Course Browser

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.

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Areas of Study & Practice

Clear all filters 41 courses found.
Number Course Title Credits Degree Requirements Semesters Taught Methods of Evaluation

120

Constitutional Law 4.5
  • JD 1L
  • IntlLLM NY Bar
  • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
  • Fall 20
  • Spring 21
  • Spring 22
  • Spring 23
  • Final Exam
  • Class participation

An examination of the distribution of and limitations upon governmental authority under the Constitution of the United States. Included are study of the doctrine of judicial review of legislative and executive action, the powers of Congress and the President, the limitations on state governmental powers resulting from the existence or exercise of congressional power, and judicial protection against the exercise of governmental power in violation of rights, liberties, privileges, or immunities conferred by the Constitution.

140

Criminal Law 4.5
  • JD 1L
  • IntlLLM NY Bar
  • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
  • Fall 20
  • Spring 21
  • Fall 21
  • Spring 22
  • Fall 22
  • Spring 23
  • Final Exam
  • Class participation

An introductory study of the law of crimes and the administration of criminal justice. One of the purposes of this course is to introduce the students to the nature of social control mechanisms and the role of law in a civilized society.

160AB

Legal Analysis, Research & Writing 4
  • JD 1L
  • Fall 20
  • Spring 21
  • Fall 21
  • Spring 23
  • Reflective Writing
  • Research and/or analytical paper(s), 10-15 pages

An introductory study of the various forms of legal writing and modes of legal research. Through an integrated approach to writing and research, the course begins by analyzing the components of judicial opinions and ends with the students independently researching and writing a sophisticated appellate brief. The principal goal of this course is the mastery of the basic tools of legal analysis, the principles of legal writing, and the techniques of legal research using both print and online resources.

This is a year-long course.  Upon successful completion of the Fall and Spring semesters, students are awarded four credits and graded on numerical scale.  A grade of Credit (CR) or No Credit (NC) is given after the Fall semester.

170

Property 4
  • JD 1L
  • IntlLLM NY Bar
  • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Environ Cert
  • Spring 21
  • Fall 21
  • Spring 22
  • Fall 22
  • Spring 23
  • Final Exam
  • Class participation

Property law guides how we interact through and around a variety of valuable and increasing scare resources, including land, personal possessions, and ideas.  This course explores how and why property is allocated; what default rights and obligations come with ownership; the role of private agreements with respect to property; and the extent and limits of the state’s power to set the terms of ownership.  Throughout, we will consider justifications for property rights as well as the fine-grained details of how courts and other institutions resolve conflicts about property.  There are a number of common threads that tie property law together, and a series of recurring themes that we will emphasize throughout the semester.  Among these, the most important are likely the relational and interdependent nature of property rights. As far as the law is concerned, property is not a “thing” like a piece of land, but a set of claims that some people have against others with regard to particular resources.  Such claims are deeply contextual and relational; saying that someone “owns” something is generally the beginning, not the end, of the legal inquiry.  Questions about the ways in which race, socioeconomic status, and gender have shaped property rights will inform our conversation throughout the semester.

180

Torts 4.5
  • JD 1L
  • IntlLLM NY Bar
  • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
  • Fall 20
  • Spring 21
  • Fall 21
  • Fall 22
  • Final Exam
  • Class participation

An analysis of liability for personal injuries and injuries to property. The law of negligence occupies a central place in the course content, but this course also considers other aspects of tort liability such as strict liability, liability of producers and sellers of products, nuisance, liability for defamation and invasion of privacy, and commercial torts. The subjects of causation, damages, insurance (including automobile no-fault compensation systems), and workmen's compensation are also included.

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.

    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.

     

    255

    Federal Income Taxation 4
    • JD elective
    • LLM-LE (JD) elective
    • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
    • IntlLLM Business Cert
    • IntlLLM NVE Cert
    • Fall 20
    • Spring 21
    • Fall 21
    • Spring 22
    • Fall 22
    • Spring 23
    • Final Exam

    An introduction to federal income taxation, with emphasis on the determination of income subject to taxation, deductions in computing taxable income, the proper time period for reporting income and deductions, and the proper taxpayer on which to impose the tax

    In planning their course schedules, students should keep in mind that Federal Income Taxation is a prerequisite for most other federal tax courses, including corporate tax, partnership tax, international tax, and the tax policy seminar.  For this reason, students who might want to take one or more advanced tax courses are strongly encouraged to take Federal Income Taxation during their second year of law school.

    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. 

    275

    International Law 3
    • JD elective
    • LLM-ICL (JD) required
    • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
    • PIPS elective
    • Spring 21
    • Spring 22
    • Spring 23
    • Final Exam

    This course offers a broad introduction to international law and provides a foundation for more specialized courses.  Topics covered include the key sources, actors, and institutions of international law; the application of international law by domestic courts; adjudication by international tribunals; the extraterritorial application of domestic law.  Part I of the course provides an overview of these foundations issues.  Part II is comprised of a series of case studies on selected topics in international law, including human rights, international crimes, international trade and investment, environmental protection, and the use of force.

    Note on scheduling for Spring 2023:
    To accommodate Professor Helfer’s responsibilities as a member of the UN Human Rights Committee, which meets in Geneva, Switzerland in March 2023, several class meetings will need to be canceled, rescheduled or held on Zoom.  Please note - the first class meeting will be held on Friday January 13, 2023 @ 12:30 to 1:45 PM.   Additional information about canceled and rescheduled classes will appear on the course syllabus.

    290

    Remedies 3
    • JD elective
    • IntlLLM NY Bar
    • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
    • Spring 21
    • Spring 22
    • Fall 22
    • Final Exam
    • Class participation

    This course examines the powers and limits of the law to right those who have been wronged. We will cover different forms of remedies—including money damages, injunctions, and declaratory judgments. We will also explore ancillary remedies or enforcement mechanisms, such as the power of courts to hold parties in contempt. The course spans both private and public law contexts, with specific case studies ranging from school desegregation to the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund. Ultimately, the goal of the course is to provide an understanding of how the law responds to transgressions of substantive law, and also to provide a richer account of the power of our legal institutions more generally.

    302

    Appellate Courts 2
    • JD SRWP
    • JD elective
    • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
    • PIPS elective
    • Spring 21
    • Spring 22
    • Spring 23
    • Research paper, 25+ pages

    This course will examine the practices and powers of American appellate courts, with a particular emphasis on the federal courts of appeals.  Our discussion will focus on the goals of these institutions and the extent to which individual components of the appellate decision-making process—including oral argument and opinion-writing—further those goals.

    We will begin with an overview of the function of appellate courts—why they were created and what we expect of them today.  We will then move to the specific components of appellate adjudication, including mediation, briefing, oral argument, and judgment, as well as the personnel who contribute to the adjudication process.  Finally, we will consider the ways in which the appellate courts have been affected by an increasing caseload, and proposals for alleviating the strain on the courts.

    Ultimately, the goal of the course is to expose you to how appellate courts operate and the purported goals of these institutions.  Over the course of the semester, you should also be evaluating what you think are the fundamental objectives of appellate review and whether the current structure of the courts allows them to meet those goals.

    Evaluation in the course will be based on a final research paper, which may be used to satisfy the SRWP.

    313

    Judicial Decisionmaking 3
    • JD elective
    • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
    • Spring 23
    • Final Exam

    What decides legal cases? One obvious answer is: the law. Judges apply the law to the facts of a case and an answer presents itself. This simple understanding of how law and the judicial process work may be true in many cases, but it is not true in all of them. Social scientists have sought to explain judicial decisionmaking by reference to a variety of non-legal factors, including judges' personal characteristics, their caseloads, and their relationships with each other. The social scientific study of courts raises a host of interesting questions.

    For example, on a multi-member court like the Supreme Court, does it matter which Justice is assigned to write the opinion, or will the majority (or the whole Court) bargain to the same outcome anyway? If opinion assignment matters to outcomes, how might judges' choices about the division of labor influence the content of the law? How do higher courts ensure that lower courts comply with their decisions? Does the need to police lower courts alter legal doctrine, giving us more bright line rules and fewer fuzzy standards? Similarly, does the fact that certain groups, like the Chamber of Commerce, are repeat players, affect the outcome of cases? Does it affect doctrine? Finally, does it matter who is under the robes? Does the ideology of the judge, or her race or gender, matter to the outcome of cases? (Which cases?) If so, is it possible to predict how judicial characteristics will shape the law? Should our answers to these questions affect how we choose judges?

    This course that will examine these questions and many like them. In law schools, these sorts of questions get limited attention: our focus is primarily on the legal doctrine or rules themselves. Social scientists take a very different approach, studying the behavior of judges rather than legal doctrine and trying to understand what accounts for judicial outcomes and the shape of legal institutions. This course will marry the social science literature and the questions it raises to a set of normative problems within the law itself.

     

    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.

    320

    Water Resources Law 2
    • JD SRWP
    • JD elective
    • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
    • IntlLLM writing
    • IntlLLM Environ Cert
    • PIPS elective
    • Spring 21
    • Spring 22
    • Spring 23
    • Research paper, 25+ pages

    This survey course examines the legal and policy issues governing water quality and 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 key laws that affect water quality and quantity, including the Clean Water Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, the Endangered Species Act, and others.  Students will also explore emerging issues in water policy, including the regulation of "forever chemicals," protection of wetlands, and mitigation of and adaptation to climate change, among other policy issues.  Throughout the course, students will study how environmental justice relates to water resource management.

    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.

    334

    Civil Rights Litigation 3
    • JD elective
    • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
    • PIPS elective
    • Spring 21
    • Spring 23
    • Final Exam
    • Practical exercises
    • In-class exercise
    • Class participation

    This course focuses on section 1983 of the United States Code, a Reconstruction-era statute that enables private parties to sue any other person who "under color" of law deprives them of the "rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and laws" of the United States.  Class participants will become familiar with the theoretical, procedural, and practical aspects of civil rights litigation, including constitutional and statutory claims, defenses and immunities, and available remedies, including attorney fees.   Related U.S. Code provisions concerning discrimination in housing, contractual relations, employment, and voting are examined where relevant. Exam-based evaluation.

    338

    Animal Law 2
    • JD SRWP, option
    • JD elective
    • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
    • IntlLLM Environ Cert
    • PIPS elective
    • Spring 21
    • Spring 23
    • Research paper, 25+ pages
    • Oral presentation
    • Class participation

    This course will examine a number of topics related to the law of animals, including various issues that arise under the laws of property, contracts, torts, and trusts and estates. It will also examine various criminal law issues and constitutional law questions. The class will consider such issues as the definition of "animal" as applicable to anti-cruelty statutes, the collection of damages for harm to animals, establishing standing for animal suits, first amendment protections, and the nuances of various federal laws.

    342

    Federal Courts 5
    • JD elective
    • IntlLLM NY Bar
    • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
    • PIPS elective
    • Spring 21
    • Spring 22
    • Fall 22
    • Spring 23
    • Final Exam

    The course considers the structure and powers of the federal courts and their relationship to the political branches and the state courts. The topics covered include justiciability, congressional authority to define and limit federal court jurisdiction, federal common law and implied rights of action, the application of state law in federal courts under the Erie doctrine, civil rights actions and immunities of state officials and governments, and habeas corpus. The focus of the course is on structural constitutional considerations relating to both the separation of powers between the three branches of the national government as well as the federalism relationship between the national government and the state governments.

    347

    Health Care Law and Policy 3
    • JD elective
    • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
    • PIPS elective
    • Spring 22
    • Spring 23
    • Final Exam
    • Class participation

    A survey of the legal environment of the health services industry in a policy perspective, with particular attention to the tensions and trade-offs between quality and cost concerns. Topics for selective study include access to health care; private and public programs for financing and purchasing health services; the economics of health care and health care costs; the role of professionalism versus the new commercialism in health care; the legal and tax treatment of not-for-profit corporations; regulation of commercial practice in professional fields; fraud and abuse in government programs; the application of antitrust law in professional fields; the internal organization and legal liabilities of hospitals; public regulation of institutional providers, including certification of need; personnel licensure; private personnel credentialing and institutional accreditation; liability for medical accidents; legal liabilities associated with the administration of health benefits; and public regulation of managed-care organizations. Study of the diverse legal problems encountered by a single industry, particularly one as important, complex, and intrinsically interesting as health care, may appeal to students generally interested in public policy and in law and economics as well as those with specific interests in the health care field.

    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.

    443

    Environmental Law and Policy Clinic 4
    • JD elective
    • JD experiential
    • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
    • IntlLLM Environ 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 Duke Environmental Law and Policy Clinic is an interdisciplinary clinic that represents non-profit community-based and environmental organizations throughout the region to address a wide variety of environmental concerns in a variety of different venues. Students work in interdisciplinary teams and engage directly with clients to develop legal and advocacy strategies, conduct site-based assessments, develop legislative and regulatory proposals, and participate in community outreach and education efforts. Students also may engage in litigation, regulatory, and policy proceedings as case needs dictate. Skills training is conducted in weekly seminars and case management meetings and emphasizes client counseling, legal and policy advocacy, working with experts, and networking. Although the mix of topics addressed varies among semesters, matters typically include environmental justice, climate change, water quality, natural resources conservation, endangered species protection, sustainable agriculture, public trust resources, and environmental health. Clinic faculty make an effort to honor student preferences for case assignments, consistent with case needs and each student’s objectives for professional growth and development.

    Clinic Enrollment and Credit Policies

    To enroll, law students must have completed their 1L year and Nicholas School students must have completed their first semester. International LLM students may enroll during their second semester with permission from the clinic's directors. Variable credit (4-6 hours) is allowed for law students with permission from the clinic’s directors.

    Although not a prerequisite, students are encouraged to have completed Environmental Law, Ocean and Coastal Law and Policy, and/or Administrative Law prior to enrollment.

    Ethics Requirement for Law Students

    Students are required to have instruction in the Model Rules of Professional Conduct prior to, or during, enrollment in the Environmental Law and Policy 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).

    Important to Note: 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.

    443A

    Advanced Environmental Law and Policy
    • 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

    This variable-credit (2-4 credits) course builds on the training and work of the EL&PC and offers students the opportunity to develop case leadership and deeper client relationships. Students enrolled in the Advanced Clinic are required to participate fully in the case work portion of the clinic, performing at least 100 hours of client representation work (or more, depending on credit hours), and are required to attend weekly case management meetings. In addition, Advanced students must attend two discussion sessions with other advanced clinic students that will be scheduled after the start of the semester. Instructor permission and successful completion of one semester of clinical work are required to enroll.

    470

    Poverty Law 3
    • JD elective
    • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
    • PIPS elective
    • Spring 21
    • Fall 21
    • Fall 22
    • Final Exam

    This course provides an introduction to the relationship between law and poverty, including the relevance of legal doctrine, policy and practice to the significant inequality in income, assets and basic social goods impacting tens of millions of people in the United States.

    We will begin by considering historical and contemporary trends in domestic poverty, U.S. social welfare policy, the legal framework under which poverty-related claims have been adjudicated, and the role of lawyers in combatting poverty.

    Grounded in poverty data, policy arguments, legal doctrine and practice, we will explore modern government anti-poverty programs and issues such as welfare, work, housing, health, education and criminalization.

    We will conclude by considering non-governmental approaches to combating poverty, including market-based solutions and international human rights, with an emphasis on the role of law, lawyers and legal institutions in such efforts.

    Drawing on the rich expertise of those in Durham and beyond, we will occasionally be joined by guest speakers. The primary textbook for the course is Poverty Law, Policy and Practice (Aspen/Wolters Kluwer, 2014).

    471

    Science Regulation Lab 2
    • JD elective
    • JD experiential
    • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
    • IntlLLM Environ Cert
    • Spring 21

    SciReg Lab teaches students about the use of emerging science and technology in the regulatory agencies through the drafting and submission of comments to federal rule-makings. The comments will be unaligned with any party and are intended to provide the regulatory agencies with unbiased, current, accurate and coherent information about the science underlying the proposed rule. The course is cross-listed in the Law School and Graduate School and the students will be drawn from the sciences, ethics, policy and law to work in interdisciplinary teams. The course will begin with a brief overview of notice-and-comment rulemaking, and how to translate scientific information into the language of courts and agencies. The ethical issues presented by this process will be an important component of the course content. With the assistance of faculty, the students will track pending rulemakings and select proceedings in which to file a comment. A background is science is recommended, but not required.

    473

    Scholarly Writing Workshop 3
    • JD SRWP
    • JD elective
    • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
    • IntlLLM writing
    • Fall 20
    • Spring 21
    • Fall 21
    • Spring 22
    • Fall 22
    • Spring 23
    • Research paper, 25+ pages
    • Class participation
    • Other

    In a workshop led by a faculty member, students will produce an original analytic paper of substantial length (ordinarily at least 30 pages). Papers must involve significant and thorough independent research, be well-written, and provide appropriate sourcing. Participants are free to choose any topic that may be addressed seriously in an article-length piece and that may be written during one semester. Papers produced in the workshop are expected to satisfy the JD or LLM substantial research and writing project requirement.

    In the workshop, participants will learn about the conventional features of academic legal writing, conduct research into and hone their topics, write and give each other feedback on first and second drafts, and complete a final draft of their paper. The faculty member leading the workshop will also provide feedback and will, as appropriate to each participant's paper topic, facilitate introductions to other faculty who may be of assistance.

    Under Law School Rule 3-1 as approved in May 2022, this course will conform to a 3.5 median unless special circumstances merit exceeding that median, but it will not be subject to distributional bands outside the 3.5 median because grading is not based on a uniform metric.

    Attendance is required at the first class meeting and students should come prepared with ideas for possible paper topics. Those wishing to drop the course must do so within one day following the first class.

    International LLM students must be pre-certified to enroll. Interested students should check with the Office of International Studies before enrolling.

    493

    Wrongful Convictions Clinic 4
    • JD elective
    • JD experiential
    • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
    • PIPS elective
    • PIPS experiential
    • Fall 20
    • Spring 21
    • Fall 21
    • Spring 22
    • Fall 22
    • Spring 23
    • Practical exercises
    • In-class exercise
    • Live-client representation and case management
    • Class participation

    The Wrongful Convictions Clinic pursues plausible claims of legal and factual innocence made by incarcerated people in North Carolina convicted of serious felonies. 

    Students in the clinic study the causes of wrongful convictions, including mistaken eyewitness identification, false confessions, faulty forensic evidence, “jailhouse snitches,” and race. Student-attorneys work under the supervision of faculty to develop, manage, and litigate cases by carrying out a wide range of legal activities, including communicating with our clients, locating and interviewing witnesses about facts, gathering documents and records, drafting a range of legal documents and memos, working with experts, and helping to prepare for evidentiary hearings and oral arguments in state and federal courts. Most clinic cases do not involve DNA.

    Many former students describe their time in the clinic, working to exonerate individuals incarcerated for crimes they didn't commit, as their most rewarding experience during law school.

    494

    Advanced Wrongful Convictions Clinic
    • JD 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 Clinic builds on the lectures, training, and work of the Wrongful Convictions Clinic. Students will be assigned to Clinic cases, working more independently than Clinic students, though still under faculty supervision.  Depending on the status of the case, students will interview witnesses, draft legal documents, work with experts, prepare for court, and otherwise take the steps necessary to prove the Clinic client’s claim of innocence and related constitutional claims.  Prerequisite: Wrongful Convictions Clinic or, in the exceptional case, permission of the instructor.

     

    545

    Urban Legal History 3
    • JD SRWP
    • JD elective
    • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
    • IntlLLM writing
    • Fall 22
    • 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.

    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.

    556

    Second Amendment: History, Theory, and Practice 2
    • JD SRWP, option
    • JD elective
    • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
    • IntlLLM writing
    • PIPS elective
    • Fall 20
    • Fall 21
    • Fall 22

    Recent Supreme Court decisions have ushered in a new era of Second Amendment theory, litigation, and politics. Current events keep issues of firearms, gun violence, gun safety, and self-defense constantly in the news. This seminar will explore the Second Amendment and other aspects of federal and state firearms law. Students will be introduced to the historical and public policy materials surrounding the Second Amendment, the regulatory environment concerning firearms, and the political and legal issues pertaining to firearm rights-enforcement and policy design. Evaluation for the seminar will be based on in-class participation and a choice between six short reaction papers or one thirty-page paper.

    561

    Tax Policy 2
    • JD elective
    • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
    • Spring 21
    • Spring 22
    • Spring 23
    • Reaction Papers
    • Class participation

    This two-credit seminar will feature presentations (eight in total) of works-in-progress on a wide range of tax policy topics, by leading tax academics from law schools around the country. Although this is a two-credit seminar, it is scheduled for three hours per week on the weeks in which it meets. The seminar will meet during only two-thirds (approximately) of the weeks of the semester. More precisely, the first meeting will be on Thursday, February 3, after which the seminar will meet regularly for the remainder of the semester. On the weeks during which we consider the works-in-progress, the seminar will meet twice: first (on Tuesday) to discuss the paper prior to the arrival of its author, and a second time (on Thursday) to discuss the paper with the author. In addition, there will be an initial meeting (February 3) not in connection with a particular paper, and a final meeting (on Tuesday, April 12) also not in connection with a particular paper. Students will write reaction papers (of approximately three double-spaced pages) for seven of the eight works-in-progress. (Each student can choose which week not to write a reaction paper.) Grades will be based on the reaction papers and on contributions to the seminar discussions.

    580

    Law & Economics Colloquium 2
    • JD elective
    • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
    • IntlLLM Business Cert
    • Spring 22
    • Spring 23
    • Reflective Writing
    • Class participation

    This research seminar will involve discussing some of the latest research at the intersection of the fields of law and economics. The research papers will deal with a wide variety of topics, depending on the speaker’s interests, such as the law and economics of contract law, corporate law, intellectual property, tax, constitutional law, or legislation. We will invite speakers who are doing some of the most cutting-edge interdisciplinary work in law to present their ongoing work to the seminar. Students will be asked to prepare, in advance, short reaction papers to the speakers’ work. The requirements for the class are completion of the reaction papers and active participation in the debates over the papers being presented. There will be one class meeting each week.

    585

    Philanthropy, Voluntarism and Not-For-Profit Law and Management 3
    • JD elective
    • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
    • IntlLLM Business Cert
    • PIPS elective
    • Spring 21
    • Spring 22
    • Spring 23

    The scope of this seminar is as broad as the idea of the voluntary society itself, with particular attention to the American version thereof. The central question is the extent to which, and how, a large number of people of varying ethnic, racial, religious, and cultural backgrounds, living together in a country, state or city, organized into representative governments, should - can - rely on voluntary action by willing citizens to fulfill both their own individual needs and the needs of the respective communities in which they live. To explore that question requires us to examine alternative allocations of responsibility for solving particular problems - voluntary, not-for-profit, for-profit, joint public/private, publicly encouraged/subsidized, and publicly coerced - along with examples, reasons, and theories for particular forms of organization. We will need to probe what it is that motivates donors and volunteers to give money and time, and to assess not only their effectiveness in solving problems but also the comparative praiseworthiness of their respective motives. Charitable and corporate foundations, as well as the tax-exempt organizations to which they and other donors contribute, are part of the inquiry, especially as to their goals, decision rules, governance, and public accountability. We will try to compare the experience of other countries with that of the U.S. in these regards, and we will continuously examine the framework of public policy that embodies public judgments about the desirability of allocating some part of the burden of social problem-solving to voluntary organizations alone or in partnership with public organizations, as well as the tax policies that are crafted to facilitate such problem-solving policies. Cross-listed with PPS280S.

    587

    Race and the Law 3
    • JD elective
    • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
    • PIPS elective
    • Spring 21
    • Reflective Writing
    • Research and/or analytical paper(s), 10-15 pages
    • Class participation

    This seminar will examine the social, political, and legal forces that shape race relations in the United States. Using interdisciplinary materials, participants will engage three core questions:  (1) what would an anti-racist society look like; (2) what should and can be done about the carceral state; and (3) how do we address challenges inherent in concepts like allyship, representation, and intersectionality. The seminar will include a speakers’ series in which leading experts and commentators will assist seminar participants to think through these pressing questions.  Evaluation will consist of class attendance and participation, reflection papers, and a final project directed toward devising solutions. Participation from a diverse group of students is encouraged. 

    611

    Readings 1
    • JD elective
    • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
    • PIPS elective
    • Fall 20
    • Spring 21
    • Fall 21
    • Spring 22
    • Fall 22
    • Spring 23
    • Reflective Writing
    • Class participation

    This discussion course focuses on readings that explore connections between the law, the practice of law, the legal system, and issues of current societal importance or interest. Each section of the course is expected to have a different specific focus and different readings.

    Readings courses focused on public interest may count towards the Public Interest and Public Service Certificate.

    Review specific section descriptions to see if they can be used towards a specific degree or certificate requirement.

    707

    Statutory Interpretation Colloquium 2
    • JD SRWP
    • JD elective
    • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
    • IntlLLM writing, option
      • 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.

      716

      Cybersecurity and National Security Law and Policy 3
      • JD elective
      • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
      • Fall 21
      • Fall 22
      • Reflective Writing
      • Research and/or analytical paper(s), 10-15 pages
      • Group project(s)
      • In-class exercise
      • Class participation

      The acquisition, management, analysis, dissemination, and security of data are increasing important issues for individuals, commercial enterprises and governments.   New technologies create a more connected and personal digital society.  Every day, transactions engaged in by individuals generate ever expanding amounts of personal information, including credit card transaction information, purchasing histories, bank and other financial transaction information, location information, health information, real property ownership information, information relating to interactions with the criminal justice system, information shared on social media and other types of information.  Not only is the volume of personal information escalating rapidly; much of it is revealed in on line transactions, enabling it to be acquired for multiple uses, and much resides on servers and storage media where it can be accessible or potentially accessible to commercial enterprises and government agencies. New cybersecurity risks are demanding responses from governments as they address attacks on critical infrastructure, election interference and the potential for manipulation of the data used to train artificial intelligence tools.

      In both the commercial sector and the government sector, the legal and policy issues associated with data, cybersecurity and surveillance are growing in importance.   Discussion of these issues in either sector cannot ignore the others, because the issues frequently intersect.  They also transcend national boundaries. For example, in President Obama’s proposals to revise government policy towards signals intelligence collection, he states that such policies implicate “the cooperation we receive from other nations on law enforcement, counterterrorism, and other issues; our commercial, economic, and financial interests, including a potential loss of international trust in U.S. firms and the decreased willingness of other nations to participate in international data sharing, privacy, and regulatory regimes …”[1]  This intersection of issues creates particular challenges for existing constitutional, legislative and international governance models.

      In the government sector, increased risks such as nation state cyber threats now create new priorities to add to those efforts spurred by the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.  Combating and preventing terrorist and cybersecurity attacks relies heavily on the collection of information through electronic surveillance.  The tension between these efforts and individual privacy creates frictions that are forcing reconsideration of existing methods of mediating these interests.  This tension then creates challenges for long accepted ideas of nation state use of signals intelligence interception and other information gathering operations (such as the gathering of intelligence about potentially hostile governments).  Similar reconsideration is occurring in the commercial sector, where consumers’ desire for confidentiality in the data that relates to them can conflict with markets for information and commercial and entrepreneurial interests that wish to take advantage of such data to provide new goods and services that consumers value.  


      [1] Presidential Policy Directive/PPD-28, p. 1 (January 17, 2014).

       

      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.

      791

      Judicial Writing 2
      • JD elective
      • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
      • IntlLLM writing
      • Spring 21
      • Spring 22
      • Spring 23
      • Simulated Writing, Litigation
      • Reflective Writing
      • Oral presentation
      • In-class exercise
      • Class participation

      This course is intended to appeal to any student who seeks a judicial clerkship or aspires to be a judge, or who simply wants to learn more about how and why judges write judicial opinions. Students will consider the complexities of being on the bench, including judges' relationships with the public, with lawyers, with other judges, and with their clerks. The students will try their hands at formats and styles unique to clerking or judging, including a bench brief, an analytic paper, and an appellate-court opinion.

      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