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

201

Legal Writing: Craft & Style 2
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
  • Fall 20
  • Fall 21
  • Fall 22
  • Practical exercises
  • Class participation

"Legal Writing: Craft & Style" is the new moniker for the "Advanced Legal Writing Workshop." This series of thirteen workshops is for 2Ls and 3Ls who wish to hone their legal writing or editing skills. Half of each workshop consists of a teaching component that focuses on topics from clarity to cohesiveness to effective style. The other half is spent working as a group on exercises—flawed sentences or passages from legal documents or articles. In addition to the exercises, required written work includes three short written assignments and peer reviews of each of these using criteria developed over the course of the workshop. These peer reviews will be reviewed in turn by me. In addition, I will be available to work one-on-one with any workshop participant who has a lengthier piece on which he or she would like feedback. The workshop offers two credits. It is not graded.

The workshop might be particularly useful to:

  • law review editors,
  • students on moot court,
  • students writing law-review notes or independent-study- or seminar papers (with the permission of the guiding professor),
  • students wishing to polish their writing samples, and
  • students wishing to improve the effectiveness of their writing for any reason whatsoever.

250

Family Law 2
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM NY Bar
  • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
  • PIPS elective
  • Fall 20
  • Fall 21
  • Fall 22
  • Final Exam
  • Class participation

A study of how law regulates intimate adult relationships and relationships between parents and children. We will discuss constitutional and statutory rights and restrictions on marriage, adult relationships, adoption, parentage, child custody, dissolution of adult relationships, and financial support for children. We will explore the evolution of family law in relation to racial and gender equality and consider issues of socioeconomic inequality and access to justice.  Grading is based on a final examination and class participation. 

314

Federal Habeas Corpus 2
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
  • PIPS elective
  • Fall 20
  • Spring 23
  • Final Exam
  • Midterm
  • Practical exercises
  • Class participation

What is habeas corpus and why has it earned the title of the “Great Writ”?  Habeas corpus allows prisoners to challenge their detentions and it empowers judges to free prisoners that are unlawfully detained.  The writ reaches the most unpopular prisoners: enemies of the state, war criminals, and those convicted of the most heinous crimes.  Due to its historic role as the last resort for prisoners to obtain judicial review, the U.S. Supreme Court has called the Great Writ one that is “indispensable” and one that “indisputably holds an honored position in our jurisprudence.”  Thus, prisoner litigation is the subject of this course, and in particular, the rights and remedies available to prisoners who seek to challenge their detention.

We will use my co-authored casebook: the first to cover federal habeas corpus comprehensively, presenting post-conviction review and executive detention litigation in an accessible way.  It is available on Sakai, along with the rest of our course materials. We will begin with an examination of the writ of habeas corpus, under which federal courts examine whether detentions are authorized.  We will explore the historical evolution of the writ from a common law prerogative writ to the U.S. federal system and the meaning of the enigmatic Suspension Clause of the U.S. Constitution. We will then focus on habeas litigation by state prisoners convicted of crimes.  We will study the 1996 Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act (AEDPA) and how it intersects with the key Supreme Court decisions that define the limits and procedures for habeas corpus, including through the doctrines of exhaustion, procedural default, non-retroactivity, and miscarriage of justice innocence “gateway” claims.

In the second part of the course, we will examine the Suspension Clause and how Article III of the Constitution shapes the power of judges to use habeas corpus.  We will explore the use of habeas corpus to remedy unlawful executive detention, including immigration detention, military detention, and national security detention.  We will study recent statutes and Supreme Court decisions relating to persons indefinitely detained or facing military commission trials post-9/11.  We will conclude by studying the intersection of habeas corpus and civil litigation, and with a broader look at the future of habeas corpus.

We will conduct a series of practical exercises based on real cases, during synchronous classes and offline.  Short lectures will often be recorded in advance to focus our synchronous time on engaging with  the material. The goal is for you to understand the doctrine and theory but also develop practical litigation skills, directly applicable to prisoner litigation, and also to litigation generally. Some will be in-class exercises, while others will be written exercises outside of class.  You will be given feedback on your work throughout the semester. Similarly, grading will be based not just on a final  exam, but on class participation (in synchronous classes, in comments on each other’s work, and on the Sakai forum discussion pages), written answers to three review exercises, written comments on classmates’ answer to review exercises, a midterm exam, and a final exam. All midterm and final exam grading is blind.

318

Comparative Constitutional Law 2
  • JD SRWP with add-on credit
  • LLM-ICL (JD) required
  • Fall 20
  • Reflective Writing
  • Research and/or analytical paper(s), 10-15 pages
  • Class participation

This course explores constitutional law from different parts of the world. The course will start by examining the goals, methods, and practical relevance of comparative constitutional analysis. We will then turn to a comparative analysis of constitutional structures, including differing approaches to separation of powers, judicial review, and federalism. The remainder of the course will examine comparative approaches to the constitutional protection of human rights.

This course is open only to the 2L JD-LLM-ICL students.

435A

Advanced First Amendment Law Clinic 2
  • JD elective
  • PIPS elective
  • PIPS experiential
  • Spring 21
  • Fall 20
  • Fall 21
  • Spring 22
  • Spring 23
  • Live-client representation and case management

This two-credit course is available to students who have participated in one semester in the First Amendment Law clinic and wish to participate for a second semester. Students may enroll only with approval of the Director of the Clinic.. Students enrolled in Advanced Clinical Studies are required to participate fully in the case work portion of the clinic, performing 100-120 hours of client representation work, but will not be required to attend the class sessions.

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.

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.

562

Sentencing & Punishment 2
  • JD SRWP
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
  • IntlLLM writing
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  • PIPS elective
  • Fall 20
  • Fall 21
  • Fall 22
  • Research paper, 25+ pages
  • Class participation

This seminar will focus on the process of imposing sentences in criminal cases, administering punishment, and attempting rehabilitation of convicted criminals. The course will first provide background regarding the purposes of punishment and the history of mandatory sentences, presumptive sentences, and sentencing guidelines, and focus on some of these issues in more detail through the use of a expert guest lecturers and a tour of the Federal Correctional Facility in Butner, NC. Students will be expected to participate meaningfully in the lectures, guest speakers and field trip, and produce a research paper on a related topic.

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