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

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

The list of classes marked Spring 2023 is incomplete and is being regularly updated.

JD/LLM in International & Comparative Law

JD/LLM in Law & Entrepreneurship

International LLM - 1 year

Certificate in Public interest and Public Service Law

Areas of Study & Practice

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

321

The Law and Policy of Innovation: the Life Sciences 3
  • JD SRWP
  • JD elective
  • LLM-LE (JD) elective
  • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
  • IntlLLM writing
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  • IntllLLM IP Cert
  • Spring 21
  • Spring 22
  • Spring 23
  • 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. 

325

Corporate Finance 3
  • JD elective
  • LLM-LE (JD) elective
  • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  • IntlLLM NVE Cert
  • Spring 21
  • Spring 22
  • Fall 22
  • Final Exam
  • Practical exercises
  • Class participation

This course is designed to familiarize law students with the principles of corporate finance. In the world of corporate finance, the distinction between lawyers and investment bankers has blurred. Whether negotiating a merger agreement, acquisition, or divestiture, rendering a fairness opinion, preparing for an appraisal hearing, litigating securities class action or derivative suits, issuing new securities, taking a firm private via an LBO or public via an IPO, corporate lawyers and investment bankers work side-by-side. Lawyers with an appreciation of the basics of corporate finance gain a distinct advantage. This course will also provide important tools for litigators to work with financial expert witnesses and calculate damages.

Topics include: the time value of money; the relation between risk and return; the workings and efficiency of capital markets; behavioral finance; valuing perpetuities and annuities; valuing corporate securities (stock, bonds, and options); valuing businesses as a going concern; optimal capital structure and dividend policies; debt covenants and other lender protections; derivatives; and the application of these principles to legal practice.

[This course serves as a prerequisite for Corporate Restructuring and Venture Capital and Private Equity, two courses offered at the Fuqua School of Business and cross-listed in the Law School.]

326

Corporate Taxation 3
  • JD elective
  • LLM-LE (JD) elective
  • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  • IntlLLM NVE Cert
  • Spring 21
  • Spring 22
  • Spring 23
  • Final Exam
  • Class participation

A study of the provisions of the Internal Revenue code governing the tax effects of the major events that occur in the life span of a corporation, including the taxation of distributions to shareholders and the formation, reorganization, and liquidation of corporations.

No papers are required, but class participation is expected. Students interested in taxation should take this course; it also has application to general corporate practice (mergers and acquisitions).

It is strongly recommended that students take Business Associations before taking Corporate Taxation

Federal Income Taxation is a prerequisite (waivable at the discretion of the instructor for a student with a comparable tax background acquired in some other way).

331

Introduction to Privacy Law and Policy 3
  • JD elective
  • LLM-LE (JD) elective
  • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
  • IntllLLM IP Cert
  • IntlLLM NVE Cert
  • Spring 21
  • Spring 22
  • Spring 23
  • Final Exam
  • Class participation

This course on privacy law and policy examines the ways in which the United States’ legal framework recognizes privacy rights or interests and balances them against competing interests, including, among others: freedom of speech and press, ever-expanding uses of big data, national security and law enforcement, medical research, business interests, and technological innovation. The course will address the ways that torts, constitutional law, federal and state statutes and regulations, and societal norms protect individual privacy against government, corporations and private actors in a variety of areas including: employment, media, education, data security, children’s privacy, health privacy, sports, consumer issues, finance, surveillance, national security and law enforcement. The course will also consider the significantly different approach to information privacy in the European Union and the importance of the new EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which became effective May 2018.  The course may also address briefly privacy issues and laws in an additional country, such as China, for purposes of further comparison.  Students will gain a broad understanding of the breadth, diversity and growing importance of the privacy field.

335

Private Equity and Hedge Funds 3
  • JD elective
  • LLM-LE (JD) elective
  • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  • Spring 21
  • Fall 22
  • Final Exam
  • Practical exercises
  • Class participation

The alternative asset classes of private equity and hedge funds represent a significant and growing share of investment activity worldwide and are at the center of many of the most pressing current issues in finance and financial law. While traditionally lightly regulated, both areas have received increasing regulatory attention since the global financial crisis of 2008-2009. Both also figure prominently in major ongoing debates concerning financial stability, market efficiency, corporate governance, financial innovation and complexity, and even income inequality. This course introduces private equity and hedge funds from the perspectives of finance, regulation, and legal practice, covering the foundational issues of securities, tax, organizational, and fiduciary law that they raise. Students will learn the basic regulatory framework applicable to fund structuring, fund managers and sponsors, fund offerings, and fund investments, and gain experience with the key agreements among the parties involved. In addition, the course will critically assess the current regulation of private equity and hedge funds and proposals for reform. Through reading materials, course discussions, guest lectures, and group work, students will gain insight into the perspective of fund managers, advisors, investors, those who transact with such funds, and those who regulate the fund industry.

Prerequisites: Students must have previously completed or be concurrently enrolled in Business Associations or an introductory course on business organizational law/company law taken at another law school (whether in the U.S. or abroad). Prior coursework in securities regulation and taxation may be useful, but is not required.

Grading: The course grade will be based on: (i) a final examination, (ii) class participation, and (iii) quizzes, problem sets, or other short assignments.

460

Negotiation for Lawyers 3
  • JD elective
  • JD experiential
  • LLM-LE (JD) elective
  • IntlLLM NVE Cert
  • 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.

 

529

Corporate Governance 3
  • JD elective
  • LLM-LE (JD) elective
  • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  • IntlLLM NVE Cert
  • Spring 21
  • Spring 22
  • Reflective Writing
  • Group project(s)
  • Class participation

Corporate governance is a major policy issue in business regulation, and has increasingly become headline news in recent political debates. 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. To that end, the course may host guest speakers with various backgrounds that have unique experience in corporate governance matters. 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? Are CEOs paid too much, and should their compensation be regulated? Do anti-takeover devices entrench managers or promote long-term strategic growth? Does state competition for corporate charters lead to a race to the top or the bottom? In discussing each of these topics, this course will consider whether corporations are best regulated by the government or market discipline. As part of the course, students will acquire the skills to review empirical studies, and evaluate the implications of these studies for legal policy and corporate practice. Business Associations is a prerequisite for this class (except for LLM students who are taking Business Associations in the same semester).

532

Venture Capital Financing 3
  • JD elective
  • LLM-LE (JD) elective
  • IntlLLM NVE Cert
  • Spring 21
  • Spring 22
  • Spring 23
  • Group project(s)
  • Practical exercises
  • Class participation

This class will focus on the legal and economic structure of venture capital transactions and will familiarize students with the legal agreements used to document these transactions. Using lectures and in-class exercises, students will learn the function of the most common transaction documents, the economic and/or legal purpose of the provisions contained within these documents and alternative approaches to address specific situations. Throughout the semester, students will work on a simulated transaction to gain experience in negotiating and drafting documents with an emphasis on meeting client objectives. Students will be evaluated on the basis of class participation and written assignments.

592

Frontier AI & Robotics: Law & Ethics 3
  • JD SRWP, option
  • JD elective
  • LLM-LE (JD) elective
  • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
  • IntlLLM writing
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  • IntllLLM IP Cert
  • IntlLLM NVE Cert
  • Fall 20
  • Spring 21
  • Spring 22
  • Spring 23
  • Reflective Writing
  • Research and/or analytical paper(s), 20+ pages
  • In-class exercise
  • Class participation

Robots, with us for several generations already, were long confined to narrow uses and trained users, assembling our vehicles and moving our products behind the scenes. In recent years, robotic tools have begun to step out of the back room and take center stage. Even more, these tools are fueled by constantly advancing artificial intelligence and machine learning tools that allow them to participate in the world of the mind as much as the world of muscle. Are we ready? Probably not. In order to capture the full opportunities and benefits of AI & robotics, surely our legal systems and ethical frameworks must evolve. We must find ways to ensure that human-robot interactions occur in ways that are safe and are consistent with our cultural values. We must take care that our policies and laws provide artificial intelligence tools with the direction we need without quashing or hindering the innovations that could improve our lives.

The course will bring together three core areas: (1) law, (2) ethics, and (3) applied technology. Because frontier technologies challenge existing legal regimes and ethical frameworks, this course and its assigned project encourage law, ethics, and policy students to interact with networks of experts who are actively thinking about ethical technology development and with technology policy networks that explore the social implications of a world increasingly inclusive of AI.

Beyond time spent for class preparation and in-class time, each student in Frontier AI & Robotics: Law & Ethics will be required to complete a substantial research-based Report that demonstrates a deep, research-based understanding of a topic about which the student shall become knowledgeable such that he/she could take part meaningfully in and contribute to present-day discussions of law, policy, and ethics in the topic area. This Report may qualify for the JD SRWP degree requirement or the International LLM writing requirement upon permission of the instructor.

NO PRIOR EXPERIENCE WITH ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE OR TECHNOLOGY IS NEEDED FOR THIS COURSE.

634

LLMLE Practicum for 3L JD-LLMLEs 3
  • LLM-LE (JD) elective
  • Spring 21
  • Fall 21
  • Fall 22
  • Spring 23

The Practicum is the centerpiece of Law and Entrepreneurship LLM Program. During the semester, students work in startup companies, venture capital firms, regulatory agencies, law firms with entrepreneurial practices, and similar organizations. The goal of the program is to expose students to a wide range of entrepreneurial issues in a "real-life" setting. The Practicum goes beyond general coursework to provide specific, useful skills and information. It allows students to address the intersection of legal principles and practical business applications, in the context of entrepreneurship and early state enterprise. Each student joins a legal or leadership team, under the supervision of a mentor who is committed to guiding the student's professional development through the course of the practicum. Through the Practicum, the students are able to be highly competent legal practitioners, savvy business people, effective problem solvers and are skilled in transforming ideas.

777

Deal Skills for the Transactional Lawyer 3
  • JD elective
  • JD experiential
  • LLM-LE (JD) elective
  • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  • IntlLLM NVE 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