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

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

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

JD/LLM in International & Comparative Law

JD/LLM in Law & Entrepreneurship

International LLM - 1 year

Certificate in Public interest and Public Service Law

Areas of Study & Practice

Clear all filters 13 courses found.
Number Course Title Credits Degree Requirements Semesters Taught Methods of Evaluation

236

International Human Rights 2
  • JD elective
  • LLM-ICL (JD) elective
  • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
  • PIPS elective
    • Final Exam
    • In-class exercise
    • Class participation

    This course critically assesses the international and domestic laws, institutions, and legal and political theories that relate to protecting the fundamental liberties of all human beings. The course emphasizes (1) specific "hot button" topics within international human rights law, such as extraordinary renditions, hate speech, and lesbian and gay rights); (2) the judicial, legislative, and executive bodies that interpret and implement human rights; and (3) the public and private actors who commit rights violations and who seek redress for individuals whose rights have been violated. Course requirements include a final exam, a negotiation exercise, and student participation in class discussions.

    238

    Ethics and the Law of Lawyering 2
    • JD elective
    • JD ethics
    • IntlLLM NY Bar
    • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
    • Fall 20
    • Spring 21
    • Fall 21
    • Spring 22
    • Fall 22
    • Spring 23
    • Final Exam
    • Reflective Writing
    • Practical exercises
    • Class participation

    This course examines in detail the "law of lawyering" relating to such issues as the formation of the attorney-client relationship, confidentiality, communications with clients, conflicts of interest, regulation and discipline of attorneys, and numerous other areas relating to the lawyer's role in American society. In addressing these issues, we will consider the extent to which the law governing lawyers derives from the concept of a learned profession, as well as the degree to which the ethics of lawyering may differ from personal ethics and morality. While particular attention will be paid to the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct, the class will also examine other sources of relevant law, including the Restatement (Third) of the Law Governing Lawyers, court decisions and rules, statutes, and administrative regulations.  Grading is based on a final examination, written work relating to casebook problems and reflections on current issues in legal ethics, and class participation.

     

    320

    Water Resources Law 2
    • JD SRWP
    • JD elective
    • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
    • IntlLLM writing
    • IntlLLM Environ Cert
    • PIPS elective
    • Spring 21
    • Spring 22
    • Spring 23
    • Research paper, 25+ pages

    This survey course examines the legal and policy issues governing water quality and resource allocation in the United States. Students will be introduced to both the Prior Appropriation systems of the western United States and the Reasonable Use systems dominating the eastern states. We will study key laws that affect water quality and quantity, including the Clean Water Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, the Endangered Species Act, and others.  Students will also explore emerging issues in water policy, including the regulation of "forever chemicals," protection of wetlands, and mitigation of and adaptation to climate change, among other policy issues.  Throughout the course, students will study how environmental justice relates to water resource management.

    338

    Animal Law 2
    • JD SRWP, option
    • JD elective
    • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
    • IntlLLM Environ Cert
    • PIPS elective
    • Spring 21
    • Spring 23
    • Research paper, 25+ pages
    • Oral presentation
    • Class participation

    This course will examine a number of topics related to the law of animals, including various issues that arise under the laws of property, contracts, torts, and trusts and estates. It will also examine various criminal law issues and constitutional law questions. The class will consider such issues as the definition of "animal" as applicable to anti-cruelty statutes, the collection of damages for harm to animals, establishing standing for animal suits, first amendment protections, and the nuances of various federal laws.

    345

    Gender & the Law 2
    • JD elective
    • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
    • PIPS elective
    • Spring 23
    • Final Exam
    • Reflective Writing
    • Oral presentation
    • Practical exercises
    • In-class exercise
    • Class participation

    This course will explore the relationship between gender and the law, understanding gender in its broadest sense including sex, sexuality, gender identity, and gender queerness. It will focus on sex discrimination doctrines under the Equal Protection Clause of the United States Constitution as well as under federal and state statutory frameworks such as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964,Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972, and cognate state statutes. It will also address the shifting scope of substantive due process doctrine, particularly given the recent Supreme Court Dobbs opinion. Other statutes such as the Americans with Disabilities Act will also be explored. Constitutional Law is highly recommended as a prerequisite.

    The course will center around legal case studies to evaluate the relationship between law and justice in many areas that affect gender minority lives, including: employment, schools, health care, prison, public accommodations, family, youth and aging, and beyond. The emphasis will be on social justice lawyering strategies and the possibilities and limits that litigation, legislation, and policy developments present for work in these areas. Some film is used in class. Evaluation is by an end-of-term, untimed, open book examination, as well as 3 reaction papers assigned throughout the class. Other individual or group projects may also be required. Engaged student discussion and open-mindedness to new, different, and challenging ideas is invited and valued.

    471

    Science Regulation Lab 2
    • JD elective
    • JD experiential
    • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
    • IntlLLM Environ Cert
    • Spring 21

    SciReg Lab teaches students about the use of emerging science and technology in the regulatory agencies through the drafting and submission of comments to federal rule-makings. The comments will be unaligned with any party and are intended to provide the regulatory agencies with unbiased, current, accurate and coherent information about the science underlying the proposed rule. The course is cross-listed in the Law School and Graduate School and the students will be drawn from the sciences, ethics, policy and law to work in interdisciplinary teams. The course will begin with a brief overview of notice-and-comment rulemaking, and how to translate scientific information into the language of courts and agencies. The ethical issues presented by this process will be an important component of the course content. With the assistance of faculty, the students will track pending rulemakings and select proceedings in which to file a comment. A background is science is recommended, but not required.

    504

    Critical Race Theory 2
    • JD elective
    • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
    • PIPS elective
    • Fall 20
    • Spring 22
    • Reflective Writing
    • Research and/or analytical paper(s), 10-15 pages
    • Oral presentation
    • Class participation

    Critical race theory (CRT), a scholarly movement that began in the 1980s, challenges both the substance and style of conventional legal scholarship.  Substantively, critical race scholars (“race crits”) reject formal equality, individual rights, and color-blind approaches to solving legal problems.  Stylistically, race crits often employ new methodologies for legal scholarship, including storytelling and narrative.  This course introduces CRT’s core principles and explores its possibilities and limitations.  With a heavy focus on writings that shaped the movement, the course will examine the following concepts and theories: storytelling, interest convergence theory, the social construction of race, the black-white paradigm, the myth of the model minority, intersectionality, essentialism, working identity, covering, whiteness and white privilege, colorblindness, microaggressions, and implicit bias.  Students will apply these theories and frameworks to cases and topics dealing with, among other things, first amendment freedoms, affirmative action, employment discrimination, and criminal disparities and inequities.  The course affords students an opportunity to think about the ways in which racism, sexism, classism, and heterosexism are inextricably interwoven as well as an opportunity to challenge critically our most basic assumptions about race, law, and justice.

    552

    Law and Governance in China 2
    • JD SRWP
    • JD elective
    • LLM-ICL (JD) elective
    • LLM-ICL (JD) writing
    • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
    • IntlLLM writing
    • IntlLLM Business Cert
    • PIPS elective
    • Fall 21
    • Fall 22
    • Research and/or analytical paper
    • Class participation

    China’s development without a western-style rule of law raises numerous questions. Does law matter in China? If yes, how does it work? What roles has law played in China’s economic, social and political development? This seminar covers both law on the books and law in action, emphasizes change and development in understanding law and governance, and takes China as a comparative case study to deepen our understanding of the fundamental nature of legal institutions. This seminar also features guest speakers from Yale, Princeton, Harvard, and other institutions. 

    Evaluation: class participation: 30%, students should read assigned readings in advance and be prepared to be on call every week; paper(s): 70%. Students can choose to write five response papers (four pages each) or a research paper (20 pages minimum). Students should submit their research paper proposal by Sept. 23, which explains their research question, methods and plan. Finalized paper is due on December 16. The instructor keeps the discretion of approving or not approving a research paper proposal. Research papers are also qualified to satisfy JD students’ writing requirements (30 pages minimum), if they so choose. 

    556

    Second Amendment: History, Theory, and Practice 2
    • JD SRWP, option
    • JD elective
    • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
    • IntlLLM writing
    • PIPS elective
    • Fall 20
    • Fall 21
    • Fall 22

    Recent Supreme Court decisions have ushered in a new era of Second Amendment theory, litigation, and politics. Current events keep issues of firearms, gun violence, gun safety, and self-defense constantly in the news. This seminar will explore the Second Amendment and other aspects of federal and state firearms law. Students will be introduced to the historical and public policy materials surrounding the Second Amendment, the regulatory environment concerning firearms, and the political and legal issues pertaining to firearm rights-enforcement and policy design. Evaluation for the seminar will be based on in-class participation and a choice between six short reaction papers or one thirty-page paper.

    561

    Tax Policy 2
    • JD elective
    • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
    • Spring 21
    • Spring 22
    • Spring 23
    • Reaction Papers
    • Class participation

    This two-credit seminar will feature presentations (eight in total) of works-in-progress on a wide range of tax policy topics, by leading tax academics from law schools around the country. Although this is a two-credit seminar, it is scheduled for three hours per week on the weeks in which it meets. The seminar will meet during only two-thirds (approximately) of the weeks of the semester. More precisely, the first meeting will be on Thursday, February 3, after which the seminar will meet regularly for the remainder of the semester. On the weeks during which we consider the works-in-progress, the seminar will meet twice: first (on Tuesday) to discuss the paper prior to the arrival of its author, and a second time (on Thursday) to discuss the paper with the author. In addition, there will be an initial meeting (February 3) not in connection with a particular paper, and a final meeting (on Tuesday, April 12) also not in connection with a particular paper. Students will write reaction papers (of approximately three double-spaced pages) for seven of the eight works-in-progress. (Each student can choose which week not to write a reaction paper.) Grades will be based on the reaction papers and on contributions to the seminar discussions.

    580

    Law & Economics Colloquium 2
    • JD elective
    • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
    • IntlLLM Business Cert
    • Spring 22
    • Spring 23
    • Reflective Writing
    • Class participation

    This research seminar will involve discussing some of the latest research at the intersection of the fields of law and economics. The research papers will deal with a wide variety of topics, depending on the speaker’s interests, such as the law and economics of contract law, corporate law, intellectual property, tax, constitutional law, or legislation. We will invite speakers who are doing some of the most cutting-edge interdisciplinary work in law to present their ongoing work to the seminar. Students will be asked to prepare, in advance, short reaction papers to the speakers’ work. The requirements for the class are completion of the reaction papers and active participation in the debates over the papers being presented. There will be one class meeting each week.

    593

    Sexuality and the Law 2
    • JD SRWP
    • JD elective
    • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
    • IntlLLM writing
    • PIPS elective
    • Fall 21
    • Fall 22
    • Research and/or analytical paper(s), 10-15 pages
    • Midterm
    • Class participation

    Issues in the legal regulation of sexuality and gender identity are among the most contested in US law today. Issues which either have been litigated in US courts in recent years or are currently being litigated include the ability of same-sex couples to marry, people’s access to contraception or abortion, as well as the ability of LGBTQ persons to access health care, public accommodations, employment, and education without discrimination. This course takes an interdisciplinary approach to the investigation of the legal regulation of human sexuality and gender identity. It examines the historical and jurisprudential foundations of these legal constructs with insights developed through feminist and queer theory. These disciplines will be deployed to better understand the scope of the rights to sexual and gender equality, liberty, and autonomy available to people not only in theory, but in fact, and not only at the national level, but at the state and local levels.

    791

    Judicial Writing 2
    • JD elective
    • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
    • IntlLLM writing
    • Spring 21
    • Spring 22
    • Spring 23
    • Simulated Writing, Litigation
    • Reflective Writing
    • Oral presentation
    • In-class exercise
    • Class participation

    This course is intended to appeal to any student who seeks a judicial clerkship or aspires to be a judge, or who simply wants to learn more about how and why judges write judicial opinions. Students will consider the complexities of being on the bench, including judges' relationships with the public, with lawyers, with other judges, and with their clerks. The students will try their hands at formats and styles unique to clerking or judging, including a bench brief, an analytic paper, and an appellate-court opinion.

    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