Wintersession for 1Ls

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The vision for Wintersession is to better prepare Duke Law students for their future legal careers through professional skills training from outstanding practitioners. Short, unique, hands-on courses are offered for a half-credit, specifically targeted at teaching important skills for the young associate (contract drafting, taking a deposition, creating a business entity, etc.) and providing practical insight about the realities of the practice of law. Wintersession also provides students with the opportunity to interact with and learn from Duke Law’s many accomplished alumni and other lawyers of similar stature. This FAQ page for the program is a good source for additional information.

In past years, Law 844: The Counselor and the Client: The Corporate Context has been designated as the only Wintersession course available to first-year students. Designed as an introduction to the commercial, regulatory and institutional environment of contemporary business transactions, the course outlines the role of attorneys in advising and facilitating those transactions. The course seeks to help students better understand of the mechanisms, processes and personalities that accompany everyday commercial transactions and will be acquainted with the vocabulary used in business and other organizations. The purpose of the course is to provide an overview of the business context in which lawyers function and is intended for all students, whatever their ultimate focus, not just those who intend to practice corporate law.

With the introduction of Business Associations as a spring elective, first-year students are now permitted to select from a longer list of Wintersession courses. Enrollment in Law 844 remains limited to first-year JD students only; it is recommended for those not taking Business Associations who would like an introduction to corporate law concepts prior to 1L summer and fall 2L course selection. Law 861, Perspectives and Foundations of Justice, and Law 887, Cross-Cultural Lawyering, are also now offered exclusively to 1Ls during Wintersession.

All first-year students may now take a full credit in Wintersession.* Below is the full list of courses approved for 1Ls in Wintersession 2024. Please note that your LARW classes will be meeting during the lunch hour on Wednesday, January 10, so will not conflict with any Wintersession classes. If you register for a class that is not on this list, you will be dropped automatically.

  • Law 800, Basics of Accounting
  • Law 814, Basics for the Finance Lawyer
  • Law 816, Counseling & Creating an Entity
  • Law 817, Excel for Lawyers
  • Law 825, Practice and Strategic Development of International Transactions (full credit; please note that this course will meet Saturday, January 6, 12-3pm; Sunday, January 7, 12-3pm; Saturday, January 13, 2-5pm; and Sunday, January 14, 2-5pm. These times differ from those in DukeHub.)
  • Law 833, Trauma-Informed Lawyering
  • Law 837, Legal and Policy Aspects of US Civil-Military Relations
  • Law 844, The Counselor & the Client (1Ls only, if not enrolled in Business Associations)
  • Law 853, The Way It All Works
  • Law 861, Perspectives and Foundations of Justice (1Ls only)
  • Law 863, Life or Death: The Decision-Making Process in a Death Penalty Case
  • Law 871: Improv for Lawyers
  • Law 880, Introduction to Research for Public Interest Practice
  • Law 884, Lawyering for Systemic Change
  • Law 887, Cross-Cultural Lawyering (1Ls only)
  • Law 889, Mindfulness and the Legal Profession
  • Law 890, Human Rights for Businesses: A Socially Responsible Path

* JD/LLM-LE students are required to take a course during their first-year Wintersession that has been approved by program director Professor Bryan McGann, and cannot take Law 844 because they will be enrolled in Business Associations in the spring.