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

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

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

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

Clear all filters 16 courses found.
Number Course Title Credits Degree Requirements Semesters Taught Methods of Evaluation

203

Business Strategy for Lawyers 3
  • JD elective
  • LLM-LE (JD) required
  • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  • IntllLLM IP Cert
  • IntlLLM NVE Cert
  • Fall 20
  • Fall 21
  • Fall 22
  • Final Exam
  • Research and/or analytical paper(s), 5-10 pages
  • Class participation

This course presents the fundamentals of business strategy to a legal audience. The course is designed to introduce a wide variety of modern strategy frameworks and methodologies, including methods for assessing the strength of competition, for understanding relative bargaining power, for anticipating competitors' actions, for analyzing cost and value structures, and for assessing the potential for firm growth through innovation. Although the case studies will span a variety of different industries, there will be an emphasis on high technology firms. The ideas in this course have relevance to anyone seeking to manage a law firm, advise business clients, engage in entrepreneurship, or lead a large company.

The class sessions include mainly case discussions coupled with some traditional lectures. The lecture topics and analytical frameworks are drawn from MBA curriculums at leading business schools. The cases are selected primarily for their business strategy content and secondarily for their legal interest. We will be hosting a number of general counsels who will discuss the GC's role in the strategies of their own companies.

Students enrolled in Business Strategy must (a) have previously taken or be concurrently enrolled in Analytical Methods OR (b) have taken an undergraduate course in economics. Students that currently hold an MBA or are enrolled in the JD-MBA program may not take this course. THIS IS A FAST TRACK COURSE.

270

Intellectual Property 4
  • JD elective
  • LLM-LE (JD) required
  • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  • IntllLLM IP Cert
  • IntlLLM NVE Cert
  • Fall 20
  • Spring 21
  • Fall 21
  • Spring 22
  • Spring 23
  • Final Exam

This course provides an introduction to copyright, trademark, and (to a lesser extent) patent law and trade secrecy. It does not require a technical background of any kind.  The course begins with an introduction to some of the theoretical and practical problems which an intellectual property regime must attempt to resolve; during this section, basic concepts of the economics of information and of the First Amendment analysis of intellectual property rights will be examined through a number of case-studies. The class will then turn to the law of trademark, copyright, and patent with a particular emphasis on copyright, developing the basic doctrinal frameworks and discussing the advantages and disadvantages of each. We will focus in particular on a number of areas where the theoretical tools developed at the beginning of the class can be applied to actual problems involving a full panoply of intellectual property rights; these areas include intellectual property on the Internet, the constitutional limits on intellectual property, and innovation, monopoly and competition in the technology sector. The overall theme of the course is that intellectual property is the legal form of the information age and thus that it is important not only for its enormous and increasing role in commercial life and legal practice, but also for its effects on technological innovation, democratic debate, and cultural formation. Much of our doctrinal work will be centered around a series of problems which help students build skills and learn the law in a highly interactive setting. You can also download the casebook for the class here – for free – to give you a sense of the topics that are covered. 

321

The Law and Policy of Innovation: the Life Sciences 3
  • JD SRWP
  • JD elective
  • LLM-LE (JD) elective
  • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
  • IntlLLM writing
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  • IntllLLM IP Cert
  • Spring 21
  • Spring 22
  • Spring 23
  • Reflective Writing
  • Research paper, 25+ pages
  • Class participation

This course analyzes the legal and policy regimes that shape the introduction of new products, processes, and services in the life science industries. Innovation in biopharmaceuticals, medical devices, health services, and health care delivery is central to the heavily regulated life sciences sector, and thus the sector offers a window into multiple intersections of scientific innovation, regulatory policy, and law.  Innovation in this sector is also shaped by multiple bodies of law (e.g. intellectual property law, FDA law, federal and state-based insurance and professional regulation, antitrust, tax), each with its own private and public constituencies, and therefore offers an opportunity to assess how different bodies of law approach the common issue of innovation.  Although this course focuses on innovation in the life science industries, this focus will produce lessons for innovation policy in other regulated and less-regulated industries. 

322

Copyright Law 3
  • JD elective
  • LLM-LE (JD) elective
  • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
  • IntllLLM IP Cert
  • Fall 20
  • Spring 22
  • Fall 22
  • Final Exam

This is a comprehensive course in copyright law. We will examine the legal rights that cover works of creative expression such as literature, music, film, photography, visual art, and software. The class will cover some of the fundamental pillars of the world of creative expression in which we all live—the economic and legal architecture of our culture. This is because copyright’s rules provide the economic incentives that influence our creative output as well as part of the legal framework that shapes our communications technology. The broad impact of copyright law means that it is of importance to a wide range of legal practice and not merely to the specialist. No technical background is needed.

331

Introduction to Privacy Law and Policy 3
  • JD elective
  • LLM-LE (JD) elective
  • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
  • IntllLLM IP Cert
  • IntlLLM NVE Cert
  • Spring 21
  • Spring 22
  • Spring 23
  • Final Exam
  • Class participation

This course on privacy law and policy examines the ways in which the United States’ legal framework recognizes privacy rights or interests and balances them against competing interests, including, among others: freedom of speech and press, ever-expanding uses of big data, national security and law enforcement, medical research, business interests, and technological innovation. The course will address the ways that torts, constitutional law, federal and state statutes and regulations, and societal norms protect individual privacy against government, corporations and private actors in a variety of areas including: employment, media, education, data security, children’s privacy, health privacy, sports, consumer issues, finance, surveillance, national security and law enforcement. The course will also consider the significantly different approach to information privacy in the European Union and the importance of the new EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which became effective May 2018.  The course may also address briefly privacy issues and laws in an additional country, such as China, for purposes of further comparison.  Students will gain a broad understanding of the breadth, diversity and growing importance of the privacy field.

333

Science Law & Policy 3
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Environ Cert
  • IntllLLM IP Cert
  • Fall 20
  • Fall 21
  • Fall 22
  • Final Exam
  • Reflective Writing
  • Practical exercises
  • In-class exercise
  • Class participation

What are the government policies that support science? How is science regulated and controlled? What can science contribute to law and policy? How do the states, the federal government and international agencies interact to set science policy? How do disparate regulations and law impact research and translation? How is scientific research funded? These questions and more will be explored by looking at the interaction of law, science, and policy. The class is a mix of law, ethics and science students, and learning how to talk to one another in a common language is an important element of the course. Classes will include consideration and analysis of cases studies. There are no prerequisites for the course and there is no requirement that students have either graduate or upper-level undergraduate training in the sciences. Course evaluation (i.e. your grade) will be based on class participation and a final exam.

All MA, PhD and JD/MA students should register under BIOETHIC 704 – approval of professor is required. All law students (other than JD/MAs) should register under LAW 333.

369

Patent Law and Policy 3
  • JD elective
  • LLM-LE (JD) elective
  • IntlLLM NVE Cert
  • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  • IntllLLM IP Cert
  • Fall 20
  • Fall 21
  • Fall 22
  • Final Exam

This course provides a comprehensive introduction to patent law and policy. No technical background is required. The course begins by addressing the history of patents as well as the policy arguments for and against using patents as a mechanism for inducing innovation. Following this introduction, students learn the basics of patent drafting and prosecution, patent claims, and claim construction. The class then addresses in depth the central patentability criteria of subject matter, utility, nonobviousness, and disclosure. Other topics of importance that are covered in the class include: the relationship between patents and other forms of intellectual property protection, particularly trade secrecy and copyright; the intersection of patent and antitrust law; the role of the two major institutions responsible for administering the patent system, the Patent and Trademark Office and the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit; and the role of patents in the two major industries of the knowledge-based economy, information technology and biotechnology.

393

Trademark Law and Unfair Competition 2
  • JD elective
  • LLM-LE (JD) elective
  • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
  • IntllLLM IP Cert
  • Fall 20
  • Spring 22
  • Spring 23
  • Final Exam

This class offers an introduction to the law of trademark and unfair competition. Whether or not students intend to specialize in trademark law, a basic understanding of its rules will better enable them to advise clients who wish to protect their own marks, as well as those facing claims that they have infringed someone else’s mark. No technical background is needed. Trademarks include brand names and logos, and can also extend to other features that identify the source of a product for its consumers – including colors, packaging, and design – when they meet certain requirements. The course will begin with the requirements for obtaining trademark protection: distinctiveness, use in commerce, special rules for trade dress, and various bars to protection such as genericity and functionality. It will then cover confusion-based trademark infringement, secondary liability, anti-dilution, statutory and common law defenses, false advertising, and cybersquatting. Could a Utah theme park called “Evermore” stop Taylor Swift from calling her album “Evermore”? Did Lil Nas X’s Satan shoes infringe Nike’s trademarks? With the proliferation of craft brews, are we running out of brand names for beer, particularly pun-based “hoptions”? The course will address these and other pressing questions.

465

Patent Claim Drafting and Foundations of Patent Strategy 1
  • JD elective
  • JD experiential
  • LLM-LE (JD) elective
  • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
  • IntllLLM IP Cert
  • Spring 22
  • Practical exercises
  • Class participation

Scope of patent protection is controlled by definitions of the invention known as patent claims. The role of intellectual property protection in the economy has caused attention to be given to the precision of claim drafting. Focus on skills used in patent claim writing across a variety of technical fields and developed through exercises, problems, and competitions. Discussions of client counseling and patent application drafting in conjunction with the skill-oriented sessions provide a background in the practical issues that control the approaches taken to claim writing, as well as a basis for discussion during particular problems. This course is especially useful for students interested in patent preparation, prosecution, and litigation, or corporate law involving intellectual property transaction.

Students are required to attend the first class in order to remain enrolled in it.

475A

Law & Policy Lab: Data Governance 2
  • JD elective
  • LLM-LE (JD) elective
  • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  • IntllLLM IP Cert
  • Spring 22
  • Spring 23
  • Simulated Writing, Transactional
  • Reflective Writing
  • Group project(s)
  • Class participation

Focus: Health Data and Learning Health Networks

Data-savvy lawyers and practitioners must be able to work across disciplines, solve modern problems, and steward organizations of all stripes through digital issues. This course focuses on digital governance: how organizations and communities make decisions about data, code, their missions, and their membership, and how those decisions can break down or reinforce systems of structural exclusion.

Here, students will learn how to design, build, and govern effective data communities. They will navigate realistic scenarios and attempt to build equitable collaborations around shared missions and values. And they will use the tools of the law to build policies, procedures, and accountability structures to ensure that stakeholder communities’ data is protected and productive, and that data outputs accrue to the benefit of all.

Health Data and Learning Health Networks

In this simulation class, law and graduate students will attempt to organize and govern a health data collaboration for Long Covid patients. Students will work with each other to role-play as hospital administrators, principal investigators, and patient advocates, and decide whether and how to collaborate and share data with one another. Throughout the semester, students will hear from practitioners building and governing health data collaborations in the field.

Our class will go beyond will go beyond negotiating a data-sharing agreement between multiple parties. Students will need to decide who should be involved in their collaboration, how it should be governed, how it should manage risks, and what policies and procedures should be in place to run the collaboration, keep data safe, and maintain trust among community members.

476

Ethical Technology Practicum 3
  • JD elective
  • LLM-LE (JD) elective
  • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
  • IntllLLM IP Cert
  • Spring 22
  • Fall 22
  • Spring 23
  • Group project(s)
  • Oral presentation
  • Practical exercises
  • Class participation

Technological developments have greatly outpaced the legal, ethical, and policy developments in many areas of emerging technology.  As a result, these developments raise important questions on the legal and policy frameworks and practices most appropriate to build an ecosystem of trust that will help ensure citizens and other stakeholders that these innovations will benefit them and are being developed and deployed in an ethical, safe, reliable and responsible manner.  Policymakers and other stakeholders around the globe are grappling with these questions.  As the policy discussions unfold, organizations also are developing their own practices for operationalizing trustworthy or ethical technology.  To do this, organizations often assemble cross-functional teams and develop policies and practices to guide their organization, drawing on myriad sources such as existing and proposed laws, “soft law,” and other resources.  When it comes to the development of individual or novel technologies or platforms, those teams often include ethical guidance to inform “ethics by design” that can help direct developers, and the development of products themselves. The goals of this Practicum are to provide (a)the foundational legal, ethical, and policy frameworks, drawing upon the growing body of existing and proposed laws, ethics by design approaches, and other literature and resources, and (b) practical experience working in a cross-functional team to help an organization design a plan to help manage ethical development of an emerging technology or technological platform in their portfolio. Students will be evaluated on various steps in developing their plans, working with their client, their completed plan, and presentation of their work. 

525

Artificial Intelligence Law and Policy 2
  • JD SRWP
  • JD elective
  • LLM-LE (JD) elective
  • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
  • IntlLLM writing
  • IntllLLM IP Cert
  • IntlLLM NVE Cert
  • Spring 22
  • Research paper, 30 pages
  • Oral presentation
  • Class participation

Artificial intelligence is on a tremendous growth trajectory and is being developed, adopted and used for many purposes throughout society.  From a legal and policy perspective, AI presents many interesting and complex issues because the technological developments have greatly outpaced the legal, ethical, and policy developments.  One of the important questions centers on what legal and policy frameworks and practices are appropriate to build an ecosystem of trust that will help ensure citizens and other stakeholders that artificial intelligence will benefit them and is being developed and deployed in an ethical, safe, reliable and responsible manner (the “Legal and Policy Framework Question”).  Policymakers and other stakeholders around the globe are grappling with this Legal and Policy Framework Question.  As the discussions unfold, organizations also are designing their own practices for operationalizing trustworthy or ethical artificial intelligence.

The goal of the seminar is to give students a foundation in the emerging AI laws and policies and insight on the broader process of how laws and policies need to adapt for significant technological changes.  This seminar will explore in detail several approaches currently being considered to answer the Legal and Policy Framework Question, including regulatory approaches, standards, soft law, and self-regulation. As the students study various approaches, they will be asked to consider several sub-questions, such as (a) how the AI legal and policy framework should be calibrated to address risk, (b) the extent to which the framework should be sector specific or apply across industries, (c) which frameworks enable society to capitalize on AI’s benefits and mitigate potential risks, and (d) what is the optimal level of cross-border harmonization and how best to achieve it.   The course also will explore certain other legal issues arising in connection with AI, such antitrust and competition law and intellectual property and proprietary rights matters.

530

Entertainment Law 2
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
  • IntllLLM IP Cert
  • Spring 23

Law 530 (“Introduction to Entertainment Law”) explores how principles of intellectual property, contract law, media law and labor law inform the practice of entertainment law, and provides a comprehensive, “nuts and bolts” introduction to working as an entertainment lawyer.  The course focuses on learning practical legal and business skills such as drafting and negotiating financing, development, production and distribution deals in the motion picture and television industry.  The final course grade will be based on (i) class attendance and participation (50%), (ii) drafting and negotiating assignments (25%), and (iii) a final project, which will include an in-class presentation and long-form drafting assignment (25%). 

590

Risk Regulation in the US, Europe and Beyond 2
  • JD SRWP
  • JD elective
  • LLM-ICL (JD) elective
  • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
  • IntlLLM writing
  • IntlLLM Environ Cert
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  • IntllLLM IP Cert
  • Fall 20
  • Fall 21
  • Fall 22
  • Research paper, 25+ pages
  • Class participation

Faced with myriad health, safety, environmental, security and financial risks, how should societies respond?  This course studies the regulation of a wide array of risks, such as disease, food, drugs, medical care, biotechnology, chemicals, automobiles, air travel, drinking water, air pollution, energy, climate change, finance, violence, terrorism, emerging technologies, and extreme catastrophic risks. (Students may propose to research other risks as well.)

Across these diverse contexts, the course focuses on how regulatory institutions deal with the challenges of risk assessment (technical expertise), risk perceptions (public concerns and values), priority-setting (which risks should be regulated most), risk management (including the debates over "precaution" versus benefit-cost analysis, and risk-risk tradeoffs such as countervailing harms and co-benefits), and ongoing evaluation and updating.  It examines the rules and institutions for risk regulation, including the roles of legislative, executive/administrative, and judicial functions; the challenge of fragmentation and integration; the roles of oversight bodies (such as judicial review by courts, and executive review by US OMB/OIRA and the EU RSB); and the potential for international regulatory cooperation.

The course examines these issues through a comparative approach to risk regulation in the United States, Europe, and beyond (especially those countries of interest to the students in the course each year).  It examines the divergence, convergence, and exchange of ideas across regulatory systems; the causes of these patterns; the consequences of regulatory choices; and how regulatory systems can learn to do better.

This is a research seminar, in which students discuss and debate in class, while developing their own research.  We may also have some guest speakers.  Students' responsibilities in this course include active participation in class discussions, and writing a substantial research paper.  Students’ papers may take several approaches, such as analyzing a specific risk regulation; comparing regulation across countries; analyzing proposals to improve the regulatory system; or other related topics.

This course is Law 590, cross-listed as Environ 733.01 and PubPol 891.01.  Graduate and professional students from outside the Law School should enroll via those Environ and PubPol course numbers, and may contact the Nicholas School registrar, Erika Lovelace, e.love@duke.edu, or the Sanford School registrar, Anita Lyon, anita.lyon@duke.edu, with any questions about enrollment.  (The Law School does not use “permission numbers.”)

592

Frontier AI & Robotics: Law & Ethics 3
  • JD SRWP, option
  • JD elective
  • LLM-LE (JD) elective
  • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
  • IntlLLM writing
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  • IntllLLM IP Cert
  • IntlLLM NVE Cert
  • Fall 20
  • Spring 21
  • Spring 22
  • Spring 23
  • Reflective Writing
  • Research and/or analytical paper(s), 20+ pages
  • In-class exercise
  • Class participation

Robots, with us for several generations already, were long confined to narrow uses and trained users, assembling our vehicles and moving our products behind the scenes. In recent years, robotic tools have begun to step out of the back room and take center stage. Even more, these tools are fueled by constantly advancing artificial intelligence and machine learning tools that allow them to participate in the world of the mind as much as the world of muscle. Are we ready? Probably not. In order to capture the full opportunities and benefits of AI & robotics, surely our legal systems and ethical frameworks must evolve. We must find ways to ensure that human-robot interactions occur in ways that are safe and are consistent with our cultural values. We must take care that our policies and laws provide artificial intelligence tools with the direction we need without quashing or hindering the innovations that could improve our lives.

The course will bring together three core areas: (1) law, (2) ethics, and (3) applied technology. Because frontier technologies challenge existing legal regimes and ethical frameworks, this course and its assigned project encourage law, ethics, and policy students to interact with networks of experts who are actively thinking about ethical technology development and with technology policy networks that explore the social implications of a world increasingly inclusive of AI.

Beyond time spent for class preparation and in-class time, each student in Frontier AI & Robotics: Law & Ethics will be required to complete a substantial research-based Report that demonstrates a deep, research-based understanding of a topic about which the student shall become knowledgeable such that he/she could take part meaningfully in and contribute to present-day discussions of law, policy, and ethics in the topic area. This Report may qualify for the JD SRWP degree requirement or the International LLM writing requirement upon permission of the instructor.

NO PRIOR EXPERIENCE WITH ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE OR TECHNOLOGY IS NEEDED FOR THIS COURSE.

754

IP Transactions 2
  • JD elective
  • LLM-LE (JD) elective
  • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  • IntllLLM IP Cert
  • Spring 21
  • Spring 22
  • Spring 23
  • Final Exam
  • Class participation

Patents, trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets are the currency of an innovation economy. Each of these forms of intellectual property may be bought and sold, licensed, or used as security. How each is used will depend on the business context; the needs of a start-up company being far different from those of a multinational corporation. This course will focus on intellectual property transactions in various business contexts, including: maximizing value and assessing risks; using intellectual property in financing start-ups; protecting trade secrets; employment issues related to intellectual property; intellectual property licensing; and intellectual property in mergers, acquisitions and bankruptcy.

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