611AB.01 Readings: National Security Law

This one-credit, pass-fail seminar will meet at least six times during the 2024–2025 academic year. It is designed for students interested in U.S. national security law practice issues, but no background in the area is necessary.

This salon-style discussion and instruction class will introduce some of the ethical issues confronting lawyers as they try to navigate today's national security environment as military or civilian attorneys practicing in the U.S. government, members of a law firm, or 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 lawyer behavior. We will also address the practical issues of dealing with clients in high-stress situations and the "work-life" balance in this practice area.

The instructor, with an impressive 48 years of legal experience (including over 34 in the military), will use real-life episodes to illustrate issues and provide practical advice, offering a unique and privileged learning opportunity.

The curriculum, which includes a film and readings across various case studies, law journal articles, and other relevant material, will address the timely challenges presented by the integration of artificial intelligence into the national security enterprise. Furthermore, it will delve into issues related to the ongoing conflicts in Ukraine and Gaza, making the course highly engaging and connected to current events.

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 parts of The Origins of Victory: How Disruptive Military Innovation Determines the Fares of Great Powers – specifically pages 3-159, and 342-443. (Origins of Victory is available for free online from the Duke Law Library)

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 15th, October 27th, and November 3rd. The session on November 3rd will be at the Law School from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. as we will show the movie Eye in the Sky and discuss it.

Students are asked to reserve November 24th as a make-up date if needed.  All dates are subject to change.

The spring of 2025 dates are tentatively set for January 26th, February 2nd, and April 6th. (March 23 is a potential makeup date.)

The seminar sessions, except for the movie session, which will take place at the Law School, will be held in the unique and intimate setting of Maj. Gen. Dunlap’s home, located just ten minutes from the Law School. With Mrs. Dunlap as the hostess, the sessions will provide a comfortable and relaxed learning environment. Refreshments and snacks will be served.

Special Notes:

Year-long course

Fall 2024

Course Number Course Credits Evaluation Method Instructor
Course Credits
Charles J. Dunlap, Jr.
Degree Requirements
Course Requirements - JD
Course Requirements - LLM
Course Requirements - Public Interest