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

231

Ethics in Action: Large Firm Practice 2
  • JD elective
  • JD ethics
  • LLM-LE (JD) elective
  • IntlLLM NY Bar
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • Fall 20
  • Fall 21
  • Fall 22
  • Simulated Writing, Transactional
  • Simulated Writing, Litigation
  • Group project(s)
  • Oral presentation
  • Practical exercises
  • Class participation

Large, multi-jurisdictional law firms face complex issues of regulation and professionalism. Managing and solving those issues require keen analytical, litigation, and transactional drafting skills. This course will offer an opportunity to practice those skills while gaining a background in the law governing lawyers. Students will participate in a two-credit, experiential seminar that can be used for either ethics or experiential credit.

Students will gain a background in the ABA Model Rules (and state variants) by analyzing and resolving simulated ethical inquiries that might be received by the general counsel’s office of a large firm and presenting their proposed resolution in class. In addition, students working in teams will tackle a more complex, multi-issue inquiry that will require deeper research and a written memorandum that will be revised in response to feedback. The course will conclude with a transactional drafting exercise such as an engagement letter and fee agreement involving client intake issues.

237

Ethics of Social Justice Lawyering 2
  • JD elective
  • JD ethics
  • IntlLLM NY Bar
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • PIPS elective
  • Spring 22
  • Spring 23
  • Final Exam
  • Reflective Writing
  • Class participation

This course examines Professional Responsibility as it applies to representing poor and/or underrepresented clients (in criminal and civil cases), as well as to lawyering for social justice causes, through impact litigation and other means. We will explore the substantive law of Professional Responsibility, focusing on ethical challenges frequently encountered in social justice representation (e.g., representing clients who are uneducated or culturally different than the attorney, practicing with limited resources in an environment of many unmet legal needs, defining who the client is when representing a group or cause, and the tensions created when the requirements of Professional Responsibility are at odds with the attorney's personal morality or vision of social justice).  While we will work mostly from the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct, required reading will also include scholarship on the unique ethical and moral dilemmas of social justice lawyers, and students will be encouraged to think critically about the rules of Professional Responsibility and their application in social justice contexts.  Throughout the course, we will consider and practice the lawyering skills needed to ethically represent clients and social causes, through in-class resolution of hypotheticals and experiential learning, such as simulations or role-playing.   Several practicing, social-justice attorneys will join us to guest-speak.

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.

 

239

Ethics and the Law of Lawyering in Civil Litigation 2
  • JD elective
  • JD ethics
  • IntlLLM NY Bar
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
    • Final Exam
    • Practical exercises

    This course examines the principles of legal ethics and professionalism. Our focus will be on identifying and responding to the key issues faced by a civil litigator, and on the model rules of professional conduct, case law, and ethics opinions that a lawyer must consider in resolving such issues. Topics include the formation and termination of the attorney client relationship, conflicts of interest, and communications with the court and opposing counsel through the discovery and trial process. We will examine the balancing of the duty of advocacy with the duty to the administration of justice. We will also explore issues such as admissions, discipline, and common law firm associate dilemmas such as billing and changing law firms. During the semester, students will prepare two short (3-5 pp) memoranda. There will also be an open book in-class exam at the end of the semester.

    317

    Criminal Justice Ethics 2
    • JD elective
    • JD ethics
    • IntlLLM NY Bar
    • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
    • PIPS elective
    • Spring 21
    • Fall 21
    • Fall 22
    • Reflective Writing
    • Research and/or analytical paper(s), 15 pages
    • Class participation
    • Other

    Criminal Justice Ethics (2 Credit Seminar) focuses on the professional and ethical laws governing attorneys in the criminal justice system. The course focuses on issues affecting both prosecutors and defense attorneys and the applicable rules of professional conduct. The course will work to deepen students’ understanding of the role and responsibilities of criminal justice attorneys in society. This is a specialized ethics course with a focus on lawyers working in the criminal justice system, as such our focus will not cover the Rules of Professional Conduct in their entirety. The class is discussion-based. The primary methods of assessment will be three (3), two-page reflection papers throughout the semester and a final 15-page research and/or analytical paper.

    421

    Pre-Trial Litigation 2
    • JD elective
    • JD experiential
    • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
    • PIPS elective
    • Fall 20
    • Spring 21
    • Fall 21
    • Spring 22
    • Fall 22
    • Spring 23
    • Practical exercises
    • In-class exercise
    • Class participation

    This practical skills course focuses on the path civil litigators must navigate prior to trial. It is becoming increasingly rare for cases to be decided by a jury.  Lawyers must instead learn to succeed during the pretrial process.  We will examine the key components of the civil pretrial litigation process, beginning with the filing of a law suit.  The class will be divided into law firms on the second week of class. You will work with co-counsel, representing a hypothetical client, for the entire semester.  Law firms will prepare and serve discovery and respond to discovery from opposing counsel. Students will prepare and argue a short discovery motion. The last four weeks of class focus on depositions, with each student taking and defending a deposition. This course will help students synthesize and more deeply understand the strategy and the practical application of civil procedure and evidence rules used in litigation advocacy. 

    Topics  include:

    • Drafting pleadings and motions
    • Preparing and responding to discovery
    • Taking and defending depositions
    • Practicing becoming a more effective advocate in the current on-line environment facing all attorneys and courts.

    The course grade is based on written and practical skills-based work product and class participation, as described in the syllabus.  There is not a final exam.

    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.

    506

    Introduction to Alternative Dispute Resolution 2
    • JD elective
    • JD experiential
    • IntlLLM NY Bar
    • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
    • Fall 21
    • Fall 22
    • Reflective Writing
    • Practical exercises
    • Class participation

    This survey course will provide you with a comprehensive overview of the various alternatives to traditional litigation that are used to resolve civil disputes, including negotiation, mediation, arbitration, collaborative law, and other innovative processes. It is designed primarily for students who wish to gain a basic understanding of the variety of dispute resolution processes available when representing a client. Each week, you will have the opportunity to explore the theoretical basis for and practical operation of different ADR processes through class discussion and in-class exercises. We will also discuss ADR and culture, ODR, drafting ADR clauses in contracts, and dispute resolution system design. Required coursework will include readings, participating in in-class exercises, preparing entries in a weekly conflict resolution journal, and an end-of-semester project. By the conclusion of the course, you should be able to assist a client in choosing the most appropriate ADR process in light of the advantages and disadvantages of each, and will better understand a third-party neutral’s role in facilitating or fashioning a just resolution of a dispute. 

    507

    Federal Indigent Defense in Practice 2
    • JD elective
    • JD experiential
    • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
    • PIPS elective
    • Fall 21
    • Fall 22
    • Simulated Writing, Litigation
    • Reflective Writing
    • Practical exercises
    • Class participation

    The Sixth Amendment guarantees “the right of the accused to require the prosecution’s case to survive the crucible of meaningful adversarial testing.”  United States v. Cronic (1984).  Federal defenders, along with the more than 12,000 private ‘panel attorneys’ appointed under the Criminal Justice Act, represent the vast majority of individuals who are prosecuted in federal court. 

    Representing indigent defendants as appointed counsel involves handling some of the most difficult cases in federal court. Being a skillful advocate in the role of a true underdog facing the power and limitless resources of the United States of America demands an approach to law practice that is relentless, a commitment to thinking outside the box, extensive knowledge of complex federal criminal laws and procedure, sharp research skills, and deep empathy for individuals who would not have a voice in the system without their counsel. 

    This skills-based simulation course focuses on writing as an advocate for the accused and developing foundational practical skills and substantive legal knowledge needed to prepare a strong defense. The course focuses on the real cases of several indigent defendants convicted of federal crimes and is structured around preparing a direct appeal from the viewpoint of a solo practicing attorney appointed at the direct appeal stage. Each student will work on preparing one defendant’s case throughout the semester. By looking at cases of several defendants, we will be able to recognize common themes that play out over and over again in the lives of many indigent defendants, caused by poverty and systemic discrimination. Substantive areas of focus will include challenging the guilty plea and sentence, overcoming waivers and unpreserved errors, common Fourth Amendment concerns arising from police searches and seizures, the government’s bread and butter charges in indigent cases: guns and drugs, and the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines Manual. The course will also necessarily consider the intersection of race, poverty, and systemic discrimination in our system of justice.

    This course involves working with advanced federal criminal law topics.  It is strongly recommended that students have taken at least one upper-year course in federal criminal law, procedure, or practice.

    510

    Legal Interviewing & Counseling 2
    • JD elective
    • JD experiential
    • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
    • PIPS elective
    • Fall 20
    • Fall 21
    • Fall 22
    • Reflective Writing
    • Practical exercises
    • In-class exercise
    • Class participation

    This course will provide students a framework for effective client interviewing and counseling, skills which are foundational to successful lawyering. While lawyers must master substantive and procedural law to gain the confidence of their clients, they must be able to exercise effective communication skills in “real time.”  Legal Interviewing and Counseling will help students learn to plan effective interviewing and counseling sessions, to identify and solve problems collaboratively with clients, and to further develop their abilities to effectively communicate difficult legal and factual information. This course seeks to further understanding of a broad range of communication skills, to facilitate client decision making and implementation of solutions, to manage the professional relationship, and to navigate common ethical issues that arise in the context of legal interviewing and counseling. Structured in-class simulation exercises will allow students to develop and practice these skills in real-world contexts . While each of these skills will be developed over the entirety of any lawyer's career, Legal Interviewing & Counseling aims to help students to jumpstart this development and to gain additional tools needed to ensure effective client relationships when they enter practice. Students will be evaluated on their participation in structured, in-class simulation exercises and discussions; video-taped skills exercises done outsides of class; guided self-assessments; guided reviews of other students' simulation exercises; and a final capstone simulation interview and counseling projects. Students will be required to attend class regularly and to participate consistently in all exercises. Students will be assessed on a C/NC basis. 

    514

    Research Methods in Administrative Law 2
    • JD elective
    • JD experiential
    • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
    • PIPS elective
    • Fall 20
    • Spring 21
    • Fall 21
    • Research and/or analytical paper(s), 10-15 pages
    • Oral presentation
    • Short Research Assignments
    • Class participation

    This course focuses on administrative law research, including federal regulations, the federal rulemaking process, documents produced by federal agencies such as “no action” letters and guidance documents, and research into the enabling legislation and related legislative process. It will also cover research into legislative and regulatory stakeholders, demonstrating tools to discover information on companies, lobbyists, and individuals, with the goal of facilitating student research expertise in addressing administrative law issues in practice. Classwork will be supplemented by discussions with current practitioners in the regulatory field, demonstrating real-world issues faced by administrative lawyers.

    515

    Contract Drafting for the Finance Lawyer 2
    • JD elective
    • JD experiential
    • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
    • IntlLLM Business Cert
    • Fall 20
    • Spring 21
    • Practical exercises
    • In-class exercise
    • Class participation
    • Variable by section

    Contract Drafting is an upper-level course that teaches basic practical skills in contract drafting through written drafting exercises. The exercises will be done both in and outside of class, and extensive peer and instructor editing will be used. While the skills taught will be basic, they will also be translatable to more sophisticated contracts, such as those that Duke Law students can expect to see and draft in practice. The course will be a combination of lecture and in-class drafting and editing exercises, with an emphasis on the exercises. There will be pre-class reading assignments from the text, possibly supplemented with other outside reading. Some drafting exercises will be assigned to be done outside of class for subsequent in-class editing. Grading will be on the basis of these written drafting assignments, the quality of editing others' drafts, and class participation.

    519

    Contract Drafting 2
    • JD elective
    • JD experiential
    • LLM-LE (JD) elective
    • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
    • IntlLLM Business Cert
    • Fall 20
    • Spring 21
    • Fall 21
    • Spring 22
    • Fall 22
    • Spring 23
    • Practical exercises
    • In-class exercise
    • Class participation
    • Other

    Contract Drafting is an upper-level simulation course that teaches basic practical skills by having students work “in role” as lawyers undertaking various drafting tasks in a series of exercises. While the skills taught will be basic, they will also be translatable to more sophisticated contracts. The course will feature lectures, class discussions, and in-class business issue-spotting and drafting exercises, with an emphasis on the exercises. There will be pre-class reading assignments from the text, sometimes supplemented with other outside reading, including various sample contracts. Some exercises will be group projects, and regular peer feedback, along with feedback from the instructor, will be a feature. Grading will be on the basis of written drafting assignments, at least one graded peer-feedback assignment, and class participation.

    Students who take Law 519 Contract Drafting may not take Law 522 Contract Drafting: The Next Generation.

    533

    Government Enforcement and Global Corporate Compliance 2
    • JD elective
    • JD experiential
    • LLM-ICL (JD) elective
    • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
    • Fall 21
    • Fall 22
    • Practical exercises
    • In-class exercise
    • Class participation

    Students will learn about white collar criminal law principles, today’s climate of government enforcement against corporate wrongdoing and the important role that compliance programs can play in preventing, detecting and resolving those compliance issues.  The course will involve substantive lectures and classroom exercises.  The Foreign Corruption Practices Act (FCPA) will be utilized as the substantive basis to discuss the various principles and conduct the practice simulations. The FCPA will also help demonstrate the global nature of white collar and compliance and the legal issues multi-national corporations face. 

    Students will engage in classroom exercises to develop skills frequently used in practice – analysis, drafting materials, preparing for and conducting interviews, and developing a work plan.  Students will learn to advise a client on dealing with a government enforcement action, conduct a global internal investigation, and build a corporate compliance program.  This learning combination of substantive lectures and doing simulation exercises regarding “real world” issues will provide students with practical skills in an area that is in high demand for lawyers.

    539

    Ethics in Action 2
    • JD elective
    • JD ethics
    • IntlLLM NY Bar
    • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
    • Spring 21
    • Spring 22
    • Spring 23

    The class will function as an ethics committee considering current issues and ethics inquiries based upon actual disputes. The participants, working in small groups, will draft detailed ethics opinions that the full class will consider, revise, and the like.

    549

    Corporate Counseling and Communication 2
    • JD elective
    • JD experiential
    • LLM-LE (JD) elective
    • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
    • IntlLLM writing
    • IntlLLM Business Cert
    • Spring 21
    • Spring 22
    • Final Exam
    • Practical exercises
    • In-class exercise
    • Class participation

    The goal of this class is for students to develop skills working with sophisticated clients on complex issues that lack easy answers and to simulate the practice of law in a way that a young associate is likely to experience it whether at a large law firm or in a small legal office. The primary focus is interviewing and counseling business clients and drafting client-related communications.

    The first part of the class is split into five two-week segments. In the first week of each segment, the class will study a legal issue and prepare to interview the client. Then, one student interviews the client about a simulated scenario in a conference call as the rest of the class observes.  After the call, the class assesses the legal issues and strategies for responding. Students must then decide what advice to give.

    In the second week of each segment, the class evaluates potential responses and prepares to advise the client. Another student counsels the client as the class observes. The focus of the class is on client communications, legal strategy, and developing professional skills, and students will gain exposure to the types of issues commonly faced by corporate counsel, including contract negotiations and potential claims.

    Students will also practice working in a law office environment by sending emails to the professor that simulate reports to a supervising attorney and by submitting timesheets showing work they have completed. The final three weeks focus on a 15-page paper that will require independent research on a complex legal topic assigned by the professor. Through these exercises, students will learn to speak confidently with experienced business executives, collect information efficiently from busy professionals, and deliver practical, business-oriented legal advice orally and in writing.

    550

    Legal Issues of Cybersecurity and Data Breach Response 2
    • JD elective
    • JD experiential
    • LLM-LE (JD) elective
    • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
    • IntllLLM IP Cert
    • PIPS elective
    • Fall 20
    • Fall 21
    • Research and/or analytical paper(s), 10-15 pages
    • Practical exercises
    • Class participation

    This course will cover the dynamic and rapidly evolving legal field of cybersecurity and data breach response.  The course will focus on the workflow during the aftermath of any sort of data security incident, a rapidly growing legal practice area, where legal professionals have emerged as critical decision-makers. Every class will begin with a 15-20 minute discussion of current events.  The course will be broken up into two parts.   The first part of the course will cover the foundation of the legal aspects of data breach response, in the form of traditional discussion.  The second part of the course will involve a fictional fact pattern/simulation of a data security incident at a financial firm, with student teams conducting various tasks, with “real-life” outside legal experts playing various roles.  The tasks will include: intake; board briefing; law enforcement liaison; federal/state regulatory interphase; insurance company updates; and vendor/third party/employee briefings.

    563

    Corporate Restructuring and Chapter 11 Bankruptcy – In Practice 2
    • JD elective
    • JD experiential
    • LLM-LE (JD) elective
    • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
    • Fall 21
    • Fall 22
    • Simulated Writing, Transactional
    • Practical exercises
    • Class participation

    This experiential learning course is designed to expose students to the practical, “on-the-ground,” and “real world” skills needed to advise clients in complex and fast-paced corporate restructuring and Chapter 11 business reorganization matters, and to develop an introductory working knowledge of key issues and topics often presented in modern-day restructuring practice. The course will involve several substantive lectures, thoughtfully selected reading assignments to be discussed in depth during class sessions, simulations in which students take on different role-play exercises involving a distressed company and its stakeholders, preparation of written strategy memoranda as part of the simulation exercises, and guidance and constructive feedback from the course instructors. Students will also hear from prominent guest speakers who will provide practical insights and observations from their careers in the restructuring industry. 

     

    575

    Securities Litigation and Enforcement in Practice 2
    • JD elective
    • JD experiential
    • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
    • IntlLLM Business Cert
    • Spring 21
    • Fall 21
    • Practical exercises
    • In-class exercise
    • Class participation

    This two-credit experiential course will focus on the analytical, writing and presentation, and interview skills frequently used in practice while also introducing students to the general statutory and regulatory frameworks governing securities litigation and enforcement.  Litigating private securities claims and defending SEC enforcement actions are an important component of most sophisticated litigation practice; these actions have high stakes, and are almost inevitable for many corporate clients.  Writing assignments and presentations will be drawn from one hypothetical class action problem, and one hypothetical enforcement action problem.

    767

    Advanced Legal Research 2
    • JD elective
    • JD experiential
    • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
    • Spring 22
    • Spring 23
    • Practical exercises
    • Class participation

    This course aims to prepare law students for research in practice and clerkships. The goal is to help students develop solid skills and knowledge to conduct cost-effective legal research in domestic, foreign, and international law. The primary focus of the class is on U.S. legal research, including advanced case and docket research, statutory research, regulatory research, and research on specialized topics such as legislative history, municipal law, court rules, litigation resources, and securities law. We will also cover basic resources and strategies for conducting international and foreign legal research. Grading is based on homework assignments, in-class exercises, and class participation.

    773

    Research Methods in Business Law 2
    • JD elective
    • JD experiential
    • LLM-LE (JD) elective
    • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
    • IntlLLM Business Cert
    • Spring 21
    • Spring 22
    • Final Exam
    • Practical exercises
    • In-class exercise
    • Class participation

    This advanced legal research seminar will introduce students to specific sources and strategies for researching a variety of business law topics, such as corporations, securities, and commercial bankruptcy. We will cover key primary and secondary sources for business law research: state and federal cases, statutes, regulations, and other administrative materials; subject-specific secondary sources; company disclosure documents; and sources for factual company and industry research, among others. The course will emphasize research processes, strategies, and evaluation of sources in a changing information environment. Students will develop their research skills through a variety of hands-on exercises simulating research assignments in practice. Grades will be based on review questions, research exercises, class participation, and a take-home final exam.

    789

    Writing: Federal Litigation 2
    • JD elective
    • JD experiential
    • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
    • IntlLLM writing
    • PIPS elective
    • Fall 20
    • Fall 21
    • Fall 22
    • Simulated Writing, Litigation
    • Reflective Writing
    • Oral presentation
    • Practical exercises
    • In-class exercise
    • Class participation

    This writing and experiential course will provide students with the opportunity to practice several different types of persuasive writing used in federal litigation. The students will work on a hypothetical case involving an employment discrimination matter. The students will follow the case from the administrative agency level, to the filing of a complaint in federal court, through the discovery process, and culminating in the filing and arguing of a motion for summary judgment. In addition to writing, the students will have the opportunity to interview a client and a witness and to practice their oral advocacy skills in a mock meeting with a partner and a mock hearing. This course will be useful for anyone interested in practicing in federal court and/or pursuing a federal clerkship at the trial court level.

    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