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

380

Research Methods in International, Foreign and Comparative Law 1
  • JD elective
  • LLM-ICL (JD) required
  • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
  • Spring 21
  • Fall 21
  • Spring 22
  • Fall 22
  • Spring 23
  • Practical exercises
  • In-class exercise
  • Class participation
  • Other

This one-credit legal research seminar introduces students to sources and strategies for researching international, foreign, and comparative law. We cover multiple research techniques while exploring freely available and subscription-based access to both primary and secondary sources. Topical coverage includes treaty law, international and regional organizations, international courts and tribunals, and foreign legal research. Assignments will reinforce practical research strategies and processes, and students will practice evaluating print and online sources in a changing information environment. This is a required spring course for students enrolled in the J.D./LL.M. in Comparative and International Law, and open to other students (2L, 3L, and LL.M) during the fall term. The class will meet for eight 90-minute sessions. Grades will be based on take-home exercises, class participation, and a final research project.

400

Health Justice Clinic 4-6
  • JD elective
  • JD experiential
  • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
  • PIPS experiential
  • Fall 20
  • Spring 21
  • Fall 21
  • Spring 22
  • Fall 22
  • Spring 23
  • Reflective Writing
  • Practical exercises
  • Live-client representation and case management
  • Class participation

This clinical course focuses on people living with serious illness. Student attorneys are the primary legal representatives for clients living with HIV, cancer, and other serious health conditions. Students may also work on policy or community education projects related to health and the law. Faculty supervisors provide back-up, training, coaching, and regular feedback as students handle cases involving access to health coverage (Medicaid, Medicare, private insurance), income (disability benefits and employment), end-of-life planning (wills, advance directives), job accommodations, and discrimination. Students may also work on cases involving health information privacy, planning for the future care of children (guardianship), and name changes and health insurance for transgender clients. In assigning cases, faculty strive to honor students' interests.

Students engage with clients from diverse backgrounds whose lives have been disrupted by serious illness, including people living in poverty, those who have experienced the financial toxicity of illness, members of the LGBTQ community, and people struggling with addiction or mental illness. Although many of our clients are facing serious health and/or life challenges, students consistently remark on their clients’ resilience and gratitude, and value the experience of having a tangible impact on client's lives.

In addition to extensive client interactions, students will engage with health care providers, social workers, government officials, and other professionals. Students interview and counsel clients and witnesses, draft estate planning documents, analyze medical records, collaborate with other professionals, including medical providers and social workers, interview and prepare affidavits for medical providers and other witnesses, conduct fact investigations and legal research, draft legal memoranda, and as needed, represent clients in administrative and other hearings. Interested students may have the opportunity to engage in public speaking through presentations to medical providers, social workers, or client/community groups.

The Health Justice Clinic is appropriate for students interested in any practice area, as the skills employed are applicable to all areas of law. The Clinic may be particularly relevant for students who will work in health law, disability law, poverty law, or any administrative law field. Graduates of the clinic also report that it was especially helpful in their careers in public policy, government, and for developing a focus for their pro bono work in large firms.

Classroom work consists of a day-long intensive training at the beginning of the semester as well as a weekly, two-hour seminar focusing on substantive law, lawyering skills, professionalism, the health care system, social safety net, social determinants of health, and the role of race and other factors in health disparities. Students work closely with clinic instructors and enjoy a uniquely supportive mentoring and coaching experience. Students work on cases with a partner and have a weekly team meeting with the clinic instructors. The instructors are available throughout the week for consultation. Faculty prioritize each student's professional development and encourage the development of a work-life balance that will be essential in law practice.

The Health Justice Clinic is offered on a variable credit basis, 4-6 credits.

Clinics Enrollment Policy

Important:

Students are required to attend the clinic intensive training session. Students who have previously completed a clinic may skip some portions of the intensive.

International LLM students who wish to enroll in a clinic must seek the permission of the clinic's faculty director prior to the enrollment period. Permission is required to enroll but permission does not constitute entry into the clinic.

Ethics Requirement

Students are required to have instruction in the Model Rules of Professional Conduct prior to, or during, enrollment in the Health Justice 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).

445

Immigrant Rights Clinic 4-6
  • JD elective
  • JD experiential
  • PIPS elective
  • PIPS experiential
  • Fall 20
  • Spring 21
  • Fall 21
  • Spring 22
  • Fall 22
  • Spring 23
  • Reflective Writing
  • Live-client representation and case management
  • Class participation

The Immigrant Rights Clinic engages students in the direct representation of noncitizens and community organizations in litigation, community outreach, and policy advocacy. Students will work in teams to represent individual clients in litigation matters, such as removal proceedings in immigration court, administrative or federal appeals, or other legal claims, as well as work with community-based organizations in advocacy projects or outreach and education campaigns. Through a mix of individual and organizational representation, students will develop an integrated approach to promoting the rights of immigrants. Direct representation of individual clients will require students to develop skills in fact-development, client interviewing, affidavit drafting, expert opinion development, testimony preparation, legal briefing, and case planning that combines client narratives with long-term appellate strategies. In working with organizational clients and partners, students may gather data and produce policy reports; develop accessible legal resources for immigrant families and their allies; and collaborate with grassroots organizers, policy-makers, pro bono counsel teams, and national advocacy groups.

Students are directly responsible for these cases and take the leading role in defining advocacy goals and strategies with their clients. Through the clinic, students can build their litigation skills and develop a better understanding of how to engage in immigrant rights campaigns. The Immigrant Rights Clinic combines a substantive weekly seminar, case work, and weekly case supervision and instruction meetings. It is a one-semester course offered in both the fall and spring semesters and students will have an Advanced Clinic option.

Clinics Enrollment Policy

This course may not be dropped after the first class meeting. International LLM students who wish to enroll in a clinic must seek the permission of the clinic's faculty director prior to the enrollment period. Permission is required to enroll but permission does not constitute entry into the clinic.

502

Forensics Litigation 1.5
  • JD elective
  • JD experiential
  • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
  • PIPS elective
  • Spring 21
  • Spring 22
  • Spring 23
  • Research and/or analytical paper(s), 10-15 pages
  • Group project(s)
  • Oral presentation
  • Practical exercises
  • Class participation

Forensic evidence, from DNA to fingerprints to ballistics, has never been more important in criminal cases. However, litigating scientific evidence in the courtroom is not like it appears on TV shows like CSI it is challenging and requires some specialized skills. We are again offering a short course to provide those skills. By the end of the course you will be able to handle sophisticated scientific evidence in the courtroom. While the focus is on forensics used in criminal cases, many of the same principles and skills apply when litigating scientific evidence in any type of case. The course is a practicum: a scientific evidence trial advocacy course. We will begin with introductory lectures both on forensics and how to prepare for trial, so that students will be fully ready for their parts in the last third of the course, which will focus on the trial simulations. During the simulations, the prosecutors will first interview their forensic experts (one of your instructors), and talk to them about their case file documents, which are taken from real cases. The class will break into groups to brainstorm potential motions to exclude expert testimony or limit language and discuss collectively as a class, both sides will conduct mock trials with direct and cross-examination of forensic experts before a judge, and finally, we will conduct closings. These sessions will be spread out over several weeks, to permit watching video of prior sessions to prepare for the next portion of the trial. We will also exchange feedback in between each session to talk about what worked and what did not. Each student will have a chance to present in these simulations. The course will also be to open to a select group of experienced practicing criminal lawyers who will collaborate with students throughout the simulations. Students will be graded on a memo written reflecting on their portion of the trial; their draft questions finalizing their planned questions; and on their participation and oral advocacy in the simulations. While having taken evidence or trial advocacy is helpful, it is not a prerequisite.

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.

621S

Externship Seminar 1
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
  • Fall 20
  • Spring 21
  • Fall 21
  • Spring 22
  • Fall 22
  • Spring 23
  • Reflective Writing
  • Class participation
  • Other

Experiential education is an essential part of Duke Law School’s innovative curriculum.  The Externship Program is designed to allow a student to receive academic credit for gaining legal experience beyond what is available in the classroom and clinic settings by working under the supervision of a licensed attorney in a governmental, corporate, judicial, or non-profit law office.  In addition to the hours spent working in the externship placement, first-time externs take this one-credit companion class.  This class course applies the innovation principles of design thinking to the problem of designing your life and vocation in and beyond law school.  We'll approach questions such as, “Once I have my law degree, how do I get a life?” “How do I synthesize what I like to do and what I’m good at?” and “What do I want out of life and work after law school?”

Topics we’ll cover include the integration of work and worldview, the realities of engaging the workplace and what can hold you back from realizing your full potential, how to promote your own happiness, and how to set long- and short-term goals for getting the most out of your externship and beyond. This is an experiential course that includes readings, videos, seminar-style discussions, personal written reflections, and individual mentoring/coaching.

Credit for work in the externship placement (621) will be awarded on a Credit/No Credit basis, while the companion class (621S) is graded in accordance with the Duke Law grading policy for High-Pass / Pass / Low-Pass / Fail classes.  First time externs MUST take one of the two weekly Externship Seminars, offered on Tuesdays or Thursdays for the first seven weeks of the semester.  Students will be automatically enrolled in the Externship Seminar after they turn in their Externship Registration Form (available here) to Holly Dorfman (holly.dorfman@law.duke.edu) Students may not register themselves for the externship or seminar.

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.

760E

Practitioner's Guide to Employment Law 1
  • JD elective
  • JD experiential
  • LLM-LE (JD) elective
  • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
  • PIPS elective
  • Spring 21
  • Fall 21
  • Fall 22
  • Reflective Writing
  • Practical exercises
  • Class participation

This a practitioner’s skills course.

It is designed to introduce students to practitioner skills against a backdrop of some of the main employment law issues that arise on a frequent basis in the American workplace.

Using a variety of approaches to instruction including mock exercises, outside speakers, writing exercises (such as drafting communications to government agencies or corporate clients), and drawing from current developments in the law, the student will become familiar with basic concepts underlying employment law and, equally importantly, the practice skills involved in delivering legal advice and counsel about the issues presented.

While the focus will be on representing an employer, students will explore issues from the perspective of the employee and compliance enforcers. Through this course, students will attain practical familiarity with providing legal advice which can be applied in any business context.

760L

Practitioner's Guide to Labor Law 1
  • JD elective
  • JD experiential
  • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
  • PIPS elective
  • Spring 21
  • Fall 21
  • Spring 22
  • Reflective Writing
  • Practical exercises
  • Class participation

This course is designed to provide a practical overview of the main labor law issues that arise in the U.S. workplace. Using a variety of approaches of instruction including mock exercises, outside speakers, writing exercises and analysis of current events, the course will familiarize students with not just the basic concepts underlying the broad range of labor law but cover more advanced topics. As such, the course is appropriate both for students who have taken Labor Law and those new to the topic. To a certain extent, the class topics will be “collectively bargained,” meaning students will actually bargain over class material with the Professor, much as what happens in a union-management relationship.

Class will meet seven times through the semester.

779

Well-Being and the Practice of Law 1
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
  • Spring 21
  • Spring 22
  • Spring 23
  • Reflective Writing
  • Research and/or analytical paper
  • Class participation

Optimistic, happy people outperform their counterparts on almost every measure of job success with the notable exception of one group: lawyers. Psychological research suggests that on the whole pessimists perform better in both law school and private practice. Since research also shows that pessimism can be a predictor of depression and/or lower levels of life satisfaction, this raises a question among academics who study well-being: what do we do about the lawyers? Or is the research insufficient to make such sweeping claims?

This class will examine why the "pursuit of happiness," a phrase written by a lawyer, has proved futile for many members of the legal profession and those aspiring to its ranks.There is considerable data indicating that lawyers and law students suffer from greater rates of depression and anxiety than other professions, along with accompanying social maladies such as substance abuse. There is also considerable evidence of high career dissatisfaction among lawyers, and many others are leaving the profession or performing well below their capability. This seems unfathomable given the high levels of education, affluence, and respect lawyers enjoy (or will enjoy), factors which predict happiness and job satisfaction in other areas of life.

This class will present the research to date on lawyers and happiness. We will examine the scientific data and academic literature on lawyer maladies, while examining holes in the collective wisdom and why the majority of lawyers are quite content. Also, we will analyze what Covid lockdowns, remote learning and practice, etc., have done to the overall happiness of lawyers and law students. We will not ignore the questions of social justice and if different groups experience different levels of well-being in law school and practice. While acknowledging the very real problems of the profession, we will address the question many lawyers and law professors legitimately ask – so what: who said lawyers are supposed to be happy? We will then review simple actions law schools, bar associations, law firms, and individuals can take to improve the collective health of the profession, as well as the productivity and engagement of its individual practitioners. In the course of so doing, will learn the basic well-being measurement tools and practice interventions shown to increase individual happiness. Students will have the opportunity, on a volunteer basis, to take different well-being measurement tools developed at the University of Pennsylvania, where the professor obtained a master’s degree in psychology studying well-being. This is a serious course grounded in the latest science; while there will be fairly intensive reading and writing requirements, they will be within the bounds of a one-credit hour course, and should add to the overall well-being of each student.

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