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

203

Business Strategy for Lawyers 3
  • JD elective
  • LLM-LE (JD) required
  • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  • IntllLLM IP Cert
  • IntlLLM NVE Cert
  • Fall 20
  • Fall 21
  • Fall 22
  • Final Exam
  • Research and/or analytical paper(s), 5-10 pages
  • Class participation

This course presents the fundamentals of business strategy to a legal audience. The course is designed to introduce a wide variety of modern strategy frameworks and methodologies, including methods for assessing the strength of competition, for understanding relative bargaining power, for anticipating competitors' actions, for analyzing cost and value structures, and for assessing the potential for firm growth through innovation. Although the case studies will span a variety of different industries, there will be an emphasis on high technology firms. The ideas in this course have relevance to anyone seeking to manage a law firm, advise business clients, engage in entrepreneurship, or lead a large company.

The class sessions include mainly case discussions coupled with some traditional lectures. The lecture topics and analytical frameworks are drawn from MBA curriculums at leading business schools. The cases are selected primarily for their business strategy content and secondarily for their legal interest. We will be hosting a number of general counsels who will discuss the GC's role in the strategies of their own companies.

Students enrolled in Business Strategy must (a) have previously taken or be concurrently enrolled in Analytical Methods OR (b) have taken an undergraduate course in economics. Students that currently hold an MBA or are enrolled in the JD-MBA program may not take this course. THIS IS A FAST TRACK COURSE.

260

Financial Accounting 3
  • JD elective
  • LLM-LE (JD) elective
  • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  • Fall 20
  • Fall 21
  • Fall 22
  • Final Exam

Many attorneys are required to evaluate financial data, notably financial statements from corporations, on a regular basis. The need is not limited to corporate attorneys; indeed litigators in securities, antitrust, malpractice, or general commercial litigation frequently must analyze financial information. This course serves to both introduce basic accounting principles and practices and their relationship to the law, as well as to study a number of contemporary accounting problems relating to financial disclosure and the accountant's professional responsibility. Students with accounting degrees, MBAs or who have taken more than a couple of accounting courses are not permitted to enroll. Also, Business Essentials may not be taken concurrently with this course.

321

The Law and Policy of Innovation: the Life Sciences 3
  • JD SRWP
  • JD elective
  • LLM-LE (JD) elective
  • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
  • IntlLLM writing
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  • IntllLLM IP Cert
  • Spring 21
  • Spring 22
  • Spring 23
  • Reflective Writing
  • Research paper, 25+ pages
  • Class participation

This course analyzes the legal and policy regimes that shape the introduction of new products, processes, and services in the life science industries. Innovation in biopharmaceuticals, medical devices, health services, and health care delivery is central to the heavily regulated life sciences sector, and thus the sector offers a window into multiple intersections of scientific innovation, regulatory policy, and law.  Innovation in this sector is also shaped by multiple bodies of law (e.g. intellectual property law, FDA law, federal and state-based insurance and professional regulation, antitrust, tax), each with its own private and public constituencies, and therefore offers an opportunity to assess how different bodies of law approach the common issue of innovation.  Although this course focuses on innovation in the life science industries, this focus will produce lessons for innovation policy in other regulated and less-regulated industries. 

322

Copyright Law 3
  • JD elective
  • LLM-LE (JD) elective
  • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
  • IntllLLM IP Cert
  • Fall 20
  • Spring 22
  • Fall 22
  • Final Exam

This is a comprehensive course in copyright law. We will examine the legal rights that cover works of creative expression such as literature, music, film, photography, visual art, and software. The class will cover some of the fundamental pillars of the world of creative expression in which we all live—the economic and legal architecture of our culture. This is because copyright’s rules provide the economic incentives that influence our creative output as well as part of the legal framework that shapes our communications technology. The broad impact of copyright law means that it is of importance to a wide range of legal practice and not merely to the specialist. No technical background is needed.

325

Corporate Finance 3
  • JD elective
  • LLM-LE (JD) elective
  • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  • IntlLLM NVE Cert
  • Spring 21
  • Spring 22
  • Fall 22
  • Final Exam
  • Practical exercises
  • Class participation

This course is designed to familiarize law students with the principles of corporate finance. In the world of corporate finance, the distinction between lawyers and investment bankers has blurred. Whether negotiating a merger agreement, acquisition, or divestiture, rendering a fairness opinion, preparing for an appraisal hearing, litigating securities class action or derivative suits, issuing new securities, taking a firm private via an LBO or public via an IPO, corporate lawyers and investment bankers work side-by-side. Lawyers with an appreciation of the basics of corporate finance gain a distinct advantage. This course will also provide important tools for litigators to work with financial expert witnesses and calculate damages.

Topics include: the time value of money; the relation between risk and return; the workings and efficiency of capital markets; behavioral finance; valuing perpetuities and annuities; valuing corporate securities (stock, bonds, and options); valuing businesses as a going concern; optimal capital structure and dividend policies; debt covenants and other lender protections; derivatives; and the application of these principles to legal practice.

[This course serves as a prerequisite for Corporate Restructuring and Venture Capital and Private Equity, two courses offered at the Fuqua School of Business and cross-listed in the Law School.]

326

Corporate Taxation 3
  • JD elective
  • LLM-LE (JD) elective
  • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  • IntlLLM NVE Cert
  • Spring 21
  • Spring 22
  • Spring 23
  • Final Exam
  • Class participation

A study of the provisions of the Internal Revenue code governing the tax effects of the major events that occur in the life span of a corporation, including the taxation of distributions to shareholders and the formation, reorganization, and liquidation of corporations.

No papers are required, but class participation is expected. Students interested in taxation should take this course; it also has application to general corporate practice (mergers and acquisitions).

It is strongly recommended that students take Business Associations before taking Corporate Taxation

Federal Income Taxation is a prerequisite (waivable at the discretion of the instructor for a student with a comparable tax background acquired in some other way).

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.

333

Science Law & Policy 3
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Environ Cert
  • IntllLLM IP Cert
  • Fall 20
  • Fall 21
  • Fall 22
  • Final Exam
  • Reflective Writing
  • Practical exercises
  • In-class exercise
  • Class participation

What are the government policies that support science? How is science regulated and controlled? What can science contribute to law and policy? How do the states, the federal government and international agencies interact to set science policy? How do disparate regulations and law impact research and translation? How is scientific research funded? These questions and more will be explored by looking at the interaction of law, science, and policy. The class is a mix of law, ethics and science students, and learning how to talk to one another in a common language is an important element of the course. Classes will include consideration and analysis of cases studies. There are no prerequisites for the course and there is no requirement that students have either graduate or upper-level undergraduate training in the sciences. Course evaluation (i.e. your grade) will be based on class participation and a final exam.

All MA, PhD and JD/MA students should register under BIOETHIC 704 – approval of professor is required. All law students (other than JD/MAs) should register under LAW 333.

335

Private Equity and Hedge Funds 3
  • JD elective
  • LLM-LE (JD) elective
  • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  • Spring 21
  • Fall 22
  • Final Exam
  • Practical exercises
  • Class participation

The alternative asset classes of private equity and hedge funds represent a significant and growing share of investment activity worldwide and are at the center of many of the most pressing current issues in finance and financial law. While traditionally lightly regulated, both areas have received increasing regulatory attention since the global financial crisis of 2008-2009. Both also figure prominently in major ongoing debates concerning financial stability, market efficiency, corporate governance, financial innovation and complexity, and even income inequality. This course introduces private equity and hedge funds from the perspectives of finance, regulation, and legal practice, covering the foundational issues of securities, tax, organizational, and fiduciary law that they raise. Students will learn the basic regulatory framework applicable to fund structuring, fund managers and sponsors, fund offerings, and fund investments, and gain experience with the key agreements among the parties involved. In addition, the course will critically assess the current regulation of private equity and hedge funds and proposals for reform. Through reading materials, course discussions, guest lectures, and group work, students will gain insight into the perspective of fund managers, advisors, investors, those who transact with such funds, and those who regulate the fund industry.

Prerequisites: Students must have previously completed or be concurrently enrolled in Business Associations or an introductory course on business organizational law/company law taken at another law school (whether in the U.S. or abroad). Prior coursework in securities regulation and taxation may be useful, but is not required.

Grading: The course grade will be based on: (i) a final examination, (ii) class participation, and (iii) quizzes, problem sets, or other short assignments.

353

Equity Valuation and Advanced Financial Statement Analysis 3
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
  • Fall 21

Valuing a business—big or small—is often a central focus of leading legal, banking, investment and business institutions.

  • It drives whether a company does an acquisition or sale.
  • It is often a key component in damages in litigation.
  • It guides how managers make disclosures in private transactions and public filings.
  • At its most macro level, it drives the policy of governments.

This course provides students with the tools to understand valuation principles, coupled with the depth of accounting necessary to understand the drivers of that valuation—all using the rigor of Certified Financial Analyst (CFA) materials.

Whether working at a bank, a law firm, a prosecutor's office, an agency or an investment manager, many graduates find themselves without the skills needed to understand the value of entities and their financial statements. Those who have these skills are highly valued and often end up running corporations, law firms, and agencies.

This is a high-level course for those with experience in corporate finance and accounting. It is designed to give the advanced student a deeper dive into important concepts relating to equity valuation and financial statement analysis. Familiarity with numbers is essential.

The areas of focus include:

  • Equity Valuation Process
  • Discounted Dividend Valuation
  • Free Cash Flow Valuation
  • Market-Based Valuation: Price Multiples
  • Residual Income Valuation
  • Financial Reporting Mechanics
  • Financial Reporting Standards
  • Advanced Topics in Understanding the Income Statement
  • Advanced Topics in Understanding the Balance Sheet
  • Advanced Topics in Understanding the Cash Flow Statement
  • Financial Analysis Techniques
  • International Standards Convergence
  • Financial Statement Analysis: Applications
  • Inventories
  • Long-Lived Assets
  • Income Taxes
  • Long-Lived Liabilities and Leases
  • Employee Compensation: Postretirement and Share-Based Intercorporate Investments
  • Multinational Operations
  • Evaluating Financial Reporting Quality

Course Materials

The two primary texts are Equity Asset Valuation, 4th Edition (CFA Institute Investment Series), by Pinto (Wiley, 2020), and International Financial Statement Analysis, 4th Edition (CFA Institute Investment Series), by Robinson (Wiley, 2020). Handouts and problem sets will be distributed in class. Problem sets will be graded.

Course Requirements

1. Class Attendance and Preparation

Students are expected to attend all sessions. You should read appropriate materials prior to class.

2. Problem Sets

Problem sets will be assigned throughout the class. Most of these will be graded. Some problems will not be graded and will be done in teams.

3. Examinations

There will be a three-hour mid-term examination on the Equity Valuation section of the course and a three-hour final examination on the Financial Statement Analysis section.

4. Grading

Final course grades will be determined by the following allocation:

  • 25% Class Participation
  • 25% Problem Sets
  • 25% Mid-Term Exam
  • 25% Final Exam

5. The Honor Code

You are expected to follow the Duke University Honor Code. Specific issues concerning homework and the final examination will be discussed in the first class meeting.

6. Prerequisites

One of the following courses (or their equivalents): Corporate Finance, Accounting, or Financial Information. Exceptions can be made by the instructor.

358

Structuring Venture Capital and Private Equity Transactions 3
  • JD elective
  • LLM-LE (JD) elective
  • IntlLLM NVE Cert
  • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  • Fall 20
  • Fall 21
  • Spring 22
  • Fall 22
  • Group project(s)
  • Practical exercises
  • Class participation

In the world of venture capital and private equity, there is no difference between a good business person and a good lawyer. They both must know capitalization structure and law, and they both must know tax and accounting.

Many never achieve this mastery, and those who do only get there after many years of practice. This course helps the law and business student drive to the top of their game sooner and more effectively than their peers from other institutions.

The goal is to focus on the formation of deals. We look at the business reasons that parties come together, we look at the business reasons that deals fail to meet expectations, and we look at the business reasons that deals work. This is especially important in private equity and venture capital deals, where exit strategies have to be anticipated from the very outset of a deal.

 

369

Patent Law and Policy 3
  • JD elective
  • LLM-LE (JD) elective
  • IntlLLM NVE Cert
  • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  • IntllLLM IP Cert
  • Fall 20
  • Fall 21
  • Fall 22
  • Final Exam

This course provides a comprehensive introduction to patent law and policy. No technical background is required. The course begins by addressing the history of patents as well as the policy arguments for and against using patents as a mechanism for inducing innovation. Following this introduction, students learn the basics of patent drafting and prosecution, patent claims, and claim construction. The class then addresses in depth the central patentability criteria of subject matter, utility, nonobviousness, and disclosure. Other topics of importance that are covered in the class include: the relationship between patents and other forms of intellectual property protection, particularly trade secrecy and copyright; the intersection of patent and antitrust law; the role of the two major institutions responsible for administering the patent system, the Patent and Trademark Office and the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit; and the role of patents in the two major industries of the knowledge-based economy, information technology and biotechnology.

460

Negotiation for Lawyers 3
  • JD elective
  • JD experiential
  • LLM-LE (JD) elective
  • IntlLLM NVE Cert
  • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
  • IntlLLM writing, option
  • Fall 20
  • Spring 21
  • Fall 21
  • Spring 22
  • Fall 22
  • Spring 23
  • Reflective Writing
  • Research and/or analytical paper(s), 15-20 pages
  • Practical exercises
  • Class participation

For lawyers in every type of law practice, the ability to negotiate effectively is an essential skill.  As a lawyer, you will negotiate when you try to settle a lawsuit, close a merger, or arrange a plea bargain.  You will negotiate with counterparts, clients, and co-workers.  You will negotiate with service providers and the “system” – the court, the government, or your community.  And, you will continue to negotiate with your friends and family.  In this highly interactive seminar, we will explore the theories, skills, and ethics involved in legal negotiation.  With limited exceptions, in each class you will participate in a role-play simulation of increasing complexity, experiment with new techniques, and then reflect on what negotiation strategies worked best for you.  Over the course of the semester, in addition to in-person exercises, you will have opportunities to negotiate by email, telephone, and videoconference, and to evaluate the pros and cons of each so you understand how to select the most appropriate medium given the particular parties and circumstances.  Through this process, you will not only gain insight into your own negotiation style, you will develop the toolkit you need to approach each new negotiation with confidence. 

Because of the nature of the course, the amount of information delivered during the first class period, the importance of participating in the first role-play simulation during the first class period, and the typical waitlists for enrollment in the course, attendance at the first class is absolutely required.  A student who fails to attend the first class without prior consent of the instructor will forfeit his or her place in the class.  (Working for an additional week in the summer and call-back interviews are not acceptable excuses for missing the first class.)  Students who are on the waitlist for the course are encouraged to attend the first class, and those who do will be given preference to fill open slots in the class.  There is a shortened drop period for this course so that students who are waitlisted can enroll before the second class occurs.  Thus, students may drop this course without permission only before the second class. 

Because of the similarities between this course and the negotiation course taught at the Fuqua School of Business, a law student may not receive law school credit for both courses.

 

476

Ethical Technology Practicum 3
  • JD elective
  • LLM-LE (JD) elective
  • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
  • IntllLLM IP Cert
  • Spring 22
  • Fall 22
  • Spring 23
  • Group project(s)
  • Oral presentation
  • Practical exercises
  • Class participation

Technological developments have greatly outpaced the legal, ethical, and policy developments in many areas of emerging technology.  As a result, these developments raise important questions on the legal and policy frameworks and practices most appropriate to build an ecosystem of trust that will help ensure citizens and other stakeholders that these innovations will benefit them and are being developed and deployed in an ethical, safe, reliable and responsible manner.  Policymakers and other stakeholders around the globe are grappling with these questions.  As the policy discussions unfold, organizations also are developing their own practices for operationalizing trustworthy or ethical technology.  To do this, organizations often assemble cross-functional teams and develop policies and practices to guide their organization, drawing on myriad sources such as existing and proposed laws, “soft law,” and other resources.  When it comes to the development of individual or novel technologies or platforms, those teams often include ethical guidance to inform “ethics by design” that can help direct developers, and the development of products themselves. The goals of this Practicum are to provide (a)the foundational legal, ethical, and policy frameworks, drawing upon the growing body of existing and proposed laws, ethics by design approaches, and other literature and resources, and (b) practical experience working in a cross-functional team to help an organization design a plan to help manage ethical development of an emerging technology or technological platform in their portfolio. Students will be evaluated on various steps in developing their plans, working with their client, their completed plan, and presentation of their work. 

532

Venture Capital Financing 3
  • JD elective
  • LLM-LE (JD) elective
  • IntlLLM NVE Cert
  • Spring 21
  • Spring 22
  • Spring 23
  • Group project(s)
  • Practical exercises
  • Class participation

This class will focus on the legal and economic structure of venture capital transactions and will familiarize students with the legal agreements used to document these transactions. Using lectures and in-class exercises, students will learn the function of the most common transaction documents, the economic and/or legal purpose of the provisions contained within these documents and alternative approaches to address specific situations. Throughout the semester, students will work on a simulated transaction to gain experience in negotiating and drafting documents with an emphasis on meeting client objectives. Students will be evaluated on the basis of class participation and written assignments.

534

Advising the Entrepreneurial Client 3
  • LLM-LE (JD) elective
    • Group project(s)
    • Practical exercises
    • Class participation
    • Other

    The goal of Advising the Entrepreneurial Client is to prepare students to assist in the representation of a start-up venture/angel backed company. This course takes students through the legal issues likely to present themselves in the lifecycle of a typical technology company from inception/incorporation through acquisition (the typical liquidity event). Advising the Entrepreneurial Client exposes students to the types of issues, questions and documentation that they encounter and the lawyering skills that they need as a lawyer for an entrepreneurial venture. The course is a survey of entrepreneurial law considerations and does not attempt to invoke policy considerations.

    Students are graded on class participation, weekly group homework, and three major drafting assignments.

    Class is open to students pursuing the LLM in Law & Entrepreneurship.  Students not in this program should consider Law 540: Startup Law: Representing the Company.

    540

    Startup Law: Legal Considerations for Entrepreneurs and Counsel 3
    • JD elective
    • IntlLLM NVE Cert
    • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
    • IntlLLM Business Cert
    • Fall 20
    • Fall 21
    • Fall 22
    • Final Exam
    • Class participation

    This course takes students through the legal issues likely to present themselves in the lifecycle of a high growth company from inception through acquisition (the typical liquidity event). Startup Law exposes students to the types of issues, questions and documentation that they encounter as a lawyer for an entrepreneurial venture, but also from the perspective of the entrepreneur. The course is a survey of entrepreneurial law considerations and will discuss policy considerations as the material and current events dictate. While some of the content related to legal considerations from the perspective of company counsel is similar to Law 534 Advising the Entrepreneurial Client, this does not satisfy the requirements for the JD/LLMLE. Students who have taken Law 534 may not take this class.  Business Associations highly recommended as a prerequisite but may be taken as a co-requisite. Final grade based on exam and in class participation.

    592

    Frontier AI & Robotics: Law & Ethics 3
    • JD SRWP, option
    • JD elective
    • LLM-LE (JD) elective
    • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
    • IntlLLM writing
    • IntlLLM Business Cert
    • IntllLLM IP Cert
    • IntlLLM NVE Cert
    • Fall 20
    • Spring 21
    • Spring 22
    • Spring 23
    • Reflective Writing
    • Research and/or analytical paper(s), 20+ pages
    • In-class exercise
    • Class participation

    Robots, with us for several generations already, were long confined to narrow uses and trained users, assembling our vehicles and moving our products behind the scenes. In recent years, robotic tools have begun to step out of the back room and take center stage. Even more, these tools are fueled by constantly advancing artificial intelligence and machine learning tools that allow them to participate in the world of the mind as much as the world of muscle. Are we ready? Probably not. In order to capture the full opportunities and benefits of AI & robotics, surely our legal systems and ethical frameworks must evolve. We must find ways to ensure that human-robot interactions occur in ways that are safe and are consistent with our cultural values. We must take care that our policies and laws provide artificial intelligence tools with the direction we need without quashing or hindering the innovations that could improve our lives.

    The course will bring together three core areas: (1) law, (2) ethics, and (3) applied technology. Because frontier technologies challenge existing legal regimes and ethical frameworks, this course and its assigned project encourage law, ethics, and policy students to interact with networks of experts who are actively thinking about ethical technology development and with technology policy networks that explore the social implications of a world increasingly inclusive of AI.

    Beyond time spent for class preparation and in-class time, each student in Frontier AI & Robotics: Law & Ethics will be required to complete a substantial research-based Report that demonstrates a deep, research-based understanding of a topic about which the student shall become knowledgeable such that he/she could take part meaningfully in and contribute to present-day discussions of law, policy, and ethics in the topic area. This Report may qualify for the JD SRWP degree requirement or the International LLM writing requirement upon permission of the instructor.

    NO PRIOR EXPERIENCE WITH ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE OR TECHNOLOGY IS NEEDED FOR THIS COURSE.

    644

    Bass Connections 1-3
    • Other

    About Bass Connections

    Bass Connections is a university-wide program that offers graduate and undergraduate students immersive research opportunities through more than 60 year-long project teams each year. On Bass Connections teams, graduate and professional students, postdocs, and undergraduates work together with faculty and outside experts to conduct cutting-edge research on important issues such as health inequality, environmental sustainability, human rights, educational opportunity, and medical ethics.

    Teams generally work together for nine to 12 months. Participating students usually receive academic credit (see below for crediting options for Law students), although students in specialized roles may sometimes serve in a paid role.  

    Team members blend their diverse skills and expertise, allowing students of all levels to learn and contribute. Their work results in policy recommendations, journal articles, new datasets to inform future research, health interventions, novel modes of delivering social services, prototypes, museum exhibits, future grants, and more.

    Opportunities to Participate in 2022-2023

    For more information about how to apply, please visit the Bass Connections website. For the 2022-2023 academic year, Bass Connections is accepting proposals for new year-long projects addressing issues related to democracy and the challenges of sustaining strong democratic institutions in a polarized world law students may have the opportunity to join teams once they’re formed. Details about other 2022-2023 project teams open to law students are available here.

    Crediting Options for Law Students

    Law students who are interested in participating in Bass Connections have the following crediting options:

    • Teams led by a Duke Law Faculty Member: If a Duke Law faculty member leads a Bass Connections team (see list below), Law students are eligible to receive Law School credit (up to three credits per semester). Upon being accepted to join a team, students must apply for approval to receive Law School credit by documenting the law and policy work (research, drafting, etc.) they will be undertaking as part of the team and the amount of time they will spend on the project. Such students should contact Dean Lacoff or James Lambert.
    • Teams without Duke Law Faculty Members: Some Bass Connections team are grappling with legal matters but do not include a Duke Law faculty leader (see list below). While Law students are encouraged to participate on these teams, students would not be eligible for Law School credit. Such students could opt to use their non-Law credit, noting that each student is only permitted three such credits. Students may also petition the Law School’s Administrative Committee for permission to apply up to three additional credits. Such appeals must demonstrate the rigor of the project and the connection to legal matters. Students interested in participating in these projects should contact Dean Lacoff or James Lambert.
    • Other options: Some students participate on Bass Connections teams in a paid capacity, particularly if they are serving in a leadership/project management role on the team. Each team is structured differently. It is at the discretion of faculty team leaders whether they offer paid roles. Law students may not earn academic credit if they are paid for their work.

    Some students also participate on Bass Connections teams in an extra-curricular capacity because they are passionate about the topics, see sufficient professional benefits to participation, and/or because the topic aligns with their own research/career interests.

    In some circumstances, Duke Law students may also document leadership or other skill development through a Bass Connections team experience that may count toward the professional development graduation requirement. Please contact a career counselor if you are interested in pursuing this option.

     

    Benefits of Participation for Professional Students

    Project teams offer professional students an exciting opportunity to apply coursework to a concrete problem, access professional development resources, expand academic and professional networks, and build career-enhancing skills to stand out on the job market. Professional students play a crucial role on Bass Connections teams, often serving as subject area experts, project managers or sub-group leaders, and mentors for undergraduates. In recognition of the important leadership role that professional students play on teams, Bridget Eklund JD’ 21 was awarded the 2021 Bass Connections Award for Outstanding Mentorship

    Bass Connections teams offer professional students the opportunity to plan and implement complex projects, work in teams, mentor and lead others, and communicate across boundaries to find solutions to complex challenges – skills that are crucial for successful careers in almost any field.

    Duke Law Participation and Testimonials

    Past Law students have participated on a wide range of teams, including those working on issues related to ethics, the environment, privacy and security, intellectual property, labor, health, and education.

    Among many research outcomes, these teams have:

    • collaborated with federal and state policymakers on Medicaid reform;
    • developed cybersecurity guidelines to protect individuals’ and families’ personal data;
    • examined incentive-based approaches to endangered species conservation on private lands;
    • explored how governments and professional associations set and enforce codes of ethics in competitive industries such as law, athletics and business;
    • produced documentary films on the environment and peacebuilding in post-conflict zones; and
    • written policy proposals to inform animal waste management practices in the United States.

    Here’s what a few Duke Law alumni have had to say about their Bass Connections experience:

    The best thing about my Bass Connections project was that, much like in the real world, the “problem” we sought to address had never been answered – it was not an assignment generated to test a skill set, but rather a totally open-ended question.
    -
    Anna Johns Hrom JD ’16, PhD ’18 (Law Clerk, U.S. Courts)
     

    As a result of having worked with a multidisciplinary team, my writing changed and improved my goal of reaching wider audiences…Back in Brazil, my experience with Bass Connections is also informing how I am building and leading teams of researchers and policy analysts.
    -Daniel Ribeiro, SJD ’18 (Prosecutor, Ministério Público of the State of Rio de Janeiro)
     

    Through Bass Connections, I had the chance to meet with highly specialized practitioners that have been doing fascinating work on environmental peacebuilding. The [experience] also gave me an opportunity to step out of my usual activities…and do things I had little experience with, like drafting a script for a documentary or thinking about how certain images might help communicate the environmental impact of armed conflict in different regions of the world.
    -Xiao Recio-Blanco, SJD ’15 (Director of the Ocean Program, Environmental Law Institute)
     

    Bass Connections provided [our team] with an opportunity to work across disciplines to solve a complex and multifaceted problem and to develop a meaningful solution to that problem—one that has the potential to have tangible benefits in the real world. It is exactly the type of opportunity that I had been looking for when I decided to apply to Duke in the first place: to take my education beyond the classroom to make a difference in the wider world.
    -Matthew Phillips JD ’20 (Founder, Phillips Admissions)

    722

    International Business Law 3
    • JD elective
    • LLM-ICL (JD) elective
    • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
    • IntlLLM Business Cert
    • Fall 20
    • Fall 21
    • Fall 22
    • Final Exam

    The goal of this course is to provide students with a broad overview of how international rules shape global commerce. It will serve as a foundation in international law for students who never plan to take another international law course but also serve as a roadmap of the possibilities for international law study (and careers) for students who want to do more with international law. The course begins with private, cross-border contracting, then moves on to public international law agreements as well. We start with conflict of law rules as well as international treaties designed to coordinate contract law (CISG). From there we dive into the world of private international arbitration, including questions of when state should not permit international arbitration. The course will also covers torts claims, particularly under the Alien Torts Claims Act. We will examine the Bhopal litigation before moving on to some of the cases that have been brought against major oil companies by citizens of developing countries. At that point, the course pivots towards more public law issues that govern international transactions. We look at the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act as well as the OCED Anti-bribery Convention. Finally, we turn to the major treaty regimes on economic subjects, including multilateral trade agreements and the network of bilateral investment treaties.

    GRADING: Grades are based on an exam.

    777

    Deal Skills for the Transactional Lawyer 3
    • JD elective
    • JD experiential
    • LLM-LE (JD) elective
    • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
    • IntlLLM Business Cert
    • IntlLLM NVE Cert
    • Spring 21
    • Spring 22
    • Simulated Writing, Transactional
    • Group project(s)
    • Practical exercises

    This course is designed to prepare students for transactional law practice by introducing them to the process of structuring, negotiating, documenting and closing a corporate acquisition transaction.

    The course is highly interactive.  Students will be assigned to “firms” that represent the parties to a hypothetical M&A transaction.  During the term, you will advise your client regarding deal structure, prepare due diligence requests and a due diligence report, draft an acquisition agreement, and negotiate the terms of the deal with counsel for the other party.  The negotiation exercises will take place “live” in class and will be videotaped.  The professor will provide written feedback on drafting assignments and negotiations to help students refine their deal-making skills.

    Topics covered will include:

    • Common transaction structures and the factors that affect choice of deal structure
    • Strategic and tactical approaches to negotiating an M&A transaction
    • Conducting a due diligence review
    • How to review contracts and other due diligence documents
    • Effective drafting techniques for the transactional lawyer
    • Understanding the “business deal” and translating it into contract language
    • The role of representations & warranties, covenants, conditions precedent and  other provisions found in the typical acquisition agreement
    • Preparing for and conducting a closing

    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