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.

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

120

Constitutional Law 4.5
  • JD 1L
  • IntlLLM NY Bar
  • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
  • Fall 20
  • Spring 21
  • Spring 22
  • Spring 23
  • Final Exam
  • Class participation

An examination of the distribution of and limitations upon governmental authority under the Constitution of the United States. Included are study of the doctrine of judicial review of legislative and executive action, the powers of Congress and the President, the limitations on state governmental powers resulting from the existence or exercise of congressional power, and judicial protection against the exercise of governmental power in violation of rights, liberties, privileges, or immunities conferred by the Constitution.

130

Contracts 4.5
  • JD 1L
  • IntlLLM NY Bar
  • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  • Fall 20
  • Fall 21
  • Spring 22
  • Fall 22
  • Spring 23
  • Final Exam
  • Class participation

An examination of the formation and legal operations of contracts, their assignment, their significance to third parties, and their relationship to restitution and commercial law developments; the variety, scope, and limitations on remedies; and the policies, jurisprudence, and historical development of promissory liability.

140

Criminal Law 4.5
  • JD 1L
  • IntlLLM NY Bar
  • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
  • Fall 20
  • Spring 21
  • Fall 21
  • Spring 22
  • Fall 22
  • Spring 23
  • Final Exam
  • Class participation

An introductory study of the law of crimes and the administration of criminal justice. One of the purposes of this course is to introduce the students to the nature of social control mechanisms and the role of law in a civilized society.

170

Property 4
  • JD 1L
  • IntlLLM NY Bar
  • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Environ Cert
  • Spring 21
  • Fall 21
  • Spring 22
  • Fall 22
  • Spring 23
  • Final Exam
  • Class participation

Property law guides how we interact through and around a variety of valuable and increasing scare resources, including land, personal possessions, and ideas.  This course explores how and why property is allocated; what default rights and obligations come with ownership; the role of private agreements with respect to property; and the extent and limits of the state’s power to set the terms of ownership.  Throughout, we will consider justifications for property rights as well as the fine-grained details of how courts and other institutions resolve conflicts about property.  There are a number of common threads that tie property law together, and a series of recurring themes that we will emphasize throughout the semester.  Among these, the most important are likely the relational and interdependent nature of property rights. As far as the law is concerned, property is not a “thing” like a piece of land, but a set of claims that some people have against others with regard to particular resources.  Such claims are deeply contextual and relational; saying that someone “owns” something is generally the beginning, not the end, of the legal inquiry.  Questions about the ways in which race, socioeconomic status, and gender have shaped property rights will inform our conversation throughout the semester.

200

Administrative Law 3
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM NY Bar
  • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Environ Cert
  • PIPS elective
  • Fall 20
  • Spring 21
  • Fall 21
  • Spring 22
  • Fall 22
  • Spring 23
  • Final Exam

A study of the legal framework governing administrative agencies under the U.S. Constitution and the Administrative Procedure Act, with a particular focus on agency rulemaking and adjudication; Presidential power; Congressional control of agencies through statutes and other mechanisms of oversight; and judicial review of agency actions.

202

Art Law 2
  • JD SRWP, option
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
  • IntlLLM writing
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  • IntllLLM IP Cert
  • Fall 20
  • Spring 22
  • Spring 23
  • Final Exam, option
  • Research paper option, 25+ pages
  • Class participation

This course will cover a number of intersections between the law and the people and institutions who constitute the world of the visual arts, including artists, museums, collectors, dealers, and auctioneers. The course will also cover non-legal material geared to shaping practices of art market participants, such as codes and guidelines adopted by art-museum associations, as well as some relevant literature from other academic disciplines. Specific topics will include: (1) contexts in which a legal institution must determine whether a particular object is a work of "art" or art of a particular type; (2) artists' rights, including statutory and non-statutory moral rights and resale rights; (3) problems of authenticity; (4) the legal rights and duties of auctioneers, art dealers, and other intermediaries; (5) the legal structure of art museums, including issues of internal management and governance; (6) stolen art, including objects looted during World War II; and (7) developments in law and industry practice relevant to "cultural heritage," the association of particular objects with particular places or societies.

Students will be required to participate in class discussions, and will have the option of writing a 25-30-page research paper OR taking a take-home exam. Paper topics must be approved by the instructor, who will be glad to make suggestions (some of which will involve local field research).

There are no prerequisites for the course. Although some background in intellectual property (copyright and trademark law) would be helpful, none is required. A set of readings will be distributed prior to the first meeting of the class. Before then, a complete updated syllabus will be posted.

207

Sports and the Law 3
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM NVE Cert
  • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  • Spring 21
  • Spring 22
  • Spring 23
  • Final Exam

Sports occupies a central place in modern society. It constitutes a significant sector in the economy and an important form of cultural expression. This course examines the legal relations among the various parties in sports at both the professional and amateur levels. Particular attention will be given to the importance given to the maintenance of competitive balance and its impact on traditional notions of competition that apply in other business settings. Contracts law, antitrust law, and labor law provide the essential core for the investigation of issues in this course. In addition, this course seeks to provide an informed perspective on the financial and business structures that define the industry.

210

Business Associations 4
  • JD elective
  • LLM-LE (JD) required
  • IntlLLM NY Bar
  • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  • IntlLLM NVE Cert
  • Fall 20
  • Spring 21
  • Fall 21
  • Spring 22
  • Fall 22
  • Spring 23
  • Final Exam

This course surveys the law providing ground rules for the organization, internal governance, and financing of corporations and other forms of business associations such as partnerships and limited liability companies. Topics include limited liability, fiduciary duties, shareholder voting, derivative suits, control transactions, mergers and acquisitions, public contests, and trading. The emphasis throughout is on the functional analysis of legal rules as one set of constraints on business associations, among others.

225

Criminal Procedure: Adjudication 3
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM NY Bar
  • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
  • PIPS elective
  • Spring 21
  • Spring 22
  • Spring 23
  • Final Exam

A study of the basic rules of criminal procedure, beginning with the institution of formal proceedings. Subjects to be covered include prosecutorial discretion, the preliminary hearing, the grand jury, criminal discovery, guilty pleas and plea bargaining, jury selection, pretrial publicity, double jeopardy, the right to counsel, and professional ethics in criminal cases.

226

Criminal Procedure: Investigation 3
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM NY Bar
  • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
  • PIPS elective
  • Spring 21
  • Spring 22
  • Fall 22
  • Spring 23
  • Final Exam
  • Class participation

This course in advanced constitutional law is a study of the legal limitations on criminal investigative practices contained in the Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Amendments. Topics include search and seizure, arrest, the exclusionary rule, electronic surveillance, the privilege against self-incrimination, interrogation, confessions, and the right to counsel.

229

State and Local Government Law 3
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
  • PIPS elective
  • Spring 21
  • Spring 23
  • Final Exam
  • In-class exercise
  • Class participation

Much of the business of governing takes place at the state and local level, rather than on the federal level. Competent attorneys must consider the effect that various state and local actors will have on their clients' interests, whether they represent large corporations, small franchises, or individuals. This course is designed to offer an overview of the issues concerning state and local governance from both a theoretical and practical perspective. The course will acquaint students with the broad issues surrounding state and local government, rather than focus on any particular state or municipality. Among the topics of discussion: state constitutional law, structure, and rights; distribution of authority between federal, state, and local governments; federal, state, and local government coordination and conflict; issues surrounding state and local provision of services and employment; state and municipal governance and oversight, and the role of localism and direct democracy in our constitutional structure. Evaluation will be based on class participation, class exercises, and an examination.

232

Employment Discrimination 3
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
  • PIPS elective
  • Spring 21
  • Spring 22
  • Spring 23
  • Final Exam
  • Class participation

A study of the law of employment discrimination, focusing mainly on federal statutes that prohibit discrimination based on race, color, sex, religion, national origin, and age. Class time is committed to both doctrinal and policy analysis. The course does not examine disability discrimination.

236

International Human Rights 2
  • JD elective
  • LLM-ICL (JD) elective
  • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
  • PIPS elective
    • Final Exam
    • In-class exercise
    • Class participation

    This course critically assesses the international and domestic laws, institutions, and legal and political theories that relate to protecting the fundamental liberties of all human beings. The course emphasizes (1) specific "hot button" topics within international human rights law, such as extraordinary renditions, hate speech, and lesbian and gay rights); (2) the judicial, legislative, and executive bodies that interpret and implement human rights; and (3) the public and private actors who commit rights violations and who seek redress for individuals whose rights have been violated. Course requirements include a final exam, a negotiation exercise, and student participation in class discussions.

    238

    Ethics and the Law of Lawyering 2
    • JD elective
    • JD ethics
    • IntlLLM NY Bar
    • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
    • Fall 20
    • Spring 21
    • Fall 21
    • Spring 22
    • Fall 22
    • Spring 23
    • Final Exam
    • Reflective Writing
    • Practical exercises
    • Class participation

    This course examines in detail the "law of lawyering" relating to such issues as the formation of the attorney-client relationship, confidentiality, communications with clients, conflicts of interest, regulation and discipline of attorneys, and numerous other areas relating to the lawyer's role in American society. In addressing these issues, we will consider the extent to which the law governing lawyers derives from the concept of a learned profession, as well as the degree to which the ethics of lawyering may differ from personal ethics and morality. While particular attention will be paid to the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct, the class will also examine other sources of relevant law, including the Restatement (Third) of the Law Governing Lawyers, court decisions and rules, statutes, and administrative regulations.  Grading is based on a final examination, written work relating to casebook problems and reflections on current issues in legal ethics, and class participation.

     

    239

    Ethics and the Law of Lawyering in Civil Litigation 2
    • JD elective
    • JD ethics
    • IntlLLM NY Bar
    • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
      • Final Exam
      • Practical exercises

      This course examines the principles of legal ethics and professionalism. Our focus will be on identifying and responding to the key issues faced by a civil litigator, and on the model rules of professional conduct, case law, and ethics opinions that a lawyer must consider in resolving such issues. Topics include the formation and termination of the attorney client relationship, conflicts of interest, and communications with the court and opposing counsel through the discovery and trial process. We will examine the balancing of the duty of advocacy with the duty to the administration of justice. We will also explore issues such as admissions, discipline, and common law firm associate dilemmas such as billing and changing law firms. During the semester, students will prepare two short (3-5 pp) memoranda. There will also be an open book in-class exam at the end of the semester.

      245

      Evidence 3
      • JD elective
      • IntlLLM NY Bar
      • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
      • PIPS elective
      • Fall 20
      • Spring 21
      • Fall 21
      • Spring 22
      • Fall 22
      • Spring 23
      • Final Exam
      • Class participation

      This course covers the limitations on the information that can be introduced in court codified in the Federal Rules of Evidence. We take up the issue of relevance, including the rules concerning the balance between the probative value and the prejudicial impact of evidence and the special problems of character and credibility. Also addressed are the rules pertaining to the reliability of evidence, particularly the prohibition against hearsay and its many exceptions, the constitutional constraints on the testimony offered during criminal trials, and the screening of scientific and expert testimony. The course concludes with an introduction to evidentiary privileges.

      255

      Federal Income Taxation 4
      • JD elective
      • LLM-LE (JD) elective
      • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
      • IntlLLM Business Cert
      • IntlLLM NVE 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.

      270

      Intellectual Property 4
      • JD elective
      • LLM-LE (JD) required
      • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
      • IntlLLM Business Cert
      • IntllLLM IP Cert
      • IntlLLM NVE Cert
      • Fall 20
      • Spring 21
      • Fall 21
      • Spring 22
      • Spring 23
      • Final Exam

      This course provides an introduction to copyright, trademark, and (to a lesser extent) patent law and trade secrecy. It does not require a technical background of any kind.  The course begins with an introduction to some of the theoretical and practical problems which an intellectual property regime must attempt to resolve; during this section, basic concepts of the economics of information and of the First Amendment analysis of intellectual property rights will be examined through a number of case-studies. The class will then turn to the law of trademark, copyright, and patent with a particular emphasis on copyright, developing the basic doctrinal frameworks and discussing the advantages and disadvantages of each. We will focus in particular on a number of areas where the theoretical tools developed at the beginning of the class can be applied to actual problems involving a full panoply of intellectual property rights; these areas include intellectual property on the Internet, the constitutional limits on intellectual property, and innovation, monopoly and competition in the technology sector. The overall theme of the course is that intellectual property is the legal form of the information age and thus that it is important not only for its enormous and increasing role in commercial life and legal practice, but also for its effects on technological innovation, democratic debate, and cultural formation. Much of our doctrinal work will be centered around a series of problems which help students build skills and learn the law in a highly interactive setting. You can also download the casebook for the class here – for free – to give you a sense of the topics that are covered. 

      275

      International Law 3
      • JD elective
      • LLM-ICL (JD) required
      • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
      • PIPS elective
      • Spring 21
      • Spring 22
      • Spring 23
      • Final Exam

      This course offers a broad introduction to international law and provides a foundation for more specialized courses.  Topics covered include the key sources, actors, and institutions of international law; the application of international law by domestic courts; adjudication by international tribunals; the extraterritorial application of domestic law.  Part I of the course provides an overview of these foundations issues.  Part II is comprised of a series of case studies on selected topics in international law, including human rights, international crimes, international trade and investment, environmental protection, and the use of force.

      Note on scheduling for Spring 2023:
      To accommodate Professor Helfer’s responsibilities as a member of the UN Human Rights Committee, which meets in Geneva, Switzerland in March 2023, several class meetings will need to be canceled, rescheduled or held on Zoom.  Please note - the first class meeting will be held on Friday January 13, 2023 @ 12:30 to 1:45 PM.   Additional information about canceled and rescheduled classes will appear on the course syllabus.

      290

      Remedies 3
      • JD elective
      • IntlLLM NY Bar
      • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
      • Spring 21
      • Spring 22
      • Fall 22
      • Final Exam
      • Class participation

      This course examines the powers and limits of the law to right those who have been wronged. We will cover different forms of remedies—including money damages, injunctions, and declaratory judgments. We will also explore ancillary remedies or enforcement mechanisms, such as the power of courts to hold parties in contempt. The course spans both private and public law contexts, with specific case studies ranging from school desegregation to the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund. Ultimately, the goal of the course is to provide an understanding of how the law responds to transgressions of substantive law, and also to provide a richer account of the power of our legal institutions more generally.

      295

      Trusts and Estates 2
      • JD elective
      • IntlLLM NY Bar
      • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
      • Spring 21
      • Spring 22
      • Spring 23
      • Final Exam
      • Class participation

      An examination of noncommercial property dispositions, both testamentary and inter vivos, including the following topics: intestate succession; wills and will substitutes; creation and characteristics of trusts; powers of appointment; problems in trust and estate administration.

      313

      Judicial Decisionmaking 3
      • JD elective
      • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
      • Spring 23
      • Final Exam

      What decides legal cases? One obvious answer is: the law. Judges apply the law to the facts of a case and an answer presents itself. This simple understanding of how law and the judicial process work may be true in many cases, but it is not true in all of them. Social scientists have sought to explain judicial decisionmaking by reference to a variety of non-legal factors, including judges' personal characteristics, their caseloads, and their relationships with each other. The social scientific study of courts raises a host of interesting questions.

      For example, on a multi-member court like the Supreme Court, does it matter which Justice is assigned to write the opinion, or will the majority (or the whole Court) bargain to the same outcome anyway? If opinion assignment matters to outcomes, how might judges' choices about the division of labor influence the content of the law? How do higher courts ensure that lower courts comply with their decisions? Does the need to police lower courts alter legal doctrine, giving us more bright line rules and fewer fuzzy standards? Similarly, does the fact that certain groups, like the Chamber of Commerce, are repeat players, affect the outcome of cases? Does it affect doctrine? Finally, does it matter who is under the robes? Does the ideology of the judge, or her race or gender, matter to the outcome of cases? (Which cases?) If so, is it possible to predict how judicial characteristics will shape the law? Should our answers to these questions affect how we choose judges?

      This course that will examine these questions and many like them. In law schools, these sorts of questions get limited attention: our focus is primarily on the legal doctrine or rules themselves. Social scientists take a very different approach, studying the behavior of judges rather than legal doctrine and trying to understand what accounts for judicial outcomes and the shape of legal institutions. This course will marry the social science literature and the questions it raises to a set of normative problems within the law itself.

       

      315

      Complex Civil Litigation / Large Scale Litigation 3
      • JD elective
      • JD experiential
      • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
      • Spring 21
      • Spring 22
      • Spring 23
      • Final Exam
      • Oral presentation
      • In-class exercise

      This is an advanced civil procedure class taught by a former big case litigator in the Moot Courtroom (for most classes) and via Zoom (for a few classes) for those interested in learning how to litigate large cases, with an emphasis on real-world practical requirements, strategy and skills. Students will each week after the first session practice stand-up courtroom (and Zoom) 3-minute "mini- oral arguments" on many of the key cases so as to begin to prepare for big-case advocacy, which today occurs both in physical courtrooms and via video arguments. The course will focus on the problems of large multi-party and multi-forum civil cases and how courts and litigants deal with them. Coverage will include the practical steps litigators need to take as well as decision points at the outset of every litigation, joinder of parties, class actions; federal multi-district transfer and consolidation; litigation over the appropriate federal or state forum, coordination among counsel in multi-party cases, ethical issues, big-case discovery problems; ad hoc federal-state litigation coordination; judicial case management techniques and issues; arbitration; and ways of accelerating or terminating potentially or actually protracted cases, including settlement, mediation, representative trials, mini-trials and claims processing facilities.

      319

      Analytical Methods 2
      • JD elective
      • LLM-LE (JD) required
      • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
      • IntlLLM Business Cert
      • Fall 20
      • Fall 21
      • Fall 22
      • Final Exam
      • Practical exercises
      • Class participation

      Lawyers face non-legal, analytical issues every day. Business lawyers need to understand a business in order to represent their client properly. Litigators need to judge the best route in adopting a litigation strategy. Family lawyers routinely need to value a business. Environmental lawyers need to understand economic externalities. Social lawyers need familiarity with financial instruments that have positive and negative attributes. Students taking this course will find it foundational in running a business, advising a business, or litigating business matters that go beyond the strict letter of the law. In this sense, this is not your standard doctrinal law school course. Rather, it is designed to give students the tools necessary to interact with the business community and run a company or firm.

      The areas of focus include:

      • Decision Analysis, Games and Information: We will explore a standard technique that has been developed to organize thinking about decision-making problems and to solve them.
      • Accounting: Basic accounting concepts will be introduced, and the relationship between accounting information and economic reality will be examined.
      • Microeconomics: This unit presents basic economic concepts--the operation of competitive markets, imperfect competition, and market failures--that are necessary to this understanding.
      • Statistics and Artificial Intelligence: We will address the basic statistical methods, including regression analysis, as well as issues that commonly arise when statistics are used in the courtroom. We will also have a brief introduction to statistical learning, which forms the basis for machine learning and artificial intelligence.

      This basic introductory survey course is aimed at students who have only a basic background in math (basic high school algebra) and may have majored in humanities and social science as an undergraduate.

      322

      Copyright Law 3
      • JD elective
      • LLM-LE (JD) elective
      • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
      • IntllLLM IP Cert
      • Fall 20
      • Spring 22
      • Fall 22
      • Final Exam

      This is a comprehensive course in copyright law. We will examine the legal rights that cover works of creative expression such as literature, music, film, photography, visual art, and software. The class will cover some of the fundamental pillars of the world of creative expression in which we all live—the economic and legal architecture of our culture. This is because copyright’s rules provide the economic incentives that influence our creative output as well as part of the legal framework that shapes our communications technology. The broad impact of copyright law means that it is of importance to a wide range of legal practice and not merely to the specialist. No technical background is needed.

      323

      Bankruptcy and Corporate Reorganization 2
      • JD elective
      • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
      • IntlLLM Business Cert
      • IntlLLM NVE Cert
      • Spring 22
      • Spring 23
      • Final Exam

      The course will focus on the process by which a corporate debtor reorganizes under the provisions of Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code. Prior familiarity with bankruptcy principles and debtor-creditor law is not required. These will be incorporated in the course as it unfolds. Some familiarity with business organization is helpful but not necessary.

      The subject will be covered primarily from three perspectives: the underlying business and economic dynamics that lead both to the debtor's financial crisis and to its potential to rehabilitate through a plan of reorganization; the supervision of a debtor by the bankruptcy court; and the reality that virtually all commercial transactions and financial contracting occur in the “shadow” of bankruptcy law and its potential to alter rights and obligations.

      Topics to be covered include historical, Constitutional, and policy issues underlying Chapter 11's provisions and goals; overview of basic business structures and transactions bearing on Chapter 11 reorganization; alternatives to avoid Chapter 11; the powers and oversight role of the bankruptcy court and the obligations and governance of a corporate debtor when under the protection of the bankruptcy court; the major phases of a Chapter 11 case from initial filing to consummation of a plan of reorganization (e.g., formulation of a business plan and the plan of reorganization, claims procedures and classification, plan disclosure and voting, plan confirmation, discharge, and consummation); recovery and disposition of assets in Chapter 11, including asset sales, and avoidance remedies; and numerous special topics encountered in Chapter 11 practice.

       

      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.

      334

      Civil Rights Litigation 3
      • JD elective
      • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
      • PIPS elective
      • Spring 21
      • Spring 23
      • Final Exam
      • Practical exercises
      • In-class exercise
      • Class participation

      This course focuses on section 1983 of the United States Code, a Reconstruction-era statute that enables private parties to sue any other person who "under color" of law deprives them of the "rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and laws" of the United States.  Class participants will become familiar with the theoretical, procedural, and practical aspects of civil rights litigation, including constitutional and statutory claims, defenses and immunities, and available remedies, including attorney fees.   Related U.S. Code provisions concerning discrimination in housing, contractual relations, employment, and voting are examined where relevant. Exam-based evaluation.

      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.

      336

      A Practical Introduction to Mergers & Acquisitions 2
      • JD elective
      • LLM-LE (JD) elective
      • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
      • IntlLLM Business Cert
      • Spring 21
      • Fall 21
      • Spring 22
      • Fall 22
      • Spring 23
      • Final Exam
      • Group project(s)
      • Class participation

      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 party and the target firm in negotiating an acquisition and the differing roles played by the various parties involved in a transaction; the different types of agreements and other documents an attorney will encounter and negotiate over the course of a transaction; the critical role of information in M&A deals; conducting due diligence; the elements, structure and key terms of a typical acquisition agreement; the roles and responsibilities of management, Boards of Directors and shareholders in connection with transactions; securities laws affecting transactions; an introduction to private equity M&A; acquisition financing; and getting the transaction to closing.

      342

      Federal Courts 5
      • JD elective
      • IntlLLM NY Bar
      • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
      • PIPS elective
      • Spring 21
      • Spring 22
      • Fall 22
      • Spring 23
      • Final Exam

      The course considers the structure and powers of the federal courts and their relationship to the political branches and the state courts. The topics covered include justiciability, congressional authority to define and limit federal court jurisdiction, federal common law and implied rights of action, the application of state law in federal courts under the Erie doctrine, civil rights actions and immunities of state officials and governments, and habeas corpus. The focus of the course is on structural constitutional considerations relating to both the separation of powers between the three branches of the national government as well as the federalism relationship between the national government and the state governments.

      344

      Federal Courts II - Public Law Litigation 3
      • JD elective
      • IntlLLM NY Bar
      • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
      • PIPS elective
      • Spring 21
      • Spring 22
      • Final Exam

      Federal Courts is sometimes thought of as the love child of Constitutional Law and Civil Procedure. It takes the Con Law I themes of federalism, separation of powers, and protection of individual rights and develops them in the context of jurisdiction, procedure, and remedies. Most experienced litigators—including criminal and regulatory litigators—consider the course essential.

      Federal Courts 2 is the second of a two course sequence designed to provide exhaustive coverage of the material at a very civilized pace. Both parts one and two are three-credit courses ordinarily taken in the Fall and Spring of the same year. They have separate exams that are graded independently. There is no requirement that one take both installments, but it is strongly recommended.

      Federal Courts 2 (Public Law Litigation) focuses on litigation meant to vindicate federal statutory and constitutional rights. We begin with the ins and outs of the Federal Question jurisdictional statute, then move on to suits against the government. We address both federal and state sovereign immunity in depth, and we explore civil rights litigation against state and federal officers under 42 U.S.C. 1983 and the Bivens doctrine. We also canvass various statutory and judge-made rules limiting parallel litigation in state and federal courts. The course concludes with an in-depth treatment of federal habeas corpus as a vehicle for judicial review of executive detention and for collateral attack on state criminal convictions.

      345

      Gender & the Law 2
      • JD elective
      • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
      • PIPS elective
      • Spring 23
      • Final Exam
      • Reflective Writing
      • Oral presentation
      • Practical exercises
      • In-class exercise
      • Class participation

      This course will explore the relationship between gender and the law, understanding gender in its broadest sense including sex, sexuality, gender identity, and gender queerness. It will focus on sex discrimination doctrines under the Equal Protection Clause of the United States Constitution as well as under federal and state statutory frameworks such as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964,Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972, and cognate state statutes. It will also address the shifting scope of substantive due process doctrine, particularly given the recent Supreme Court Dobbs opinion. Other statutes such as the Americans with Disabilities Act will also be explored. Constitutional Law is highly recommended as a prerequisite.

      The course will center around legal case studies to evaluate the relationship between law and justice in many areas that affect gender minority lives, including: employment, schools, health care, prison, public accommodations, family, youth and aging, and beyond. The emphasis will be on social justice lawyering strategies and the possibilities and limits that litigation, legislation, and policy developments present for work in these areas. Some film is used in class. Evaluation is by an end-of-term, untimed, open book examination, as well as 3 reaction papers assigned throughout the class. Other individual or group projects may also be required. Engaged student discussion and open-mindedness to new, different, and challenging ideas is invited and valued.

      347

      Health Care Law and Policy 3
      • JD elective
      • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
      • PIPS elective
      • Spring 22
      • Spring 23
      • Final Exam
      • Class participation

      A survey of the legal environment of the health services industry in a policy perspective, with particular attention to the tensions and trade-offs between quality and cost concerns. Topics for selective study include access to health care; private and public programs for financing and purchasing health services; the economics of health care and health care costs; the role of professionalism versus the new commercialism in health care; the legal and tax treatment of not-for-profit corporations; regulation of commercial practice in professional fields; fraud and abuse in government programs; the application of antitrust law in professional fields; the internal organization and legal liabilities of hospitals; public regulation of institutional providers, including certification of need; personnel licensure; private personnel credentialing and institutional accreditation; liability for medical accidents; legal liabilities associated with the administration of health benefits; and public regulation of managed-care organizations. Study of the diverse legal problems encountered by a single industry, particularly one as important, complex, and intrinsically interesting as health care, may appeal to students generally interested in public policy and in law and economics as well as those with specific interests in the health care field.

      350

      Advanced Constitutional Law: A Legal History of the US Civil Rights Movement 3
      • JD elective
      • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
      • PIPS elective
      • Fall 20
      • Fall 21
      • Final Exam
      • Class participation

      This course will examine the role of the U.S. civil rights movement in the development of U.S. constitutional law. Conventional theories of judicial independence do not define a legitimate role for social movements in the transformation of U.S. constitutional law, but recent advances in legal scholarship have underscored the co-constitutive relationship between law and social movements.  Accordingly, this course will explore how movement participants engaged the U.S. Constitution and how these encounters shaped constitutional doctrine, social institutions, public discourse, and movement participants themselves. We will investigate the processes of mobilization and counter-mobilization and reflect on how the U.S. civil rights movement often spurred constitutional change through means other than constitutionally specified procedures. We will also consider how and why movements fail and will critically analyze rights-based approaches to reform. Course readings will draw from a wide range of historical, sociological, and legal sources.

      351

      U.S. Immigration and Nationality Law 3
      • JD elective
      • LLM-ICL (JD) elective
      • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
      • PIPS elective
      • Spring 21
      • Spring 22
      • Spring 23
      • Final Exam
      • Practical exercises
      • Class participation

      This course will provide an overview of immigration law and policy. It combines a study of constitutional law, statutory interpretation, and administrative regulations. We examine the constitutional law governing noncitizens as they seek to enter and remain in the United States as well as the statutory provisions governing humanitarian protection, family-based and employment-based migration. We also discuss the immigration consequences of criminal convictions, the obligations of criminal defense attorneys to advise noncitizen clients, and the intersection of criminal and immigration enforcement systems.

      The course explores the legal, social, historical, and political factors that have constructed immigration law and policy in the U.S.  In examining these various factors, the course will analyze several inherent conflicts that arise in immigration law, including, among other things, the tension between the right of a sovereign nation to determine whom to admit to the nation state and the constitutional and human rights of noncitizens to gain admission or stay in the U.S., the power of the executive branch to set and change immigration policy, issues that arise between noncitizens and citizens of the U.S. with regard to employment, security, and civil rights and the tension between the federal and state governments in regulating immigration law. Students will participate in a mock removal proceeding and will complete hypothetical immigration problems that illustrate the application of constitutional, statutory, and regulatory immigration law.

      360

      International Taxation 2
      • JD elective
      • LLM-ICL (JD) elective
      • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
      • IntlLLM Business Cert
      • Spring 21
      • Spring 22
      • Spring 23
      • Final Exam

      This course covers the basic rules governing the U.S. income taxation of international business and investment transactions. After a brief explanation of basic American income tax concepts, the principal rules of taxation relating to income of American taxpayers that is earned abroad, and the income of foreign taxpayers that is earned in the U.S., will be described and discussed. The course will then focus on how the United States’ rules interact with taxation systems in other countries, exploring the concepts of source of income and residence of the taxpayer, and their role in the tax rules relating to international trade. The course will also include consideration of the role of bilateral tax treaties as a means of promoting crossborder investments and international trade through the avoidance of international double taxation. The OECD model treaty will be examined as an illustration of the interaction between double tax treaties and domestic regulations. The course will also describe and discuss the role of transfer pricing in tax avoidance efforts by business taxpayers, especially U.S. multinational corporations.  Finally, the course will explore recent developments in the international effort to reduce tax-base erosion and income shifting among taxing jurisdictions.

      361

      International Trade Law 3
      • JD elective
      • LLM-ICL (JD) elective
      • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
      • IntlLLM Environ Cert
      • IntlLLM Business Cert
      • Spring 21
      • Spring 22
      • Spring 23
      • Final Exam
      • Class participation

      International trade and the World Trade Organization attract a lot of attention and debate. Why do almost all economists say that liberalizing trade flows is a good thing? Why do politicians – even ones who purportedly support free markets – often rail against import competition and "unfair trade"? How does trade liberalization interact with other public policy choices such as protecting the environment or promoting the economic development of poor countries? In this course, we will examine why the WTO exists, how it developed from the GATT and how it fits in the international economic order (Part I). The course will offer you an in-depth, practical knowledge of substantive WTO law drawing heavily on case law. It will address the basic principles of trade in goods and trade in services, as well as some of the more specialized WTO agreements on, for example on trade remedies (subsidies, anti-dumping and safeguards). From a more procedural side, the course will pay close attention to the unique WTO mechanism for the solution of global trade disputes, with special reference again to recent and ongoing cases (Part II). It will conclude by examining U.S. trade law – particularly the widely-used trade remedies laws – and assessing not only the practice of international trade law in the United States, but also whether these laws actually achieve their supposed policy objectives (Part III). Although this course will necessarily address key principles and theories undergirding the international trade law system, one of its driving themes will be the actual practice of this discipline in the United States and at the WTO. The course will be graded based on class participation and an open-book final exam.

      379

      Partnership Taxation 2
      • JD elective
      • LLM-LE (JD) elective
      • IntlLLM NVE Cert
      • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
      • IntlLLM Business Cert
      • Spring 21
      • Fall 21
      • Fall 22
      • Final Exam

      The course will cover the tax implications of organizing and operating businesses as partnerships for tax purposes, investing in tax partnerships and acquisitions and dispositions of partnership interests. Partnership Tax is offered in fall semester only.

      Partnership Tax is offered in fall semester only.

      384

      Securities Regulation 4
      • JD elective
      • LLM-LE (JD) required
      • IntlLLM NVE Cert
      • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
      • IntlLLM Business Cert
      • Spring 21
      • Spring 22
      • Spring 23
      • Final Exam

      A study of the federal and state securities laws and the industry they govern with emphasis on the regulation of the distribution process and trading in securities; subjects dealt with include the functions of the Securities and Exchange Commission, registration and disclosure requirements and related civil liabilities, "blue-sky" laws, proxy solicitation and reporting requirements, broker-dealer regulation, the self-regulatory functions of the exchanges, and the regulation of investment companies.

      390

      Structuring and Regulating Financial Transactions 3
      • JD elective
      • IntlLLM NY Bar
      • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
      • IntlLLM Business Cert
      • Spring 21
      • Spring 22
      • Spring 23
      • Final Exam

      The principles applied in structuring financial products in the commercial context reflect a balance of the interests of corporate stakeholders and the rights of third parties. This course will examine these principles with the goal of equipping the student with a base of knowledge that would be readily applied in a finance practice of a commercial law firm. Focusing primarily on traditional syndicated debt finance and securitization transactions, we will examine evolving market conventions that influence debt terms, the rights and expectations of stakeholders in distressed situations and bankruptcy, and the regulatory and compliance structure governing the issuance of these obligations. As part of this process, we also will explore the structuring of letters of credit, derivative transactions, debtor-in-possession financing, and other related financial products.

      470

      Poverty Law 3
      • JD elective
      • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
      • PIPS elective
      • Spring 21
      • Fall 21
      • Fall 22
      • Final Exam

      This course provides an introduction to the relationship between law and poverty, including the relevance of legal doctrine, policy and practice to the significant inequality in income, assets and basic social goods impacting tens of millions of people in the United States.

      We will begin by considering historical and contemporary trends in domestic poverty, U.S. social welfare policy, the legal framework under which poverty-related claims have been adjudicated, and the role of lawyers in combatting poverty.

      Grounded in poverty data, policy arguments, legal doctrine and practice, we will explore modern government anti-poverty programs and issues such as welfare, work, housing, health, education and criminalization.

      We will conclude by considering non-governmental approaches to combating poverty, including market-based solutions and international human rights, with an emphasis on the role of law, lawyers and legal institutions in such efforts.

      Drawing on the rich expertise of those in Durham and beyond, we will occasionally be joined by guest speakers. The primary textbook for the course is Poverty Law, Policy and Practice (Aspen/Wolters Kluwer, 2014).

      501

      Transnational Litigation in U.S. Courts 3
      • JD elective
      • LLM-ICL (JD) elective
      • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
      • Fall 21
      • Final Exam

      This course analyzes civil suits in U.S. federal courts that raise cross-border, international and foreign legal issues. Specific topics covered include transnational jurisdiction, international forum selection, transborder choice of law, extraterritorial application of U.S. law, federal rules for service of process and discovery of evidence abroad, the special treatment of foreign governments as parties, and recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments.

      549

      Corporate Counseling and Communication 2
      • JD elective
      • JD experiential
      • LLM-LE (JD) elective
      • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
      • IntlLLM writing
      • IntlLLM Business Cert
      • IntlLLM NVE Cert
      • Spring 21
      • Spring 22
      • Spring 23
      • 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.

      710

      Derivatives: Financial Markets, Law and Policy 3
      • JD elective
      • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
      • IntlLLM Business Cert
      • Spring 21
      • Fall 21
      • Final Exam
      • Class participation

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

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

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

      Final grades are based on a final exam and in class participation.

      754

      IP Transactions 2
      • JD elective
      • LLM-LE (JD) elective
      • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
      • IntlLLM Business Cert
      • IntllLLM IP Cert
      • Spring 21
      • Spring 22
      • Spring 23
      • 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.

      773

      Research Methods in Business Law 2
      • JD elective
      • JD experiential
      • LLM-LE (JD) elective
      • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
      • IntlLLM Business Cert
      • Spring 21
      • Spring 22
      • Spring 23
      • Final Exam
      • Practical exercises
      • In-class exercise
      • Class participation

      This advanced legal research seminar will introduce students to specific sources and strategies for researching a variety of business law topics, such as corporations, securities, and commercial bankruptcy. We will cover key primary and secondary sources for business law research: state and federal cases, statutes, regulations, and other administrative materials; subject-specific secondary sources; company disclosure documents; and sources for factual company and industry research, among others. The course will emphasize research processes, strategies, and evaluation of sources in a changing information environment. Students will develop their research skills through a variety of hands-on exercises simulating research assignments in practice. Grades will be based on review questions, research exercises, class participation, and a take-home final exam.

      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