611AB.01 Readings in the Ethical Issues of the Practice of National Security Law

This seminar is a one-credit, pass-fail seminar that will meet at least six times over the course of the 2020–2021 academic year. It will be presented in-person on the Law School campus if possible (with virtual options for students who cannot attend).    

The seminar is designed for those with an interest in U.S. national security law practice issues, and especially students with little or no background in the area.  It will introduce some of the ethical issues confronting young lawyers as they try to navigate today's national security environment, either as a military or civilian attorney practicing in the U.S. government, a member of a law firm, or as a counsel for a corporation or non-governmental organization.

We will consider, for example, how the existing rules of professional conduct may (or may not) apply in the national security law setting, as well as examine specific cases of problematic behavior by lawyers. We will also address the practical issues of dealing with clients in very high-stress situations, as well as the "work-life" balance in this area of practice.

The instructor will use episodes from his more than 34 years as a military lawyer to illustrate issues, and offer practical advice.

Readings will include various case studies, law journal articles, and other relevant material. A film will also be part of the curriculum.  The instructor may augment his own experience with guest discussants. During the 2020–2021 academic year the seminar will place special emphasis on the challenges occasioned by the integration of artificial intelligence into the national security enterprise.

Students are required to read three books for discussion: Paul Scharre’s Army of None: Autonomous Weapons and the Future of War; Burn-In: A Novel of the Real Robotic Revolution, and Call Sign Chaos: Learning to Lead.

The meetings for the fall of 2020 will take place from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. on the Sunday afternoons of September 20th and October 4th.  The session on October 25th will go from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. as we will show the movie, Eye in the Sky, and have a discussion about it.  The dates for the spring of 2021 will be January 24th, February 21st and March 7th.  All dates are subject to change. 

If Law School rules permit, it is hoped that the spring sessions of the seminar will take place at Maj. Gen. Dunlap’s home (about ten minutes from the Law School), with Mrs. Dunlap being the hostess.  At in-person meetings, refreshments and snacks will be served so long as allowed by the rules prevailing at the time.

Special Notes:

HYBRID *Year-Long Course

Fall 2020

Course Number Course Credits Evaluation Method Instructor
Course Credits
Charles J. Dunlap, Jr.
Sakai site: https://sakai.duke.edu/portal/site/LAW.611A.01.F20
Email list: LAW.611A.01.F20@sakai.duke.edu
Degree Requirements
Course Requirements - JD
Course Requirements - LLM
Course Requirements - Public Interest