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 filters34 courses found.
Course Number Course Title Course Credits Degree Requirements Semesters Taught Methods of Evaluation

215

Commercial Transactions 4
  • JD - general credits
  • JD-LLM-LE - general credits
  • LLM-LE (1 year) - general credits
  • International LLM/Exchange/SJD - general credits
  • International LLM, Business Law Certificate
  1. Spring 17
  2. Spring 19
  • Final Exam

A study of basic policy choices made in the structuring of the law governing consumer and commercial transactions. The course serves as an overview of the role of debt in US society, especially consumer debt. This course looks at common debt arrangements, bankruptcy, and secured lending, both for personal property and for real property (mortgages). Particular attention is given to the lessons learned, and not learned, in the recent mortgage crisis. The course weaves discussions of major policy issues on excessive consumer and student debt with the substantive rules that define how debt arrangements are structured and then resolved, as in bankruptcy. Commercial Transactions and Principles of Commercial and Bankruptcy Law have a substantial overlap, and enrollment in one precludes enrollment in the other. The courses differ in their relative emphasis on bankruptcy law.

255

Federal Income Taxation 4
  • JD - general credits
  • JD-LLM-LE - general credits
  • LLM-LE (1 year) - general credits
  • International LLM/Exchange/SJD - general credits
  • International LLM, Business Law Certificate
  1. Fall 16
  2. Spring 17
  3. Fall 17
  4. Spring 18
  5. Fall 18
  6. Spring 19
  • 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.

287

Principles of Commercial and Bankruptcy Law 4
  • JD - general credits
  • JD-LLM-LE - general credits
  • LLM-LE (1 year) - general credits
  • International LLM - New York Bar Exam
  • International LLM/Exchange/SJD - general credits
  • International LLM, Business Law Certificate
  1. Fall 16
  2. Fall 17
  3. Fall 18
  • Final Exam

This is an introduction to the principles and concepts of commercial law and bankruptcy and their interplay. The course will start with a brief overview of the more innovative aspects of sales law, and then will introduce such basic commercial law concepts as letters of credit, documents of title, and negotiable instruments.

The course then will focus on secured transactions under Article 9 of the Uniform Commercial Code, including the concepts of security interests, collateral, perfection and priority, and foreclosure. That will bring in the natural interplay with such bankruptcy law concepts as property of a bankrupt debtor's estate, automatic stay of a foreclosure action, use by a debtor of property subject to a security interest, adequate protection of the secured party's interest, rejection of executory contracts, bankruptcy trustee's avoiding powers, preferences, fraudulent conveyances, postpetition effect of a security interest, set-offs, and subordination. The course also introduces principles of international insolvency and bankruptcy.

Commercial Transactions and Principles of Commercial and Bankruptcy Law have a substantial overlap, and enrollment in one precludes enrollment in the other. The courses differ in their relative emphasis on bankruptcy law. This course (Principles) is intended to give 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.

321

The Law and Policy of Innovation: the Life Sciences 3
  • JD - Substantial Research and Writing Project requirement (SRWP)
  • JD - general credits
  • JD-LLM-LE - general credits
  • LLM-LE (1 year) - general credits
  • International LLM/Exchange/SJD - general credits
  • International LLM, Intellectual Property Certificate
  1. Spring 17
  2. Spring 18
  3. Spring 19
  • Reflection Papers
  • Final research paper (25+ pages in length)
  • 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 - general credits
  • JD-LLM-LE - general credits
  • LLM-LE (1 year) - general credits
  • International LLM/Exchange/SJD - general credits
  • International LLM, Business Law Certificate
  1. Spring 17
  2. Spring 18
  3. Spring 19
  • Final Exam
  • Practical exercises

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 without an appreciation of the basics of corporate finance are at a distinct disadvantage. This course will also provide important tools for litigators to work with financial expert witnesses and calculate damages. Even students who do not plan to venture into the corporate world will benefit from this course. The financial principles covered are essential for lawyers intending to do estate or tax planning, litigate divorces, or draft the compensation agreements for business entities of all types.
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; basic financial accounting; derivatives; and the application of these principles to legal practice.

326

Corporate Taxation 3
  • JD - general credits
  • JD-LLM-LE - general credits
  • LLM-LE (1 year) - general credits
  • International LLM/Exchange/SJD - general credits
  • International LLM, Business Law Certificate
  1. Spring 17
  2. Spring 18
  3. Spring 19
  • 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.

331

Introduction to Privacy Law and Policy 3
  • JD - general credits
  • JD-LLM-LE - general credits
  • LLM-LE (1 year) - general credits
  • International LLM/Exchange/SJD - general credits
  • International LLM, Intellectual Property Certificate
  1. Spring 19
  • 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 - general credits
  • JD-LLM-LE - general credits
  • LLM-LE (1 year) - general credits
  • International LLM/Exchange/SJD - general credits
  • International LLM, Business Law Certificate
  1. Spring 17
  2. Spring 18
  3. Spring 19
  • Final Exam
  • Practical exercises

Course Description:  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, particularly since the global financial crisis.  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.

Grading:  Grades will be based solely on a closed-book final examination.

Prerequisites:  Students must have completed or be concurrently enrolled in Business Associations or a similar 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.

 

336

Mergers & Acquisitions: A Practitioner's Perspective 2
  • JD - general credits
  • JD-LLM-LE - general credits
  • LLM-LE (1 year) - general credits
  • International LLM/Exchange/SJD - general credits
  • International LLM, Business Law Certificate
  1. Spring 17
  2. Spring 18
  3. Spring 19
  • Final Exam

This two-credit course will consider and analyze corporate mergers and acquisitions and the process of initiating and completing a corporate acquisition. Topics covered will include the structures commonly used in M&A transactions (and the factors affecting choice of deal structure); strategies employed by the acquiring company and the target firm in negotiating an acquisition and the differing roles played by the various parties involved; the critical role of information in M&A deals; conducting due diligence; the elements and structure of a typical acquisition agreement; certain techniques for effective drafting of M&A agreements; the roles and responsibilities of management, Boards of Directors and shareholders in connection with transactions; securities laws affecting transactions; acquisition financing; and getting the transaction to closing.

346

Intellectual Capital and Competitive Strategy 3
  • JD - general credits
  • JD-LLM-LE - general credits
  • LLM-LE (1 year) - general credits
  • International LLM/Exchange/SJD - general credits
  • International LLM, Intellectual Property Certificate
  • International LLM, Business Law Certificate
  1. Spring 17
  2. Spring 18

In the majority of industries—and especially in R&D intensive industries like computers, semiconductors, software and biotech—competitive advantage relies critically upon a firm's management of the knowledge and know-how underpinning its product and process innovation. This course will consider how firms should manage and protect this intellectual capital. We will examine the management of intellectual capital from the vantage point of different types of firms—from start-ups to large incumbents—operating in different market environments. We will consider how firms should protect their intellectual capital, using not only patents, but lead time advantages, complementary marketing and manufacturing capabilities and secrecy, and extract value from their intellectual capital through commercialization and licensing. We will also consider when firms should share their intellectual capital with other firms—even rivals, and how firms should go about acquiring the intellectual capital of others. Building upon the research literatures of economics, organizational behavior, management, and the law, the course will have particular focus on technology intensive industries such as pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, computers, semiconductors, software and telecommunications.


Strategy 339

358

Structuring Venture Capital and Private Equity Transactions 3
  • JD - general credits
  • JD-LLM-LE - general credits
  • LLM-LE (1 year) - general credits
  • International LLM/Exchange/SJD - general credits
  • International LLM, Business Law Certificate
  1. Fall 16
  2. Fall 17
  3. Fall 18

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 - general credits
  • JD-LLM-LE - general credits
  • LLM-LE (1 year) - general credits
  • International LLM/Exchange/SJD - general credits
  • International LLM, Intellectual Property Certificate
  1. Fall 16
  2. Fall 17
  3. Fall 18
  • 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.

375

International Intellectual Property 3
  • JD - general credits
  • LLM-ICL - general credits
  • JD-LLM-LE - general credits
  • LLM-LE (1 year) - general credits
  • International LLM/Exchange/SJD - general credits
  • International LLM, Intellectual Property Certificate
  1. Spring 17
  2. Fall 17
  • Final Exam

This course surveys international intellectual property law as reconfigured by the new universal standards of protection embodied in the TRIPS Agreement (Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights), which is a component of the Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization of 1994. Although some contextual materials on trade policy will be read, the course will not focus on general principles of international trade law. Rather, it will focus on the legal and economic implications of the new international intellectual property standards in the light of prior Conventions, with particular regard to such topics as patents; copyrights and related rights (including software, databases, sound recordings); trademarks; integrated circuit designs; trade secrets; and industrial designs. The new WIPO treaties (Dec. 1996) governing copyright law in cyberspace will also be covered. Other topics will include the interface with antitrust law; the enforcement provisions (i.e., civil and criminal due process); dispute resolution (including all the new WTO decisions on intellectual property); and the overall implications for global competition between developed and developing countries in an integrated world market.

379

Partnership Taxation 2
  • JD - general credits
  • JD-LLM-LE - general credits
  • LLM-LE (1 year) - general credits
  • International LLM/Exchange/SJD - general credits
  • International LLM, Business Law Certificate
  1. Spring 17
  2. Spring 18
  3. Spring 19
  • Final Exam

The course will cover the tax consequences of organizing, operating, and liquidating entities including related issues taxed as partnerships.

393

Trademark Law and Unfair Competition 2
  • JD - general credits
  • JD-LLM-LE - general credits
  • LLM-LE (1 year) - general credits
  • International LLM/Exchange/SJD - general credits
  • International LLM, Intellectual Property Certificate
  1. Fall 16
  2. Fall 17
  3. Fall 18
  • Final Exam

Current trademark and unfair competition law will be inspected from three different view points: theory, case law, and client representation involving transaction and litigation strategies.

Please note that course organization and content may vary substantially from semester to semester and descriptions are not necessarily professor specific. Please contact the instructor directly if you have particular course-related questions.

409

Entrepreneurship Immersion 4
  • JD-LLM-LE - general credits

Entrepreneurship Immersion provides students with concentrated exposure to the legal, business and regulatory aspects of early-stage company formation. In partnership with Duke in Silicon Valley, the class takes place in the summer before 2L year for all JD/LLMLE students. The practical application of entrepreneurial skills is paired with classroom instruction each day in the range of business and legal issues likely to be encountered by practitioners. The course addresses the major areas each start-up must consider, from the various perspectives of company founders, investors, customers, and lawyers who represent each constituency.

427

Community Enterprise Law Clinic 4
  • JD - general credits
  • JD - experiential learning
  • JD-LLM-LE - general credits
  • International LLM/Exchange/SJD - general credits
  • International LLM, Business Law Certificate
  • Public Interest Certificate: General Elective
  • Public Interest Certificate: Experiential Requirement
  1. Fall 16
  2. Spring 17
  3. Fall 17
  4. Spring 18
  5. Spring 19
  • Group project
  • Practical exercises
  • Live-client representation and case management
  • Class participation

Operating like a small private law firm, this clinic will provide students interested generally in business law practice and/or in specializing in affordable housing and community development law with practical skills training in many of the core skills required in any transactional legal practice, including interviewing, counseling, drafting and negotiation. Under the supervision of the clinical faculty, students will represent low-income entrepreneurs, as well as a wide variety of nonprofit organizations engaged in community development activities. In their cases, students will have the opportunity to work on a wide variety of legal matters for their clients. These may include entity formation (both for-profit and nonprofit); obtaining tax-exempt status for nonprofit clients and providing ongoing tax compliance counseling; negotiating and drafting contracts; and representing clients in community development transactions. All enrolled students will be required to provide a minimum of 100 hours of legal work per semester and to participate in weekly group training meetings. Students must be in at least their fourth semester of law school to enroll in the clinic.

Clinics Enrollment Policy

Important:

  • 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 clinic's faculty director prior to the enrollment period. Permission is required to enroll but permission does not constitute entry into the clinic.

Ethics Requirement

Students are required to have instruction in the Model Rules of Professional Conduct prior to, or during, enrollment in the Community Enterprise Clinic. The following ethics classes meet the requirement: 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).

428

Advanced Community Enterprise Clinic 2
  • JD - general credits
  • JD - experiential learning
  • JD-LLM-LE - general credits
  • International LLM/Exchange/SJD - general credits
  • Public Interest Certificate: General Elective
  • Public Interest Certificate: Experiential Requirement
  1. Spring 17
  2. Fall 17
  3. Spring 18
  4. Spring 19
  • Group project
  • Practical exercises
  • Live-client representation and case management
  • Class participation

This two-credit course is available to students who have participated in one semester in the community enterprise clinic and wish to participate for a second semester. Students may enroll only with approval of the Director of the Clinic. Placements may be available in the event that the clinic is not fully enrolled with first-time participants, and in exceptional situations, when the clinic director determines it would be in the best interest of the clinic to make an exception to the usual maximum enrollment. Students enrolled in Advanced Clinical Studies are required to participate fully in the case work portion of the clinic, performing 100-120 hours of client representation work, but will not be required to attend the class sessions.

441

Start-Up Ventures Clinic 4
  • JD - general credits
  • JD - experiential learning
  • JD-LLM-LE - general credits
  • International LLM/Exchange/SJD - general credits
  • International LLM, Business Law Certificate
  • Public Interest Certificate: General Elective
  • Public Interest Certificate: Experiential Requirement
  1. Fall 16
  2. Spring 17
  3. Fall 17
  4. Spring 18
  5. Fall 18
  6. Spring 19
  • Group project
  • 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.

Law Tech Focus: Some enrolled students will have the option of spending a portion of their clinic time working on legal technology projects in association with the Duke Law Center on Law & Technology, including (1) working with the Duke Law Tech Lab, a pre-accelerator program for legal technologies and (2) building real legal tech tools to serve entrepreneurs.

Important:

    • In order to be eligible to enroll in the Clinic, you must have successfully completed at least three semesters of Law School and meet the Ethics Requirement. 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 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. The following ethics classes meet the requirement:  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 - general credits
  • JD - experiential learning
  • JD-LLM-LE - general credits
  • International LLM/Exchange/SJD - general credits
  • Public Interest Certificate: General Elective
  • Public Interest Certificate: Experiential Requirement
  1. Spring 18
  2. Fall 18
  3. Spring 19
  • Group project
  • Practical exercises
  • Live-client representation and case management
  • Class participation

The Advanced Start-Up Ventures Clinic will represent a range of early-stage ventures on a variety of matters related to the start-up process.

460

Negotiation for Lawyers 3
  • JD - general credits
  • JD - experiential learning
  • JD-LLM-LE - general credits
  • LLM-LE (1 year) - general credits
  • International LLM/Exchange/SJD - general credits
  1. Fall 16
  2. Spring 17
  3. Fall 17
  4. Spring 18
  5. Fall 18
  6. Spring 19
  • Reflection Papers
  • Final paper (10+ pages in length)
  • Journal
  • Practical exercises
  • In-class exercise
  • Class participation

This seminar is intended to explore the processes of negotiation and settlement in legal and other contexts. Negotiation can be defined as the process by which two or more parties attempt to reach a mutually agreed upon decision regarding the social ordering of relationships or the resolution of a dispute. Thus, for example, agreement on a contract between two or more parties entails negotiation. Most civil and criminal litigation is settled by negotiation rather than decided at trial. Today, in many states, mandatory mediation–negotiation facilitated by a neutral party–is required before a case can be scheduled for trial. Other forms of alternative dispute resolution such as arbitration or summary jury trials are usually preceded by negotiation. The seminar will focus on the nature of interpersonal and intergroup conflict and strategies and tactics of negotiation. It will also focus on the unique aspects of an attorney representing a client in negotiation, including the ethical duties of a lawyer in this context.  Goals of the seminar are to provide students with the opportunity to analyze the social process of conflict resolution in different legal contexts (including transactional, litigation, and international), to gain insight into their own negotiation styles, and to improve their negotiation skills.  One email negotiation is included, and one class will introduce mediation advocacy techniques to help prepare students to negotiate when a mediator is involved in dispute resolution.

The seminar makes use of role-play simulation materials and assigned readings. The seminar requires consistent and active class participation, weekly journals or guided questionnaires, and a final paper. 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 historically long 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 will not be an acceptable excuse for missing the first week of class.  Neither will a call-back interview.) 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 enter the class before the second class occurs.  Thus, students may drop this course without permission only before the second class meeting.

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 2
  • JD - general credits
  • JD-LLM-LE - general credits
  • LLM-LE (1 year) - general credits
  • International LLM/Exchange/SJD - general credits
  • International LLM, Business Law Certificate
  • International LLM, Intellectual Property Certificate
  1. Fall 17
  2. Fall 18
  • Final paper (10+ pages in length)
  • Class participation

The tech-savvy lawyer-leader of tomorrow must understand blockchains. Blockchains—decentralized databases that are maintained by a distributed network of computers—present manifold challenges and opportunities, including unprecedented potential to disrupt financial systems, to support civic participation and democratize access to resources, and even to change what we understand “law” to be.

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 - general credits
  • JD - experiential learning
  • JD-LLM-LE - general credits
  • International LLM/Exchange/SJD - general credits
  • International LLM, Business Law Certificate
  1. Spring 17
  2. Fall 17
  3. Spring 18
  4. Fall 18
  5. Spring 19
  • 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.

522

Contract Drafting: The Next Generation 2
  • JD - general credits
  • JD - experiential learning
  • JD-LLM-LE - general credits
  1. Spring 17
  2. Spring 18
  • Practical exercises
  • Class participation

In their article Contract as Automaton: The Computational Representation of Financial Agreements, Mark Flood and Oliver Goodenough argue that not only can contracts be conceptualized as "finite machine states" that can be automated, but that conceptualizing the legal structure of a contract this way is helpful for determining whether a contract is internally coherent and complete.  Messrs. Flood and Goodenough are moving beyond computer assisted "document assembly"---where guided questions lead word-processor-based document template libraries to a traditional natural-language contract--and exploring an analytical process of turning (at least certain types of) contracts into computer automated "smart contracts".  Building off of Harry Surden's Computable Contracts, Flood and Goodenough apply computational theory to the various states, inputs and transitions of a loan agreement to make the contract a "deterministic finite automaton" (DFA).

This course covers the basic practical skills in contract drafting through written drafting exercises while exploring how legal practice and contract drafting will change.  While working with the course materials, we will inquire as to whether or not the contract elements can be formalized into a smart contract or DFA.  We will also explore Flood and Goodenough's proposition that "The exercise of representing contracts as DFAs can help us better understand how contracts work."  

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

529

Corporate Governance 3
  • JD - Substantial Research and Writing Project requirement (SRWP)
  • JD - general credits
  • JD-LLM-LE - general credits
  • LLM-LE (1 year) - general credits
  • International LLM/Exchange/SJD - general credits
  • International LLM, Business Law Certificate
  1. Spring 17
  2. Spring 18
  3. Spring 19
  • Reflection Papers
  • Final research paper (25+ pages in length)

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).

532

Venture Capital Financing 3
  • JD - general credits
  • JD-LLM-LE - general credits
  • LLM-LE (1 year program) - required courses
  1. Spring 17
  2. Spring 18
  3. Spring 19

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.

Business Associations is a mandatory prerequisite for the class. Securities Regulation and Advising the Entrepreneurial Client are recommended preparation for the course.

534

Advising the Entrepreneurial Client 3
  • JD-LLM-LE - general credits
  • LLM-LE (1 year program) - required courses
  1. Fall 16
  2. Spring 17
  3. Fall 17
  4. Fall 18
  • Group project
  • 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 - general credits
  • JD-LLM-LE - general credits
  • International LLM/Exchange/SJD - general credits
  • International LLM, Business Law Certificate
  • Public Interest Certificate: General Elective
  1. Fall 16
  2. Fall 17
  3. Fall 18
  • Final Exam

The subject of the course is the diverse sector of the economy composed of nonprofit organizations. The topics to be covered include their economic function, governance issues, the tax laws covering them, abuses of their special status, and policy issues regarding them.

549

Corporate Counseling and Communication 2
  • JD - general credits
  • JD - experiential learning
  • JD-LLM-LE - general credits
  • LLM-LE (1 year) - general credits
  • International LLM/Exchange/SJD - general credits
  • International LLM, Business Law Certificate
  1. Spring 17
  2. Spring 18
  3. Spring 19
  • Final Exam
  • Practical exercises
  • In-class exercise
  • Class participation

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

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

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

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

550

Legal Issues of Cybersecurity and Data Breach Response 2
  • JD - general credits
  • JD-LLM-LE - general credits
  • LLM-LE (1 year) - general credits
  • International LLM/Exchange/SJD - general credits
  • International LLM, Intellectual Property Certificate
  1. Spring 19
  • Final paper (10+ pages in length)
  • Practical exercises
  • Class participation

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

592

Frontier AI & Robotics: Law & Ethics 3
  • JD - general credits
  • JD-LLM-LE - general credits
  • LLM-LE (1 year) - general credits
  • International LLM/Exchange/SJD - general credits
  • International LLM, Intellectual Property Certificate
  1. Spring 17
  2. Spring 18
  3. Spring 19
  • Reflection Papers
  • Final paper (10+ pages in length)
  • 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. 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/science policy, and (3) applied technology/science

Because frontier technologies challenge existing legal regimes and ethical frameworks, this course encourages law and ethics students to interact with technologists who are actively developing these new, disruptive technologies. In this case, students may shadow roboticists at Pratt's robotics labs (primarily the Humans and Autonomy Lab—HAL) or hear from leaders of local drone or BCI (brain-computer interface) companies.

Beyond time spent with technologists, 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 writing piece that adds to current legal/policy discourse. While outputs for such writing will depend on each student's area of focus and the outlets where his or her research can have the most influence, there are several outlets that students are most likely to employ, including the Robotics track of http://sciencepolicy.duke.edu/, where students will comment on legislative proposals, offer white papers, build research repositories, etc.

634

LLMLE Practicum for 3L JD-LLMLEs 3
  • JD-LLM-LE - general credits
  1. Fall 16
  2. Fall 17
  3. Spring 19

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 his or her 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.

754

IP Transactions 2
  • JD - general credits
  • JD-LLM-LE - general credits
  • LLM-LE (1 year) - general credits
  • International LLM/Exchange/SJD - general credits
  • International LLM, Business Law Certificate
  • International LLM, Intellectual Property Certificate
  1. Spring 17
  2. Spring 18
  3. Spring 19
  • Final Exam
  • Class participation

Patents, trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets are the currency of an innovation economy. Each of these forms of intellectual property may be bought and sold, licensed, or used as security. How each is used will depend on the business context; the needs of a start-up company being far different from those of a multinational corporation. This course will focus on intellectual property transactions in various business contexts, including: maximizing value and assessing risks; using intellectual property in financing start-ups; protecting trade secrets; employment issues related to intellectual property; intellectual property licensing; and intellectual property in mergers, acquisitions and bankruptcy.

777

Deal Skills for the Transactional Lawyer 3
  • JD - general credits
  • JD - experiential learning
  • JD-LLM-LE - general credits
  • LLM-LE (1 year) - general credits
  • International LLM/Exchange/SJD - general credits
  • International LLM, Business Law Certificate
  1. Fall 16
  2. Spring 17
  3. Fall 17
  4. Spring 19

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