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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 14 courses found.
Number Course Title Credits Degree Requirements Semesters Taught Methods of Evaluation

231

Ethics in Action: Large Firm Practice 2
  • JD elective
  • JD ethics
  • LLM-LE (JD) elective
  • IntlLLM NY Bar
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • Fall 20
  • Fall 21
  • Fall 22
  • Simulated Writing, Transactional
  • Simulated Writing, Litigation
  • Group project(s)
  • Oral presentation
  • Practical exercises
  • Class participation

Large, multi-jurisdictional law firms face complex issues of regulation and professionalism. Managing and solving those issues require keen analytical, litigation, and transactional drafting skills. This course will offer an opportunity to practice those skills while gaining a background in the law governing lawyers. Students will participate in a two-credit, experiential seminar that can be used for either ethics or experiential credit.

Students will gain a background in the ABA Model Rules (and state variants) by analyzing and resolving simulated ethical inquiries that might be received by the general counsel’s office of a large firm and presenting their proposed resolution in class. In addition, students working in teams will tackle a more complex, multi-issue inquiry that will require deeper research and a written memorandum that will be revised in response to feedback. The course will conclude with a transactional drafting exercise such as an engagement letter and fee agreement involving client intake issues.

237

Ethics of Social Justice Lawyering 2
  • JD elective
  • JD ethics
  • IntlLLM NY Bar
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • PIPS elective
  • Spring 22
  • Final Exam
  • Reflective Writing
  • Class participation

This course examines Professional Responsibility as it applies to representing poor and/or underrepresented clients (in criminal and civil cases), as well as to lawyering for social justice causes, through impact litigation and other means. We will explore the substantive law of Professional Responsibility, focusing on ethical challenges frequently encountered in social justice representation (e.g., representing clients who are uneducated or culturally different than the attorney, practicing with limited resources in an environment of many unmet legal needs, defining who the client is when representing a group or cause, and the tensions created when the requirements of Professional Responsibility are at odds with the attorney's personal morality or vision of social justice).  While we will work mostly from the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct, required reading will also include scholarship on the unique ethical and moral dilemmas of social justice lawyers, and students will be encouraged to think critically about the rules of Professional Responsibility and their application in social justice contexts.  Throughout the course, we will consider and practice the lawyering skills needed to ethically represent clients and social causes, through in-class resolution of hypotheticals and experiential learning, such as simulations or role-playing.   Several practicing, social-justice attorneys will join us to guest-speak.

238

Ethics and the Law of Lawyering 2
  • JD elective
  • JD ethics
  • IntlLLM NY Bar
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • Fall 20
  • Spring 21
  • Fall 21
  • Spring 22
  • Fall 22
  • Spring 23
  • Final Exam
  • Reflective Writing
  • Practical exercises
  • Class participation

This course examines in detail the "law of lawyering" relating to such issues as the formation of the attorney-client relationship, confidentiality, communications with clients, conflicts of interest, regulation and discipline of attorneys, and numerous other areas relating to the lawyer's role in American society. In addressing these issues, we will consider the extent to which the law governing lawyers derives from the concept of a learned profession, as well as the degree to which the ethics of lawyering may differ from personal ethics and morality. While particular attention will be paid to the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct, the class will also examine other sources of relevant law, including the Restatement (Third) of the Law Governing Lawyers, court decisions and rules, statutes, and administrative regulations.  Grading is based on a final examination, written work relating to casebook problems and reflections on current issues in legal ethics, and class participation.

 

239

Ethics and the Law of Lawyering in Civil Litigation 2
  • JD elective
  • JD ethics
  • IntlLLM NY Bar
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
    • Final Exam
    • Practical exercises

    This course examines the principles of legal ethics and professionalism. Our focus will be on identifying and responding to the key issues faced by a civil litigator, and on the model rules of professional conduct, case law, and ethics opinions that a lawyer must consider in resolving such issues. Topics include the formation and termination of the attorney client relationship, conflicts of interest, and communications with the court and opposing counsel through the discovery and trial process. We will examine the balancing of the duty of advocacy with the duty to the administration of justice. We will also explore issues such as admissions, discipline, and common law firm associate dilemmas such as billing and changing law firms. During the semester, students will prepare two short (3-5 pp) memoranda. There will also be an open book in-class exam at the end of the semester.

    240

    Ethics and Professional Responsibility 3
    • JD ethics
    • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
    • Fall 22
    • Final Exam

    Professional Responsibility (3 credits) takes an in-depth view of ethical issues relating to the practice of law that are confronting the legal profession. The course studies the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct (“Model Rules”), relevant cases, and other sources of authority that govern the conduct of lawyers. The objective for this course is to develop an understanding of the field of the laws governing lawyers. The primary goal of this class is to give you experience applying the Model Rules and other pertinent laws to various factual scenarios (both real and hypothetical) so that when ethical issues arise during the course of law practice (and they will!), you are able to identify them and reflect on whether you need to adjust your behavior to ensure compliance with your professional obligations. This is a survey course, so we will learn a little about various sources of the law governing lawyers, but we will not focus deeply on any particular concept. The primary method of assessment will be an in-class examination at the conclusion of the semester.

    242

    Social Justice Lawyering 2
    • JD SRWP with add-on credit
    • JD elective
    • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
    • PIPS elective
    • Fall 20
    • Fall 21
    • Fall 22
    • Reflective Writing
    • Group project(s)
    • Class participation
    • Other

    Working for social justice is an important part of the professional obligations of all lawyers, and for many law students, their initial motivation for pursuing a legal education. This course is designed to introduce students to the ways in which lawyers committed to social justice engage with communities, individual clients, social and political causes and legal systems to help effect social change. We will examine the types of lawyers working toward social justice, the ways in which lawyers help shape claims in social justice cases, and finally, how lawyers use their skills and training to engage in political struggles and movements to achieve social justice for the communities, causes, or individual clients that they represent.

    Through readings, discussion, and independent studies of legal cases and movements in social justice, students will explore different models of social justice lawyering and the barriers present both in the representation of under-served communities and in pursuing a career in public interest law. Students will also have an opportunity to explore more deeply how they plan to be a lawyer engaged in social justice work, either in their pro bono or full-time future practice.

    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.

    318

    Comparative Constitutional Law 2
    • JD SRWP with add-on credit
    • LLM-ICL (JD) required
    • Fall 20
    • Reflective Writing
    • Research and/or analytical paper(s), 10-15 pages
    • Class participation

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

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

    512

    Bail Reform 1
    • JD SRWP with add-on credit
    • JD elective
    • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
    • LLMWriting option with additional credit
    • PIPS elective
    • Spring 22
    • Reflective Writing
    • Class participation

    Bail practices define who is held in jail in the United States.  Most people held in jails are awaiting trial, and in turn, most of those people cannot afford to pay a cash bond to secure their release.  This seminar will examine the unique system of pretrial detention in the United States, from historical, legal, social, and policy perspectives. We will read leading Supreme Court cases, recent civil rights challenges and judicial rulings regarding bail practices, bail reform legislation, and empirical literature regarding the impacts of pretrial decisions and supervision on people's lives and social outcomes. Students will write short reaction papers regarding each of week's reading, and may also choose to write a more substantial research paper if they wish to earn a second credit. 

    539

    Ethics in Action 2
    • JD elective
    • JD ethics
    • IntlLLM NY Bar
    • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
    • Spring 21
    • Spring 22
    • Spring 23

    The class will function as an ethics committee considering current issues and ethics inquiries based upon actual disputes. The participants, working in small groups, will draft detailed ethics opinions that the full class will consider, revise, and the like.

    543

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

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

    558

    Foreign Anti-Bribery Law 2
    • JD SRWP with add-on credit
    • JD elective
    • LLM-ICL (JD) elective
    • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
    • LLMWriting option with additional credit
    • Fall 20
    • Fall 21
    • Fall 22
    • Reflective Writing
    • Oral presentation
    • Class participation

    Corruption is one of the major factors inhibiting economic development and undermining governmental legitimacy.  Developed governments generally enforce rules prohibiting domestic corruption, but have historically been less concerned with (and even encouraging of) foreign government corruption.  The United States passage of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act in 1977, which prohibits covered entities from bribing foreign officials, represents a major shift in this policy.  In the last fifteen years, most other major economies and economic institutions (the IMF, the World Bank) have followed suit, although enforcement has been inconsistent.  This seminar will examine the origins and evolution of this effort to regulate firms' relationships with foreign government officials.  The seminar explores the history, economics, and policy behind anti-corruption efforts and the major challenges ahead.  The seminar will engage academic articles that address the economic effects of corruption, the politics of anti-corruption enforcement, the variation in current anti-bribery agreements (the UN Convention Against Corruption and the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention), and influence of these rules on foreign investment and trade.  The seminar is designed to be very participatory, with students leading discussion. 

    Students will be evaluated on a series of critique papers, leading a class discussion, and class participation. If students wish to write a paper on a topic related to the course materials, they may request the opportunity to complete an additional  two credit independent study.  A final paper cannot replace the critique papers.

    NOTE: An additional 2 credits are available for students who wish to write a longer paper in order to satisfy the JD or JD/LLM Upper-Level Writing Requirement. Students wishing to take this option should enroll in Law 558W Foreign Anti-Bribery Writing Credit. These credits will count towards the Independent Study Research Credit Limit (Rule 3-12) *LAW 558W MUST be added no later than 7thweek of class.*

    588

    Investigating and Prosecuting National Security Cases 2
    • JD SRWP with add-on credit
    • JD elective
    • LLM-ICL (JD) elective
    • LLMWriting option with additional credit
    • PIPS elective
    • Spring 21
    • Spring 22
    • Spring 23
    • Reflective Writing
    • Research and/or analytical paper(s), 10-15 pages
    • Class participation

    National security cases present unique challenges to prosecutors and defense attorneys. From the outset of an investigation, and before charges are brought, prosecutors and investigators must take into account a number of considerations, including coordination with the intelligence community and potential conflicts that may arise between law enforcement and intelligence gathering. After a case is charged, such cases frequently present other challenges, such as complying with discovery obligations while protecting classified information and obtaining testimony from foreign witnesses who may be beyond the reach of the U.S. government. This course will provide an in-depth examination of the unique issues that lawyers face in national security prosecutions and the substantive and procedural tools used to navigate those issues.  We will also examine the advantages and limitations of civilian prosecutions and consider the effectiveness of current procedures and criminal statutes in addressing modern national security threats.  An emphasis will be placed on case-specific examples and hypotheticals, drawing in part on the instructor’s experience and pending public cases.  The course will culminate in a simulation in which students are presented with a rapidly unfolding national security incident in which they are asked to address various hypotheticals at different stages of the case.

    Students will be expected to complete a final paper of 10-15 pages in length on a topic approved by the instructor. JD or LLM students who wish to use the paper to satisfy the substantial writing requirement of their degree should enroll in a 1 credit independent study with Professor Stansbury and will be expected to write a final paper of 25-30 pages in length. The Independent Study will be graded on a credit/no-credit basis.

    794

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

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

    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