PUBLISHED:March 10, 2014

Register now for Duke D.C. Summer Institute on Law and Policy short courses

Registration remains open for short courses at Duke Law School’s D.C. Summer Institute on Law and Policy. The two-week evening courses, held in two sessions beginning July 7, will focus on topics of broad interest to college and graduate students as well as professionals working in the nation’s capital. Students who are thinking about law school or interning on Capitol Hill or in federal agencies are especially encouraged to apply.

"I couldn't recommend the program more to anyone considering law school in the future," said Daniel Strunk, who attended the D.C. Summer Institute last year as a Duke University undergraduate and is headed to Yale Law School in the fall. "By providing legal courses taught by Duke Law's faculty, the Institute captures the law school experience better than any program out there. Not only that, the relaxed classroom setting combined with the present-day relevance of the curriculum makes the time incredibly enjoyable and enriching." 

Three courses offered in the first session will introduce participants to U.S. constitutional, regulatory, and statutory law, with a special focus on such topics as the constitutionality of health care reform, affirmative action in higher education, and state bans on same-sex marriage; and current issues in national and international security law, from drones to surveillance. The two second-session courses, which begin on July 21, will explore the fields of international human rights advocacy and law and economics, respectively. 

Courses will be held Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday evenings at the Duke in Washington office located near the Metro Center. Special programs open to all registered students will be held on Wednesday evenings, including a July 30 event featuring Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who was the featured guest at a July 2013 celebration of the Summer Institute’s launch.

The inaugural season of courses received an enthusiastic response from students and faculty.

"Last year's Summer Institute was so generative and fun that I am eager to engage with the students again,” said Director Neil Siegel, the David W. Ichel Professor of Law and Professor of Political Science.

Siegel will teach two classes in the first session – American Constitutional Structure: Congressional Power and the Constitutionality of Obamacare; and American Constitutional Equality: Race, Gender, and Sexual Orientation.  “I am especially pleased that they will have the opportunity to meet Justice Ginsburg, who has graciously agreed to an encore performance," he said. A scholar of constitutional law and the federal courts, Siegel clerked for Justice Ginsburg before entering academia.

Professor Charles Dunlap Jr., the executive director of Duke’s Center on Law, Ethics and National Security, and former deputy judge advocate of the U.S. Air Force, will reprise his class, Hot Topics in National and International Security Law, which will cover such matters as drones, cyberwar, “lawfare,” and surveillance.

“It was a phenomenal experience – [I] could not recommend it enough,” one student wrote in response to Dunlap’s class. “He was a phenomenal teacher who interacted with his students on a personal level.”

International Human Rights Advocacy will be taught by Clinical Professor Jayne Huckerby, who directs Duke’s International Human Rights Clinic. She will introduce students to the institutions, strategies, and key actors in the field of international human rights law and advocacy while examining such current issues as national security, corporate accountability, and human trafficking.

Barak Richman, the Edgar P. and Elizabeth C. Bartlett Professor of Law and Professor of Business Administration, will use real-world examples such as the hiring practices of the NFL and the costs and benefits of the Affordable Care Act to illustrate how economic concepts are used to support and assess policies, laws, and regulations.

There are no prerequisites for any courses, with each course designed to offer students an accessible introduction to the legal and policy issues at play.

"It was the perfect introduction to a law school classroom and complemented much of the coursework in my [college] gender studies courses," said Tatum Lindsay, who attended the D.C. Summer Institute last year while an undergraduate at Mount Holyoke College. The chance to hear Justice Ginsburg in person, she added, was "life-changing."

For more information, contact Amanda Lacoff or visit the D.C. Summer Institute on Law and Policy website.