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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

225

Criminal Procedure: Adjudication 3
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM NY Bar
  • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
  • PIPS elective
  • Spring 21
  • Spring 22
  • Spring 23
  • Final Exam

A study of the basic rules of criminal procedure, beginning with the institution of formal proceedings. Subjects to be covered include prosecutorial discretion, the preliminary hearing, the grand jury, criminal discovery, guilty pleas and plea bargaining, jury selection, pretrial publicity, double jeopardy, the right to counsel, and professional ethics in criminal cases.

226

Criminal Procedure: Investigation 3
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM NY Bar
  • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
  • PIPS elective
  • Spring 21
  • Spring 22
  • Fall 22
  • Spring 23
  • Final Exam
  • Class participation

This course in advanced constitutional law is a study of the legal limitations on criminal investigative practices contained in the Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Amendments. Topics include search and seizure, arrest, the exclusionary rule, electronic surveillance, the privilege against self-incrimination, interrogation, confessions, and the right to counsel.

245

Evidence 3
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM NY Bar
  • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
  • PIPS elective
  • Fall 20
  • Spring 21
  • Fall 21
  • Spring 22
  • Fall 22
  • Spring 23
  • Final Exam
  • Class participation

This course covers the limitations on the information that can be introduced in court codified in the Federal Rules of Evidence. We take up the issue of relevance, including the rules concerning the balance between the probative value and the prejudicial impact of evidence and the special problems of character and credibility. Also addressed are the rules pertaining to the reliability of evidence, particularly the prohibition against hearsay and its many exceptions, the constitutional constraints on the testimony offered during criminal trials, and the screening of scientific and expert testimony. The course concludes with an introduction to evidentiary privileges.

306

Corporate Crime 4
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  • Spring 21
  • Fall 21
  • Fall 22
  • Final Exam
  • Class participation

This course serves as an introduction to the field of corporate crime, which now covers a large realm of government and law firm practice. The course will give students a first exposure to: (1) the contemporary practice in federal government agencies and medium to large corporate law firms of investigating, sanctioning, and representing corporations and their managers and employees involved in potential criminal violations (and certain civil analogues), and the law that governs those processes; and (2) the debate in the public policy realm over whether, why, how, and when the criminal law should be applied in the corporate and business context.

This field is large, complex, and developing rapidly. This course therefore can cover only a selection of topics, and will emphasize policy and the need to confront gaps and uncertainty in doctrine. As there is no unitary body of black letter law in this field, students should not expect this to be that form of law course. Coverage is likely to include mail and wire fraud, perjury and obstruction of justice, securities fraud (including insider trading and accounting fraud), the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, corporate criminal liability, grand jury powers and procedure, representation of entities and individuals, the Fifth and Sixth Amendments in the corporate context, plea and settlement agreements, and sentencing.

The materials consist of a newly published text, which is the outgrowth of former course packs. The text will be available in bound book form for approximately $28 through Amazon, or in pdf form at no charge from the course website. There may be occasional handouts. Assigned readings average 30 pages per class meeting, with less case law and more fact-based practice documents, problems, and commentary than with a typical case book. The grade will be based primarily on a floating take home exam, with some weight given to class participation.

330

Federal Criminal Law 4
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
  • PIPS elective
  • Spring 21
  • Spring 22
  • Take-home examination
  • Oral presentation
  • Practical exercises
  • In-class exercise
  • Class participation

This course examines the role of the federal government in the criminal justice system, focusing on significant federal offenses criminalizing fraud, public corruption, drugs, money laundering, racketeering, firearms, and terrorism. We will also consider prosecutorial discretion, plea bargaining, and sentencing in the federal system. The objective of this course is to master doctrine and to learn how to debate federal criminal law's merits and proper limits. Public policy, theory, critical thinking, writing, and oral advocacy will be emphasized.

Federal criminal law is recommended either for second- or third-year students. It is especially helpful for students who will have a federal judicial clerkship, and those who anticipate a career in litigation. There are no prerequisites.

Each student will participate in two mock appellate cases, once as a judge and once as an advocate. The course grade will be based on class participation, the mock cases, and a take-home examination, allocated as follows:

Points/Approximate percentage of final grade

  • 25 argument #1 28%
  • 25 argument #2 28%
  • 30 take-home exam 33.3%
  • 10 class participation 11%

The maximum for each argument is 25 points, allocated as follows:

Advocates:

  • 15 points: written summary of argument
  • 10 points: for the oral presentation (substance and style)

Judges:

  • 5 points: written questions
  • 10 points: written preliminary disposition
  • 5 points: writing (questions and summary disposition)
  • 5 points: oral questions & final explanation of the decision at the close of the arguments

420

Trial Practice 3
  • JD elective
  • JD experiential
  • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
  • PIPS elective
  • Spring 21
  • Spring 22
  • Spring 23

This is the basic trial skills course covering Opening Statement, Direct Examination, Cross Examination, Impeachment, Exhibits, Expert Witnesses and Closing Argument. In sections of 12 students per section, students prepare and perform the various skills using simulated problems and case files. After each performance, students receive constructive comments from faculty members who are also experienced trial lawyers. Students also get videotapes of their performances. The course ends with a full jury trial of a civil or criminal case with teams of two students on each side. At the end of the trial, the jury deliberates and students are able to watch the jury as it deliberates.

Please note: The Trial Practice Intensive is scheduled to begin on the evening of Thursday, January 12, and continue with sessions on the afternoon of Friday, January 13; morning of Saturday, January 14; and morning of Sunday, January 15. Attendance is required at these sessions.

422

Criminal Trial Practice 3
  • JD elective
  • JD experiential
  • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
  • PIPS elective
  • Fall 20
  • Fall 21
  • Spring 22
  • Fall 22
  • Spring 23

This is the basic trial skills course with a focus on criminal litigation. Prof. Maher is an experienced criminal litigator who currently represents clients in state and federal court. The class meets one night each week, and recorded lectures are available for students to view. The course covers Story Telling, Brainstorming, Opening Statement, Direct Examination, Cross Examination, Impeachment, Experts, Exhibits, Trial Preparation, Opening Statement and Closing Argument. The class is limited to 12 students so that each week each student will prepare and perform the various skills using simulated problems and case files, some of which are based on real cases and will allow students to work with actual recordings and other evidence. After each performance, students receive constructive comments both in class and during individual video review meetings. At the end of the semester students, typically in teams of two students, will litigate a mock criminal trial with jurors. Students who have not taken evidence, but who are enrolled in evidence, may take the class.

Please note: The Trial Practice Intensive is scheduled to begin on the evening of Thursday, January 12, and continue with sessions on the afternoon of Friday, January 13; morning of Saturday, January 14; and morning of Sunday, January 15. Attendance is required at these sessions.

447

Criminal Defense Clinic 4
  • JD elective
  • JD experiential
  • PIPS experiential
  • Spring 23
  • Reflective Writing
  • Practical exercises
  • Live-client representation and case management
  • Class participation

The Criminal Defense Clinic will center around the direct representation of indigent clients facing prosecution for criminal charges in Durham District Court. The primary focus of student casework will be serving as lead counsel on misdemeanor cases. Students’ trial-level advocacy will be grounded in seminar examination of mass incarceration, the impacts of race and poverty in the criminal justice system, and principles of client-centered and community-oriented defense. Through observation and shadowing, their own in-court experiences, and close faculty supervision clinic students will develop professional skills in client interaction, fact-development, case planning, negotiation, legal writing and argument, and trial advocacy. The semester will conclude with students extrapolating opportunities for systemic reform, derived from their experiences representing individual clients, with an emphasis on creative and interdisciplinary advocacy. Consistent with the law school’s other clinics, the Criminal Defense Clinic will combine a substantive weekly seminar with weekly individual case supervision and preparation meetings, and clinical casework.

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.

502

Forensics Litigation 1.5
  • JD elective
  • JD experiential
  • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
  • PIPS elective
  • Spring 21
  • Spring 22
  • Spring 23
  • Research and/or analytical paper(s), 10-15 pages
  • Group project(s)
  • Oral presentation
  • Practical exercises
  • Class participation

Forensic evidence, from DNA to fingerprints to ballistics, has never been more important in criminal cases. However, litigating scientific evidence in the courtroom is not like it appears on TV shows like CSI it is challenging and requires some specialized skills. We are again offering a short course to provide those skills. By the end of the course you will be able to handle sophisticated scientific evidence in the courtroom. While the focus is on forensics used in criminal cases, many of the same principles and skills apply when litigating scientific evidence in any type of case. The course is a practicum: a scientific evidence trial advocacy course. We will begin with introductory lectures both on forensics and how to prepare for trial, so that students will be fully ready for their parts in the last third of the course, which will focus on the trial simulations. During the simulations, the prosecutors will first interview their forensic experts (one of your instructors), and talk to them about their case file documents, which are taken from real cases. The class will break into groups to brainstorm potential motions to exclude expert testimony or limit language and discuss collectively as a class, both sides will conduct mock trials with direct and cross-examination of forensic experts before a judge, and finally, we will conduct closings. These sessions will be spread out over several weeks, to permit watching video of prior sessions to prepare for the next portion of the trial. We will also exchange feedback in between each session to talk about what worked and what did not. Each student will have a chance to present in these simulations. The course will also be to open to a select group of experienced practicing criminal lawyers who will collaborate with students throughout the simulations. Students will be graded on a memo written reflecting on their portion of the trial; their draft questions finalizing their planned questions; and on their participation and oral advocacy in the simulations. While having taken evidence or trial advocacy is helpful, it is not a prerequisite.

511

International Criminal Law 3
  • JD elective
  • LLM-ICL (JD) elective
  • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
  • PIPS elective
  • Fall 20
  • Fall 21
  • Series of Short Analytical Papers
  • Practical exercises
  • Class participation

“An international crime,” wrote eminent legal scholar George Schwarzenberger in 1950, "presupposes the existence of an international criminal law. Such a branch of international law does not exist." This course will begin by probing the concept of international criminal law. What does it mean to say that certain conduct constitutes an "international crime"? What are the objectives of such a legal regime? We will then examine the law of genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, and aggression, as well as “treaty crimes,” such as terrorism offenses. Particular attention will be focused on the question of jurisdiction over such offenses in national courts and international tribunals,” and on immunities to such jurisdiction.

Grades will be based on the quality of weekly (3-page) briefings, practical simulations, and class participation.

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.

578

Crimmigration Law 3
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
  • PIPS elective
    • Simulated Writing, Litigation
    • Research and/or analytical paper(s), 10-15 pages
    • Oral presentation
    • Class participation

    Immigration law and criminal law are increasingly intertwined.  From the moment of arrest through completion of any sentence, the criminal justice system functions differently for noncitizens, with significant immigration consequences flowing from decisions at every stage.  Judges, prosecutors, and defense attorneys must be aware of these consequences and prepared to address them in the course of criminal proceedings.  Immigration attorneys must be able to advise defense attorneys on the best resolutions for their clients. Lawmakers must account for the results of merging these two systems.

    Through readings, discussion, and independent research projects, students will learn to analyze constitutional, statutory, and regulatory provisions concerning immigration, as well as procedural and substantive requirements in criminal proceedings as they affect noncitizens. Participants will also explore the public policy choices surrounding the use of local law enforcement agencies in immigration policing.

    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