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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

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

240

Ethics and Professional Responsibility 3
  • JD ethics
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • Fall 22
  • Final Exam

Professional Responsibility (3 credits) takes an in-depth view of ethical issues relating to the practice of law that are confronting the legal profession. The course studies the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct (“Model Rules”), relevant cases, and other sources of authority that govern the conduct of lawyers. The objective for this course is to develop an understanding of the field of the laws governing lawyers. The primary goal of this class is to give you experience applying the Model Rules and other pertinent laws to various factual scenarios (both real and hypothetical) so that when ethical issues arise during the course of law practice (and they will!), you are able to identify them and reflect on whether you need to adjust your behavior to ensure compliance with your professional obligations. This is a survey course, so we will learn a little about various sources of the law governing lawyers, but we will not focus deeply on any particular concept. The primary method of assessment will be an in-class examination at the conclusion of the semester.

315

Complex Civil Litigation 3
  • JD elective
  • JD experiential
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • Spring 21
  • Spring 22
  • Final Exam
  • Oral presentation
  • In-class exercise

This is an advanced civil procedure class taught by a former big case litigator in the Moot Courtroom (for half the classes) and via Zoom (for half the classes) for those interested in large scale litigation, with an emphasis on practical application and stand-up courtroom (and Zoom) 3-minute "mini- oral arguments" on many of the key cases so as to better begin to prepare students for real-world case advocacy. The course will focus on the problems of large multi-party and multi-forum civil cases and how courts and litigants deal with them. Coverage will include the practical steps litigators need to take as well as decision points at the outset of litigation, joinder devices, especially (but not only) class actions; federal multi-district transfer and consolidation; litigation over the appropriate federal or state forum, coordination among counsel in multi-party cases, ethical issues, big-case discovery problems; ad hoc federal-state litigation coordination; judicial case management techniques and issues; and ways of accelerating or terminating potentially or actually protracted cases, including settlement, alternative dispute resolution, representative trials, mini-trials and claims processing facilities.

405

Appellate Practice 3
  • JD elective
  • JD experiential
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • PIPS elective
  • Fall 20
  • Fall 21
  • Fall 22
  • Simulated Writing, Litigation

Please note: This course is offered only in the fall. And those wishing to drop the course must do so within three days after the first class.

The course introduces students to appellate advocacy and the appellate process. Students learn the mechanics of briefing and arguing an appeal, as well as strategies for effective appellate advocacy. They also have the opportunity to refine their advocacy skills by orally arguing a case to an appellate judge. The central project entails each student briefing one side of a case and presenting oral argument for that side.

This semester, the course will be taught by three attorneys from the North Carolina Solicitor General’s Office.

420

Trial Practice 3
  • JD elective
  • JD experiential
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • PIPS elective
  • Spring 21
  • Spring 22
  • Spring 23

This is the basic trial skills course covering Opening Statement, Direct Examination, Cross Examination, Impeachment, Exhibits, Expert Witnesses and Closing Argument. In sections of 12 students per section, students prepare and perform the various skills using simulated problems and case files. After each performance, students receive constructive comments from faculty members who are also experienced trial lawyers. Students also get videotapes of their performances. The course ends with a full jury trial of a civil or criminal case with teams of two students on each side. At the end of the trial, the jury deliberates and students are able to watch the jury as it deliberates.

422

Criminal Trial Practice 3
  • JD elective
  • JD experiential
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • PIPS elective
  • Fall 20
  • Fall 21
  • Spring 22
  • Fall 22

This is the basic trial skills course with a focus on criminal litigation. Prof. Maher is an experienced criminal litigator who currently represents clients in state and federal court. The class meets one night each week, and recorded lectures are available for students to view. The course covers Story Telling, Brainstorming, Opening Statement, Direct Examination, Cross Examination, Impeachment, Experts, Exhibits, Trial Preparation, Opening Statement and Closing Argument. The class is limited to 12 students so that each week each student will prepare and perform the various skills using simulated problems and case files, some of which are based on real cases and will allow students to work with actual recordings and other evidence. After each performance, students receive constructive comments both in class and during individual video review meetings. At the end of the semester students, typically in teams of two students, will litigate a mock criminal trial with jurors. Students who have not taken evidence, but who are enrolled in evidence, may take the class.

460

Negotiation for Lawyers 3
  • JD elective
  • JD experiential
  • LLM-LE (JD) elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM writing, option
  • Fall 20
  • Spring 21
  • Fall 21
  • Spring 22
  • Fall 22
  • Spring 23
  • Reflective Writing
  • Research and/or analytical paper(s), 15-20 pages
  • Practical exercises
  • Class participation

For lawyers in every type of law practice, the ability to negotiate effectively is an essential skill.  As a lawyer, you will negotiate when you try to settle a lawsuit, close a merger, or arrange a plea bargain.  You will negotiate with counterparts, clients, and co-workers.  You will negotiate with service providers and the “system” – the court, the government, or your community.  And, you will continue to negotiate with your friends and family.  In this highly interactive seminar, we will explore the theories, skills, and ethics involved in legal negotiation.  With limited exceptions, in each class you will participate in a role-play simulation of increasing complexity, experiment with new techniques, and then reflect on what negotiation strategies worked best for you.  Over the course of the semester, in addition to in-person exercises, you will have opportunities to negotiate by email, telephone, and videoconference, and to evaluate the pros and cons of each so you understand how to select the most appropriate medium given the particular parties and circumstances.  Through this process, you will not only gain insight into your own negotiation style, you will develop the toolkit you need to approach each new negotiation with confidence. 

Because of the nature of the course, the amount of information delivered during the first class period, the importance of participating in the first role-play simulation during the first class period, and the typical waitlists for enrollment in the course, attendance at the first class is absolutely required.  A student who fails to attend the first class without prior consent of the instructor will forfeit his or her place in the class.  (Working for an additional week in the summer and call-back interviews are not acceptable excuses for missing the first class.)  Students who are on the waitlist for the course are encouraged to attend the first class, and those who do will be given preference to fill open slots in the class.  There is a shortened drop period for this course so that students who are waitlisted can enroll before the second class occurs.  Thus, students may drop this course without permission only before the second class. 

Because of the similarities between this course and the negotiation course taught at the Fuqua School of Business, a law student may not receive law school credit for both courses.

 

478

Real Estate Transactions and Litigation 3
  • JD elective
  • JD experiential
  • LLM-LE (JD) elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  • Spring 22
  • Simulated Writing, Transactional
  • Practical exercises
  • Class participation

Students will be introduced to the core types of real estate transactions practicing attorneys are likely to encounter, with a particular focus on how certain issues and relationships common to such transactions first impact document negotiation and later often lead to disputes and litigation. The course will explore these transaction types through actual case studies to identify and reinforce key business considerations, areas of friction and disagreement, and transactional/litigation strategy. Class meetings will include either a group or individual exercise on transactional drafting, negotiation or litigation strategy on which students will be graded. The course will conclude with a final simulation in which students will be given fact patterns regarding a hypothetical transactional dispute and asked to: (i) “mark-up” and revise select contract provisions from a selection of the various transactional types studied during the course; and (ii) evaluate and analyze the issues most likely for dispute.

480

Mediation Advocacy 3
  • JD elective
  • JD experiential
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • Spring 21
  • Spring 22
  • Spring 23
  • Simulated Writing, Transactional
  • Simulated Writing, Litigation
  • Reflective Writing
  • Practical exercises
  • Class participation

With mediation now a required step in a litigated case in most state and federal courts, and a preferred approach to conflict resolution in many parts of the world, it is a process that every litigator will no doubt use in practice.  In this advanced experiential seminar, we will explore the fundamentals of mediation theory and practice from the perspective of the mediator, the attorney, and the client.  The majority of class sessions will be dedicated to group exercises and simulated mediations in which we build upon the techniques learned in Negotiation to equip you with skills that will be invaluable whether you want to mediate, represent clients effectively in mediation, or simply be a better negotiator.  You will also have the opportunity to practice persuasive writing as you draft pre-mediation statements, and will learn the essential elements of drafting agreements memorializing your settlements.  By engaging in all phases of the mediation process, you will not only improve your social and emotional competence, you will develop skills that will be useful in client interviewing and counseling, fact development and legal analysis, and a variety of other contexts beyond mediation.

500

Arbitration: Law and Practice 3
  • JD elective
  • JD experiential
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • Fall 20
  • Reflective Writing
  • Research and/or analytical paper(s), 10-15 pages
  • Oral presentation
  • Class participation

Special COVID Note:
This course will be conducted synchronous online via Zoom during the scheduled class time; it will also be recorded.

This course will examine the substantive law of arbitration during the first half of the term using excerpts from the textbook Arbitration: Cases and Materials by Huber & Weston (3rd Edition, LexisNexis) and focus thereafter on the development of practical skills for conducting an arbitration presentation. The textbook excerpts will be posted on Sakai. The class will be limited to a maximum of 18 students. Grading will be based upon class participation, the submission of written arbitration briefs, and the oral presentations of arbitration arguments/evidence.

It is anticipated that students will be offered a choice among three or four arbitration problems from which they will pick one problem for briefing and oral presentation. Some problems are susceptible to being handled by teams for claimant and respondent, while others can be handled individually. The problems may deal with such diverse claims as construction, medical malpractice/products liability, and employment discrimination, among others. At least one problem available for selection will address international commercial arbitration issues, taken from the current problem being used for the Willem Vis Arbitration Moot, which is an international law school competition.

639

Movement Lawyering Lab: Law for Black Lives 3
  • JD elective
  • JD experiential
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • PIPS elective
  • Fall 21
  • Spring 22
  • Fall 22
  • Reflective Writing
  • Research and/or analytical paper(s), 5-10 pages
  • Group project(s)
  • Practical exercises
  • Class participation

This three-credit course will immerse students in the theory, practice, and politics of movement lawyering.  The course proceeds in two parts: a weekly seminar and field work.  In the seminar, students learn the foundations and tactics of movement activism, and discover how lawyers work with social movements to build power and create change.  In the field work portion, students are paired with lawyers and organizers from across the South to produce legal analyses, policy papers, legislative reviews, rapid response documents, outreach materials, and more.  For the Fall of 2022, the course will have a special emphasis on reproductive justice work, and (depending on enrollment) will be working with organizations such as SisterLove, New Voices for Reproductive Justice, SisterReach, In Defense of Black Lives–Atlanta, and other Black-led movement organizations.  Students will also be invited to travel to Atlanta to meet directly with our movement partners.  For more information on the course, please see this episode of the Duke Law podcast: https://law.duke.edu/video/duke-law-podcast-movement-lawyering-lab-duke-law

Course enrollment is by application.  Students interested in applying for the course should submit their CV and a short (250-500 word) statement of interest about why they would like to enroll in the course, how their background has prepared them to work effectively with movement partners, and how they plan to use the skills they learn in the course.  Statements should be sent to Bobbi Pabon, bobbi.pabon@duke.edu, no later than 4 pm on Monday, June 20.  Student will be notified by Professor Gordon before the first registration window opens on Tuesday morning so that you can factor the seminar into your semester credit load. The seminar will meet weekly at a mutually-agreed-upon time and place.

777

Deal Skills for the Transactional Lawyer 3
  • JD elective
  • JD experiential
  • LLM-LE (JD) elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  • Spring 21
  • Spring 22
  • Simulated Writing, Transactional
  • Group project(s)
  • Practical exercises

This course is designed to prepare students for transactional law practice by introducing them to the process of structuring, negotiating, documenting and closing a corporate acquisition transaction.

The course is highly interactive.  Students will be assigned to “firms” that represent the parties to a hypothetical M&A transaction.  During the term, you will advise your client regarding deal structure, prepare due diligence requests and a due diligence report, draft an acquisition agreement, and negotiate the terms of the deal with counsel for the other party.  The negotiation exercises will take place “live” in class and will be videotaped.  The professor will provide written feedback on drafting assignments and negotiations to help students refine their deal-making skills.

Topics covered will include:

  • Common transaction structures and the factors that affect choice of deal structure
  • Strategic and tactical approaches to negotiating an M&A transaction
  • Conducting a due diligence review
  • How to review contracts and other due diligence documents
  • Effective drafting techniques for the transactional lawyer
  • Understanding the “business deal” and translating it into contract language
  • The role of representations & warranties, covenants, conditions precedent and  other provisions found in the typical acquisition agreement
  • Preparing for and conducting a closing

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