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

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

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

JD/LLM in International & Comparative Law

JD/LLM in Law & Entrepreneurship

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Certificate in Public interest and Public Service Law

Areas of Study & Practice

Clear all filters 37 courses found.
Number Course Title Credits Degree Requirements Semesters Taught Methods of Evaluation

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.

231

Ethics in Action: Large Firm Practice 2
  • JD elective
  • JD ethics
  • LLM-LE (JD) elective
  • IntlLLM NY Bar
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • Fall 20
  • Fall 21
  • Fall 22
  • Simulated Writing, Transactional
  • Simulated Writing, Litigation
  • Group project(s)
  • Oral presentation
  • Practical exercises
  • Class participation

Large, multi-jurisdictional law firms face complex issues of regulation and professionalism. Managing and solving those issues require keen analytical, litigation, and transactional drafting skills. This course will offer an opportunity to practice those skills while gaining a background in the law governing lawyers. Students will participate in a two-credit, experiential seminar that can be used for either ethics or experiential credit.

Students will gain a background in the ABA Model Rules (and state variants) by analyzing and resolving simulated ethical inquiries that might be received by the general counsel’s office of a large firm and presenting their proposed resolution in class. In addition, students working in teams will tackle a more complex, multi-issue inquiry that will require deeper research and a written memorandum that will be revised in response to feedback. The course will conclude with a transactional drafting exercise such as an engagement letter and fee agreement involving client intake issues.

237

Ethics of Social Justice Lawyering 2
  • JD elective
  • JD ethics
  • IntlLLM NY Bar
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • PIPS elective
  • Spring 22
  • Spring 23
  • Final Exam
  • Reflective Writing
  • Class participation

This course examines Professional Responsibility as it applies to representing poor and/or underrepresented clients (in criminal and civil cases), as well as to lawyering for social justice causes, through impact litigation and other means. We will explore the substantive law of Professional Responsibility, focusing on ethical challenges frequently encountered in social justice representation (e.g., representing clients who are uneducated or culturally different than the attorney, practicing with limited resources in an environment of many unmet legal needs, defining who the client is when representing a group or cause, and the tensions created when the requirements of Professional Responsibility are at odds with the attorney's personal morality or vision of social justice).  While we will work mostly from the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct, required reading will also include scholarship on the unique ethical and moral dilemmas of social justice lawyers, and students will be encouraged to think critically about the rules of Professional Responsibility and their application in social justice contexts.  Throughout the course, we will consider and practice the lawyering skills needed to ethically represent clients and social causes, through in-class resolution of hypotheticals and experiential learning, such as simulations or role-playing.   Several practicing, social-justice attorneys will join us to guest-speak.

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.

    250

    Family Law 2
    • JD elective
    • IntlLLM NY Bar
    • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
    • PIPS elective
    • Fall 20
    • Fall 21
    • Fall 22
    • Final Exam
    • Class participation

    A study of how law regulates intimate adult relationships and relationships between parents and children. We will discuss constitutional and statutory rights and restrictions on marriage, adult relationships, adoption, parentage, child custody, dissolution of adult relationships, and financial support for children. We will explore the evolution of family law in relation to racial and gender equality and consider issues of socioeconomic inequality and access to justice.  Grading is based on a final examination and class participation. 

    288

    Consumer Bankruptcy & Debt 2
    • JD SRWP, option
    • JD elective
    • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
    • IntlLLM writing, option
    • IntlLLM Business Cert
    • PIPS elective
    • Spring 21
    • Fall 21
    • Fall 22
    • Reflective Writing
    • Research paper option, 25+ pages
    • Research and/or analytical paper(s), 10-15 pages
    • Oral presentation
    • Class participation

    This course uses consumer bankruptcy as a lens to study the role of consumer credit in the U.S. economy and society. The class will focus on the key aspects of the consumer bankruptcy system, including who files bankruptcy, what causes bankruptcy, the consequences of bankruptcy, and the operation of the bankruptcy system. We will discuss each of these issues in the larger context of consumer debt and consumer law, and will also cover the foreclosure crisis, student loans, and issues related to debt, race, and gender. The readings will come from law and non-law sources, including the work of a variety of social scientists.

    Due to substantive overlap in material for the coming semester, students may not concurrently enroll in Law 288: Consumer Bankruptcy & Debt and Law 586: Current Debates in Bankruptcy Law. However, if you've taken one of the courses in a previous semester and wish to take the other, that will be permitted.

    300

    U.S. Legal Analysis, Research and Writing for International Students 2
    • IntlLLM NY Bar
    • IntlLLM required
    • Fall 20
    • Spring 21
    • Fall 21
    • Fall 22
    • Reflective Writing
    • Research and/or analytical paper(s), 10-15 pages

    In this foundational course, students learn legal reasoning, research skills and predictive legal writing. The course trains students to research, analyze, and present issues in the US common law style, preparing them for law school exams and any future work they might do with US attorneys. It challenges them to write in the direct, succinct style preferred by US lawyers and business people. Students complete two office memoranda that focus on questions of both state and federal law. Students improve their written English through numerous opportunities to review and revise their work. Taught in small sections by faculty who have practiced law and have extensive experience with international lawyers, the course prepares international LLM students for a transnational career.

    312

    Cybercrime 2
    • JD elective
    • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
    • IntlLLM writing
    • IntlLLM Business Cert
    • IntllLLM IP Cert
    • PIPS elective
    • Spring 21
    • Spring 22
    • Fall 22
    • Reflective Writing
    • Research and/or analytical paper(s), 10-15 pages
    • Class participation

    The course will survey the legal issues raised by cyber-related crime. The bulk of the course will be organized around two overarching themes: (1) substantive criminal law (i.e., the scope, structure, and limitations of the criminal laws that reach cyber-related crime); and (2) criminal procedure (i.e., the scope, structure, and limitations of the privacy laws and constitutional principles that regulate law enforcement investigations of cyber-related crime).  Along the way, we will also consider topics that frequently arise in cyber-related investigations and prosecutions, such as:  jurisdictional issues (e.g., federal/state dynamics and international cooperation in collecting evidence); national security considerations (e.g., state-sponsored intrusions and IP theft, terrorists’ use of the internet, government surveillance); and encryption.  We will make regular use of contemporary case studies, including several drawn from my own experience in the national security arena. 

    317

    Criminal Justice Ethics 2
    • JD elective
    • JD ethics
    • IntlLLM NY Bar
    • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
    • PIPS elective
    • Spring 21
    • Fall 21
    • Fall 22
    • Reflective Writing
    • Research and/or analytical paper(s), 15 pages
    • Class participation
    • Other

    Criminal Justice Ethics (2 Credit Seminar) focuses on the professional and ethical laws governing attorneys in the criminal justice system. The course focuses on issues affecting both prosecutors and defense attorneys and the applicable rules of professional conduct. The course will work to deepen students’ understanding of the role and responsibilities of criminal justice attorneys in society. This is a specialized ethics course with a focus on lawyers working in the criminal justice system, as such our focus will not cover the Rules of Professional Conduct in their entirety. The class is discussion-based. The primary methods of assessment will be three (3), two-page reflection papers throughout the semester and a final 15-page research and/or analytical paper.

    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.

    323

    Bankruptcy and Corporate Reorganization 2
    • JD elective
    • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
    • IntlLLM Business 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.

     

    336

    Mergers & Acquisitions: A Practitioner's Perspective 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 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.

    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.

    379

    Partnership Taxation 2
    • JD elective
    • LLM-LE (JD) elective
    • 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.

    395

    Distinctive Aspects of U.S. Law 2
    • IntlLLM NY Bar
    • IntlLLM required
    • Fall 20
    • Fall 21
    • Fall 22
    • Final Exam

    This course is intended to provide a broad introduction to key elements of American law. Emphasis will be placed on exploring contemporary constitutional issues and other issues involving fundamental principles of American law. Much of the focus will be on recent, and controversial, Supreme Court cases dealing with property law rights, affirmative action, the death penalty, punitive damages, the commerce clause, federalism, and separation of church and state. Special focus will also be given to developing a working understanding of the American litigation system, including reliance on pre-trial discovery, experts, and the jury system.

    475A

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

    Focus: Health Data and Learning Health Networks 

    Data Governance 


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

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

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

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

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

    506

    Introduction to Alternative Dispute Resolution 2
    • JD elective
    • JD experiential
    • IntlLLM NY Bar
    • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
    • Fall 21
    • Fall 22
    • Reflective Writing
    • Practical exercises
    • Class participation

    This survey course will provide you with a comprehensive overview of the various alternatives to traditional litigation that are used to resolve civil disputes, including negotiation, mediation, arbitration, collaborative law, and other innovative processes. It is designed primarily for students who wish to gain a basic understanding of the variety of dispute resolution processes available when representing a client. Each week, you will have the opportunity to explore the theoretical basis for and practical operation of different ADR processes through class discussion and in-class exercises. We will also discuss ADR and culture, ODR, drafting ADR clauses in contracts, and dispute resolution system design. Required coursework will include readings, participating in in-class exercises, preparing entries in a weekly conflict resolution journal, and an end-of-semester project. By the conclusion of the course, you should be able to assist a client in choosing the most appropriate ADR process in light of the advantages and disadvantages of each, and will better understand a third-party neutral’s role in facilitating or fashioning a just resolution of a dispute. 

    515

    Contract Drafting for the Finance Lawyer 2
    • JD elective
    • JD experiential
    • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
    • IntlLLM Business Cert
    • Fall 20
    • Spring 21
    • Practical exercises
    • In-class exercise
    • Class participation
    • Variable by section

    Contract Drafting is an upper-level course that teaches basic practical skills in contract drafting through written drafting exercises. The exercises will be done both in and outside of class, and extensive peer and instructor editing will be used. While the skills taught will be basic, they will also be translatable to more sophisticated contracts, such as those that Duke Law students can expect to see and draft in practice. The course will be a combination of lecture and in-class drafting and editing exercises, with an emphasis on the exercises. There will be pre-class reading assignments from the text, possibly supplemented with other outside reading. Some drafting exercises will be assigned to be done outside of class for subsequent in-class editing. Grading will be on the basis of these written drafting assignments, the quality of editing others' drafts, and class participation.

    519

    Contract Drafting 2
    • JD elective
    • JD experiential
    • LLM-LE (JD) elective
    • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
    • IntlLLM Business Cert
    • Fall 20
    • Spring 21
    • Fall 21
    • Spring 22
    • Fall 22
    • Spring 23
    • Practical exercises
    • In-class exercise
    • Class participation
    • Other

    Contract Drafting is an upper-level simulation course that teaches basic practical skills by having students work “in role” as lawyers undertaking various drafting tasks in a series of exercises. While the skills taught will be basic, they will also be translatable to more sophisticated contracts. The course will feature lectures, class discussions, and in-class business issue-spotting and drafting exercises, with an emphasis on the exercises. There will be pre-class reading assignments from the text, sometimes supplemented with other outside reading, including various sample contracts. Some exercises will be group projects, and regular peer feedback, along with feedback from the instructor, will be a feature. Grading will be on the basis of written drafting assignments, at least one graded peer-feedback assignment, and class participation.

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

    531

    In House Law Practice 2
    • JD elective
    • LLM-LE (JD) elective
    • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
    • IntlLLM Business Cert
    • Spring 21
    • Spring 22
    • Reflective Writing
    • Group project(s)
    • Oral presentation

    This course explores the substantive and procedural aspects of inhouse law practice. Class sessions often include guest general counsels to survey in-house legal topics, engage with real world challenges, discuss current relevant events, and distill best practices for the role. Students will have team-based interdisciplinary project assignments that draw from topics discussed in the class, reflecting real-world scenarios and providing legal representation experience. Guest general counsels are typically leading practitioners who engage with the class from a variety of perspectives, ranging from Chief Legal Officers of Fortune 50 companies to general counsels who helped grow entrepreneurial startups into household names.

    The course is designed for any student interested in inhouse practice – those who wish to work in a law firm or governmental role and interact with inhouse counsel, those who would like to practice inhouse, and those who are interested in exploring different career paths.  It is intended to provide law school students with an understanding of and practical skills for inhouse practice, legal issues unique to that role, and practical issues that face inhouse lawyers. 

    20%: Reflection Message Board Posts
    Each student will publish five brief message board posts during the semester reflecting upon insights or thoughts of interest from guest general counsel presentations.

    30%: Memo
    Student assume the role of attorney with an inhouse legal department and prepare a 5-page memo responding to a fact pattern and scenario; the memo provides an opportunity to demonstrate legal analysis and practical approaches to the issues.  They will also record and upload a five-minute presentation of their memo's findings to the "general counsel" of the company.

    40%: Project
    Halfway through the semester, students divide into teams of 4 persons. Each team will receive a fact pattern for a significant business-level-event problem which they will analyze and present their findings, legal analysis and recommendation to the CEO and board of directors for said company.

    10%: Class Engagement

    No prerequisites are necessary.

    539

    Ethics in Action 2
    • JD elective
    • JD ethics
    • IntlLLM NY Bar
    • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
    • Spring 21
    • Spring 22
    • Spring 23

    The class will function as an ethics committee considering current issues and ethics inquiries based upon actual disputes. The participants, working in small groups, will draft detailed ethics opinions that the full class will consider, revise, and the like.

    549

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

    552

    Law and Governance in China 2
    • JD SRWP
    • JD elective
    • LLM-ICL (JD) elective
    • LLM-ICL (JD) writing
    • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
    • IntlLLM writing
    • IntlLLM Business Cert
    • PIPS elective
    • Fall 21
    • Fall 22
    • Research and/or analytical paper
    • Class participation

    China’s development without a western-style rule of law raises numerous questions. Does law matter in China? If yes, how does it work? What roles has law played in China’s economic, social and political development? This seminar covers both law on the books and law in action, emphasizes change and development in understanding law and governance, and takes China as a comparative case study to deepen our understanding of the fundamental nature of legal institutions. This seminar also features guest speakers from Yale, Princeton, Harvard, and other institutions. 

    Evaluation: class participation: 30%, students should read assigned readings in advance and be prepared to be on call every week; paper(s): 70%. Students can choose to write five response papers (four pages each) or a research paper (20 pages minimum). Students should submit their research paper proposal by Sept. 23, which explains their research question, methods and plan. Finalized paper is due on December 16. The instructor keeps the discretion of approving or not approving a research paper proposal. Research papers are also qualified to satisfy JD students’ writing requirements (30 pages minimum), if they so choose. 

    558

    Foreign Anti-Bribery Law 2
    • JD SRWP with add-on credit
    • JD elective
    • LLM-ICL (JD) elective
    • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
    • LLMWriting option with additional credit
    • Fall 20
    • Fall 21
    • Fall 22
    • Reflective Writing
    • Oral presentation
    • Class participation

    Corruption is one of the major factors inhibiting economic development and undermining governmental legitimacy.  Developed governments generally enforce rules prohibiting domestic corruption, but have historically been less concerned with (and even encouraging of) foreign government corruption.  The United States passage of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act in 1977, which prohibits covered entities from bribing foreign officials, represents a major shift in this policy.  In the last fifteen years, most other major economies and economic institutions (the IMF, the World Bank) have followed suit, although enforcement has been inconsistent.  This seminar will examine the origins and evolution of this effort to regulate firms' relationships with foreign government officials.  The seminar explores the history, economics, and policy behind anti-corruption efforts and the major challenges ahead.  The seminar will engage academic articles that address the economic effects of corruption, the politics of anti-corruption enforcement, the variation in current anti-bribery agreements (the UN Convention Against Corruption and the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention), and influence of these rules on foreign investment and trade.  The seminar is designed to be very participatory, with students leading discussion. 

    Students will be evaluated on a series of critique papers, leading a class discussion, and class participation. If students wish to write a paper on a topic related to the course materials, they may request the opportunity to complete an additional  two credit independent study.  A final paper cannot replace the critique papers.

    NOTE: An additional 2 credits are available for students who wish to write a longer paper in order to satisfy the JD or JD/LLM Upper-Level Writing Requirement. Students wishing to take this option should enroll in Law 558W Foreign Anti-Bribery Writing Credit. These credits will count towards the Independent Study Research Credit Limit (Rule 3-12) *LAW 558W MUST be added no later than 7thweek of class.*

    562

    Sentencing & Punishment 2
    • JD SRWP
    • JD elective
    • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
    • IntlLLM writing
    • IntlLLM Business Cert
    • PIPS elective
    • Fall 20
    • Fall 21
    • Fall 22
    • Research paper, 25+ pages
    • Class participation

    This seminar will focus on the process of imposing sentences in criminal cases, administering punishment, and attempting rehabilitation of convicted criminals. The course will first provide background regarding the purposes of punishment and the history of mandatory sentences, presumptive sentences, and sentencing guidelines, and focus on some of these issues in more detail through the use of a expert guest lecturers and a tour of the Federal Correctional Facility in Butner, NC. Students will be expected to participate meaningfully in the lectures, guest speakers and field trip, and produce a research paper on a related topic.

    575

    Securities Litigation and Enforcement in Practice 2
    • JD elective
    • JD experiential
    • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
    • IntlLLM Business Cert
    • Spring 21
    • Fall 21
    • Practical exercises
    • In-class exercise
    • Class participation

    This two-credit experiential course will focus on the analytical, writing and presentation, and interview skills frequently used in practice while also introducing students to the general statutory and regulatory frameworks governing securities litigation and enforcement.  Litigating private securities claims and defending SEC enforcement actions are an important component of most sophisticated litigation practice; these actions have high stakes, and are almost inevitable for many corporate clients.  Writing assignments and presentations will be drawn from one hypothetical class action problem, and one hypothetical enforcement action problem.

    576

    Agency Law in a Changing Economy 2
    • JD SRWP, option
    • JD elective
    • IntlLLM NY Bar
    • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
    • IntlLLM writing, option
    • IntlLLM Business Cert
    • Spring 21
    • Spring 22
    • Spring 23
    • Research paper, 25+ pages
    • Oral presentation
    • Class participation

    Agency law encompasses the legal consequences of consensual relationships in which one person (the “principal”) manifests assent that another person (the “agent”) shall, subject to the principal’s right of control, have power to affect the principal’s legal relations through the agent’s acts and on the principal’s behalf. As the principal’s representative, an agent owes fiduciary duties to the principal. Agency doctrine applies to a wide range of relationships in which one person has legally-consequential power to represent another, populating the category, “agent,” with a variety of exemplars: lawyers, brokers in securities and other markets, officers of corporations and other legal entities, talent and literary agents, auction houses, and more. Usually, agency relationships contemplate three distinct persons: agent, principal, and third parties with whom the agent interacts, with legal consequences for all three. Agency law also governs the relationship between a principal and its agents, including its employees. The pervasiveness of agency means that its implications remain relevant despite changes in business structures and economies more generally.  This seminar covers the legal doctrines that make agency a distinct subject with in the law, in particular those differentiating agency from general contract and tort law. It also covers a number of contemporary examples in which agency doctrine may—or may not—apply with significant consequences. These may include the status of Uber drivers and other actors who perform services via platforms; the duties of commodities brokers, including merchants in financial derivatives products; the consequences of imputing an agent’s knowledge to the principal; agency as a vehicle for the imposition of vicarious liability; and the consequences for the agent and third party when a principal is undisclosed, unidentified, or undetermined. 
    The seminar will meet weekly with assigned readings. Each student will write a research paper on a topic to be chosen with the instructor’s consent and will make brief presentations to the seminar as work on the paper proceeds

    577

    Emerging Issues in Sports and the Law 2
    • JD elective
    • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
    • IntlLLM writing
    • IntlLLM Business Cert
    • Spring 21
    • Spring 22
    • Reflective Writing
    • Research and/or analytical paper(s), 10-15 pages
    • Class participation

    The course will examine the regulation of NCAA athletics and the enforcement of NCAA rules. It will examine in detail several high profile NCAA cases including those involving Penn State, Miami and UNC-Chapel Hill.

    580

    Law & Economics Colloquium 2
    • JD elective
    • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
    • IntlLLM Business Cert
    • Spring 22
    • Spring 23
    • Reflective Writing
    • Class participation

    This research seminar will involve discussing some of the latest research at the intersection of the fields of law and economics. The research papers will deal with a wide variety of topics, depending on the speaker’s interests, such as the law and economics of contract law, corporate law, intellectual property, tax, constitutional law, or legislation. We will invite speakers who are doing some of the most cutting-edge interdisciplinary work in law to present their ongoing work to the seminar. Students will be asked to prepare, in advance, short reaction papers to the speakers’ work. The requirements for the class are completion of the reaction papers and active participation in the debates over the papers being presented. There will be one class meeting each week.

    581

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

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

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

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

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

    This course aims to provide you with an understanding of legal and policy issues raised by tech-driven financial innovation. You will learn about the critical legal, regulatory, and policy issues associated with cryptocurrencies, initial coin offerings, online lending, new payments technologies, and financial account aggregators. In addition, you will learn how regulatory agencies in the U.S. are continually adjusting to the emergence of new financial technologies.

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

    586

    Current Debates in Bankruptcy Law 2
    • JD SRWP, option
    • JD elective
    • LLM-LE (JD) elective
    • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
    • IntlLLM writing, option
    • IntlLLM Business Cert
    • PIPS elective
    • Spring 21
    • Spring 22
    • Fall 22
    • Reflective Writing
    • Research paper option, 25+ pages
    • Class participation

    Is bankruptcy broken?  For some years, many academics and practitioners have argued that the nation's business and consumer bankruptcy systems are outdated or otherwise not fit for their intended purpose.  The course will examine selected topics in bankruptcy law relating to this theme (but focusing most heavily on chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code).  Key reading materials will include recent major reports proposing reforms to bankruptcy law, as well as excerpts from the scholarship and leading judicial decisions.  We will consider questions including: what is bankruptcy for? Is it simply a procedural remedy for enforcing substantive rights that exist independent of the bankruptcy case, or an opportunity more fairly to redistribute assets (or losses)? Is bankruptcy special?  Should be Bankruptcy Code be read like any other statute, or do we need special principles for bankruptcy law, and broad equitable powers for bankruptcy courts, to encourage businesses and consumers to reorganize?  We will use case studies like the Purdue Pharma opioid-crisis bankruptcy to assess this.  In the final, consumer bankruptcy component of the course, we will grapple with the reality that most consumer reorganizations are unsuccessful and consider whether the current system strikes the appropriate balance between debtors’ rights and creditors’ protection. 

    We will begin each topic by covering the relevant features of bankruptcy law, and you do not need to have taken a bankruptcy class to take this seminar. The objective of the seminar is to provide insight and into and allow for debate of bankruptcy theory and policy; in the process, we will consider the extent to which abstract theories of bankruptcy hold up in the real world, and the topics we cover will include issues of pressing interest to current bankruptcy practitioners. 

    Students will be required to participate in class discussions. Students may complete either a series of reflection papers examining the reading materials and topics discussed, or one longer 25-30 page paper designed to satisfy the SRWP. 

    Due to substantive overlap in material, students may not concurrently enroll in Law 288: Consumer Bankruptcy & Debt and Law 586: Current Debates in Bankruptcy Law. However, if you've taken one of the courses in a previous semester and wish to take the other, that will be permitted. 

    590

    Risk Regulation in the US, Europe and Beyond 2
    • JD SRWP
    • JD elective
    • LLM-ICL (JD) elective
    • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
    • IntlLLM writing
    • IntlLLM Environ Cert
    • IntlLLM Business Cert
    • IntllLLM IP Cert
    • Fall 20
    • Fall 21
    • Fall 22
    • Research paper, 25+ pages
    • Class participation

    Faced with myriad health, safety, environmental, security and financial risks, how should societies respond?  This course studies the regulation of a wide array of risks, such as disease, food, drugs, medical care, biotechnology, chemicals, automobiles, air travel, drinking water, air pollution, energy, climate change, finance, violence, terrorism, emerging technologies, and extreme catastrophic risks. (Students may propose to research other risks as well.)

    Across these diverse contexts, the course focuses on how regulatory institutions deal with the challenges of risk assessment (technical expertise), risk perceptions (public concerns and values), priority-setting (which risks should be regulated most), risk management (including the debates over "precaution" versus benefit-cost analysis, and risk-risk tradeoffs such as countervailing harms and co-benefits), and ongoing evaluation and updating.  It examines the rules and institutions for risk regulation, including the roles of legislative, executive/administrative, and judicial functions; the challenge of fragmentation and integration; the roles of oversight bodies (such as judicial review by courts, and executive review by US OMB/OIRA and the EU RSB); and the potential for international regulatory cooperation.

    The course examines these issues through a comparative approach to risk regulation in the United States, Europe, and beyond (especially those countries of interest to the students in the course each year).  It examines the divergence, convergence, and exchange of ideas across regulatory systems; the causes of these patterns; the consequences of regulatory choices; and how regulatory systems can learn to do better.

    This is a research seminar, in which students discuss and debate in class, while developing their own research.  We may also have some guest speakers.  Students' responsibilities in this course include active participation in class discussions, and writing a substantial research paper.  Students’ papers may take several approaches, such as analyzing a specific risk regulation; comparing regulation across countries; analyzing proposals to improve the regulatory system; or other related topics.

    This course is Law 590, cross-listed as Environ 733.01 and PubPol 891.01.  Graduate and professional students from outside the Law School should enroll via those Environ and PubPol course numbers, and may contact the Nicholas School registrar, Erika Lovelace, e.love@duke.edu, or the Sanford School registrar, Anita Lyon, anita.lyon@duke.edu, with any questions about enrollment.  (The Law School does not use “permission numbers.”)

    738

    Financial Law and Regulation: Practitioner's Perspective 2
    • JD elective
    • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
    • IntlLLM Business Cert
    • Spring 22
    • Reflective Writing
    • Class participation

    Every aspect of financial law and regulation depends heavily on its daily practice.  The environment changes all the time, and the scope of regulatory discretion, at every level of government (state, federal and international) is so large that successful practitioners must understand the current trends in regulatory thinking and practice.  This course will allow students to dive deep into a different aspect of modern financial regulation every week by bringing in prominent alumni practitioners who are experts in specific areas of the field.

    The course will be structured as follows:

    1. Six 4 hour components, focusing on specific aspects of financial practice according to the expertise of the teacher. Lee Reiners will hold an opening 2 hour class session.
    2. Taught by a series of expert practitioners, who will spend two days at the school. Classes will be held on Thursday and Friday.
    3. The course is a seminar based on a compilation of readings provided during the course.
    4. Students will be graded based upon class participation and six, 1,500-word, writing assignments pertaining to each of the six topics discussed by our guest lecturers.

    Likely topics to be covered include:

    • Derivatives regulation
    • High frequency trading
    • FDIC resolution and the insurance fund
    • Volcker Rule and Regulation W
    • Bank capital requirements

     

    Class will run from Feb 15th to April 5th and will consist of 13 class sessions that are 2 hours long. Seven class sessions will be on a Friday morning from 9-11am and 6 class sessions will be on Thursday afternoon from 4:00pm to 6:00pm.

    741

    Climate Change and Financial Markets 2
    • JD SRWP, option
    • JD elective
    • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
    • IntlLLM writing, option
    • IntlLLM Environ Cert
    • IntlLLM Business Cert
    • Spring 22
    • Spring 23
    • Research paper, 25+ pages
    • Oral presentation
    • Class participation

    This course will focus on one of the most important elements in combatting, adapting to and mitigating the impact of climate change, namely the role of finance.  We will review the status of climate change science to gain an understanding of the challenge facing all of us.  Recognition and commitments by governments, including most particularly the United States, China, and Europe, will then be reviewed, before we consider the multiple linkages between finance and climate change, including the adverse impact of cryptocurrency.

    Against this introduction the course will then delve into the various dimensions of financial markets and the players involved.  This is important to understand the broad ranging impact and opportunities for addressing climate change.  Once the markets and market participants are understood, the course will review the diverse roles of government agents and regulators, each of whom can have a far-reaching impact in shaping the markets and market behavior.  We will also assess the recognition of the challenge by financial market participants and their actual and potential responses to it.

    A particularly thorny area is that of market analytics.  Many market operators claim to be “green,” but at this point the methods for determining the veracity of the claims remain very underdeveloped and often contradictory.  We will consider what has still to be done before we can really evaluate the “green” performance of firms and funds.  We will also face the real challenges that such firms face when trying to adapt.

    The course will conclude with an assessment of the overall state of financial markets as one of the most important arenas in the struggle to meet the great challenges posed by climate change.

    754

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