Course Browser

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

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

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

JD/LLM in International & Comparative Law

JD/LLM in Law & Entrepreneurship

International LLM - 1 year

Certificate in Public interest and Public Service Law

Areas of Study & Practice

Clear all filters 23 courses found.
Number Course Title Credits Degree Requirements Semesters Taught Methods of Evaluation

120

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

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

140

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

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

170

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

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

180

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

An analysis of liability for personal injuries and injuries to property. The law of negligence occupies a central place in the course content, but this course also considers other aspects of tort liability such as strict liability, liability of producers and sellers of products, nuisance, liability for defamation and invasion of privacy, and commercial torts. The subjects of causation, damages, insurance (including automobile no-fault compensation systems), and workmen's compensation are also included.

200

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

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

210

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

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

225

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

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

226

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

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

238

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

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

 

239

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

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

    245

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

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

    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.

    290

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

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

    295

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

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

    317

    Criminal Justice Ethics 2
    • JD elective
    • JD ethics
    • IntlLLM NY Bar
    • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
    • PIPS elective
    • Spring 21
    • Fall 21
    • Fall 22
    • Spring 23
    • 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.

    342

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

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

    390

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

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

    460

    Negotiation for Lawyers 3
    • JD elective
    • JD experiential
    • LLM-LE (JD) elective
    • IntlLLM NVE Cert
    • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
    • IntlLLM writing, option
    • Fall 20
    • Spring 21
    • Fall 21
    • Spring 22
    • Fall 22
    • Spring 23
    • Reflective Writing
    • Research and/or analytical paper(s), 15-20 pages
    • Practical exercises
    • Class participation

    For lawyers in every type of law practice, the ability to negotiate effectively is an essential skill.  As a lawyer, you will negotiate when you try to settle a lawsuit, close a merger, or arrange a plea bargain.  You will negotiate with counterparts, clients, and co-workers.  You will negotiate with service providers and the “system” – the court, the government, or your community.  And, you will continue to negotiate with your friends and family.  In this highly interactive seminar, we will explore the theories, skills, and ethics involved in legal negotiation.  With limited exceptions, in each class you will participate in a role-play simulation of increasing complexity, experiment with new techniques, and then reflect on what negotiation strategies worked best for you.  Over the course of the semester, in addition to in-person exercises, you will have opportunities to negotiate by email, telephone, and videoconference, and to evaluate the pros and cons of each so you understand how to select the most appropriate medium given the particular parties and circumstances.  Through this process, you will not only gain insight into your own negotiation style, you will develop the toolkit you need to approach each new negotiation with confidence. 

    Because of the nature of the course, the amount of information delivered during the first class period, the importance of participating in the first role-play simulation during the first class period, and the typical waitlists for enrollment in the course, attendance at the first class is absolutely required.  A student who fails to attend the first class without prior consent of the instructor will forfeit his or her place in the class.  (Working for an additional week in the summer and call-back interviews are not acceptable excuses for missing the first class.)  Students who are on the waitlist for the course are encouraged to attend the first class, and those who do will be given preference to fill open slots in the class.  There is a shortened drop period for this course so that students who are waitlisted can enroll before the second class occurs.  Thus, students may drop this course without permission only before the second class. 

    Because of the similarities between this course and the negotiation course taught at the Fuqua School of Business, a law student may not receive law school credit for both courses.

     

    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.

    576

    Agency Law in a Changing Economy 2
    • JD SRWP, option
    • JD elective
    • IntlLLM NY Bar
    • IntlLLM-SJD-EXC elective
    • IntlLLM writing
    • 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

    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. 

    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.  

      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