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

218

Comparative Law 3
  • JD elective
  • LLM-ICL (JD) required
  • LLM-ICL (JD) writing, option
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • Fall 21
  • Fall 22
  • Research and/or analytical paper
  • Class participation

This course provides an overview of comparative law. We will learn about the differences and similarities, both real and perceived, between different legal orders. We will compare both civil law and common law systems, and authoritarian and liberal legal systems. This course also features guest lectures given via Zoom by professors from Yale, Virginia, and other institutions.

Evaluation: class participation: 20%, students will be on call roughly every three sessions; paper(s): 80%. Students can choose to write six response papers (five pages each), or a research paper alone or together (30 pages minimum for sole-authored papers). For co-authored papers, each co-author will receive the same grade for the same paper.  A research paper can focus on one country or compare different legal systems. Students should submit their research paper proposal by Sept. 23, which explains their research question, methods and plan including distribution of labor among co-authors for co-authored papers. Finalized paper is due on December 16. The instructor keeps the discretion of approving or not approving a research paper proposal. Sole-authored research papers are also qualified to satisfy JD students’ writing requirements, if they so choose. 

229

State and Local Government Law 3
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • PIPS elective
  • Spring 21
  • Spring 23
  • Final Exam
  • In-class exercise
  • Class participation

Much of the business of governing takes place at the state and local level, rather than on the federal level. Competent attorneys must consider the effect that various state and local actors will have on their clients' interests, whether they represent large corporations, small franchises, or individuals. This course is designed to offer an overview of the issues concerning state and local governance from both a theoretical and practical perspective. The course will acquaint students with the broad issues surrounding state and local government, rather than focus on any particular state or municipality. Among the topics of discussion: state constitutional law, structure, and rights; distribution of authority between federal, state, and local governments; federal, state, and local government coordination and conflict; issues surrounding state and local provision of services and employment; state and municipal governance and oversight, and the role of localism and direct democracy in our constitutional structure. Evaluation will be based on class participation, class exercises, and an examination.

240

Ethics and Professional Responsibility 3
  • JD ethics
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • Fall 22
  • Final Exam

Professional Responsibility (3 credits) takes an in-depth view of ethical issues relating to the practice of law that are confronting the legal profession. The course studies the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct (“Model Rules”), relevant cases, and other sources of authority that govern the conduct of lawyers. The objective for this course is to develop an understanding of the field of the laws governing lawyers. The primary goal of this class is to give you experience applying the Model Rules and other pertinent laws to various factual scenarios (both real and hypothetical) so that when ethical issues arise during the course of law practice (and they will!), you are able to identify them and reflect on whether you need to adjust your behavior to ensure compliance with your professional obligations. This is a survey course, so we will learn a little about various sources of the law governing lawyers, but we will not focus deeply on any particular concept. The primary method of assessment will be an in-class examination at the conclusion of the semester.

242W

Social Justice Lawyering, Writing Credit 1
  • JD SRWP
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM writing
  • PIPS elective
  • Fall 20
  • Fall 21
  • Fall 22
  • Research paper, 25+ pages

While enrolled in Law 242 Social Justice Lawyering, with prior professor approval, students may submit a 30-page research paper and earn an additional one credit for the course. This paper is in addition to all the other course requirements, including the written assignments, but may be related to your case study presentation.

The paper may be used to satisfy the upper level writing requirement, the LLM writing requirement, and/or the JD/LLM writing requirement. You must email Professor Gordon or McCoy by the end of the Registration Period and after enrolling in 242 Social Justice Lawyering if you would like to seek this additional credit; there are very limited spots, which will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.

265

First Amendment 3
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM NY Bar
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • PIPS elective
  • Spring 21
  • Fall 21
  • Fall 22
  • Final Exam

This course examines the legal doctrines, theories, and arguments arising out of the free speech and religion clauses of the First Amendment.

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.

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.

 

327

Energy Law 3
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Environ Cert
  • PIPS elective
  • Fall 20
  • Fall 21
  • Fall 22
  • Final Exam
  • Class participation

The course will examine the legal framework governing energy production and consumption in the United States, and policy approaches for balancing energy needs with other societal goals. The course will include three main modules: (1) electricity sector regulation; (2) energy resources for electricity generation; and (3) oil and gas law. Key themes will include:

(1) The historic origins of public utility regulation;
(2) The major U.S. laws that govern energy production and use;
(3) The distinct roles of the federal and state governments; and
(4) Efforts to manage competing societal interests

Final grades will be comprised of the following:

  1. Final exam, open book/open note one day exam:
  2. Case study discussion leader: 
  3. Class participation and current events: 

The case study will be a group project where students will be assigned a case study. The group will lead the class discussion and exercise on the case study. In addition, each student in the group will prepare a 3-page policy brief that advocates for an outcome to a decision maker. The grade will be based on both the group discussion and the policy brief.

Students will also be responsible for submitting discussion questions on the readings and short reflections on current events weekly. Students must submit questions for at least 10 weeks.

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.

339

Law and Literature 3
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • Fall 20
  • Fall 21

This course concentrates on possible relationships between law and literature. The major themes will be the depiction of law and lawyers in popular and highbrow fiction; the relationship between the interpretation of legal and literary texts; law in utopia and dystopia; crime, punishment and racial justice and the romantic conception of authorship. Fair warning: the course involves considerable reading – but almost all of it consists of works of fiction. For the final exam, which you will have 2 weeks to complete, you will be given a list of very broad essay topics brought up by the books we have read, and will write 2, 2000 word essays on the topics of your choice.

343

Federal Courts I: Constitution & Judicial Power 3
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM NY Bar
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • PIPS elective
  • Fall 20
  • Fall 21
  • Final Exam

Federal Courts is sometimes thought of as the love child of Constitutional Law and Civil Procedure. It takes the Con Law I themes of federalism, separation of powers, and protection of individual rights and develops them in the context of jurisdiction, procedure, and remedies. Most experienced litigators--including criminal and regulatory litigators--consider the course essential.

Federal Courts 1 is the first of a two course sequence designed to provide exhaustive coverage of the material at a very civilized pace. Both parts one and two are three-credit courses ordinarily taken in the Fall and Spring of the same year. They have separate exams that are graded independently. There is no requirement that one take both installments, but it is strongly recommended.

Federal Courts 1 (The Constitution and Judicial Power) focuses on the nature of the Article III judicial power and its place in the constitutional scheme. We begin with the justiciability doctrines (standing, ripeness, mootness, and finality), then move on to Congress's control over federal court jurisdiction and adjudication in non-Article III courts (e.g., bankruptcy courts and administrative agencies). This installment also addresses the relationship between federal and state courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court's power to review state court decisions, the Erie doctrine's restriction on the common lawmaking powers of federal courts, and the implication of private rights of action under federal statutes.

344

Federal Courts II - Public Law Litigation 3
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM NY Bar
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • PIPS elective
  • Spring 21
  • Spring 22
  • Final Exam

Federal Courts is sometimes thought of as the love child of Constitutional Law and Civil Procedure. It takes the Con Law I themes of federalism, separation of powers, and protection of individual rights and develops them in the context of jurisdiction, procedure, and remedies. Most experienced litigators—including criminal and regulatory litigators—consider the course essential.

Federal Courts 2 is the second of a two course sequence designed to provide exhaustive coverage of the material at a very civilized pace. Both parts one and two are three-credit courses ordinarily taken in the Fall and Spring of the same year. They have separate exams that are graded independently. There is no requirement that one take both installments, but it is strongly recommended.

Federal Courts 2 (Public Law Litigation) focuses on litigation meant to vindicate federal statutory and constitutional rights. We begin with the ins and outs of the Federal Question jurisdictional statute, then move on to suits against the government. We address both federal and state sovereign immunity in depth, and we explore civil rights litigation against state and federal officers under 42 U.S.C. 1983 and the Bivens doctrine. We also canvass various statutory and judge-made rules limiting parallel litigation in state and federal courts. The course concludes with an in-depth treatment of federal habeas corpus as a vehicle for judicial review of executive detention and for collateral attack on state criminal convictions.

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.

350

Advanced Constitutional Law: A Legal History of the US Civil Rights Movement 3
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • PIPS elective
  • Fall 20
  • Fall 21
  • Final Exam
  • Class participation

This course will examine the role of the U.S. civil rights movement in the development of U.S. constitutional law. Conventional theories of judicial independence do not define a legitimate role for social movements in the transformation of U.S. constitutional law, but recent advances in legal scholarship have underscored the co-constitutive relationship between law and social movements.  Accordingly, this course will explore how movement participants engaged the U.S. Constitution and how these encounters shaped constitutional doctrine, social institutions, public discourse, and movement participants themselves. We will investigate the processes of mobilization and counter-mobilization and reflect on how the U.S. civil rights movement often spurred constitutional change through means other than constitutionally specified procedures. We will also consider how and why movements fail and will critically analyze rights-based approaches to reform. Course readings will draw from a wide range of historical, sociological, and legal sources.

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.

359

Introduction to Law and Economics 3
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  • Spring 22
  • Spring 23
  • Final Exam

Law and economics is one of the most influential schools of thought in modern legal theory. The ideas propounded by the economic analysis of law are gaining increasing traction in court decisions as well as in legal policy. This course explores the methodology of economic analysis in the legal context and discusses several of its provocative insights. This course will examine the major contributions of the economic analysis of law in the classical common law categories of contract, tort and property, as well as in other areas that may not initially appear to be amenable to economic reasoning. The course does not require any background in economics.

Grades: 100% of the grade will be based on the final exam.

363

Legislation and Statutory Interpretation 3
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • Spring 22
  • Final Exam

Legislation is one of the most important forms of law in modern American society. Indeed, it has been said that we are living in an 'age of statutes.' Almost every aspect of legal practice involves construction of statutes, whether defining the jurisdiction of the courts or establishing the norms to which society must conform. In this course, we will examine the legal theory and practice of the making and enforcement of statutes. The course will begin with a study of the legislative process, with special attention to theories that seek to understand why some bills succeed where others fail. The next unit of the course will consider statutes as a unique source of law, comparing them to the common law and the Constitution. We will then move to the heart of the course, which will focus on how judges and other legal actors (agencies, enforcers, etc.) interpret statutes. There will be a take-home final for this course.

370

Modes of Legal Argument 3
  • JD SRWP, option
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM writing
  • Spring 21
  • Fall 21
  • Research paper option, 25+ pages
  • Research and/or analytical paper(s), 15 pages
  • Class participation

Introduction to Legal Theory: Modes of Legal Argument is a 3-credit seminar with enrollment capped at 12, and a final paper that can be used to satisfy the Substantial Research and Writing Project. 

The course will be organized around a set of essential questions, all vital to the ways we argue about the law. The major schools of legal and constitutional interpretation will be explored.  For example, we will discuss formalism and textualism, purposivism, originalism, process theory, economic analysis, realism and legal pluralism. Each of these theories has an answer to the question, what is the right way to interpret a legal text?  Beyond the text, what modes, or forms of argument are permissible, or mandatory, within our legal tradition?   But each of those inquiries depends on deeper questions. Where does law come from? What, if anything, makes it legitimate? It will also deal with some concrete examples in which those modes of legal argument are tested and deployed:  Does the law create the market economy, or is there a pre-existing template for market economies that frames and limit the interpretation of the laws that govern those markets?  The public/private distinction is central to a liberal society: do we have a consistent or principled way of interpreting those boundaries? How should our understanding of law be affected by the fact that we live in a democratic country, a free-market country, a country with a written constitution? We will consider and approach these questions by way of major schools of legal thought, testing the theoretical approaches against  concrete  problems the legal system has had to address, and the shapes these problems take today. 

Requirements:  The class requirements include regular Sakai postings on the readings.  Those who are using the paper to satisfy the Substantial Research and Writing Paper will write a 25-30 page final paper on an approved topic, going through the normal process of first draft, conference and revision.  Those who are not will write a 15 page final paper, either on an approved topic of your choice or on one assigned by the instructor.    No prior exposure to legal theory, philosophy or political theory is required.

405

Appellate Practice 3
  • JD elective
  • JD experiential
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • PIPS elective
  • Fall 20
  • Fall 21
  • Fall 22
  • Simulated Writing, Litigation

Please note: This course is offered only in the fall. And those wishing to drop the course must do so within three days after the first class.

The course introduces students to appellate advocacy and the appellate process. Students learn the mechanics of briefing and arguing an appeal, as well as strategies for effective appellate advocacy. They also have the opportunity to refine their advocacy skills by orally arguing a case to an appellate judge. The central project entails each student briefing one side of a case and presenting oral argument for that side.

This semester, the course will be taught by three attorneys from the North Carolina Solicitor General’s Office.

468

Child Advocacy Lab 1
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • PIPS elective
  • Spring 22
  • Spring 23
  • Reflective Writing
  • Group project(s)
  • Practical exercises

There is significant lack of understanding between the fields of medicine and law, as well as missed opportunities to advocate for children’s rights and improved health outcomes. The Child Advocacy Lab offers a unique opportunity to join a dynamic, collaborative learning environment bringing medical and law students to the forefront of child advocacy.  Students will engage in team projects and conduct research related to current child advocacy issues, with particular focus on recent changes in mandated reporting laws that have greatly affected all professionals working with children.  The lessons learned from working cooperatively with other disciplines will directly translate to enhance career skills for interdisciplinary practice.

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).

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.

512

Bail Reform 1
  • JD SRWP with add-on credit
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • LLMWriting option with additional credit
  • PIPS elective
  • Spring 22
  • Reflective Writing
  • Class participation

Bail practices define who is held in jail in the United States.  Most people held in jails are awaiting trial, and in turn, most of those people cannot afford to pay a cash bond to secure their release.  This seminar will examine the unique system of pretrial detention in the United States, from historical, legal, social, and policy perspectives. We will read leading Supreme Court cases, recent civil rights challenges and judicial rulings regarding bail practices, bail reform legislation, and empirical literature regarding the impacts of pretrial decisions and supervision on people's lives and social outcomes. Students will write short reaction papers regarding each of week's reading, and may also choose to write a more substantial research paper if they wish to earn a second credit. 

512W

Bail Reform, Writing Credit 1
  • JD SRWP
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM writing
  • PIPS elective
  • Spring 22
  • Research paper, 25+ pages

While enrolled in LAW 512 Bail Practice, students who plan significant research projects on related topics may register for LAW 512W in order to satisfy the JD Substantial Research and Writing Project.

541

Nonprofit Organizations 3
  • JD SRWP, option
  • JD elective
  • LLM-LE (JD) elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  • PIPS elective
  • Fall 20
  • Fall 21
  • Fall 22
  • Final Exam, option
  • Research paper, 40 pages

The subject of the course is the diverse sector of the economy composed of nonprofit organizations, and, in particular, the organizations that are tax-exempt under Section 501c3 of the Internal Revenue Code. Topics to be covered include their function and role in society; issues related to their formation, governance and regulation; the tax laws and regulations specific to exempt organizations; and policy issues regarding the sector.

543

State Constitutional Law and Localism 1
  • JD SRWP with add-on credit
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • Spring 22
  • Reflective Writing
  • Class participation

This seminar discusses issues concerning state constitutional law and localism. The readings for the course will be classic written works on the topic as well as new contributions by contemporary scholars. The course will focus on the doctrinal and theoretical issues surrounding state constitutional law and localism. Among the topics in the seminar: the interpretation of state constitutions; state constitutions as the source of both negative and positive rights; the "new preemption" of local government; the role of mayors and municipal government in setting public policy, political polarization and localism, and related topics. Class will meet every other week. Evaluation will be based on class participation and short reflection papers distributed prior to class. Students can take the class for one or two credits. The two credit option will require a substantial paper.

543W

State Constitutional Law and Localism, Writing Credit 1
  • JD SRWP
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM writing
  • Spring 22
  • Research paper, 25+ pages

While enrolled in Law 543 State Constitutional Law and Localism, students who plan significant research projects on related topics may register for a second credit in order to satisfy the JD Writing Requirement. *LAW 543W must be added no later than 7th week of class.*

545

Urban Legal History 3
  • JD SRWP
  • JD 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 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.

582

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

This fall-only survey course is designed to provide students, particularly those with no background in the topic, with an overview of the American legal architecture related to the U.S. security enterprise. The class will also examine related issues that arise "in the news." It is aimed not only at students considering a career in government or the military, but also for those headed to private practice who appreciate that the U.S.’s $778 billion defense budget, ($2 trillion in defense outlays worldwide), impact virtually all potential clients.

The course includes analyzing the constitutional structure governing national security matters, and the role played by the three branches of government (with special emphasis on Presidential power). It will also examine governmental surveillance, the investigation and prosecution of national security cases, as well as First Amendment issues related to national security. In addition, homeland security issues (to include the domestic use of the armed forces), security-based travel restrictions, public health emergencies, civil-military relations, and the impact of national security issues on business transactions will be reviewed. The textbook for this course will be Dycus, et al., National Security Law (7th ed., 2020) ISBN9781543806793 as well as the National Security Law and Counterterrorism Law 2022-2023 Supplement. Other materials may be provided as necessary. The instructors will offer practical, real-world perspectives on the issues discussed based on their extensive careers in government.

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

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

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

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

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. 

605

Race and the Law Speakers Series 1
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • PIPS elective
  • Spring 21
  • Spring 23
  • Reflective Writing
  • Class participation

In this Speakers Series, leading scholars and activists will share insights on pressing questions shaping U.S. race relations, including: (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. 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.

639

Movement Lawyering Lab: Law for Black Lives 3
  • JD elective
  • JD experiential
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • PIPS elective
  • Fall 21
  • Spring 22
  • Fall 22
  • Spring 23
  • Reflective Writing
  • Research and/or analytical paper(s), 5-10 pages
  • Group project(s)
  • Practical exercises
  • Class participation

This three-credit course will immerse students in the theory, practice, and politics of movement lawyering.  The course proceeds in two parts: a weekly seminar and field work.  In the seminar, students learn the foundations and tactics of movement activism, and discover how lawyers work with social movements to build power and create change.  In the field work portion, students are paired with lawyers and organizers from across the South to produce legal analyses, policy papers, legislative reviews, rapid response documents, outreach materials, and more.  For the Fall of 2022, the course will have a special emphasis on reproductive justice work, and (depending on enrollment) will be working with organizations such as SisterLove, New Voices for Reproductive Justice, SisterReach, In Defense of Black Lives–Atlanta, and other Black-led movement organizations.  Students will also be invited to travel to Atlanta to meet directly with our movement partners.  For more information on the course, please see this episode of the Duke Law podcast: https://law.duke.edu/video/duke-law-podcast-movement-lawyering-lab-duke-law

Course enrollment is by application.  Students interested in applying for the course should submit their CV and a short (250-500 word) statement of interest about why they would like to enroll in the course, how their background has prepared them to work effectively with movement partners, and how they plan to use the skills they learn in the course. Statements should be sent to Bobbi Pabon, bobbi.pabon@duke.edu, no later than 5 pm on Friday, November 11. Student will be notified by Professor Gordon before the first registration window opens on Tuesday morning so that you can factor the seminar into your semester credit load. The seminar will meet weekly at a mutually-agreed-upon time and place.

716

Cybersecurity and National Security Law and Policy 3
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM writing
  • 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).

 

727

Current Issues in Constitutional Interpretation 1
  • JD elective
  • Spring 21
  • Research and/or analytical paper(s), 10-15 pages

This seminar will examine important constitutional issues that have arisen in recent Supreme Court cases and will use those cases as a vehicle for considering broader questions of constitutional interpretation and Supreme Court practice, such as theories of interpretation and the role of stare decisis. Among the issues that may be studied are the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms, the Sixth Amendment rights to counsel and trial by jury, the Eighth Amendment right to be free of cruel and unusual punishment, and the right to petition for a writ of habeas corpus.

Enrollment for Current Issues in Constitutional Interpretation is limited to 15 students.  Only third-year students are eligible to apply for enrollment, as it is anticipated that students in their final year of law school will be best prepared to engage fully in the course.

744

Philosophy for Constitutional Lawyers 3
  • JD SRWP
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
    • Reflective Writing
    • Research and/or analytical paper(s), 10-15 pages
    • Class participation

    This seminar will investigate the possibility and promise of substantive reason in constitutional law. Doubts that reason plays any non-instrumental role in constitutional decisions often reflect a broad skepticism that constitutional law can be anything other than political decision-making in disguise. We do not share that skepticism, but we readily concede that many constitutional arguments and opinions are poorly reasoned, and that constitutional lawyers often seem unable to offer a coherent account of what they are doing, or what constitutional decision-making is or ought to be, that doesn't collapse into a species of political choice.

    Our goal is to explore some of the resources that contemporary philosophy may offer constitutional lawyers in the effort to understand and practice constitutional law as a distinct and coherent form of thought and decision.
    Attention will be paid to the work of Alasdair MacIntyre and Ludwig Wittgenstein, among others.

    Students will be expected to participate actively in class discussion and to prepare a seminar paper, which can be written to satisfy the upper-level writing requirement.

    753

    Law and Literature: Race & Gender 3
    • JD elective
    • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
    • PIPS elective
    • Spring 21
    • Fall 22
    • Take-home examination
    • Reflective Writing
    • Class participation

    This seminar explores the intersection between literary and legal studies, with a particular focus on race and gender. Through literature and some film, the seminar examines the role of law in the structure of conflict, personal relationships, social hierarchy and social change, with attention to privilege, perspective, and voice.  Possible authors include Margaret Atwood, James Baldwin, Octavia Butler, Ava DuVernay, Lorraine Hansberry, Ursula Hegi, Kazuo Ishiguro, Nella Larsen, Gabriel García Márquez, Toni Morrison, Colson Whitehead, and Richard Wright.

    Grades will be determined from class participation, weekly response papers, and a final take-home examination.

    771

    Defamation and Invasion of Privacy 3
    • JD elective
    • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
    • IntlLLM writing
    • Fall 21
    • Fall 22
    • Research paper, 25+ pages
    • Class participation

    American law attempts to protect individual interests in personal dignity and to guarantee a robust system of free expression. Both concerns are implemented, in part, through the common law of dignitary torts, and US constitutional law addresses their overlap and potential conflict. This course will cover the torts of defamation, invasion of privacy, and intentional infliction of emotional harm, and the related constitutional doctrines that the Supreme Court has developed since 1964.

     

    772

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

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

    781

    Music's Copyright: A Historical, Incentives-Based, and Aesthetic Analysis of the Law of Music 3
    • JD SRWP
    • JD elective
    • IntlLLM writing
    • 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.

    786

    Media Law 3
    • JD elective
    • LLM-LE (JD) elective
    • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
    • IntllLLM IP Cert
    • Fall 20
    • Simulated Writing, Litigation
    • Take-home examination
    • Practical exercises
    • Class participation

    This class will examine the regulation of communications media, including newspapers, broadcast media, social media, and internet content generally. Students will consider current events and ongoing debates regarding mainstream media, “fake news,” social media platforms, and leak investigations, while also exploring the historical and jurisprudential underpinnings of First Amendment and media law. In weighing the interests of the free press against competing interests like privacy, security, and reputation, this class will cover topics such as defamation, rights of publicity, privacy, and access to information. Students will learn skills relevant to defending reporters and other members of the press in litigations and advisory matters.

    794W

    Slavery and the Law/Writing Credit 1
    • JD SRWP
    • JD elective
    • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
    • Spring 23
    • Research paper, 25+ pages

    Students enrolled in Law 794 Slavery and the Law, may earn an additional credit by writing an additional 25+ page paper, due at the end of the semester . *LAW 794W must be added no later than 7th week of class.*

    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