Course Browser

Search and explore Duke Law's wide variety of courses that comprise near every area of legal theory and practice. Contact the Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs to confirm whether a course satisfies a graduation requirement in any particular semester.
 

NOTE: Course offerings change. Faculty leaves and sabbaticals, as well as other curriculum considerations, will sometimes affect when a course may be offered.

 

Credits
Semester
JD Course of Study
JD/LLM in International & Comparative Law
JD/LLM in Law & Entrepreneurship
International LLM - 1 year
LLM in Law & Entrepreneurship - 1 year
Certificate in Public interest and Public Service Law
 
Clear all filters36 courses found.
Course Number Course Title Course Credits Degree Requirements Semesters Taught Methods of Evaluation

242W

Social Justice Lawyering, Writing Credit 1
  • JD SRWP
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM writing
  • PIPS elective
  1. Fall 19
  2. Fall 17
  3. Fall 18
  • Research paper, 25+ pages

While enrolled in Law 242 Social Justice Lawyering, with prior professor approval, students may submit a 30-page research paper and earn an additional one credit for the course.  This paper is in addition to all the other course requirements, including the five written assignments, but may be related to your case study presentation. 

The paper may be used to satisfy the upper level writing requirement, the LLM writing requirement, and/or the JD/LLM writing requirement.  You must meet with Professor Berlin or Gordon by September 1, 2017, which is the last day of the drop-add period, if you would like to seek an additional credit and if you plan to use your paper to satisfy one or more of these requirements.

301

AIDS and the Law 2
  • JD elective
  • JD SRWP
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • PIPS elective
  1. Fall 17
The course will explore the legal and policy landscape of the HIV/AIDS epidemic primarily in the United States. We will employ a multi-disciplinary approach to teaching about HIV law and policy, including the legal issues faced by persons with HIV disease. Speakers will include medical specialists, social workers, and persons living with HIV. Topics covered include HIV-related stigma and discrimination, HIV testing and public health laws, confidentiality and privacy rights, estate planning issues, HIV criminalization, health disparities, access to health care and health insurance, permanency planning for children and other family law issues, employee benefit issues, and torts and HIV-related private lawsuits. There is an opportunity for student presentations on AIDS Law issues. In lieu of an exam, there is a paper requirement for the course. The course is helpful but not required for those intending to enroll in the Health Justice Clinic.

This course is only offered in the fall semester.

311

Election Law 3
  • JD elective
  • JD SRWP
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • PIPS elective
  1. Fall 17
  2. Spring 20
  • Research and/or analytical paper(s), 10-15 pages
  • Research paper, 25+ pages
  • Reflective Writing
  • Group project(s)
  • Oral presentation
  • Practical exercises
  • In-class exercise
  • Class participation

This course will explore selected topics in Law and Politics of American Democracy. We will examine the way the law and other forces have shaped the structure of American political participation, and we will consider alternative directions American democracy might take. Time permitting, we will focus on the right to vote, racial and political gerrymandering, campaign finance, political parties, ballot access, reapportionment/redistricting, and the Voting Rights Act.

318W

Comparative Constitutional Law, Writing 1
  • JD SRWP
  • LLM-ICL (JD) elective
  1. Fall 19
  • Research paper, 25+ pages

Students enrolled in Law318 Comparative Constitutional Law may choose to write a 25-30 page research paper, in lieu of the 10-12 page paper, in order to satisfy the JD Substantial Research and Writing Project degree requirement.  Students choosing this option should enroll in Law 318W.

320

Water Resources Law 2
  • JD SRWP
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Environ Cert
  • PIPS elective
  1. Spring 18
  2. Spring 19
  3. Spring 20
  • Research paper, 25+ pages

This survey course studies the legal and policy issues governing water resource allocation in the United States. Students will be introduced to both the Prior Appropriation systems of the western United States and the Reasonable Use systems dominating the eastern states. We will study the law applied to groundwater use as well as issues of federalism. Examples from disputes around ACF basin and the Colorado River will be contrasted. We will examine the issues from the perspective of different user groups.

 

321

The Law and Policy of Innovation: the Life Sciences 3
  • JD SRWP
  • JD elective
  • LLM-LE (JD) elective
  • LLMLE (1 yr) elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntllLLM IP Cert
  1. Spring 18
  2. Spring 19
  3. Spring 20
  • Reflective Writing
  • Research paper, 25+ pages
  • Class participation

This course analyzes the legal and policy regimes that shape the introduction of new products, processes, and services in the life science industries. Innovation in biopharmaceuticals, medical devices, health services, and health care delivery is central to the heavily regulated life sciences sector, and thus the sector offers a window into multiple intersections of scientific innovation, regulatory policy, and law.  Innovation in this sector is also shaped by multiple bodies of law (e.g. intellectual property law, FDA law, federal and state-based insurance and professional regulation, antitrust, tax), each with its own private and public constituencies, and therefore offers an opportunity to assess how different bodies of law approach the common issue of innovation.  Although this course focuses on innovation in the life science industries, this focus will produce lessons for innovation policy in other regulated and less-regulated industries. 

329

Education Law 2
  • JD SRWP
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • PIPS elective
  1. Fall 17
  2. Fall 18
  3. Fall 19
  • Research paper, 25+ pages
  • In-class exercise
  • Class participation

Education Law: Constitutional, Statutory, and Policy Considerations This seminar introduces students to the legal standards that govern public schools in the United States. Constitutional topics include the right to a public education, the financing of public schools, desegregation and equal opportunity of students, limitations on student speech, school discipline and the right to due process, religion in schools, and privacy rights of students. Statutory topics include federal laws such as the Every Student Succeeds Act, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, Title IX, and the Equal Educational Opportunities Act. Policy topics include school reforms, such as charters and vouchers, and the ongoing inequities in US public schools, and the school-to-prison pipeline. A research paper is required; successful completion of the paper will satisfy the upper-level writing requirement. A course pack will be used in lieu of a textbook.

371W

Products Liability, Writing Credit 1
  • JD SRWP
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  1. Spring 18
  • Research paper, 25+ pages

While enrolled in LAW 371 Products Liability, students may submit a 30+ page significant research paper which would be eligible for satisfaction of the JD-ULWR.

473

Scholarly Writing Workshop 3
  • JD SRWP
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  1. Fall 17
  2. Spring 18
  3. Fall 18
  4. Spring 19
  5. Fall 19
  6. Spring 20
  • Research paper, 25+ pages
  • Class participation
  • Other

In a workshop led by a faculty member, students will produce an original analytic paper of substantial length (ordinarily at least 30 pages). Papers must involve significant and thorough independent research, be well-written, and provide appropriate sourcing. Participants are free to choose any topic that may be addressed seriously in an article-length piece and that may be written during one semester. Papers produced in the workshop are expected to satisfy the JD or LLM substanial research and writing project requirement.

In the workshop, participants will learn about the conventional features of academic legal writing, conduct research into and hone their topics, write and give each other feedback on first and second drafts, and complete a final draft of their paper. The faculty member leading the workshop will also provide feedback and will, as appropriate to each participant's paper topic, facilitate introductions to other faculty who may be of assistance.

Students may opt to complete the workshop on a credit/no credit or graded basis. As a result, in appropriate cases, the course will be exempt from the mandatory median requirement of Rule 3-1. Nevertheless, the expectation is that work produced in the workshop will be very strong.

517W

Advanced Contracts, Writing Credit 1
  • JD SRWP
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  1. Spring 18
  2. Spring 19
  3. Spring 20
  • Research paper, 25+ pages

While enrolled in LAW 517 Advanced Contracts, students may submit a significant research paper which would be eligible for satisfaction of the JD-ULWR.  LAW 517W must be added no later than the 7th week of class.

527W

Access to Medicines Writing Credit 1
  • JD SRWP
  • JD elective
  • IntllLLM IP Cert
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  1. Spring 18
  • Add on credit

While enrolled in Law 527 Access to Medicines: Intellectual Property and Global Public Health, students have the option to take an additional 1 credit if they wish to write a 45 page paper. *LAW 527W MUST be added no later than 7th week of class.*

529

Corporate Governance 3
  • JD SRWP
  • JD elective
  • LLM-LE (JD) elective
  • LLMLE (1 yr) elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  1. Spring 18
  2. Spring 19
  • Reflective Writing
  • Research paper, 25+ pages

Corporate governance is increasingly a major policy issue in business regulation and a key element in business strategy and corporate litigation. This course will discuss the major debates in corporate governance, the challenges for designing an optimal system for governing corporations, and the increasingly important role of lawyers in these policy debates. The course will focus on a range of issues. For example, is shareholder activism by hedge funds and other institutional shareholders good for shareholder value, or does it promote short-termism? Do anti-takeover devices entrench managers or promote long-term strategic growth? Are CEOs paid too much, and should their compensation be regulated? Does state competition for corporate charters lead to a race to the top or the bottom? How can for-profit firms be designed to pursue social missions and avoid green-washing? In discussing each of these topics, this course will consider whether corporations are best regulated by the government or market discipline. A main goal of the course is to enable students to review empirical studies that use various quantitative methodologies, and to evaluate the implications of these studies for legal policy and corporate practice. To fulfill the requirements for this course, students will have the option to write short reaction papers or the opportunity to work on a substantial research paper (subject to the approval of the instructor).

536W

The Presidency and Criminal Investigations, Writing 1
  • JD SRWP
  • JD elective
  • PIPS elective
  1. Spring 18
  • Research paper, 25+ pages

While enrolled in LAW 536 The Presidency and Criminal Investigations, students may submit a significant research paper and earn an additional one credit for the course. 

537

International Human Rights Advocacy Seminar 2
  • JD SRWP
  • JD elective
  • LLM-ICL (JD) elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • PIPS elective
  1. Fall 19
  2. Fall 17
  3. Fall 18
  • Research paper, 25+ pages
  • Class participation

This course critically assesses the field of international human rights advocacy, its institutions, strategies, and key actors. It explores how domestic, regional, and global human rights agendas are set; the ethical and accountability dilemmas that arise in human rights advocacy; and human rights advocacy concerning a range of actors, including governments, international institutions, and private actors.  Drawing on case studies within the United States and abroad, the course will also examine core human rights advocacy tactics, such as fact-finding, litigation, standard-setting, indicators, and reporting, and consider the opportunities and challenges of new technologies in human rights advocacy. Evaluation will be based on class participation and a final paper.

This class is a pre-requisite or corequisite for Law 437 International Human Rights Clinic.

545

Urban Legal History 3
  • JD SRWP
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  1. Fall 17
  • Research paper, 25+ pages
  • Class participation

Urban Legal History is a research seminar which will focus on the legal issues relating to Durham's political, social, and economic development. The class will involve intensive study of primary and secondary materials, and will require students to produce substantial (45 page) research papers.

558W

Foreign Anti-Bribery Law, Independent Study 2
  • JD SRWP
  • JD elective
  • LLM-ICL (JD) elective
  1. Fall 19
  2. Fall 18
  • Research paper, 25+ pages
  • Add on credit

While enrolled in Law 558 Foreign Anti-Bribery Law, students have the option to take 2 additional credits in order to satisfy the JD or JD/LLM Writing Requirement.  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.*

 

562

Sentencing & Punishment 2
  • JD SRWP
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • PIPS elective
  1. Fall 17
  2. Fall 18
  3. Fall 19
  • Research paper, 25+ pages
  • Class participation

This new 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.

566B

Corporation and International Law 3
  • JD SRWP
  • JD elective
  • LLM-ICL (JD) elective
  • LLM-ICL (JD) required
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  1. Spring 18
  • Reflective Writing
  • Research and/or analytical paper(s), 10-15 pages
  • Class participation

From politics to popular culture, the corporation has become one of the most critical economic, political, and cultural institutions of the modern era.  It has also been one of the most controversial.  Are corporations people, societies, or even governments? Do they have rights? If so, what are their civic, social, ethical, and political responsibilities? If such questions are vexing within municipal and national contexts, they have been downright confounding for international legal regimes.  Corporations have a global footprint and influence on our conceptions of sovereignty and governance, the functioning of international markets, the nature of interstate relations, wealth distribution, international development, and, at a basic level, the lives of people around the world. Yet modern international law has generally been understood to apply almost exclusively to states and to touch only lightly on corporate institutions, with profound consequences for everything from human rights to the global environment. This course will address these questions and many others, both through our own readings and discussions, as well as frequent guest speakers, panels, and workshops, in conjunction with a year-long Mellon Foundation funded Sawyer Seminar.

574W

Lying and The Law of Questioning, Writing Credit 1
  • JD SRWP
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  1. Spring 19
  • Add on credit

While enrolled in Law 574 Lying and the Law of Questioning, students who plan significant research projects on related topics may register for a second credit in order to satisfy the JD Writing Requirement. *LAW 574W must be added no later than 7th week of class.*

579W

Mass Torts Writing Credit 1
  • JD SRWP
  • JD elective
    • Add on credit

    While enrolled in Law 579 Mass Torts, students have the option to take an additional 1 credit if they wish to expand the required 15 page paper to 30 pages in order to satisfy the JD Writing Requirement. *LAW 579W MUST be added no later than 7th week of class.*

    581

    FinTech Law and Policy 3
    • JD SRWP
    • JD elective
    • LLMLE (1 yr) elective
    • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
    • IntlLLM Business Cert
    1. Fall 17
    2. Fall 18
    3. Fall 19
    • Research paper, 25+ pages
    • Oral presentation
    • Class participation

    In 2016, few people had ever heard of Bitcoin or blockchain, initial coin offerings were non-existent, and U.S. financial regulatory agencies had yet to react to the emergence of non-bank financial services providers. The FinTech industry has changed dramatically since then: Bitcoin has captured the public imagination and spawned new derivatives products, you can now apply for a mortgage on your smartphone, initial coin offerings are now a viable alternative to venture capital funding, and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency has proposed a new kind of bank charter specifically for FinTech firms.While many have focused on the technologies underpinning the FinTech revolution, less attention has been placed on how these technologies fit within the current financial regulatory framework. Understanding this framework is critical to the long-term success of any FinTech startup. While technology startups in other sectors may predicate their business on breaking rules and ignoring regulations, such a strategy is sure to fail if deployed by a FinTech firm. This is because the financial industry is heavily regulated by multiple state and federal agencies that often have overlapping authority. Being a successful FinTech firm requires more than just great technology; it also requires an understanding of the laws and regulations applicable to your business.

    This course aims to provide you with that understanding. You will learn about the critical legal, regulatory, and policy issues associated with cryptocurrencies, initial coin offerings, online lending, new payments and wealth management technologies, and financial account aggregators. In addition, you will learn how regulatory agencies in the U.S. are continually adjusting to the emergence of new financial technologies and how one specific agency, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, has proposed a path for FinTech firms to become regulated banks. You will also learn the basics of how banks are regulated in the U.S.

    If you are unfamiliar with how these new financial technologies work, fear not. We will begin each new course section with a high-level overview of the underlying technology.

    582

    National Security Law 3
    • JD SRWP
    • JD elective
    • LLM-ICL (JD) elective
    • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
    • PIPS elective
    1. Fall 19
    2. Fall 17
    3. Fall 18
    • Research paper, 25+ pages
    • Oral presentation
    • Class participation

    This fall-only course is designed to provide students, particularly those with no background in the topic, with an overview of the American legal architecture for its security enterprise.  The class will also examine related issues that arise "in the news."  It is aimed not only at students considering a career in government or the military, but also for those headed to private practice who appreciate that the U.S.’s $719 billion defense budget, along with $1.7 trillion in defense outlays worldwide impacts virtually all potential clients.

    The course analyzes the Constitutional structure governing national security matters, and the role played by the three branches of government (with special emphasis on Presidential power).  It will also examine governmental surveillance, the investigation and prosecution of national security cases, as well as First Amendment issues related to national security.  In addition, domestic security issues (to include the domestic use of the armed forces), security-based travel restrictions, the role of the Centers for Disease Control, the military justice system, civil-military relations, and the impact of national security issues on business transactions will be reviewed.

    There is no examination for this course, but a 30-page research paper (constituting 65% 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 or other writing requirements.  The remainder of the grade (35%) is based on the quality and frequency of class participation, and may require short, written products.

     

    590

    Risk Regulation in the US, Europe and Beyond 2
    • JD SRWP
    • JD elective
    • LLM-ICL (JD) elective
    • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
    • IntlLLM Environ Cert
    1. Spring 18
    2. Fall 19
    • Research paper, 25+ pages
    • Class participation

    This seminar pursues an advanced, integrated analysis of the law, science and economics of societies' efforts to assess and manage risks of harm to human health, safety, environment and security. The course will examine the regulation of a wide array of risks, such as those from food, drugs, medical care, automobiles, air travel, drinking water, air pollution, energy, climate change, finance, terrorism, emerging technologies, and extreme catastrophic risks (students may propose to research other risks as well). Across these diverse contexts, the course will explore the components of regulatory analysis: risk assessment, risk management (including the debate over "precaution" versus benefit-cost analysis), risk evaluations by experts vs. the public, and risk-risk tradeoffs.  And it will explore options for institutional design and structure, including the interrelated roles of legislative, executive, and judicial functions; delegation and oversight; fragmentation and integration; and international cooperation.

    The course examines these issues through a comparative approach to risk regulation in the United States, Europe, and other countries.  These comparisons address topics including the choice of policy instruments, the selection of which risks to regulate, "precautionary" regulation, "better regulation" initiatives, regulatory impact assessment and regulatory oversight bodies, and others.   It examines the divergence, convergence, and exchange of ideas across regulatory systems; the causes of these patterns; the consequences of regulatory choices; and what regulatory systems can learn from each other.

    Students' research papers in this seminar may analyze specific risk regulations; compare regulations, institutions or tools across countries; formulate and advocate original proposals to improve the regulatory state; or other related topics.

    593

    Sexuality and the Law 2
    • JD SRWP
    • JD elective
    • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
    • PIPS elective
    1. Spring 18
    2. Spring 19
    • Research and/or analytical paper(s), 10-15 pages
    • Midterm
    • Class participation

    Issues in the legal regulation of sexuality are among the most contested in US law today.  Determining a) whether gays and lesbians are entitled to the same marriage rights as heterosexual couples, b) whether the gender identities of transgender persons are to be accepted in public facilities like restrooms, c) if and when women should have access to contraception or abortion, and d) whether LGBTQ persons can rely on constitutional and statutory provisions providing for equal protection or nondiscrimination when availing of government provided services or commercial services, are all questions which either have been litigated in US courts in recent years, or are currently being litigated.  Assessing the merits of the arguments of parties involved in litigating these issues requires delving into the disparate areas of law which converge in these cases.  These areas of law include the jurisprudences of liberty, privacy, equal protection and the free exercise of religion, as well as issues concerning the extent of executive authority.  This course will explore these issues through an examination of recent US jurisprudence, as well as statutory law and regulatory actions, as they pertain to LGBTQ rights and women’s reproductive rights at both the state and national level.  While the primary focus will be on developments in the US, the treatment of similar issues in selected foreign jurisdictions will be introduced occasionally to present alternative approaches.

    636

    Food, Agriculture and the Environment: Law & Policy 2
    • JD SRWP
    • JD elective
    • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
    • IntlLLM Environ Cert
    • PIPS elective
    1. Fall 17
    2. Fall 18
    3. Fall 19
    • Reflective Writing
    • Research and/or analytical paper(s), 10-15 pages
    • Oral presentation
    • Class participation

    In many areas of the country, and especially in North Carolina, sustainable, local food markets represent one of the most exciting opportunities for environmental stewardship, economic growth, value-added agricultural niches, job creation, and community building. However, these opportunities require careful and sustained attention to the legal and regulatory requirements at the international, national, state, and local levels, many of which inhibit the development of sustainable, local food systems.

    The course will focus on (1) the interrelationship of food and agricultural production and environmental sustainability and (2) the ways in which the law influences, and can be used to overcome impediments to, the development of sustainable, local foods-based markets. Students will explore readings from a variety of sources, hear directly from guest speakers from North Carolina's strong network of organizations involved in the local foods movement, and delve into a research project of their own choosing.* Through the semester, students will gain an understanding of how legal rules interact with food safety research, physical infrastructure, personal consumption habits, patterns of private sector investment, race-based and other structural inequalities, to notions of community, underlying cultural and religious values, etc.

    *This project will allow students to explore an issue of interest and contribute their knowledge to this developing field. Papers may be scholarly in nature, but students are encouraged to shape their projects as practical case studies that directly engage the issues and players in the local foods community.

    640

    Independent Study 2
    • JD SRWP
    • JD elective
    • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
    • IntlLLM writing
    1. Spring 18
    • Research paper, 25+ pages

    Per Rule 3-12, the Law School permits students to pursue independent study, approved and supervised by a member of the faculty. For more information, please visit https://law.duke.edu/academics/independentstudies/. With permission only.

     

    677

    Duke Law in DC: Rethinking Federal Regulation 4
    • JD SRWP
    • JD elective
    • PIPS elective
    1. Spring 18
    2. Fall 18
    3. Fall 19

    This course is open to students participating in the Duke in DC integrated externship program (LAW 679: Duke Law in DC Externship). The Rethinking Federal Regulation course is a graded 4-credit weekly class that focuses on trends in regulatory philosophy, competing models for regulation, the nature of administrative rulemaking and enforcement of rules and regulations, and some of the sources of regulatory dysfunction. Students will develop critical analysis skills that are necessary to evaluate federal regulatory law, and will produce a 30-page final paper for the course. This course is open to second and third year law students, by permission only. For more information, please visit https://law.duke.edu/curriculum/dukedc/.

    707

    Statutory Interpretation Colloquium 2
    • JD SRWP
    • JD elective
    • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
    1. Spring 20
    • 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.

    710

    Derivatives: Financial Markets, Law and Policy 3
    • JD SRWP
    • JD elective
    • LLMLE (1 yr) elective
    • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
    • IntlLLM Business Cert
    1. Spring 18
    2. Spring 19
    3. Spring 20
    • Research paper, 25+ pages
    • Oral presentation
    • Class participation

    Modern capital and financial markets rely on a wide variety of complex instruments, including Treasury securities, structured debt and equity instruments, and derivatives of various kinds.  Public awareness regarding these instruments has grown since the Financial Crisis of 2008 because they are thought to have played an important role in both the rapid growth of financial markets (“financialization”) and their destabilization.  Yet these instruments and the role they play in modern markets remain little understood.  A basic understanding of these instruments has now become important in modern financial law practice and any discussions on financial policy and regulation.

    This course will review the workings of derivative instruments in the capital markets and how such instruments themselves are used.  The relationship between banking and capital markets, and between government and the private markets, will be explored, as will the most important legal and fiduciary responsibilities involved.  While not highly technical, the various principal types of government securities and derivatives will be examined. 

    Warren Buffet once called derivatives “weapons of mass financial destruction.”  We will consider the numerous public policy issues relating to derivatives, their role in the Crisis of 2008 (and more recent financial distress such as the Eurozone crisis and the US debt ceiling controversy), the history of attempts to regulate these instruments, and the current regulatory structure.

    Required Coursework

    The 3-credit graded requirements for the course will be:

    1. A thirty-page paper, to be submitted by Friday, April 14 2017 (80%); the opportunity for JD writing credit will be given to the first five students who present research proposals, approved by me, commit to completing their drafts by Friday March 10 for grading and comments by me, and submit their final drafts in response to comments by the last day of class for the semester (when all papers will be due).
    2. An individual class presentation, of 20 minutes in length (10%), on the early draft of the 3-credit paper; and
    3. Overall class participation (10%).The course will be highly interactive and graded on this basis.

    The course will be highly interactive and graded on this basis.

    717

    Comparative Constitutional Design 2
    • JD SRWP
    • JD elective
    • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
    1. Spring 18
    • Research paper, 25+ pages

    Recent constitutional reconstructions in various parts of the world have called new attention to the problems of institutional design of political systems. In this course we will examine the design and implementation of national constitutions. In particular, we will address the following questions. What are the basic elements of constitutions? How do these elements differ across time, across region, and across regime type? What is the process by which states draft and implement constitutions? What models, theories, and writings have influenced the framers of constitutions?

    In the first half of the course, we will review the historical roots of constitutions and investigate their provisions and formal characteristics. We will also discuss the circumstances surrounding the drafting of several exemplary or noteworthy constitutions, from various regions of the world. We will then examine particular features of institutional design in depth. These will include judicial review, presidentialism vs. parliamentarism, federalism, and the relationship of the national legal system to international law.

    720

    Advanced Copyright: Digital Technologies 2
    • JD SRWP
    • JD elective
    • LLMLE (1 yr) elective
    • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
    • IntllLLM IP Cert
    1. Spring 18
    2. Spring 19
    • Research paper, 25+ pages
    • Class participation

    This advanced copyright course will explore the legal and policy issues arising from the application of copyright law in the digital, networked environment. We will examine how the Copyright Act and traditional copyright doctrines have been adapted and applied by courts in an environment of rapid technological change, and what this means both for creators and users of creative works. The course will give particular attention to the scope and application of the author's various exclusive rights in a digital environment, doctrines of direct infringement and secondary liability as applied to Internet-based businesses and technologies, and questions relating to fair use, first sale, statutory licenses, and other defenses to infringement. We will explore in detail the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, including both the legal framework for the protection of technological protection measures and the safe harbor provisions protecting Internet Service Providers. Exploration of these and other issues will include detailed discussion of current legislative and related policy issues, major recent and ongoing litigation in the areas of Internet file sharing, cloud computing, and online video distribution, and new and emerging issues in the music, movie and interactive gaming sectors. This advanced course assumes a basic understanding of U.S. copyright law. Students should have completed the basic copyright or intellectual property course prior to taking this course.

    739

    Religious Laws 2
    • JD SRWP
    • IntlLLM writing
    • PIPS elective
    1. Spring 18
    • Research paper, 25+ pages

    Not all law is state law. Among the most important, and challenging, non-state law we confront today are religious laws. Among those is first and foremost Islamic law, but also Jewish law, as well as the laws of other religions like Buddhism and Hinduism. The seminar will serve as an introduction to these laws and their role in the global legal world. We will learn about the nature and structure of different religious laws. We will discuss to what extent we can call such laws laws, and whether we can compare them to each other and to state law. We will ask to what extent state law is also religious. And we will discuss the role that religious law plays for state law today.

     

    758

    Originalism and Its Discontents 3
    • JD SRWP
    • JD elective
    • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
    1. Spring 18
    2. Spring 19
    • Reflective Writing
    • Research paper, 25+ pages
    • Class participation

    Originalism is a major school of constitutional interpretation and a growing field of study. Both public discourse and legal practice commonly feature originalist arguments as well as criticisms of originalism. To engage these arguments, lawyers and citizens should be able to weigh the merits of a diverse set of originalist theories. This course is designed to acquaint you with a number of originalist and nonoriginalist arguments; enable you to judge for yourself the strengths and weaknesses of each; and give you an opportunity to sharpen your own views on the topic. It examines various originalist theories (original intentions, original meanings, original methods, and so on), different emphases in originalist argumentation over time (the “old” originalism vs. the “new”), and forms of argument used in support or opposition (conceptual, normative, positive). The course will be taught as a two-hour weekly seminar, focused on class discussion of the readings. Each student will choose weeks in which to submit a total of eight short papers (5-8 pp.) in response to the readings. These papers will be circulated to all participants via Sakai and will serve, together with my own comments at the start of each session, as a basis for class discussion. Alternatively, students may instead pursue independent research projects related to originalism, submitting first and final drafts (~30 pp.) in compliance with the upper-level writing requirement. Students choosing this option must do so prior to the close of the Drop/Add period.

    776

    Supreme Court Litigation 2
    • JD elective
    • JD SRWP
    • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
    1. Fall 17

    This course has three objectives:  

    1. To gain a working knowledge of the unique role the Supreme Court plays in our legal system—identifying and resolving important disputed recurring issues of federal law—and of the demands thus placed on lawyers who practice before it;
    2. To provide a very intense experience in honing your legal writing skills, by the preparation of two short (10-12 page double spaced) briefs reflecting different phases of Supreme Court litigation, each to be prepared over a separate four week period, with on-going one-on-one interaction with the professor and detailed comments on the final brief;
    3. To study the oral argument process as now practiced in the Court, including moot court arguments be each student in a current case, study of actual arguments from the present Court Term and, if possible, attendance at one or more moot courts by arguing lawyers and discussions with those lawyers.  

      The uniqueness of practice in the Supreme Court stems primarily from the certiorari process, by which the Court identifies the 1% of petitioning cases it will hear on the merits. Lawyers on both sides must convince the Court that the case at hand does or does not present a legal issue of sufficient moment and controversy as to presently demand the Court's attention. We will discuss in detail the features of a case that enhance or detract from its chances for certiorari.  After a case is granted and goes forward on the merits, the selective nature of the Court's jurisdiction—and its focus on resolving recurring legal issues rather than simply deciding cases—shapes the lawyer's approach to the case in important ways, which will be considered in class sessions dealing with the drafting of merits briefs and the role that amicus briefs play in the Court's work.

      All of these goals will be pursued through the study of three or four actual cases from the present Term.  The greatest amount of effort, by both the students and the professor, will be invested in the two short brief writing assignments.  These assignments, an Opposition to Certiorari and a Reply Brief on the merits, will demand both an understanding of the nature of the Supreme Court's process and a firm grasp on the law and facts of the particular case.  In both instances you will prepare an outline, meet with the professor to discuss your approach, and then prepare the final brief.  Neither brief will require extensive research beyond the materials cited in the case filings you will be provided with.  Both briefs will demand an ability to think and write in clear simple English, and self-critically evaluate and revise what you have written—with feedback from the instructor - to make it as coherent and persuasive as possible to the Justices and their clerks.    A limited number of students may satisfy the upper-level writing requirement through an additional credit of work and with the permission of the instructor.  

    781

    Music's Copyright: A Historical, Incentives-Based, and Aesthetic Analysis of the Law of Music 3
    • JD SRWP
    • JD elective
    • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
    • IntllLLM IP Cert
    1. Fall 17
    2. Fall 18
    3. Spring 20

    This course will begin by exploring the historical structure of incentives in music and the changing economics of music production, including the preconditions for thinking of music as "property" and the gradual shift from patronage to a market-oriented system. It will then proceed to examine music's unusually complex and increasingly fraught relationship with copyright law. The fundamental notions of originality and illicit copying are at odds with both functional limitations and long-standing aesthetic practices in music, such as the long history of accepted borrowing. As a result, there is an unusual body of music-specific case law that features intriguing circuit splits, vigorous disputes about expert testimony and prior art, and specialized doctrinal issues. Students will gain an in-depth knowledge of these issues, and then apply this knowledge in a mock trial based on the recent case involving the song "Blurred Lines." The course will also cover the complicated licensing schemes that attach to different uses of music, from traditional revenue streams to fresh disputes regarding royalties for new uses such as ringtones and streaming services. It will conclude with an in-depth examination of the ongoing debates about how both the law and business practices might adapt to the new musical forms (such as sampling and remixing) and business models (such as do-it-yourself distribution) enabled by digital technology. Throughout the semester, the course will include a special focus on current and ongoing disputes, issues, scholarship, and proposals.

     

    794W

    Law in Slavery & Freedom: From the Historical to the Contemporary/ Writing Credit
    • JD SRWP
    • JD elective
    • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
    1. Spring 18
    • Research paper, 25+ pages

    Students enrolled in Law 794 Law in Slavery & Freedom:  From the Historical to the Contemporary, may earn an additional credit by writing an additional 25+ page paper, due at the end of the semester . *LAW 794W must be added no later than 7th week of class.*