Course Browser

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.

Class Schedule Course Evaluations Registration Portal


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

205

Antitrust 3
  • JD elective
  • LLM-LE (JD) elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  • IntllLLM IP Cert
  • PIPS elective
  • Fall 20
  • Spring 22
  • Spring 23
  • Final Exam

This course covers the fundamentals of United States antitrust law as well as the underlying legal and economic theory. Topics include (i) horizontal restraints of trade such as cartels, oligopolies, and joint ventures; (ii) monopolization and the conduct of dominant firms; (iii) vertical restraints of trade between suppliers and customers such as resale price maintenance, territorial and customer restrictions, tying arrangements, exclusive dealing contracts, bundled and loyalty pricing; (iv) mergers; and (v) the intersection between antitrust and other areas of law, such as procedure, intellectual property, and the First Amendment.

A final exam will be offered.

255

Federal Income Taxation 4
  • JD elective
  • LLM-LE (JD) elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  • Fall 20
  • Spring 21
  • Fall 21
  • Spring 22
  • Fall 22
  • Spring 23
  • Final Exam

An introduction to federal income taxation, with emphasis on the determination of income subject to taxation, deductions in computing taxable income, the proper time period for reporting income and deductions, and the proper taxpayer on which to impose the tax

In planning their course schedules, students should keep in mind that Federal Income Taxation is a prerequisite for most other federal tax courses, including corporate tax, partnership tax, international tax, and the tax policy seminar.  For this reason, students who might want to take one or more advanced tax courses are strongly encouraged to take Federal Income Taxation during their second year of law school.

260

Financial Accounting 3
  • JD elective
  • LLM-LE (JD) elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  • Fall 20
  • Fall 21
  • Fall 22
  • Final Exam

Many attorneys are required to evaluate financial data, notably financial statements from corporations, on a regular basis. The need is not limited to corporate attorneys; indeed litigators in securities, antitrust, malpractice, or general commercial litigation frequently must analyze financial information. This course serves to both introduce basic accounting principles and practices and their relationship to the law, as well as to study a number of contemporary accounting problems relating to financial disclosure and the accountant's professional responsibility. Students with accounting degrees, MBAs or who have taken more than a couple of accounting courses are not permitted to enroll. Also, Business Essentials may not be taken concurrently with this course.

287

Principles of Commercial and Bankruptcy Law 4
  • JD elective
  • LLM-LE (JD) elective
  • IntlLLM NY Bar
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  • PIPS elective
  • Fall 20
  • Fall 21
  • Fall 22
  • Final Exam

This is an introduction to the principles and concepts of commercial law and bankruptcy and their interplay. It is intended to provide a solid conceptual and practical grounding in all of the basic commercial and bankruptcy law issues that you are likely to encounter in your practice.

The course starts with a brief overview of the more innovative aspects of sales law, and then introduces such basic commercial law concepts as negotiable instruments, letters of credit, funds transfers, and documents of title. The course then focuses on secured transactions under Article 9 of the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC), including the concepts of security interests, collateral, perfection and priority, and foreclosure. That brings in the natural interplay with such fundamental debtor-creditor aspects of bankruptcy law as property of a bankrupt debtor’s estate, automatic stay of foreclosure and enforcement actions, use by a debtor of property subject to a security interest and adequate protection of the secured party’s interest, rejection and acceptance of executory contracts, bankruptcy trustee’s avoiding powers including preferences and fraudulent conveyances, post-petition effect of a security interest, set-offs, and subordination. The course also introduces basic corporate reorganization and international insolvency principles.

 

358

Structuring Venture Capital and Private Equity Transactions 3
  • JD elective
  • LLM-LE (JD) elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  • Fall 20
  • Fall 21
  • Spring 22
  • Fall 22
  • Group project(s)
  • Practical exercises
  • Class participation

In the world of venture capital and private equity, there is no difference between a good business person and a good lawyer. They both must know capitalization structure and law, and they both must know tax and accounting.

Many never achieve this mastery, and those who do only get there after many years of practice. This course helps the law and business student drive to the top of their game sooner and more effectively than their peers from other institutions.

The goal is to focus on the formation of deals. We look at the business reasons that parties come together, we look at the business reasons that deals fail to meet expectations, and we look at the business reasons that deals work. This is especially important in private equity and venture capital deals, where exit strategies have to be anticipated from the very outset of a deal.

 

369

Patent Law and Policy 3
  • JD elective
  • LLM-LE (JD) elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  • IntllLLM IP Cert
  • Fall 20
  • Fall 21
  • Fall 22
  • Final Exam

This course provides a comprehensive introduction to patent law and policy. No technical background is required. The course begins by addressing the history of patents as well as the policy arguments for and against using patents as a mechanism for inducing innovation. Following this introduction, students learn the basics of patent drafting and prosecution, patent claims, and claim construction. The class then addresses in depth the central patentability criteria of subject matter, utility, nonobviousness, and disclosure. Other topics of importance that are covered in the class include: the relationship between patents and other forms of intellectual property protection, particularly trade secrecy and copyright; the intersection of patent and antitrust law; the role of the two major institutions responsible for administering the patent system, the Patent and Trademark Office and the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit; and the role of patents in the two major industries of the knowledge-based economy, information technology and biotechnology.

393

Trademark Law and Unfair Competition 2
  • JD elective
  • LLM-LE (JD) elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntllLLM IP Cert
  • Fall 20
  • Spring 22
  • Spring 23
  • Final Exam

This class offers an introduction to the law of trademark and unfair competition. Whether or not students intend to specialize in trademark law, a basic understanding of its rules will better enable them to advise clients who wish to protect their own marks, as well as those facing claims that they have infringed someone else’s mark. No technical background is needed. Trademarks include brand names and logos, and can also extend to other features that identify the source of a product for its consumers – including colors, packaging, and design – when they meet certain requirements. The course will begin with the requirements for obtaining trademark protection: distinctiveness, use in commerce, special rules for trade dress, and various bars to protection such as genericity and functionality. It will then cover confusion-based trademark infringement, secondary liability, anti-dilution, statutory and common law defenses, false advertising, and cybersquatting. Could a Utah theme park called “Evermore” stop Taylor Swift from calling her album “Evermore”? Did Lil Nas X’s Satan shoes infringe Nike’s trademarks? With the proliferation of craft brews, are we running out of brand names for beer, particularly pun-based “hoptions”? The course will address these and other pressing questions.

441

Start-Up Ventures Clinic 4
  • JD elective
  • JD experiential
  • LLM-LE (JD) elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  • PIPS elective
  • PIPS experiential
  • Fall 20
  • Spring 21
  • Fall 21
  • Spring 22
  • Fall 22
  • Spring 23
  • Group project(s)
  • Practical exercises
  • Live-client representation and case management
  • Class participation

The Start-Up Ventures Clinic represents entrepreneurs and early-stage businesses and social ventures on a variety of matters related to the start-up process, including formation, founder equity and vesting, shareholder agreements, intellectual property protection and licensing agreements, commercialization strategies, and other issues that new enterprises face in their start-up phases.

The course incorporates client representation with a seminar and individualized supervision to provide students with a range of opportunities to put legal theory into practice and to develop core legal skills such as interviewing, client counseling, negotiation, and drafting. Students in this course will, among other things, have the chance to deepen their substantive legal knowledge in entrepreneurial law and business law more generally, while at the same time developing critical professional skills through the direct representation of start-up businesses and entrepreneurs. 

Important:

    • See Clinics Enrollment Policy
    • This course may not be dropped after the first class meeting.
    • Students MUST be able to attend the day-long clinic intensive training session to enroll in this course.
    • International LLM students who wish to enroll in a clinic must seek the permission of the instructor prior to the enrollment period. Permission is required to enroll but permission does not constitute entry into the clinic.
  • Business Associations and Advising the Entrepreneurial Client or Start-Up Law are recommended but not required.

Ethics Requirement

Students are required to have instruction in the Model Rules of Professional Conduct prior to, or during, enrollment in the Start-Up Ventures Clinic. Examples of ethics classes that meet the requirement include Ethics in Action: Large Firm Practice (LAW 231), Ethics of Social Justice Lawyering (LAW 237), Ethics and the Law of Lawyering (LAW 238), Ethics and the Law of Lawyering in Civil Litigation (LAW 239), Criminal Justice Ethics (LAW 317) and Ethics in Action (LAW 539).

441A

Advanced Start-Up Ventures Clinic
  • JD elective
  • LLM-LE (JD) elective
  • PIPS elective
  • PIPS experiential
  • Spring 21
  • Fall 20
  • Fall 21
  • Spring 22
  • Group project(s)
  • Practical exercises
  • Live-client representation and case management
  • Class participation

The Advanced Start-Up Ventures Clinic is for students who have already completed a semester in the Start-Up Ventures Clinic (Law 441) and wish to continue their experiential education in the start-up space, whether it be a to-be-determined project on a specific area of entrepreneurial law, or working with a specific client or in a specific industry. Typically, the course is two credits and permission to take the Advanced Start-Up Ventures Clinic must be approved by the Clinic Director. 

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.

 

475A

Law & Policy Lab: Data Governance 2
  • JD elective
  • LLM-LE (JD) elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  • IntllLLM IP Cert
  • Spring 22
  • Simulated Writing, Transactional
  • Reflective Writing
  • Group project(s)
  • Class participation

Focus: Health Data and Learning Health Networks 

Data Governance 


Data-savvy lawyers and practitioners must be able to work across disciplines, solve modern problems, and steward organizations of all stripes through digital issues. This course focuses on digital governance: how organizations and communities make decisions about data, code, their missions, and their membership, and how those decisions can break down or reinforce systems of structural exclusion. 

Here, students will learn how to design, build, and govern effective data communities. They will navigate realistic scenarios and attempt to build equitable collaborations around shared missions and values. And they will use the tools of the law to build policies, procedures, and accountability structures to ensure that stakeholder communities’ data is protected and productive, and that data outputs accrue to the benefit of all. 

Health Data and Learning Health Networks
 
In this simulation class, law and graduate students will attempt to organize and govern a health data collaboration. Students will work with each other and industry mentors to role-play as hospital administrators, principal investigators, and patient advocates, and decide whether and how to collaborate and share data with one another. 

This class will go beyond negotiating a data-sharing agreement between multiple parties. Students will need to decide who should be involved in their collaboration, how it should be governed, how it should manage risks, and what policies and procedures should be in place to run the collaboration, keep data safe, and maintain trust among community members. Finally, using the governance models you’ve designed, students will make decisions about data-sharing and other scenarios. 

In addition to the simulation, the class will include a series of short guest lectures on health data and data governance from leaders in the field.As this set of technologies rapidly emerges, we must consider the extent to which we allow regulation and government intervention, balancing the maintenance of social norms against the need to let a nascent technology innovate. Moving forward, as decentralized networks possibly replace centralized systems, we must find ways to maintain rule of law through appropriate legal and regulatory levers. This course aims to help each of us become active participants in these endeavors.

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.

534

Advising the Entrepreneurial Client 3
  • LLM-LE (JD) elective
    • Group project(s)
    • Practical exercises
    • Class participation
    • Other

    The goal of Advising the Entrepreneurial Client is to prepare students to assist in the representation of a start-up venture/angel backed company. This course takes students through the legal issues likely to present themselves in the lifecycle of a typical technology company from inception/incorporation through acquisition (the typical liquidity event). Advising the Entrepreneurial Client exposes students to the types of issues, questions and documentation that they encounter and the lawyering skills that they need as a lawyer for an entrepreneurial venture. The course is a survey of entrepreneurial law considerations and does not attempt to invoke policy considerations.

    Students are graded on class participation, weekly group homework, and three major drafting assignments.

    Class is open to students pursuing the LLM in Law & Entrepreneurship.  Students not in this program should consider Law 540: Startup Law: Representing the Company.

    541

    Nonprofit Organizations 3
    • JD SRWP, option
    • JD elective
    • LLM-LE (JD) elective
    • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
    • IntlLLM Business Cert
    • PIPS elective
    • Fall 20
    • Fall 21
    • Fall 22
    • Final Exam, option
    • Research paper, 40 pages

    The subject of the course is the diverse sector of the economy composed of nonprofit organizations, and, in particular, the organizations that are tax-exempt under Section 501c3 of the Internal Revenue Code. Topics to be covered include their function and role in society; issues related to their formation, governance and regulation; the tax laws and regulations specific to exempt organizations; and policy issues regarding the sector.

    581

    FinTech Law and Policy 2
    • JD SRWP, option
    • JD elective
    • LLM-LE (JD) elective
    • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
    • IntlLLM writing, option
    • IntlLLM Business Cert
    • Fall 20
    • Spring 22
    • Research paper, 25+ pages
    • Class participation
    Updated: November 12, 2021

    The Internet, the increased power of computing and new technology are driving the decentralization of all aspects of the global economy, including financial services. Today, we can surf the Internet, download apps, listen to music, shop, send money to friends and family, manage our financial accounts, and buy bitcoin – all from our smartphones.

    For decades, banks had been one-stop shops for financial services. Financial technology firms (fintechs), leveraging the sharing of personal customer bank account data, have quickly emerged to unbundle aspects of financial services and rebundle them on platforms. The pace of platformization has picked up since the Global Financial Crisis of 2008, yet financial laws and regulations have not kept pace. Data protection laws were passed in the 1970s long before the advent of fintech services and products, and customer liability protections do not fully extend to nonbank-provided mobile payment transactions.

    Meanwhile, money is making a leap in evolution. From commodity-based currencies to fiat-based currencies that support commercial bank money and mobile payments, we now see an emergence in cryptocurrencies beginning with Bitcoin launched in 2009. Questions about whether central banks should issue their own form of digital currency became more pressing when Facebook announced its plans in 2020 to issue a digital currency: Libra. Now central banks around the world are exploring issuing central bank digital currencies or CBDCs. These developments raise important questions of how best to design CBDCs and what kinds of personal data can be collected on users transacting in CBDCs.

    New technologies such as blockchain are driving further innovation in financial services. After the advent of native cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum with high price volatility, stablecoins were developed with the goal of being more “stable”. However, it is uncertain under US laws or regulations if these digital assets are commodities, securities, or currency. These blockchain technologies are driving decentralization of financial services, and perhaps the largest legal and policy question of all is how should decentralized finance, or DeFi, fits in our current framework of laws and regulations.

    This course aims to provide you with an understanding of legal and policy issues raised by tech-driven financial innovation. You will learn about the critical legal, regulatory, and policy issues associated with cryptocurrencies, initial coin offerings, online lending, new payments 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.

    This course will be delivered online.  Students will be assessed on class participation and a 25-30 page research paper. This paper may not be used to satisfy the JD SRWP requirement without permission.  The paper will satisfy the LLM writing requirement.

    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