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

227

Use of Force in International Law: Cyber, Drones, Hostage Rescues, Piracy, and more 2
  • JD SRWP, option
  • JD elective
  • LLM-ICL (JD) elective
  • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
  • IntlLLM writing, option
  • PIPS elective
  • Fall 20
  • Fall 21
  • Fall 22
  • Reflective Writing
  • Research paper option, 25+ pages
  • Research and/or analytical paper(s), 20+ pages
  • Oral presentation
  • Class participation

This fall-only seminar is designed to introduce students with limited or no familiarity with international law to principles involved in jus ad bellum, that is, when states can resort to the use of force during periods of putative peace. It will explore, for example, what circumstances constitute an “act of war” in variety of situations.

The course will analyze when and how force may be used in self-defense and will survey topics such as humanitarian intervention, hostage rescue, air defense identification zones, freedom of navigation operations, use of force in the cyber domain, and the legal aspects of international counter-piracy and counterterrorism operations (including drone strikes). Efforts to limit the use of force in outer space as well as the implications of nuclear weapons and the emergence of autonomous weaponry will be explored.

Case studies and current news events, including some related to the conflict in Ukraine, will be examined in conjunction with the covered issues. In addition, students will get an overview of the practical issues associated with the use of force, to include the weaponry, planning, and military techniques involved.

This course obviously addresses the use of force in international law. Accordingly, class instruction will inevitably include written, oral, and visual depictions of physical force and violence—and occasionally extreme representations of the same.

You are not require to purchase any books for this course, because they are available for free online from the Duke Law Library. A key book for this course is entitled The Use of Force in International Law: A Case-Based Approach (2018). You will not be required to read this entire book (it’s 960 pages!). Additionally, we will use parts of Regulating the Use of Force in International Law (2021; Necessity and Proportionality and the Right of Self-Defence in International Law (2021) and The Future Law of Armed Conflict (2022) (available online July 2022).

There is no examination, but a 20-page paper (constituting 60% 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 (SRWP) or other writing requirements provided it is at least 30 pages in length and otherwise complies with SRWP requirements. The remainder of the grade (40%) is based on the quality and frequency of class participation, and may require the preparation of short presentations, and response papers.

236

International Human Rights 2
  • JD elective
  • LLM-ICL (JD) elective
  • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
  • PIPS elective
    • Final Exam
    • In-class exercise
    • Class participation

    This course critically assesses the international and domestic laws, institutions, and legal and political theories that relate to protecting the fundamental liberties of all human beings. The course emphasizes (1) specific "hot button" topics within international human rights law, such as extraordinary renditions, hate speech, and lesbian and gay rights); (2) the judicial, legislative, and executive bodies that interpret and implement human rights; and (3) the public and private actors who commit rights violations and who seek redress for individuals whose rights have been violated. Course requirements include a final exam, a negotiation exercise, and student participation in class discussions.

    316

    Intro to Cyber Law and Policy 2
    • JD elective
    • LLM-ICL (JD) elective
    • LLM-LE (JD) elective
    • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
    • IntlLLM writing, option
    • IntllLLM IP Cert
    • PIPS elective
    • Fall 20
    • Fall 21
    • Fall 22
    • Reflective Writing
    • Research and/or analytical paper(s), 10-15 pages

    This course will provide an introduction to the dynamic and evolving field of cyber law and policy.  The course will be team-taught by multiple instructors with expertise in various government and industry sectors. The goal is to introduce students to the legal and policy frameworks that guide lawyers and decision-makers in a world of rapid technological change, with a primary emphasis on cybersecurity and privacy. We will discuss today’s threat landscape and approaches to data breaches, cybercrime by state and non-state actors, and cyberwarfare. We will also consider the legal and policy issues surrounding the collection and use of personal data, with a focus on both domestic and international data privacy protections. Other topics will also be explored, such as the impact of emerging technologies and markets (e.g., machine learning, digital currencies, platform media) and the ethical responsibilities of lawyers. Real-world case studies will be employed to allow students to weigh in on some of the most pressing issues of our time.   This course is introductory in nature and no technical background is necessary.

    Note: Students who have taken Law 609, Readings in Cyber Law with Stansbury, may not take Law 316, Intro to Cyber Law. 

    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.

    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.

    537

    Human Rights Advocacy 2
    • JD SRWP
    • JD elective
    • LLM-ICL (JD) elective
    • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
    • IntlLLM writing
    • PIPS elective
    • Fall 20
    • Fall 21
    • Fall 22
    • Research paper, 25+ pages
    • Class participation

    This course critically assesses the field of human rights advocacy, its institutions, strategies, and key actors. It explores how domestic, regional, and global human rights agendas are set using international law frameworks; the ethical and accountability dilemmas that arise in human rights advocacy; and human rights advocacy concerning a range of actors, including governments, international institutions, and private actors. It addresses the role of human rights in social movements, including in addressing systemic racism, as well as the development of transnational human rights networks. It also considers issues such as how to resolve purported hierarchies and conflicts between internationally-guaranteed rights, efforts to decolonize the practice of human rights, and the ways in which populist and other forces also invoke human rights to further particular agendas. Drawing on case studies within the United States and abroad, it will examine core human rights advocacy tactics, such as fact-finding, litigation, standard-setting, indicators, and reporting, and consider the role of new technologies in human rights advocacy. In examining the global normative framework for human rights, this course focuses on how local, regional, and international struggles draw on, and adapt, the norms and tactics of human rights to achieve their objectives. Evaluation will be based on class participation and a final paper.

    This class is a pre-requisite or corequisite for Law 437 International Human Rights Clinic.

    546

    International Law of Armed Conflict 3
    • JD SRWP, option
    • JD elective
    • LLM-ICL (JD) elective
    • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
    • IntlLLM writing
    • PIPS elective
    • Spring 21
    • Spring 22
    • Spring 23
    • Reflective Writing
    • Research paper, 25+ pages
    • Oral presentation
    • Class participation

    This seminar will examine the international law of armed conflict, and it focuses on the jus in bello context. Students will consider the rationale for the key concepts of the law of armed conflict, and examine their practical application in various contexts. Case studies (contemporary and historical) will be examined in conjunction with the topics covered. This historical context for the law of armed conflict agreements, the status of conflicts, combatants, and civilians, targeting, rules of engagement, war crimes, are all included among the topics the class will address. Students will be encouraged to relate legal and interdisciplinary sources in order to better understand the multi-faceted interaction between law and war. There is no examination for this course but a 30-page paper (constituting 60% of the grade) is required on a legal topic chosen by the student and approved by the instructor. Students desiring to use the course paper to fulfill Substantial Research and Writing Project (SRWP) and possibly other writing requirements must obtain instructor. The remainder of the grade (40%) is based on the quality and frequency of class participation. Students should be aware that this course may include discussion and visual depictions (still and video) of armed conflict and other acts of extreme violence. The textbook for this course is Gary D. Solis's The Law of Armed Conflict: International Humanitarian Law in War (3rd ed., 2021). This course will only be offered in the spring.

    552

    Law and Governance in China 2
    • JD SRWP
    • JD elective
    • LLM-ICL (JD) elective
    • LLM-ICL (JD) writing
    • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
    • IntlLLM writing
    • IntlLLM Business Cert
    • PIPS elective
    • Fall 21
    • Fall 22
    • Research and/or analytical paper
    • Class participation

    China’s development without a western-style rule of law raises numerous questions. Does law matter in China? If yes, how does it work? What roles has law played in China’s economic, social and political development? This seminar covers both law on the books and law in action, emphasizes change and development in understanding law and governance, and takes China as a comparative case study to deepen our understanding of the fundamental nature of legal institutions. This seminar also features guest speakers from Yale, Princeton, Harvard, and other institutions. 

    Evaluation: class participation: 30%, students should read assigned readings in advance and be prepared to be on call every week; paper(s): 70%. Students can choose to write five response papers (four pages each) or a research paper (20 pages minimum). Students should submit their research paper proposal by Sept. 23, which explains their research question, methods and plan. Finalized paper is due on December 16. The instructor keeps the discretion of approving or not approving a research paper proposal. Research papers are also qualified to satisfy JD students’ writing requirements (30 pages minimum), if they so choose. 

    558

    Foreign Anti-Bribery Law 2
    • JD SRWP with add-on credit
    • JD elective
    • LLM-ICL (JD) elective
    • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
    • IntlLLM writing 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.*

    558W

    Foreign Anti-Bribery Law, Independent Study 2
    • JD SRWP
    • JD elective
    • LLM-ICL (JD) elective
    • IntlLLM writing
    • Fall 20
    • Fall 21
    • Fall 22
    • Research paper, 25+ pages
    • Add on credit

    While enrolled in Law 558 Foreign Anti-Bribery Law, students have the option to take 2 additional credits in order to satisfy the JD or JD/LLM Writing Requirement. These credits will count towards the Independent Study Research Credit Limit (Rule 3-12). This section will meet in-person on schedule to be determined. The instructor will meet online with any student who prefers that. Students will be placed in groups of 2 or 3 students for a writing group. The instructor will meet with each writing group separately. *LAW 558W MUST be added no later than 4th week of class.*

    582

    National Security Law 3
    • JD SRWP
    • JD elective
    • LLM-ICL (JD) elective
    • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
    • IntlLLM writing
    • PIPS elective
    • Fall 20
    • Fall 21
    • Fall 22
    • Research paper, 25+ pages
    • Oral presentation
    • Class participation

    This fall-only survey course is designed to provide students, particularly those with no background in the topic, with an overview of the American legal architecture related to the U.S. 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 $778 billion defense budget, ($2 trillion in defense outlays worldwide), impact virtually all potential clients.

    The course includes analyzing 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, homeland security issues (to include the domestic use of the armed forces), security-based travel restrictions, public health emergencies, civil-military relations, and the impact of national security issues on business transactions will be reviewed. The textbook for this course will be Dycus, et al., National Security Law (7th ed., 2020) ISBN9781543806793 as well as the National Security Law and Counterterrorism Law 2022-2023 Supplement. Other materials may be provided as necessary. The instructors will offer practical, real-world perspectives on the issues discussed based on their extensive careers in government.

    There is one assigned time block for the course, but the structure of classes may vary, and students may be divided into sections, discussion groups, and panels.

    The course is expected to include guest speakers. There may be occasional asynchronous content, including short lectures, podcasts, and some documentary footage. Students will have advance notice of all required participation elements.

    Given this is a course in national security, class instruction will likely include written, oral, and visual depictions of physical force and violence—and occasionally extreme representations of the same.

    There is no examination for this course, but a 30-page research paper (constituting 60% of the grade) is required on a topic chosen by the student and approved by the instructors. With instructor approval, the course paper may fulfill the Substantial Research and Writing Project provided all SRWP requirements are met. The remainder of the grade (40%) is based on the quality and frequency of class participation (which may include short papers and/or brief oral presentations).

    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.

    772

    Biblical and Ancient Near Eastern Law 3
    • JD SRWP, option
    • JD elective
    • LLM-ICL (JD) elective
    • IntlLLM writing, option
    • Spring 23
    • Research paper option, 25+ pages
    • Research and/or analytical paper(s), 10-15 pages
    • Oral presentation
    • Class participation

    This course will offer an extended exploration of the earliest legal materials known to human history (beginning with the Laws of Ur-Namma) and, arguably, the ancient world’s most important legal materials for the history of law in the Western tradition—namely, the Bible. The course thus provides students with wide exposure to the history of law, indeed its very roots (at least for the Western intellectual tradition), while at the same time affording access to the long and complicated interrelationships of law and religion that are evident already in the ancient world and that continue to the present day, not least (for example) in debates over the Ten Commandments. In these ways, the course should prove helpful and informative, not only in terms of legal history and development, but also in moving toward a better understanding of at least some of the dynamics surrounding religious law and/or religious groups’ and individual adherents’ relationship(s) to law.  Students will be evaluated on class participation, including tracking and presenting on a legal topic (e.g., status, property, family, intention, homicide, etc.) across the semester, and either a series of shorter papers or a longer research paper to satisfy the SRWP.

    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