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

244

The Business and Economics of Law Firms 1
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM NY Bar
  • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  • Fall 20
  • Fall 21
  • Fall 22
  • Reflective Writing
  • Group project(s)
  • Practical exercises
  • Class participation

This course will provide students with an enhanced and vital understanding of law firms as business entities in a competitive and global market. Based on feedback from employers, interviews with hundreds of lawyers and published accounts from law firm leaders, it is clear that technical legal ability will be necessary but not sufficient to excel in the practice of law or any business endeavor in coming decades. The topics will be explored through the review and analysis of literature, statutes, and case studies, and will include a basic financial analysis of the operations of law firms. Assignments will be collaborative and will simulate the client advisory process allowing students to gain experience providing legal advice and business recommendations. Associate Dean and Senior Lecturing Fellow Bruce Elvin will lead and organize the seminar, with senior law and business leaders serving as guest lecturers many weeks.

465

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

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

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

591

Development Finance 1
  • JD elective
  • LLM-ICL (JD) elective
  • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Environ Cert
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  • Fall 20
  • Fall 21
  • Fall 22
  • Reflective Writing
  • Research and/or analytical paper(s), 10-15 pages
  • Class participation

The Course will:

  • Provide an overview of development challenges in Low and Middle-Income Countries - exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic - and the shared global responsibility under the UN Agenda 2030 to reconcile economic, social, and ecological objectives.
  • Focus on the roles of and partnerships between actors of development finance, such as government agencies, multilateral development banks, foundations, NGOs, and the private sector, particularly impact investors.
  • Familiarize students with development finance instruments, such as budget aid, grants, loans, and blended finance mechanisms.
  • Address critical views on aid effectiveness.
  • Highlight policies in developed countries in conflict with the objectives of development assistance.

Requirements for one credit:

  • Two 3-page essays: the first to be submitted on or before September 14, 2022 (15% of final grade); the second to be submitted on or before October 4, 2022 (15% of final grade)
  • One 10-page paper to be submitted on or before December 2, 2022 (40% of final grade)
  • Active participation in class discussions (30% of final grade)
  • There will be no final exam

Requirements for a second credit (optional):

  • Online presentation to professor of approx. 25 minutes
  • Topic in the field of Development Finance proposed by student
  •  Time of presentation between November 7th and 25th, 2022 (date to be determined by student and professor)
  • Written outline (not full text) and bibliography of presentation to be submitted to professor no later than three days prior to presentation
  • Separate grade

713

Corporate Social Responsibility and Social Entrepreneurship 2-3
  • JD SRWP, option
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
  • IntlLLM writing option with additional credit
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  • Spring 21
  • Fall 21
  • Spring 23
  • Final Exam
  • Research paper option, 25+ pages
  • Class participation

In recent years, there has been growing pressure on profit-seeking corporations to address social problems, such as inequality and climate change. This class will critically evaluate the law and policies underlying recent developments that have allowed or required firms to take on a more active role in social and environmental issues. The class covers a range of topics, including the economic structure of nonprofit firms, the debate on corporate purpose and the profit-maximization norm, the rise of ESG investing, the proliferation of new legal hybrid forms, recent developments in the law of managerial fiduciary duties, the role of microfinance and fair trade in promoting development, and tax and subsidy policies to encourage corporations to pursue social goals, including the recent Opportunity Zone program. The inquiry will focus primarily on what types of structures best align investors’ interest in profit-making with different social purposes. 

To be enrolled in the class, students must either take Business Association in the same semester, or have taken it in the past.  

Student enrolled in the three-credit option need to write a research paper (in satisfaction of the JD Substantial Research and Writing Requirement or the International LLM Substantial Research Paper Requirement) in addition to doing the take-home exam.  The additional credit will count towards the Independent Study Research Credit Limit (Rule 3-12).

The take-home exam will be comprised of questions relating to a real or imaginary business structure or transaction that involves social issues.

760E

Practitioner's Guide to Employment Law 1
  • JD elective
  • JD experiential
  • LLM-LE (JD) elective
  • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
  • PIPS elective
  • Spring 21
  • Fall 21
  • Fall 22
  • Reflective Writing
  • Practical exercises
  • Class participation

This a practitioner’s skills course.

It is designed to introduce students to practitioner skills against a backdrop of some of the main employment law issues that arise on a frequent basis in the American workplace.

Using a variety of approaches to instruction including mock exercises, outside speakers, writing exercises (such as drafting communications to government agencies or corporate clients), and drawing from current developments in the law, the student will become familiar with basic concepts underlying employment law and, equally importantly, the practice skills involved in delivering legal advice and counsel about the issues presented.

While the focus will be on representing an employer, students will explore issues from the perspective of the employee and compliance enforcers. Through this course, students will attain practical familiarity with providing legal advice which can be applied in any business context.

760L

Practitioner's Guide to Labor Law 1
  • JD elective
  • JD experiential
  • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
  • PIPS elective
  • Spring 21
  • Fall 21
  • Spring 22
  • Reflective Writing
  • Practical exercises
  • Class participation

This course is designed to provide a practical overview of the main labor law issues that arise in the U.S. workplace. Using a variety of approaches of instruction including mock exercises, outside speakers, writing exercises and analysis of current events, the course will familiarize students with not just the basic concepts underlying the broad range of labor law but cover more advanced topics. As such, the course is appropriate both for students who have taken Labor Law and those new to the topic. To a certain extent, the class topics will be “collectively bargained,” meaning students will actually bargain over class material with the Professor, much as what happens in a union-management relationship.

Class will meet seven times through the semester.

775

Corporate Ethics 1
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  • Fall 20
  • Fall 21
  • Spring 23
  • In-class exercise
  • Class participation

This course is a one-credit seminar taught in two-hour blocks that focuses on the important role played by the corporate ethics office and its relationship with senior management and the board of directors of a corporation to ensure an ethical corporate culture. As we have learned through a series of corporate scandals starting with Enron and continuing through the events that contributed to the financial crisis of 2008, a review of today’s headlines would suggest that work remains to be done in many organizations to maintain an ethical corporate culture. This course will explore some of the critical factors behind the corporate scandals of the past, changes in the regulatory environment that address various aspects of those scandals, and the structure and scope of responsibility of today’s corporate ethics office as necessary to address these challenges. The course is designed to be highly interactive, and a number of in-class exercises will be assigned to assist students in becoming familiar with some of the dynamics faced by the corporate ethics office. The course will not have an exam.

779

Well-Being and the Practice of Law 1
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
  • Spring 21
  • Spring 22
  • Spring 23
  • Reflective Writing
  • Research and/or analytical paper
  • Class participation

Optimistic, happy people outperform their counterparts on almost every measure of job success with the notable exception of one group: lawyers. Psychological research suggests that on the whole pessimists perform better in both law school and private practice. Since research also shows that pessimism can be a predictor of depression and/or lower levels of life satisfaction, this raises a question among academics who study well-being: what do we do about the lawyers? Or is the research insufficient to make such sweeping claims?

This class will examine why the "pursuit of happiness," a phrase written by a lawyer, has proved futile for many members of the legal profession and those aspiring to its ranks.There is considerable data indicating that lawyers and law students suffer from greater rates of depression and anxiety than other professions, along with accompanying social maladies such as substance abuse. There is also considerable evidence of high career dissatisfaction among lawyers, and many others are leaving the profession or performing well below their capability. This seems unfathomable given the high levels of education, affluence, and respect lawyers enjoy (or will enjoy), factors which predict happiness and job satisfaction in other areas of life.

This class will present the research to date on lawyers and happiness. We will examine the scientific data and academic literature on lawyer maladies, while examining holes in the collective wisdom and why the majority of lawyers are quite content. Also, we will analyze what Covid lockdowns, remote learning and practice, etc., have done to the overall happiness of lawyers and law students. We will not ignore the questions of social justice and if different groups experience different levels of well-being in law school and practice. While acknowledging the very real problems of the profession, we will address the question many lawyers and law professors legitimately ask – so what: who said lawyers are supposed to be happy? We will then review simple actions law schools, bar associations, law firms, and individuals can take to improve the collective health of the profession, as well as the productivity and engagement of its individual practitioners. In the course of so doing, will learn the basic well-being measurement tools and practice interventions shown to increase individual happiness. Students will have the opportunity, on a volunteer basis, to take different well-being measurement tools developed at the University of Pennsylvania, where the professor obtained a master’s degree in psychology studying well-being. This is a serious course grounded in the latest science; while there will be fairly intensive reading and writing requirements, they will be within the bounds of a one-credit hour course, and should add to the overall well-being of each student.

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