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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 10 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. 

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.

441

Start-Up Ventures Clinic 4
  • JD elective
  • JD experiential
  • LLM-LE (JD) elective
  • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Business 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 Start-Up Ventures Clinic represents entrepreneurs and early-stage businesses and social ventures on a variety of matters related to the start-up process, including formation, founder equity and vesting, shareholder agreements, intellectual property protection and licensing agreements, commercialization strategies, and other issues that new enterprises face in their start-up phases.

The course incorporates client representation with a seminar and individualized supervision to provide students with a range of opportunities to put legal theory into practice and to develop core legal skills such as interviewing, client counseling, negotiation, and drafting. Students in this course will, among other things, have the chance to deepen their substantive legal knowledge in entrepreneurial law and business law more generally, while at the same time developing critical professional skills through the direct representation of start-up businesses and entrepreneurs. 

Important:

    • See Clinics Enrollment Policy
    • 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 instructor prior to the enrollment period. Permission is required to enroll but permission does not constitute entry into the clinic.
  • Business Associations and Advising the Entrepreneurial Client or Start-Up Law are recommended but not required.

Ethics Requirement

Students are required to have instruction in the Model Rules of Professional Conduct prior to, or during, enrollment in the Start-Up Ventures 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).

441A

Advanced Start-Up Ventures Clinic
  • JD elective
  • LLM-LE (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

The Advanced Start-Up Ventures Clinic is for students who have already completed a semester in the Start-Up Ventures Clinic (Law 441) and wish to continue their experiential education in the start-up space, whether it be a to-be-determined project on a specific area of entrepreneurial law, or working with a specific client or in a specific industry. Typically, the course is two credits and permission to take the Advanced Start-Up Ventures Clinic must be approved by the Clinic Director. 

534

Advising the Entrepreneurial Client 3
  • LLM-LE (JD) elective
    • Group project(s)
    • Practical exercises
    • Class participation
    • Other

    The goal of Advising the Entrepreneurial Client is to prepare students to assist in the representation of a start-up venture/angel backed company. This course takes students through the legal issues likely to present themselves in the lifecycle of a typical technology company from inception/incorporation through acquisition (the typical liquidity event). Advising the Entrepreneurial Client exposes students to the types of issues, questions and documentation that they encounter and the lawyering skills that they need as a lawyer for an entrepreneurial venture. The course is a survey of entrepreneurial law considerations and does not attempt to invoke policy considerations.

    Students are graded on class participation, weekly group homework, and three major drafting assignments.

    Class is open to students pursuing the LLM in Law & Entrepreneurship.  Students not in this program should consider Law 540: Startup Law: Representing the Company.

    540

    Startup Law: Legal Considerations for Entrepreneurs and Counsel 3
    • JD elective
    • IntlLLM NVE Cert
    • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
    • IntlLLM Business Cert
    • Fall 20
    • Fall 21
    • Fall 22
    • Final Exam
    • Class participation

    This course takes students through the legal issues likely to present themselves in the lifecycle of a high growth company from inception through acquisition (the typical liquidity event). Startup Law exposes students to the types of issues, questions and documentation that they encounter as a lawyer for an entrepreneurial venture, but also from the perspective of the entrepreneur. The course is a survey of entrepreneurial law considerations and will discuss policy considerations as the material and current events dictate. While some of the content related to legal considerations from the perspective of company counsel is similar to Law 534 Advising the Entrepreneurial Client, this does not satisfy the requirements for the JD/LLMLE. Students who have taken Law 534 may not take this class.  Business Associations highly recommended as a prerequisite but may be taken as a co-requisite. Final grade based on exam and in class participation.

    781

    Music's Copyright: A Historical, Incentives-Based, and Aesthetic Analysis of the Law of Music 3
    • JD SRWP
    • JD elective
    • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
    • IntlLLM writing
    • IntllLLM IP Cert
    • Fall 20
    • Spring 23
    • Reflective Writing
    • Research paper, 25+ pages
    • Oral presentation
    • Class participation

    This course will begin by exploring the historical structure of incentives in music and the changing economics of music production, including the preconditions for thinking of music as "property" and the gradual shift from patronage to a market-oriented system. It will then proceed to examine music's unusually complex and increasingly fraught relationship with copyright law. The fundamental notions of originality and illicit copying are at odds with both functional limitations and long-standing aesthetic practices in music, such as the long history of accepted borrowing. As a result, there is an unusual body of music-specific case law that features intriguing circuit splits, vigorous disputes about expert testimony and prior art, and specialized doctrinal issues. Students will gain an in-depth knowledge of these issues, and their application in prominent cases involving the songs "Blurred Lines," "Stairway to Heaven," and Katy Perry's "Dark Horse," as well as pending disputes over Lizzo's "Truth Hurts" and "Baby Shark," and then apply this knowledge in a mock trial. The course will also cover the complicated licensing schemes that attach to different uses of music, from traditional revenue streams to fresh disputes regarding royalties for new uses such as ringtones and streaming services. This portion will include a discussion of the new Music Modernization Act. Finally, the class will conclude with an in-depth examination of the ongoing debates about how both the law and business practices might adapt to the new musical forms (such as sampling and remixing) and business models (such as do-it-yourself distribution) enabled by digital technology. Throughout the semester, the course will include a special focus on current and ongoing disputes, issues, scholarship, and proposals.

    The writing for this course may be used to satisfy the JD Substantial Research and Writing Project Requirement.

    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