Choosing Courses

Duke Law offers great latitude to upper-class students to design their class schedules and focus on their areas of interest. Beyond the ethics, professional skills, and upper-class writing requirements, traditional JD students enjoy flexibility in picking classes.

Dual-degree students may choose from additional classes throughout the University and the Law School offers a variety of resources to assist students in navigating through the range of courses available.

Regularly Scheduled Courses

The following courses are offered every semester*:

  • Business Associations
  • Evidence
  • Federal Income Tax
  • Intellectual Property
  • Most clinics

You also can expect the following courses to be offered every year*:

Administrative Law, Appellate Practice, Comparative Law, Copyright, Corporate Restructuring, Corporate Tax, Criminal Procedure (Formal and Police), Employment Discrimination, Environmental Law, Federal Courts, Immigration Law, International Business Transactions, International Law, International Trade, Labor Relations, Negotiation, Patent Law, Principles of Commercial and Bankruptcy Law, Poverty Law, Securities Regulation, Sports Law, Structuring Commercial and Financial Transactions, Trial Practice, Trusts and Estates. Many of our seminars are also scheduled every year.

* While the Law School makes every effort to offer classes in accordance with the above schedule, faculty leaves of absence and other unforeseen circumstances may affect the ability to offer these courses in any given semester. If you have questions about specific classes, please contact the Registrar's Office or the Office of Student Affairs.

Need Assistance?

Please contact the Office of Student Affairs if you would like to schedule an appointment to discuss your academic plan. We also encourage you to ask questions of the faculty and watch the course selection advice videos.

The only upper-class requirements for the JD are that students must take a class that satisfies the ethics requirement, a class, clinic or externship that satisfies the professional responsibility requirement and complete the JD substantial research and writing project requirement, typically through a course or independent study. Students select the remaining courses to gain in-depth knowledge of their practice areas of interest, additional training in selected skill areas, and/or coverage of areas of particular personal interest. The following are words of advice from a number of faculty assembled for that purpose:

General Advice

Corporate Law

Criminal Law

Litigation and General Practice

Public Interest