 18
    • Research paper, 25+ pages

    Students enrolled in Law 794 Law in Slavery & Freedom:  From the Historical to the Contemporary, 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.*