531.01 In House Law Practice

This course explores the substantive and procedural aspects of inhouse law practice, and how they differ from law firm and governmental practices. The class sessions will present substantive legal topics discussed with legal practitioners. Course materials will be drawn from statutory, regulatory, and policy-driven materials, as well as case studies. Students will have team-based interdisciplinary project assignments that will draw from topics discussed in the class, reflecting real-world scenarios.

The course is intended to provide law school students with an understanding of and practical skills for inhouse practice, legal issues unique to that practice, and practical issues that face inhouse lawyers. It 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.

40%: Memos
Each student will prepare two memos, of five pages each, on substantive legal issues presented during class; these memos will provide students an opportunity to demonstrate practical approaches to those legal issues.

20%: Presentation
Each student will make a 5 -8 minute individual presentation to the class, ostensibly to the general counsel of a corporation, in which students will provide an overview of recent developments in a given legal area and how it applies to the corporation. All students will receive a common fact pattern for the fictitious corporation, and each will be assigned a different legal area to which the fact pattern relates. Students will be videoed for their presentation and have the opportunity to review the same.

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

The project will include an individual written component of 10 pages, a group written component of five pages, and a 30-minute team presentation.

No prerequisites are contemplated as necessary.

Spring 2020

Course Number Course Credits Evaluation Method Instructor
Course Credits
Reflective Writing
Group project(s)
Oral presentation
Bradley Zimmer, Allen Nelson
Sakai site: https://sakai.duke.edu/portal/site/LAW.531.01.Sp20
Email list: LAW.531.01.Sp20@sakai.duke.edu
Degree Requirements
Course Requirements - JD
Course Areas of Practice
Course Areas of Practice