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

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

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

JD/LLM in International & Comparative Law

JD/LLM in Law & Entrepreneurship

International LLM - 1 year

Certificate in Public interest and Public Service Law

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Clear all filters 30 courses found.
Number Course Title Credits Degree Requirements Semesters Taught Methods of Evaluation

227

Use of Force in International Law: Cyber, Drones, Hostage Rescues, Piracy, and more 2
  • JD SRWP, option
  • JD elective
  • LLM-ICL (JD) elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM writing, option
  • PIPS elective
  • Fall 20
  • Fall 21
  • Fall 22
  • Reflective Writing
  • Research paper option, 25+ pages
  • Research and/or analytical paper(s), 20+ pages
  • Oral presentation
  • Class participation

This fall-only seminar is designed to introduce students with limited or no familiarity with international law to principles involved in jus ad bellum, that is, when states can resort to the use of force during periods of putative peace. It will explore, for example, what circumstances constitute an “act of war” in variety of situations.

The course will analyze when and how force may be used in self-defense and will survey topics such as humanitarian intervention, hostage rescue, air defense identification zones, freedom of navigation operations, use of force in the cyber domain, and the legal aspects of international counter-piracy and counterterrorism operations (including drone strikes). Efforts to limit the use of force in outer space as well as the implications of nuclear weapons and the emergence of autonomous weaponry will be explored.

Case studies and current news events, including some related to the conflict in Ukraine, will be examined in conjunction with the covered issues. In addition, students will get an overview of the practical issues associated with the use of force, to include the weaponry, planning, and military techniques involved.

This course obviously addresses the use of force in international law. Accordingly, class instruction will inevitably include written, oral, and visual depictions of physical force and violence—and occasionally extreme representations of the same.

You are not require to purchase any books for this course, because they are available for free online from the Duke Law Library. A key book for this course is entitled The Use of Force in International Law: A Case-Based Approach (2018). You will not be required to read this entire book (it’s 960 pages!). Additionally, we will use parts of Regulating the Use of Force in International Law (2021; Necessity and Proportionality and the Right of Self-Defence in International Law (2021) and The Future Law of Armed Conflict (2022) (available online July 2022).

There is no examination, but a 20-page paper (constituting 60% of the grade) is required on a topic chosen by the student and approved by the instructor. With instructor approval, the course paper may fulfill the Substantial Research and Writing Project (SRWP) or other writing requirements provided it is at least 30 pages in length and otherwise complies with SRWP requirements. The remainder of the grade (40%) is based on the quality and frequency of class participation, and may require the preparation of short presentations, and response papers.

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.

    298

    Ocean and Coastal Law and Policy 2
    • JD SRWP, option
    • JD elective
    • LLM-ICL (JD) elective
    • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
    • IntlLLM writing, option
    • IntlLLM Environ Cert
    • PIPS elective
    • Fall 20
    • Fall 21
    • Fall 22
    • Reflective Writing
    • Research and/or analytical paper
    • Group project(s)
    • Oral presentation
    • Class participation

    This course explores laws and policies that affect decisions on United States ocean and coastal resources. We examine statutes, regulations, attitudes, and cases that shape how the United States (and several states) use, manage, and protect the coasts and oceans out to – and sometimes beyond – the 200-mile limit of the Exclusive Economic Zone. We cover government and private approaches to coastal and ocean resources, including beaches, wetlands, estuaries, reefs, fisheries, endangered species, and special areas.

    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.

    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.

    320

    Water Resources Law 2
    • JD SRWP
    • JD elective
    • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
    • IntlLLM writing, option
    • IntlLLM Environ Cert
    • PIPS elective
    • Spring 21
    • Spring 22
    • Research paper, 25+ pages

    This survey course studies the legal and policy issues governing water resource allocation in the United States. Students will be introduced to both the Prior Appropriation systems of the western United States and the Reasonable Use systems dominating the eastern states. We will study the law applied to groundwater use as well as laws and regulations governing the institutions who allocate water resources. We will also discuss the Safe Drinking Water Act and how environmental justice relates to water resource management.

    368

    Natural Resources Law and Policy 2
    • JD SRWP, option
    • JD elective
    • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
    • IntlLLM writing, option
    • IntlLLM Environ Cert
    • PIPS elective
    • Fall 20
    • Fall 21
    • Fall 22
    • Research paper, 25+ pages
    • Class participation

    The law of how we use nature - timber, mining, bioversity, fisheries, water rights, and agriculture. Also an introduction to the historical and constitutional geography of American public lands: the national parks, forests, wilderness system, and grazing lands, and disputes over federal versus local control of these. There is special attention to the historical and political origins of our competing ideas of how nature matters and what we should do with it, from economically productive use to outdoor recreation to preserving the natural world for its own sake. Attention also to the complicated interplay of science and law.

    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.

    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. 

    526

    Jury Decision Making 2
    • JD elective
    • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
    • IntlLLM writing, option
    • Spring 22
    • Spring 23
    • Reflective Writing
    • Research and/or analytical paper(s), 20+ pages
    • Class participation

    This course is intended as an introduction to experimental research, legal theory, and caselaw on jury decision making.  Although the topic overlaps considerably with areas of basic decision making--e.g., the heuristics and biases literature--the focus will be mostly on applied research looking at the decisions of real (or simulated) jurors.

    538

    Transitional Justice 2
    • JD SRWP, option
    • JD elective
    • LLM-ICL (JD) elective
    • LLM-ICL (JD) writing, option
    • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
    • IntlLLM writing, option
    • PIPS elective
    • Fall 22
    • Reflective Writing
    • Research and/or analytical paper(s), 20+ pages

    This 2-credit seminar will provide an introduction to the field of “transitional justice,” which refers to a broad range of processes and mechanisms that have been developed to respond to major violations of human rights that often occur during armed conflicts, under the rule of authoritarian regimes, or in divided societies where a dominant ethnic, racial, or religious group has systematically persecuted members of a minority or other marginalized group. Transitional justice seeks to achieve one or more of the following objectives depending on the context: providing redress for victims and accountability for perpetrators through judicial or non-judicial mechanisms (while recognizing that these are not binary categories and the same person can be both a victim and a perpetrator), repairing damaged relationships between offenders and victims (also known as “restorative justice”), promoting peaceful coexistence between previously adversarial groups, truth-telling and memorialization of the historical record of human rights violations, and legal or political reforms that address the root causes of the conflict in order to prevent its recurrence in the future. The seminar will also explore the importance of different types of data or evidence both for documenting international crimes and other forms of injustice and harm that transitional justice processes seek to address, and for empirically evaluating the effectiveness of peacebuilding programs that have been implemented in Iraq, Chile, and other contexts.

    The seminar will also engage with important critiques and limitations of the field of transitional justice, which has historically been dominated by scholars and institutions from the Global North, and by Eurocentric concepts of justice that are not necessarily universal. Contemporary transitional justice efforts have focused disproportionately on what are often described as “tribal,” “ethnic,” and “sectarian” conflicts in the Middle East and Africa, but have paid considerably less attention to the enduring legacies of colonial and white supremacist violence in North America. Transitional justice also tends to prioritize accountability for some forms of violence, conflict, and crime over others. For example, compensation is often provided for victims of lethal violence (e.g., “condolence” payments made by the U.S. military in Iraq and Afghanistan to family members of civilians killed in airstrikes) but not for other forms of non-lethal harm such as sexual violence. Students will come away from the seminar with a strong understanding of the primary tools and mechanisms for transitional justice (e.g., trials, truth and reconciliation commissions, compensation), key historical case studies including Iraq, Rwanda, and the United States, and important debates and critiques that have shaped the field.

    Students can choose one of three options to fulfill the course requirements: 

    • A research paper of approximately 20-25 pages* 
    • 5 short response papers on weekly readings (approximately 1,500 words each)
    • POLSCI or LAW: 1 research design proposal for an original research project using any empirical methods (e.g., qualitative, quantitative, archival) including draft Institutional Review Board (IRB) protocol (required for research with human subjects such as interviews, surveys, or participant observation)

    *LAW students will have an option to satisfy the JD Upper Level Writing Requirement through extension of the paper to 30 pages. 

    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.

    551

    Civil Rights Enforcement Colloquium 2
    • JD SRWP, option
    • JD elective
    • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
    • IntlLLM writing, option
    • PIPS elective
    • Spring 22
    • Reflective Writing
    • Research paper option, 30 pages
    • Class participation

    This two-credit colloquium is designed to engage students on questions concerning the enforcement of civil rights (broadly defined) in America. Whereas most law school classes focus on the substance of such rights, this class will examine how civil rights are conceived and enforced – by individual rights-holders, by movement lawyers, or by governments. The colloquium will feature workshop-style presentations of works by scholars working in diverse fields, including civil rights, legal history, federal courts, and state and local government; as well as presentations by advocates involved in the work of civil rights enforcement. Students will be expected to engage with the speaker and with each other in discussion. Faculty interested in these topics also will be invited to attend and participate in the discussions.

    Students have two options for completing the requirements of the course:  1) short (5-10 page) papers in response to at least six of the works presented, due in advance of the presentation; or 2) a longer research paper (roughly 30 pages) dealing with a topic of their choice related to the themes of the class.  Students who take the latter option could use the colloquium to satisfy the upper-level writing requirement. Contributions to class discussions will also be a component of the course grade.

    555

    Law and Financial Anxiety 2
    • JD SRWP, option
    • JD elective
    • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
    • IntlLLM writing, option
    • PIPS elective
    • Fall 20
    • Spring 22
    • Spring 23
    • Reflective Writing
    • Research paper option, 25+ pages
    • Research and/or analytical paper(s), 15-20 pages
    • Oral presentation
    • Class participation

    This course identifies and explores aspects of the American legal system that have effects – both negative and positive – on the ability of people and society to prevent the onset of financial anxiety and economic insecurity.   Set in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic but with analogues in laws that were enacted and implemented in other contexts,  the class will explore the meaning of financial anxiety and economic insecurity and discuss why they matter.  The class will then explore various laws. and their implementation by federal and state agencies, as relevant to financial anxiety and economic insecurity.   Subjects that bear upon financial anxiety that will be explored through the prism of law include housing finance, student loan finance, personal information security and climate security. The legislative response to the COVID-19 pandemic, in particular the CARES Act, will be analyzed in relation to how laws regarding financial anxiety and economic insecurity have been crafted by Congress in the last decade as a response to crises such as the financial and foreclosure crisis of 2008,   With these comparative laws and financial contexts, the class will engage in discussions about the extent to which the American legal system is equipped to handle the challenges of dealing with financial anxiety in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.  We will discuss financial anxiety in the larger context of consumer debt, agency and regulatory action, and legislative responsiveness as well as differential impacts related to debt, race and gender. The readings will come from law and non-law sources. The class will discuss issues relevant to the legal system and the study of business law and finance generally, including the use of data to illuminate legal problems, the role of lawyers and business actors, and the nature of modern policymaking.

    556

    Second Amendment: History, Theory, and Practice 2
    • JD SRWP, option
    • JD elective
    • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
    • IntlLLM writing
    • IntlLLM writing, option
    • PIPS elective
    • Fall 20
    • Fall 21
    • Fall 22

    Recent Supreme Court decisions have ushered in a new era of Second Amendment theory, litigation, and politics. Current events keep issues of firearms, gun violence, gun safety, and self-defense constantly in the news. This seminar will explore the Second Amendment and other aspects of federal and state firearms law. Students will be introduced to the historical and public policy materials surrounding the Second Amendment, the regulatory environment concerning firearms, and the political and legal issues pertaining to firearm rights-enforcement and policy design. Evaluation for the seminar will be based on in-class participation and a choice between six short reaction papers or one thirty-page paper.

    573

    Shaping Law and Policy: Advocacy and the Affordable Care Act 2
    • JD elective
    • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
    • IntlLLM writing, option
    • PIPS elective
    • Fall 20
    • Fall 21
    • Reflective Writing
    • Research and/or analytical paper(s), 15-20 pages
    • Class participation

    This seminar will examine how legal advocacy shapes law and public policy at the federal level, with particular emphasis on the last decade+ of history under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). It will draw upon case histories of public interest litigation, administrative law advocacy, legislative development, and popular opinion strategies. Each weekly seminar will focus on one or two of the health policy issues addressed in the ACA, across its various stages of development and evolution. Topics will include the individual mandate, Medicaid expansion, state waivers, insurance exchanges, insurance coverage requirements, and insurer risk protections, as well as broader legal issues involving administrative rulemaking, constitutional rights, federalism, statutory history, standing, and severability, Our class will examine how attorneys and their allies can play either offense or defense, or even switch roles, as the later stages of policy debates shift. The ACA provides an organizing context for illustrating how Washington-oriented attorneys and related legal advocates operate, while offering a quick introduction to a host of contemporary issues in health law and policy. The seminar will provide a balanced representation of efforts by ACA defenders, opponents, and those in-between as they engaged in various regulatory and litigation activities to advance, negate, or alter the law’s original intentions. Study of the diverse and often-shifting legal problems encountered by a single industry, particularly one as important and complex as health care, may appeal to students generally interested in public policy and in law and economics, not just health care, as well as those interested in sharpening their skills in legal advocacy through involvement in litigation and administrative rulemaking. Relatively early selection of potential paper topics is advised.   

    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

    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. 

    588

    Investigating and Prosecuting National Security Cases 2
    • JD SRWP with add-on credit
    • JD elective
    • LLM-ICL (JD) elective
    • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
    • IntlLLM writing, option
    • PIPS elective
    • Spring 21
    • Spring 22
    • Spring 23
    • Reflective Writing
    • Research and/or analytical paper(s), 10-15 pages
    • Class participation

    National security cases present unique challenges to prosecutors and defense attorneys. From the outset of an investigation, and before charges are brought, prosecutors and investigators must take into account a number of considerations, including coordination with the intelligence community and potential conflicts that may arise between law enforcement and intelligence gathering. After a case is charged, such cases frequently present other challenges, such as complying with discovery obligations while protecting classified information and obtaining testimony from foreign witnesses who may be beyond the reach of the U.S. government. This course will provide an in-depth examination of the unique issues that lawyers face in national security prosecutions and the substantive and procedural tools used to navigate those issues.  We will also examine the advantages and limitations of civilian prosecutions and consider the effectiveness of current procedures and criminal statutes in addressing modern national security threats.  An emphasis will be placed on case-specific examples and hypotheticals, drawing in part on the instructor’s experience and pending public cases.  The course will culminate in a simulation in which students are presented with a rapidly unfolding national security incident in which they are asked to address various hypotheticals at different stages of the case.

    Students will be expected to complete a final paper of 10-15 pages in length on a topic approved by the instructor. JD or LLM students who wish to use the paper to satisfy the substantial writing requirement of their degree should enroll in a 1 credit independent study with Professor Stansbury and will be expected to write a final paper of 25-30 pages in length. The Independent Study will be graded on a credit/no-credit basis.

    707

    Statutory Interpretation Colloquium 2
    • JD SRWP
    • JD elective
    • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
    • IntlLLM writing, option
      • Reflective Writing
      • Research paper, 25+ pages

      The objective of the course is to introduce students to important issues concerning the theory and doctrine of statutory interpretation through exposure to cutting-edge legal scholarship. The colloquium will feature bi-weekly presentations of works-in-progress by leading scholars of statutory interpretation, legislation, and administrative law. In the week preceding each presentation, students will read and discuss foundational materials (a mix of academic commentary and case law) on topics related to the work-in-progress.

      Students may opt to prepare six short (5-10 page) papers in response to each work-in-progress, which would be due in advance of the presentation and used to stimulate discussion. Alternatively, students may write one longer research paper (roughly 30 pages) dealing with a topic of their choice related to the themes of the class. Students who take the latter option may use the colloquium to satisfy the upper-level writing requirement.

      714

      Coastal Resilience in the Face of Climate Change 2
      • JD elective
      • LLM-ICL (JD) elective
      • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
      • IntlLLM writing, option
      • IntlLLM Environ Cert
      • PIPS elective
      • Spring 21
      • Spring 22
      • Research and/or analytical paper(s), 15-20 pages
      • Group project(s)
      • Class participation

      This seminar will provide students an opportunity to engage closely with emerging law and policy issues associated with the need to increase coastal resilience in the face of climate change.  The recent experiences of both North and South Carolina with Hurricane Florence have highlighted the need for coastal communities to address a wide range of issues associated with climate change.  In addition to designing approaches to increase resilience when faced with storms and rising sea levels, these issues include: (1) information-gathering (via maps, drones, and scientific research about coastal/ocean processes); (2) law and policy refinements (via statutes, regulations, and guidance); and (3) possible litigation to develop useful common law doctrines relevant to the tidelands and the public trust.  Through the use of current cases and policy issues under debate in coastal communities, students will work together to research the most salient questions presented by these issues.  They will analyze relevant facts, laws, policies, socio-economic considerations, and local ordinances, and prepare proposed solutions to these questions in the form of advisory memos and recommendations.  

      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.

      789

      Writing: Federal Litigation 2
      • JD elective
      • JD experiential
      • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
      • IntlLLM writing, option
      • PIPS elective
      • Fall 20
      • Fall 21
      • Fall 22
      • Simulated Writing, Litigation
      • Reflective Writing
      • Oral presentation
      • Practical exercises
      • In-class exercise
      • Class participation

      This writing and experiential course will provide students with the opportunity to practice several different types of persuasive writing used in federal litigation. The students will work on a hypothetical case involving an employment discrimination matter. The students will follow the case from the administrative agency level, to the filing of a complaint in federal court, through the discovery process, and culminating in the filing and arguing of a motion for summary judgment. In addition to writing, the students will have the opportunity to interview a client and a witness and to practice their oral advocacy skills in a mock meeting with a partner and a mock hearing. This course will be useful for anyone interested in practicing in federal court and/or pursuing a federal clerkship at the trial court level.

      791

      Judicial Writing 2
      • JD elective
      • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
      • IntlLLM writing, option
      • Spring 21
      • Spring 22
      • Simulated Writing, Litigation
      • Reflective Writing
      • Oral presentation
      • In-class exercise
      • Class participation

      This course is intended to appeal to any student who seeks a judicial clerkship or aspires to be a judge, or who simply wants to learn more about how and why judges write judicial opinions. Students will consider the complexities of being on the bench, including judges' relationships with the public, with lawyers, with other judges, and with their clerks. The students will try their hands at formats and styles unique to clerking or judging, including a bench brief, an analytic paper, and an appellate-court opinion.

      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