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

227

Use of Force in International Law: Cyber, Drones, Hostage Rescues, Piracy, and more 2
  • JD SRWP, option
  • JD elective
  • LLM-ICL (JD) elective
  • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
  • IntlLLM writing, option
  • PIPS elective
  • Fall 20
  • Fall 21
  • Fall 22
  • Reflective Writing
  • Research paper option, 25+ pages
  • Research and/or analytical paper(s), 20+ pages
  • Oral presentation
  • Class participation

This fall-only seminar is designed to introduce students with limited or no familiarity with international law to principles involved in jus ad bellum, that is, when states can resort to the use of force during periods of putative peace. It will explore, for example, what circumstances constitute an “act of war” in variety of situations.

The course will analyze when and how force may be used in self-defense and will survey topics such as humanitarian intervention, hostage rescue, air defense identification zones, freedom of navigation operations, use of force in the cyber domain, and the legal aspects of international counter-piracy and counterterrorism operations (including drone strikes). Efforts to limit the use of force in outer space as well as the implications of nuclear weapons and the emergence of autonomous weaponry will be explored.

Case studies and current news events, including some related to the conflict in Ukraine, will be examined in conjunction with the covered issues. In addition, students will get an overview of the practical issues associated with the use of force, to include the weaponry, planning, and military techniques involved.

This course obviously addresses the use of force in international law. Accordingly, class instruction will inevitably include written, oral, and visual depictions of physical force and violence—and occasionally extreme representations of the same.

You are not require to purchase any books for this course, because they are available for free online from the Duke Law Library. A key book for this course is entitled The Use of Force in International Law: A Case-Based Approach (2018). You will not be required to read this entire book (it’s 960 pages!). Additionally, we will use parts of Regulating the Use of Force in International Law (2021; Necessity and Proportionality and the Right of Self-Defence in International Law (2021) and The Future Law of Armed Conflict (2022) (available online July 2022).

There is no examination, but a 20-page paper (constituting 60% of the grade) is required on a topic chosen by the student and approved by the instructor. With instructor approval, the course paper may fulfill the Substantial Research and Writing Project (SRWP) or other writing requirements provided it is at least 30 pages in length and otherwise complies with SRWP requirements. The remainder of the grade (40%) is based on the quality and frequency of class participation, and may require the preparation of short presentations, and response papers.

288

Consumer Bankruptcy & Debt 2
  • JD SRWP, option
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
  • IntlLLM writing, option
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  • PIPS elective
  • Spring 21
  • Fall 21
  • Fall 22
  • Reflective Writing
  • Research paper option, 25+ pages
  • Research and/or analytical paper(s), 10-15 pages
  • Oral presentation
  • Class participation

This course uses consumer bankruptcy as a lens to study the role of consumer credit in the U.S. economy and society. The class will focus on the key aspects of the consumer bankruptcy system, including who files bankruptcy, what causes bankruptcy, the consequences of bankruptcy, and the operation of the bankruptcy system. We will discuss each of these issues in the larger context of consumer debt and consumer law, and will also cover the foreclosure crisis, student loans, and issues related to debt, race, and gender. The readings will come from law and non-law sources, including the work of a variety of social scientists.

Due to substantive overlap in material for the coming semester, students may not concurrently enroll in Law 288: Consumer Bankruptcy & Debt and Law 586: Current Debates in Bankruptcy Law. However, if you've taken one of the courses in a previous semester and wish to take the other, that will be permitted.

298

Ocean and Coastal Law and Policy 2
  • JD SRWP, option
  • JD elective
  • LLM-ICL (JD) elective
  • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
  • IntlLLM writing, option
  • IntlLLM Environ Cert
  • PIPS elective
  • Fall 20
  • Fall 21
  • Fall 22
  • Reflective Writing
  • Research and/or analytical paper
  • Group project(s)
  • Oral presentation
  • Class participation

This course explores laws and policies that affect decisions on United States ocean and coastal resources. We examine statutes, regulations, attitudes, and cases that shape how the United States (and several states) use, manage, and protect the coasts and oceans out to – and sometimes beyond – the 200-mile limit of the Exclusive Economic Zone. We cover government and private approaches to coastal and ocean resources, including beaches, wetlands, estuaries, reefs, fisheries, endangered species, and special areas.

316

Intro to Cyber Law and Policy 2
  • JD elective
  • LLM-ICL (JD) elective
  • LLM-LE (JD) elective
  • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
  • IntlLLM writing, option
  • IntllLLM IP Cert
  • PIPS elective
  • Fall 20
  • Fall 21
  • Fall 22
  • Reflective Writing
  • Research and/or analytical paper(s), 10-15 pages

This course will provide an introduction to the dynamic and evolving field of cyber law and policy.  The course will be team-taught by multiple instructors with expertise in various government and industry sectors. The goal is to introduce students to the legal and policy frameworks that guide lawyers and decision-makers in a world of rapid technological change, with a primary emphasis on cybersecurity and privacy. We will discuss today’s threat landscape and approaches to data breaches, cybercrime by state and non-state actors, and cyberwarfare. We will also consider the legal and policy issues surrounding the collection and use of personal data, with a focus on both domestic and international data privacy protections. Other topics will also be explored, such as the impact of emerging technologies and markets (e.g., machine learning, digital currencies, platform media) and the ethical responsibilities of lawyers. Real-world case studies will be employed to allow students to weigh in on some of the most pressing issues of our time.   This course is introductory in nature and no technical background is necessary.

Note: Students who have taken Law 609, Readings in Cyber Law with Stansbury, may not take Law 316, Intro to Cyber Law. 

526

Jury Decision Making 2
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
  • IntlLLM writing, option
  • Spring 22
  • Spring 23
  • Reflective Writing
  • Research and/or analytical paper(s), 20+ pages
  • Class participation

This course is intended as an introduction to experimental research, legal theory, and caselaw on jury decision making.  Although the topic overlaps considerably with areas of basic decision making--e.g., the heuristics and biases literature--the focus will be mostly on applied research looking at the decisions of real (or simulated) jurors.

555

Law and Financial Anxiety 2
  • JD SRWP, option
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
  • IntlLLM writing, option
  • PIPS elective
  • Fall 20
  • Spring 22
  • Spring 23
  • Reflective Writing
  • Research paper option, 25+ pages
  • Research and/or analytical paper(s), 15-20 pages
  • Oral presentation
  • Class participation

This course identifies and explores aspects of the American legal system that have effects – both negative and positive – on the ability of people and society to prevent the onset of financial anxiety and economic insecurity.   Set in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic but with analogues in laws that were enacted and implemented in other contexts,  the class will explore the meaning of financial anxiety and economic insecurity and discuss why they matter.  The class will then explore various laws. and their implementation by federal and state agencies, as relevant to financial anxiety and economic insecurity.   Subjects that bear upon financial anxiety that will be explored through the prism of law include housing finance, student loan finance, personal information security and climate security. The legislative response to the COVID-19 pandemic, in particular the CARES Act, will be analyzed in relation to how laws regarding financial anxiety and economic insecurity have been crafted by Congress in the last decade as a response to crises such as the financial and foreclosure crisis of 2008,   With these comparative laws and financial contexts, the class will engage in discussions about the extent to which the American legal system is equipped to handle the challenges of dealing with financial anxiety in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.  We will discuss financial anxiety in the larger context of consumer debt, agency and regulatory action, and legislative responsiveness as well as differential impacts related to debt, race and gender. The readings will come from law and non-law sources. The class will discuss issues relevant to the legal system and the study of business law and finance generally, including the use of data to illuminate legal problems, the role of lawyers and business actors, and the nature of modern policymaking.

558

Foreign Anti-Bribery Law 2
  • JD SRWP with add-on credit
  • JD elective
  • LLM-ICL (JD) elective
  • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
  • IntlLLM writing option with additional credit
  • Fall 20
  • Fall 21
  • Fall 22
  • Reflective Writing
  • Oral presentation
  • Class participation

Corruption is one of the major factors inhibiting economic development and undermining governmental legitimacy.  Developed governments generally enforce rules prohibiting domestic corruption, but have historically been less concerned with (and even encouraging of) foreign government corruption.  The United States passage of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act in 1977, which prohibits covered entities from bribing foreign officials, represents a major shift in this policy.  In the last fifteen years, most other major economies and economic institutions (the IMF, the World Bank) have followed suit, although enforcement has been inconsistent.  This seminar will examine the origins and evolution of this effort to regulate firms' relationships with foreign government officials.  The seminar explores the history, economics, and policy behind anti-corruption efforts and the major challenges ahead.  The seminar will engage academic articles that address the economic effects of corruption, the politics of anti-corruption enforcement, the variation in current anti-bribery agreements (the UN Convention Against Corruption and the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention), and influence of these rules on foreign investment and trade.  The seminar is designed to be very participatory, with students leading discussion. 

Students will be evaluated on a series of critique papers, leading a class discussion, and class participation. If students wish to write a paper on a topic related to the course materials, they may request the opportunity to complete an additional  two credit independent study.  A final paper cannot replace the critique papers.

NOTE: An additional 2 credits are available for students who wish to write a longer paper in order to satisfy the JD or JD/LLM Upper-Level Writing Requirement. Students wishing to take this option should enroll in Law 558W Foreign Anti-Bribery Writing Credit. These credits will count towards the Independent Study Research Credit Limit (Rule 3-12) *LAW 558W MUST be added no later than 7thweek of class.*

586

Current Debates in Bankruptcy Law 2
  • JD SRWP, option
  • JD elective
  • LLM-LE (JD) elective
  • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
  • IntlLLM writing, option
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  • PIPS elective
  • Spring 21
  • Spring 22
  • Fall 22
  • Reflective Writing
  • Research paper option, 25+ pages
  • Class participation

Is bankruptcy broken?  For some years, many academics and practitioners have argued that the nation's business and consumer bankruptcy systems are outdated or otherwise not fit for their intended purpose.  The course will examine selected topics in bankruptcy law relating to this theme (but focusing most heavily on chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code).  Key reading materials will include recent major reports proposing reforms to bankruptcy law, as well as excerpts from the scholarship and leading judicial decisions.  We will consider questions including: what is bankruptcy for? Is it simply a procedural remedy for enforcing substantive rights that exist independent of the bankruptcy case, or an opportunity more fairly to redistribute assets (or losses)? Is bankruptcy special?  Should be Bankruptcy Code be read like any other statute, or do we need special principles for bankruptcy law, and broad equitable powers for bankruptcy courts, to encourage businesses and consumers to reorganize?  We will use case studies like the Purdue Pharma opioid-crisis bankruptcy to assess this.  In the final, consumer bankruptcy component of the course, we will grapple with the reality that most consumer reorganizations are unsuccessful and consider whether the current system strikes the appropriate balance between debtors’ rights and creditors’ protection. 

We will begin each topic by covering the relevant features of bankruptcy law, and you do not need to have taken a bankruptcy class to take this seminar. The objective of the seminar is to provide insight and into and allow for debate of bankruptcy theory and policy; in the process, we will consider the extent to which abstract theories of bankruptcy hold up in the real world, and the topics we cover will include issues of pressing interest to current bankruptcy practitioners. 

Students will be required to participate in class discussions. Students may complete either a series of reflection papers examining the reading materials and topics discussed, or one longer 25-30 page paper designed to satisfy the SRWP. 

Due to substantive overlap in material, students may not concurrently enroll in Law 288: Consumer Bankruptcy & Debt and Law 586: Current Debates in Bankruptcy Law. However, if you've taken one of the courses in a previous semester and wish to take the other, that will be permitted. 

588

Investigating and Prosecuting National Security Cases 2
  • JD SRWP with add-on credit
  • JD elective
  • LLM-ICL (JD) elective
  • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
  • IntlLLM writing option with additional credit
  • PIPS elective
  • Spring 21
  • Spring 22
  • Spring 23
  • Reflective Writing
  • Research and/or analytical paper(s), 10-15 pages
  • Class participation

National security cases present unique challenges to prosecutors and defense attorneys. From the outset of an investigation, and before charges are brought, prosecutors and investigators must take into account a number of considerations, including coordination with the intelligence community and potential conflicts that may arise between law enforcement and intelligence gathering. After a case is charged, such cases frequently present other challenges, such as complying with discovery obligations while protecting classified information and obtaining testimony from foreign witnesses who may be beyond the reach of the U.S. government. This course will provide an in-depth examination of the unique issues that lawyers face in national security prosecutions and the substantive and procedural tools used to navigate those issues.  We will also examine the advantages and limitations of civilian prosecutions and consider the effectiveness of current procedures and criminal statutes in addressing modern national security threats.  An emphasis will be placed on case-specific examples and hypotheticals, drawing in part on the instructor’s experience and pending public cases.  The course will culminate in a simulation in which students are presented with a rapidly unfolding national security incident in which they are asked to address various hypotheticals at different stages of the case.

Students will be expected to complete a final paper of 10-15 pages in length on a topic approved by the instructor. JD or LLM students who wish to use the paper to satisfy the substantial writing requirement of their degree should enroll in a 1 credit independent study with Professor Stansbury and will be expected to write a final paper of 25-30 pages in length. The Independent Study will be graded on a credit/no-credit basis.

707

Statutory Interpretation Colloquium 2
  • JD SRWP
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
  • IntlLLM writing, option
    • Reflective Writing
    • Research paper, 25+ pages

    The objective of the course is to introduce students to important issues concerning the theory and doctrine of statutory interpretation through exposure to cutting-edge legal scholarship. The colloquium will feature bi-weekly presentations of works-in-progress by leading scholars of statutory interpretation, legislation, and administrative law. In the week preceding each presentation, students will read and discuss foundational materials (a mix of academic commentary and case law) on topics related to the work-in-progress.

    Students may opt to prepare six short (5-10 page) papers in response to each work-in-progress, which would be due in advance of the presentation and used to stimulate discussion. Alternatively, students may write one longer research paper (roughly 30 pages) dealing with a topic of their choice related to the themes of the class. Students who take the latter option may use the colloquium to satisfy the upper-level writing requirement.

    714

    Coastal Resilience in the Face of Climate Change 2
    • JD elective
    • LLM-ICL (JD) elective
    • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
    • IntlLLM writing, option
    • IntlLLM Environ Cert
    • PIPS elective
    • Spring 21
    • Spring 22
    • Research and/or analytical paper(s), 15-20 pages
    • Group project(s)
    • Class participation

    This seminar will provide students an opportunity to engage closely with emerging law and policy issues associated with the need to increase coastal resilience in the face of climate change.  The recent experiences of both North and South Carolina with Hurricane Florence have highlighted the need for coastal communities to address a wide range of issues associated with climate change.  In addition to designing approaches to increase resilience when faced with storms and rising sea levels, these issues include: (1) information-gathering (via maps, drones, and scientific research about coastal/ocean processes); (2) law and policy refinements (via statutes, regulations, and guidance); and (3) possible litigation to develop useful common law doctrines relevant to the tidelands and the public trust.  Through the use of current cases and policy issues under debate in coastal communities, students will work together to research the most salient questions presented by these issues.  They will analyze relevant facts, laws, policies, socio-economic considerations, and local ordinances, and prepare proposed solutions to these questions in the form of advisory memos and recommendations.  

    732

    Topics in Access to Justice 2
    • JD elective
    • IntlLLM writing, option
    • PIPS elective
    • Spring 23
    • Reflective Writing
    • Class participation
    • Other

    “Access to justice” (sometimes denominated “A2J”) is a multidimensional concept that eludes easy definition. This course will use the term expansively, to capture the ways in which our civil legal system does or does not respond to the legal needs of ordinary people.
    This course will examine the structural obstacles that impede access to civil justice as well as contemporary opportunities for reform. Access barriers can have a variety of sources. Barriers can be doctrinal (e.g., the civil right to counsel), practical (e.g., courts’ ability to accommodate non-English-speaking litigants), economic (e.g., the rise of binding arbitration), or political (e.g., limited funding for legal aid offices), and nearly all are multifactorial. Similarly, opportunities for improvement can be found in doctrine, institutional design, community engagement, and technology. Compared to a course on substantive law, our focus will be on the institutional, procedural, and practical dimensions of the access problem.

    The course will be divided into roughly three components. In Part I, we will consider theories and doctrines of civil legal access. In Part II, we will consider institutional and procedural features that shape access to our civil legal system, as well as the roles of different actors and constituencies in the civil justice system, including: lawyers and the legal profession; self-represented litigants; community organizations; courts; and non-judicial government institutions. In Part III, we will consider a handful of “pressure points” in access to civil justices—that is, areas of the law where legal needs are especially significant, and where access is especially challenging. Among the areas will consider will be family law, housing law, consumer law and consumer bankruptcy, and immigration law. Solutions and opportunities for change will be discussed throughout all three parts of the course.

    Students will be evaluated on the basis of class participation, four response papers and a research proposal.

    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