611AB.01 Readings in Ethical Issues in National Security Law

This seminar is a one-credit, pass-fail seminar that will meet at least six times over the course of the 2023–2024 academic year. The seminar is designed for students with an interest in U.S. national security law practice issues, and it is not necessary to have any sort of background in the area. 

It will introduce some of the ethical issues confronting lawyers as they try to navigate today's national security environment 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 and examine specific cases of problematic behavior by lawyers. We will also address the practical issues of dealing with clients in high-stress situations, as well as the "work-life" balance in this area of practice.

The instructor will relate episodes from his more than 47 years as a lawyer (including more than 34 in the military) to illustrate issues and offer practical advice.

The curriculum will include a film and readings across various case studies, law journal articles, and other relevant material. The instructor may augment his own experience with guest discussants. During the 2023–2024 academic year, the seminar will place special emphasis on the challenges presented by the integration of artificial intelligence into the national security enterprise. In addition issues related to the conflict in Ukraine will be discussed.

Students are required to read three books for discussion: Paul Scharre’s Army of None: Autonomous Weapons and the Future of War; P.W. Singer’s Burn-In: A Novel of the Real Robotic Revolution, and On Killing Remotely: The Psychology of Killing with Drones.

The meetings for the fall of 2024 will take place from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. on the Sunday afternoons of September 10th and October Ist and November 5th.  The session on November 5th will be at the Law School 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 2024 are tentatively set for January 21st, February 11th and April 7th.  Students are asked to reserve February 4th as a make-up date if needed.  All dates are subject to change.

The sessions of the seminar (except for the movie session which will take place at the Law School) will take place at Maj. Gen. Dunlap’s home (about ten minutes from the Law School), with Mrs. Dunlap being the hostess. Refreshments and snacks will be served. 

Special Notes:

Year-long course

Fall 2023

Course Number Course Credits Evaluation Method Instructor
Course Credits
Charles J. Dunlap, Jr.
Sakai site: https://sakai.duke.edu/portal/site/LAW-611AB-01-F23
Email list: LAW-611AB-01-F23@sakai.duke.edu
Degree Requirements
Course Requirements - JD
Course Requirements - LLM
Course Requirements - Public Interest