Course Browser

Search and explore Duke Law's wide variety of courses that comprise nearly every area of legal theory and practice. Contact the Director of Academic Advising to confirm whether a course satisfies a graduation requirement in any particular semester.

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NOTE: Course offerings change. Faculty leaves and sabbaticals, as well as other curriculum considerations, will sometimes affect when a course may be offered.

The list of classes marked Spring 2023 is incomplete and is being regularly updated.

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

160AB

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

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

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

170

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

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

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.

255

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

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

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

270

Intellectual Property 4
  • JD elective
  • LLM-LE (JD) required
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  • IntllLLM IP Cert
  • IntlLLM NVE Cert
  • Fall 20
  • Spring 21
  • Fall 21
  • Spring 22
  • Spring 23
  • Final Exam

This course provides an introduction to copyright, trademark, and (to a lesser extent) patent law and trade secrecy. It does not require a technical background of any kind.  The course begins with an introduction to some of the theoretical and practical problems which an intellectual property regime must attempt to resolve; during this section, basic concepts of the economics of information and of the First Amendment analysis of intellectual property rights will be examined through a number of case-studies. The class will then turn to the law of trademark, copyright, and patent with a particular emphasis on copyright, developing the basic doctrinal frameworks and discussing the advantages and disadvantages of each. We will focus in particular on a number of areas where the theoretical tools developed at the beginning of the class can be applied to actual problems involving a full panoply of intellectual property rights; these areas include intellectual property on the Internet, the constitutional limits on intellectual property, and innovation, monopoly and competition in the technology sector. The overall theme of the course is that intellectual property is the legal form of the information age and thus that it is important not only for its enormous and increasing role in commercial life and legal practice, but also for its effects on technological innovation, democratic debate, and cultural formation. Much of our doctrinal work will be centered around a series of problems which help students build skills and learn the law in a highly interactive setting. You can also download the casebook for the class here – for free – to give you a sense of the topics that are covered. 

443

Environmental Law and Policy Clinic 4
  • JD elective
  • JD experiential
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Environ Cert
  • PIPS elective
  • PIPS experiential
  • Fall 20
  • Spring 21
  • Fall 21
  • Spring 22
  • Fall 22
  • Spring 23
  • Group project(s)
  • Practical exercises
  • Live-client representation and case management
  • Class participation

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

Clinic Enrollment and Credit Policies

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

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

Ethics Requirement for Law Students

Students are required to have instruction in the Model Rules of Professional Conduct prior to, or during, enrollment in the Environmental Law and Policy Clinic. Examples of ethics classes that meet the requirement include Ethics in Action: Large Firm Practice (LAW 231), Ethics of Social Justice Lawyering (LAW 237), Ethics and the Law of Lawyering (LAW 238), Ethics and the Law of Lawyering in Civil Litigation (LAW 239), Criminal Justice Ethics (LAW 317) and Ethics in Action (LAW 539).

Important to Note: This course may not be dropped after the first class meeting. Students MUST be able to attend the day-long clinic intensive training session to enroll in this course.

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.

493

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

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

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

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

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.

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.*

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.

677

Duke Law in DC: Rethinking Federal Regulation 4
  • JD SRWP
  • JD elective
  • PIPS elective
  • Fall 20
  • Fall 21
  • Fall 22

This course is open to students participating in the Duke in DC integrated externship program (LAW 679: Duke Law in DC Externship). The Rethinking Federal Regulation course is a graded 4-credit weekly class that focuses on trends in regulatory philosophy, competing models for regulation, the nature of administrative rulemaking and enforcement of rules and regulations, and some of the sources of regulatory dysfunction. Students will develop critical analysis skills that are necessary to evaluate federal regulatory law, and will produce a 30-page final paper for the course. This course is open to second and third year law students, by permission only. For more information, please visit https://law.duke.edu/curriculum/dukedc/.

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.

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