Course Browser

Search and explore Duke Law's wide variety of courses that comprise near every area of legal theory and practice. Contact the Director of Academic Advising to confirm whether a course satisfies a graduation requirement in any particular semester. Course evaluations can be found here.
 

NOTE: Course offerings change. Faculty leaves and sabbaticals, as well as other curriculum considerations, will sometimes affect when a course may be offered.

 

Credits
Semester
JD Course of Study
JD/LLM in International & Comparative Law
JD/LLM in Law & Entrepreneurship
International LLM - 1 year
LLM in Law & Entrepreneurship - 1 year
Certificate in Public interest and Public Service Law
 
Clear all filters17 courses found.
Course Number Course Title Course Credits Degree Requirements Semesters Taught Methods of Evaluation

255

Federal Income Taxation 4
  • JD elective
  • LLM-LE (JD) elective
  • LLMLE (1 yr) elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  1. Fall 17
  2. Spring 18
  3. Fall 18
  4. Spring 19
  5. Fall 19
  6. Spring 20
  • Final Exam

An introduction to federal income taxation, with emphasis on the determination of income subject to taxation, deductions in computing taxable income, the proper time period for reporting income and deductions, and the proper taxpayer on which to impose the tax.

270

Intellectual Property 4
  • JD elective
  • LLM-LE (JD) required
  • LLMLE (1 yr) elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  • IntllLLM IP Cert
  1. Fall 17
  2. Fall 18
  3. Spring 19
  4. Spring 20
  • Final Exam

A comprehensive introduction to the principal theories of trademark law and unfair competition, copyright law, patent law, and related state and federal doctrines.

288

Consumer Bankruptcy & Debt 2
  • JD SRWP, option
  • JD elective
  • LLMLE (1 yr) elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  • PIPS elective
  1. Spring 20
  2. Fall 17
  3. Spring 19
  • Reflective Writing
  • Research paper option, 25+ pages
  • Research and/or analytical paper(s), 10-15 pages
  • Oral presentation
  • Class participation

This course uses consumer bankruptcy as a lens to study the role of consumer credit in the U.S. economy and society. The class will focus on the key aspects of the consumer bankruptcy system, including who files bankruptcy, what causes bankruptcy, the consequences of bankruptcy, and the operation of the bankruptcy system. We will discuss each of these issues in the larger context of consumer debt and consumer law, and will also cover the foreclosure crisis, student loans, and issues related to debt, race, and gender. The readings will come from law and non-law sources, including the work of a variety of social scientists.

304

Big Bank Regulation 4
  • JD elective
  • LLMLE (1 yr) elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  1. Fall 17
  2. Fall 18
  3. Fall 19
  • Final Exam

Banking has evolved rapidly in just a few years. Global trade and investment has been supported and promoted by an emerging global financial system. This has in turn encouraged the growth of giant universal banks, based in the United States, the United Kingdom, mainland Europe, and in China and Japan. Most modern banks of any significant size (greater than $100 billion in total assets) have transnational and often truly global operations, but they also create major new risks and regulatory challenges. The debate over big banks and "too big to fail" concerns continued to be an important public policy concern in the 2016 Presidential election campaign. Since the Global Financial Crisis of 2008, the largest in a long run of domestic and international crises since the Great Depression of the 1930s, a new “Dodd-Frank” and “Basel III” framework has been emerging.  This framework has fundamentally changed the way in which such financial institutions are regulated.  After nearly a decade of reform, however, the framework remains fundamentally controversial, at least in the United States, and executive and congressional efforts to reverse the Dodd-Frank and Basel models are currently on the main national political agenda. 

The walls between the three main sectors of finance - banking, securities and insurance - have broken down, yet at their core banks continue to be somewhat unique in their functions and the challenges they present for financial stability. This course will review all the domestic and international regulatory developments since the Global Financial Crisis, focusing on the established and emerging regulatory architectures and systems, both domestic and international, currently proposed reforms, and  future challenges and prospects for global and domestic financial reform.

 

306

Corporate Crime 4
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  1. Fall 17
  2. Spring 18
  3. Spring 20
  • Final Exam
  • Class participation

This course serves as an introduction to the field of corporate crime, which now covers a large realm of government and law firm practice. The course will give students a first exposure to: (1) the contemporary practice in federal government agencies and medium to large corporate law firms of investigating, sanctioning, and representing corporations and their managers involved in potential criminal violations (and certain civil analogues); and (2) the debate in the public policy realm over whether, why, how, and when the criminal law should be applied in the corporate and business context.

This field is large, complex, and developing rapidly. This course therefore can cover only a selection of topics, and will emphasize policy and the need to confront gaps and uncertainty in doctrine. As there is no unitary body of black letter law in this field, this is not that kind of course. Coverage is likely to include mail and wire fraud, perjury and obstruction of justice, securities fraud (including insider trading and accounting fraud), the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, corporate criminal liability, grand jury powers and procedure, representation of entities and individuals, the Fifth and Sixth Amendments in the corporate context, plea and settlement agreements, and sentencing.

The materials consist of a course pack and occasional handouts. Assigned reading averages about 80 pages per week. The grade will be based primarily on a take home exam, with some weight given to class participation. Use of laptops, smartphones, tablets, and the like will be prohibited during class meetings.

321

The Law and Policy of Innovation: the Life Sciences 3
  • JD SRWP
  • JD elective
  • LLM-LE (JD) elective
  • LLMLE (1 yr) elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM writing, option
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  • IntllLLM IP Cert
  1. Spring 20
  2. Spring 18
  3. Spring 19
  • Reflective Writing
  • Research paper, 25+ pages
  • Class participation

This course analyzes the legal and policy regimes that shape the introduction of new products, processes, and services in the life science industries. Innovation in biopharmaceuticals, medical devices, health services, and health care delivery is central to the heavily regulated life sciences sector, and thus the sector offers a window into multiple intersections of scientific innovation, regulatory policy, and law.  Innovation in this sector is also shaped by multiple bodies of law (e.g. intellectual property law, FDA law, federal and state-based insurance and professional regulation, antitrust, tax), each with its own private and public constituencies, and therefore offers an opportunity to assess how different bodies of law approach the common issue of innovation.  Although this course focuses on innovation in the life science industries, this focus will produce lessons for innovation policy in other regulated and less-regulated industries. 

332

Coded Governance: Blockchains, Smart Contracts, and Cryptoventures 2
  • JD elective
  • LLM-LE (JD) elective
  • LLMLE (1 yr) elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  • IntllLLM IP Cert
  1. Spring 20
  • Reflective Writing
  • Research and/or analytical paper(s), 5-10 pages
  • Oral presentation
  • Practical exercises
  • Class participation

This course examines distributed ledger/blockchain technologies and computational law, and the related evolving regulatory environment. Topics covered include cryptocurrency use and regulation, legal forensic analysis of tokens, ethereum-based smart contract governance frameworks, patent strategy, and the professional responsibility considerations when working in a space that is popular, but not well understood. Students will learn about distributed ledger technologies and even get an introduction to programming a decentralized game. No previous programming experience is needed for this course, but a willingness to read and reread and discuss technical documentation and literature is essential. The course will conclude with a final packet of coursework for grading purposes.

384

Securities Regulation 4
  • JD elective
  • LLM-LE (JD) required
  • LLMLE (1 yr) elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  1. Spring 18
  2. Spring 19
  3. Spring 20
  • Final Exam

A study of the federal and state securities laws and the industry they govern with emphasis on the regulation of the distribution process and trading in securities; subjects dealt with include the functions of the Securities and Exchange Commission, registration and disclosure requirements and related civil liabilities, "blue-sky" laws, proxy solicitation and reporting requirements, broker-dealer regulation, the self-regulatory functions of the exchanges, and the regulation of investment companies.

390

Structuring and Regulating Financial Transactions 3
  • JD elective
  • LLMLE (1 yr) elective
  • IntlLLM NY Bar
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  1. Spring 18
  2. Spring 19
  3. Spring 20
  • Final Exam

In this exciting, innovative, and important area of legal practice, companies domestically and worldwide raise money through an array of structures intended to separate “financial” assets—effectively rights to (or expectations of) payment—from the risks associated with the company.  The assets are then dedicated to repayment of capital market securities.  Sometimes referred to as structured finance or securitization, this approach creatively brings together many fundamental legal disciplines, including bankruptcy, securities law, corporation law, secured transactions, finance, and tax.  Using structured finance as an organizing principle, this course teaches the critical aspects of these disciplines that you are likely to encounter in practice.  In addition, the course introduces important commercial financing techniques and concepts, including guarantees, loan agreements, legal opinions, and letters of credit, as well as interest rate and currency swaps and other derivative products.  Furthermore, the course addresses how the capital markets work, including the role of rating agencies, and touches on the cross-border and transnational considerations that are essential to modern business transactions.  It also shows how structured finance principles can be applied broadly, such as to international project-finance transactions and to microfinance.  Finally, the course examines the ethics and efficiencies of “deconstructing” companies in this manner, including the use and possible abuse of special purpose entities and the potential to generate unanticipated consequences, as occurred in the 2007-09 financial crisis.

There is no formal prerequisite.  The class will be challenged to identify problems and find real-life, creative solutions.  A student without any business-law background should still be able to master the course because the relevant legal principles will be learned and applied along the way, in the same manner that a good practitioner learns. 

427

Community Enterprise Law Clinic 4
  • JD elective
  • JD experiential
  • LLM-LE (JD) elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  • PIPS elective
  • PIPS experiential
  1. Fall 17
  2. Spring 18
  3. Spring 19
  4. Fall 19
  5. Spring 20
  • Group project(s)
  • Practical exercises
  • Live-client representation and case management
  • Class participation

Operating like a small private law firm, this clinic will provide students interested generally in business law practice and/or in specializing in affordable housing and community development law with practical skills training in many of the core skills required in any transactional legal practice, including interviewing, counseling, drafting and negotiation. Under the supervision of the clinical faculty, students will represent low-income entrepreneurs, as well as a wide variety of nonprofit organizations engaged in community development activities. In their cases, students will have the opportunity to work on a wide variety of legal matters for their clients. These may include entity formation (both for-profit and nonprofit); obtaining tax-exempt status for nonprofit clients and providing ongoing tax compliance counseling; negotiating and drafting contracts; and representing clients in community development transactions. All enrolled students will be required to provide a minimum of 100 hours of legal work per semester and to participate in weekly group training meetings. Students must be in at least their fourth semester of law school to enroll in the clinic.

Clinics Enrollment Policy

Important:

  • This course may not be dropped after the first class meeting.
  • Students MUST be able to attend the day-long clinic intensive training session to enroll in this course.
  • International LLM students who wish to enroll in a clinic must seek the permission of the clinic's faculty director prior to the enrollment period. Permission is required to enroll but permission does not constitute entry into the clinic.

Ethics Requirement

Students are required to have instruction in the Model Rules of Professional Conduct prior to, or during, enrollment in the Community Enterprise Clinic. The following ethics classes meet the requirement: Ethics of Social Justice Lawyering (LAW 237), Ethics and the Law of Lawyering (LAW 238), Ethics and the Law of Lawyering in Civil Litigation (LAW 239), Criminal Justice Ethics (LAW 317) and Ethics in Action (LAW 539).

541

Nonprofit Organizations 3
  • JD elective
  • LLM-LE (JD) elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  • PIPS elective
  1. Fall 17
  2. Fall 18
  3. Fall 19
  • Final Exam

The subject of the course is the diverse sector of the economy composed of nonprofit organizations. The topics to be covered include their economic function, governance issues, the tax laws covering them, abuses of their special status, and policy issues regarding them.

569

Health Law Colloquium 2
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  • PIPS elective
  1. Fall 18
  • Reflective Writing
  • Research and/or analytical paper(s), 10-15 pages
  • Class participation

This Workshop features leading health law and policy scholars to discuss current topics in the field.  While no background is required, the workshop will expect students to discuss advanced and complicated matters of health policy with the figures who are leading national policy discussions.  Students will be required either to provide reaction papers to weekly papers or prepare a final research paper.

575

Securities Litigation and Enforcement in Practice 2
  • JD elective
  • JD experiential
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  1. Fall 19
  2. Spring 19
  • Practical exercises
  • In-class exercise
  • Class participation

This two-credit experiential course will focus on the analytical, writing and presentation, and interview skills frequently used in practice while also introducing students to the general statutory and regulatory frameworks governing securities litigation and enforcement.  Litigating private securities claims and defending SEC enforcement actions are an important component of most sophisticated litigation practice; these actions have high stakes, and are almost inevitable for many corporate clients.  Writing assignments and presentations will be drawn from one hypothetical class action problem, and one hypothetical enforcement action problem.

577

Emerging Issues in Sports and the Law 2
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  1. Spring 18
  2. Spring 19
  3. Spring 20
  • Reflective Writing
  • Research and/or analytical paper(s), 10-15 pages
  • Class participation

The course will examine the regulation of NCAA athletics and the enforcement of NCAA rules. It will examine in detail several high profile NCAA cases including those involving Penn State, Miami and UNC-Chapel Hill.

581

FinTech Law and Policy 3
  • JD SRWP
  • JD elective
  • LLMLE (1 yr) elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  1. Fall 17
  2. Fall 18
  3. Fall 19
  • Research paper, 25+ pages
  • Oral presentation
  • Class participation

In 2016, few people had ever heard of Bitcoin or blockchain, initial coin offerings were non-existent, and U.S. financial regulatory agencies had yet to react to the emergence of non-bank financial services providers. The FinTech industry has changed dramatically since then: Bitcoin has captured the public imagination and spawned new derivatives products, you can now apply for a mortgage on your smartphone, initial coin offerings are now a viable alternative to venture capital funding, and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency has proposed a new kind of bank charter specifically for FinTech firms.While many have focused on the technologies underpinning the FinTech revolution, less attention has been placed on how these technologies fit within the current financial regulatory framework. Understanding this framework is critical to the long-term success of any FinTech startup. While technology startups in other sectors may predicate their business on breaking rules and ignoring regulations, such a strategy is sure to fail if deployed by a FinTech firm. This is because the financial industry is heavily regulated by multiple state and federal agencies that often have overlapping authority. Being a successful FinTech firm requires more than just great technology; it also requires an understanding of the laws and regulations applicable to your business.

This course aims to provide you with that understanding. You will learn about the critical legal, regulatory, and policy issues associated with cryptocurrencies, initial coin offerings, online lending, new payments and wealth management technologies, and financial account aggregators. In addition, you will learn how regulatory agencies in the U.S. are continually adjusting to the emergence of new financial technologies and how one specific agency, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, has proposed a path for FinTech firms to become regulated banks. You will also learn the basics of how banks are regulated in the U.S.

If you are unfamiliar with how these new financial technologies work, fear not. We will begin each new course section with a high-level overview of the underlying technology.

710

Derivatives: Financial Markets, Law and Policy 3
  • JD SRWP
  • JD elective
  • LLMLE (1 yr) elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM writing, option
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  1. Spring 20
  2. Spring 18
  3. Spring 19
  • Research paper, 25+ pages
  • Oral presentation
  • Class participation

Modern capital and financial markets rely on a wide variety of complex instruments, including Treasury securities, structured debt and equity instruments, and derivatives of various kinds.  Public awareness regarding these instruments has grown since the Financial Crisis of 2008 because they are thought to have played an important role in both the rapid growth of financial markets (“financialization”) and their destabilization.  Yet these instruments and the role they play in modern markets remain little understood.  A basic understanding of these instruments has now become important in modern financial law practice and any discussions on financial policy and regulation.

This course will review the workings of derivative instruments in the capital markets and how such instruments themselves are used.  The relationship between banking and capital markets, and between government and the private markets, will be explored, as will the most important legal and fiduciary responsibilities involved.  While not highly technical, the various principal types of government securities and derivatives will be examined. 

Warren Buffet once called derivatives “weapons of mass financial destruction.”  We will consider the numerous public policy issues relating to derivatives, their role in the Crisis of 2008 (and more recent financial distress such as the Eurozone crisis and the US debt ceiling controversy), the history of attempts to regulate these instruments, and the current regulatory structure.

Required Coursework

The 3-credit graded requirements for the course will be:

  1. A final paper, about 25-30 pages in length, to be submitted by the Thursday, April 16, 2020 (last day of all classes) (75%); JD writing credit will be given to any JD students who present research proposals (see “Paper” above), approved by me, commit to completing their drafts for class presentation and subsequent comments by me (draft for comments by Friday March 20), and submit their final drafts in response to my comments by Thursday April 16, when all papers will be due.
  2. An individual class presentation, of 20 minutes in length (10%), on the early draft of the 3-credit paper; and
  3. Overall class participation (15%).The course will be highly interactive and graded on this basis.

The course will be highly interactive and graded on this basis.

738

Financial Law and Regulation: Practitioner's Perspective 2
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  1. Spring 18
  2. Spring 19
  3. Spring 20
  • Reflective Writing
  • Class participation

Every aspect of financial law and regulation depends heavily on its daily practice.  The environment changes all the time, and the scope of regulatory discretion, at every level of government (state, federal and international) is so large that successful practitioners must understand the current trends in regulatory thinking and practice.  This course will allow students to dive deep into a different aspect of modern financial regulation every week by bringing in prominent alumni practitioners who are experts in specific areas of the field.

The course will be structured as follows:

  1. Six 4 hour components, focusing on specific aspects of financial practice according to the expertise of the teacher. Lee Reiners will hold an opening 2 hour class session.
  2. Taught by a series of expert practitioners, who will spend two days at the school. Classes will be held on Thursday and Friday.
  3. The course is a seminar based on a compilation of readings provided during the course.
  4. Students will be graded based upon class participation and six, 1,500-word, writing assignments pertaining to each of the six topics discussed by our guest lecturers.

Likely topics to be covered include:

  • Derivatives regulation
  • High frequency trading
  • FDIC resolution and the insurance fund
  • Volcker Rule and Regulation W
  • Bank capital requirements

 

Class will run from Feb 15th to April 5th and will consist of 13 class sessions that are 2 hours long. Seven class sessions will be on a Friday morning from 9-11am and 6 class sessions will be on Thursday afternoon from 4:00pm to 6:00pm.