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 filters16 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 18
  2. Spring 19
  3. Fall 19
  4. Spring 20
  5. Fall 20
  6. Spring 21
  • 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 18
  2. Spring 19
  3. Spring 20
  4. Fall 20
  5. Spring 21
  • Final Exam

This course provides an introduction to copyright, trademark, and (to a lesser extent) patent law and trade secrecy. It does not require a technical background of any kind.  The course begins with an introduction to some of the theoretical and practical problems which an intellectual property regime must attempt to resolve; during this section, basic concepts of the economics of information and of the First Amendment analysis of intellectual property rights will be examined through a number of case-studies. The class will then turn to the law of trademark, copyright, and patent with a particular emphasis on copyright, developing the basic doctrinal frameworks and discussing the advantages and disadvantages of each. We will focus in particular on a number of areas where the theoretical tools developed at the beginning of the class can be applied to actual problems involving a full panoply of intellectual property rights; these areas include intellectual property on the Internet, the constitutional limits on intellectual property, and innovation, monopoly and competition in the technology sector. The overall theme of the course is that intellectual property is the legal form of the information age and thus that it is important not only for its enormous and increasing role in commercial life and legal practice, but also for its effects on technological innovation, democratic debate, and cultural formation. Much of our doctrinal work will be centered around a series of problems which help students build skills and learn the law in a highly interactive setting. Experience last semester suggests that this translates well to virtual teaching.  You can also download the casebook for the class here – for free – to give you a sense of the topics that are covered. 

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 21
  2. Spring 19
  3. Spring 20
  • 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.

Due to substantive overlap in material for the coming semester, students may not concurrently enroll in Law 288: Consumer Bankruptcy & Debt and Law 586: Current Debates in Bankruptcy Law. However, if you've taken one of the courses in a previous semester and wish to take the other, that will be permitted.

304

Big Bank Regulation 4
  • JD elective
  • LLMLE (1 yr) elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  1. Fall 18
  2. Fall 19
  3. Fall 20
  • Final Exam

Banking has evolved rapidly in just a few years. Global trade and investment have 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, 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 and is certain to be so for the 2020 election. 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 framework has been emerging. This framework has fundamentally changed the way in which such financial institutions are regulated. After more than 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. This controversy has now become more complicated and has escalated in light of actions taken by the Treasury Department and the Fed to address financial and economic difficulties inflicted by COVID-19. Climate change is also starting to have a deep impact on financial markets, and this in turn is shaping some of the actions of regulators and banks. 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. Conducted all online, the course will also involve substantial class interaction in addition to lectures. On a number of occasions students will take turns in presenting issues to “congressional committees,” also consisting of students, and Professors Baxter, Strauss and Reiners will be actively involved in these “hearings.”

 

316

Intro to Cyber Law and Policy 2
  • JD elective
  • LLM-ICL (JD) elective
  • LLM-LE (JD) elective
  • LLMLE (1 yr) elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntllLLM IP Cert
  • PIPS elective
  1. Fall 20
  • Reflective Writing
  • Research and/or analytical paper(s), 10-15 pages

This course will provide an introduction to the dynamic and rapidly evolving field of cyber law and policy.  The course will be team-taught by multiple instructors with expertise in various government and industry sectors, and will consist of three major components:  (1) an overview of today’s threat landscape and the legal frameworks governing approaches to data breaches, cybercrime by state and non-state actors, and cyberwarfare; (2) an exploration of legal and policy issues surrounding the collection of personal data, with a focus on both domestic and international data privacy protections; and (3) a study of the impact of data-intensive emerging technologies (e.g., Internet of Things, platform media, machine learning, fintech), with an emphasis on how law and policy can ensure technology is used ethically and fairly.  Real-world case studies will be employed to allow students to weigh in on some of the most pressing issues of our time (e.g., election interference, health data collection).   This course is introductory in nature and no technical background is necessary. 

Note: Students who have taken Law 609, Readings in Cyber Law with Stansbury, may not take Law 316, Intro to Cyber Law. 

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 19
  3. Spring 21
  • 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. 

322

Copyright Law 3
  • JD elective
  • LLMLE (1 yr) elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntllLLM IP Cert
  1. Spring 19
  2. Fall 19
  3. Fall 20
  • Final Exam

A comprehensive course on the law of literary and artistic property, with emphasis on mastering the technical intricacies of the 1976 Copyright Act and its many complex recent amendments, including the cyberspace rules introduced by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Subject matter treated will include literary characters; musical works; pictorial, graphic, and sculptural works; industrial designs; motion pictures and plays; sound recordings; computer programs and databases. Throughout the course effort is made to clarify the relations between artistic property and industrial property (especially trademarks and unfair competition law) in the United States and at the international level. Students are encouraged to think critically about the unresolved economic and policy issues facing creators and innovators in an Information Age, issues that often reflect a larger, ongoing debate within the framework of the world's intellectual property system, and the course will prepare them for the practice of copyright law at any level.

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.

333

Science Law & Policy 3
  • JD elective
  • LLMLE (1 yr) elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Environ Cert
  • IntllLLM IP Cert
  1. Fall 18
  2. Fall 19
  3. Fall 20
  • Final Exam
  • Reflective Writing
  • Practical exercises
  • In-class exercise
  • Class participation

What are the government policies that support science? How is science regulated and controlled? What can science contribute to law and policy? How do the states, the federal government and international agencies interact to set science policy? How do disparate regulations and law impact research and translation? How is scientific research funded? These questions and more will be explored by looking at the interaction of law, science, and policy. The class is a mix of law, ethics and science students, and learning how to talk to one another in a common language is an important element of the course. Classes will include consideration and analysis of cases studies. There are no prerequisites for the course and there is no requirement that students have either graduate or upper-level undergraduate training in the sciences. Course evaluation (i.e. your grade) will be based on class participation, student presentations, weekly discussion questions, and a final exam.

This will be a hybrid class with some asynchronous content.  The class will meet from 4:00 PM-6:45 PM on Thursdays in Law 3037, which allows appropriate social distancing for all class members to attend in person, if they chose to do so.  All class sessions will be live on-line to permit synchronous remote participation.  No student’s grade will be impacted by their decision to attend in person, remotely or any combination of the two.  When asynchronous content is provided, students will be required to review the recorded material before class and class length will be shortened proportionately.  All MA, PhD and JD/MA students should register under BIOETHIC 704 – approval of professor is required.  All law students (other than JD/MAs) should register under LAW 333.  Currently the number of law students is capped at 10, but additional students may be admitted depending upon the number of grad students who apply. 

369

Patent Law and Policy 3
  • JD elective
  • LLM-LE (JD) elective
  • LLMLE (1 yr) elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntllLLM IP Cert
  1. Fall 18
  2. Fall 19
  3. Fall 20
  • Final Exam

This course provides a comprehensive introduction to patent law and policy. No technical background is required. The course begins by addressing the history of patents as well as the policy arguments for and against using patents as a mechanism for inducing innovation. Following this introduction, students learn the basics of patent drafting and prosecution, patent claims, and claim construction. The class then addresses in depth the central patentability criteria of subject matter, utility, nonobviousness, and disclosure. Other topics of importance that are covered in the class include: the relationship between patents and other forms of intellectual property protection, particularly trade secrecy and copyright; the intersection of patent and antitrust law; the role of the two major institutions responsible for administering the patent system, the Patent and Trademark Office and the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit; and the role of patents in the two major industries of the knowledge-based economy, information technology and biotechnology.

384

Securities Regulation 4
  • JD elective
  • LLM-LE (JD) required
  • LLMLE (1 yr) elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  1. Spring 19
  2. Spring 20
  3. Spring 21
  • 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 2
  • JD elective
  • LLMLE (1 yr) elective
  • IntlLLM NY Bar
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  1. Spring 21
  2. Spring 19
  3. Spring 20
  • Final Exam

The principles applied in structuring financial products in the commercial context reflect a balance of the interests of corporate stakeholders and the rights of third parties. This course will examine these principles with the goal of equipping the student with a base of knowledge that would be readily applied in a finance practice of a commercial law firm. Focusing primarily on traditional syndicated debt finance and securitization transactions, we will examine evolving market conventions that influence debt terms, the rights and expectations of stakeholders in distressed situations and bankruptcy, and the regulatory and compliance structure governing the issuance of these obligations. As part of this process, we also will explore the structuring of letters of credit, derivative transactions, debtor-in-possession financing, and other related financial products.

460

Negotiation for Lawyers 3
  • JD elective
  • JD experiential
  • LLM-LE (JD) elective
  • LLMLE (1 yr) elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM writing, option
  1. Fall 18
  2. Spring 19
  3. Fall 19
  4. Spring 20
  5. Fall 20
  6. Spring 21
  • Reflective Writing
  • Research and/or analytical paper(s), 15-20 pages
  • Practical exercises
  • Class participation

For lawyers in every type of law practice, the ability to negotiate effectively is an essential skill. As a lawyer, you will negotiate when you try to settle a lawsuit, close a merger, or arrange a plea bargain. You will negotiate with counterparts, clients, and co-workers. You will negotiate with service providers and the “system” – the court, the government, or your community. And, you will continue to negotiate with your friends and family. In this highly interactive seminar, we will explore the theories, skills, and ethics involved in legal negotiation. With limited exceptions, in each class you will participate in a role-play simulation of increasing complexity, experiment with new techniques, and then reflect on what negotiation strategies worked best for you. Through this process, you will not only gain insight into your own negotiation style, you will develop the toolkit you need to approach each new negotiation with confidence.

Even without a pandemic, negotiating by electronic means has become a common way of how lawyers do business. This requires lawyers to be versatile and able to negotiate by email, telephone, and videoconference, to evaluate the pros and cons of each, and to select the most appropriate technology (or combination of technologies) given the particular parties and circumstances. Because this course will be offered entirely online, you will get significant practice negotiating by videoconference. You will also have opportunities to negotiate by telephone and email.  By the end of the semester, you will be comfortable negotiating in a digital world.

Because of the nature of the course, the amount of information delivered during the first class period, the importance of participating in the first role-play simulation during the first class period, and the typical waitlists for enrollment in the course, attendance at the first class is absolutely required. A student who fails to attend the first class without prior consent of the instructor will forfeit his or her place in the class. (Working for an additional week in the summer and call-back interviews are not acceptable excuses for missing the first class.) Students who are on the waitlist for the course are encouraged to attend the first class, and those who do will be given preference to fill open slots in the class. There is a shortened drop period for this course so that students who are waitlisted can enroll before the second class occurs. Thus, students may drop this course without permission only before the second class.

Because of the similarities between this course and the negotiation course taught at the Fuqua School of Business, a law student may not receive law school credit for both courses.

 

550

Legal Issues of Cybersecurity and Data Breach Response 2
  • JD elective
  • JD experiential
  • LLM-LE (JD) elective
  • LLMLE (1 yr) elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntllLLM IP Cert
  • PIPS elective
  1. Spring 19
  2. Fall 19
  3. Fall 20
  • Research and/or analytical paper(s), 10-15 pages
  • Practical exercises
  • Class participation

This course will cover the dynamic and rapidly evolving legal field of cybersecurity and data breach response.  The course will focus on the workflow during the aftermath of any sort of data security incident, a rapidly growing legal practice area, where legal professionals have emerged as critical decision-makers. Every class will begin with a 15-20 minute discussion of current events.  The course will be broken up into two parts.   The first part of the course will cover the foundation of the legal aspects of data breach response, in the form of traditional discussion.  The second part of the course will involve a fictional fact pattern/simulation of a data security incident at a financial firm, with student teams conducting various tasks, with “real-life” outside legal experts playing various roles.  The tasks will include: intake; board briefing; law enforcement liaison; federal/state regulatory interphase; insurance company updates; and vendor/third party/employee briefings.

581

FinTech Law and Policy 3
  • JD SRWP
  • JD elective
  • LLMLE (1 yr) elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  1. Fall 18
  2. Fall 19
  3. Fall 20
  • 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, central banks are considering launching their own digital currency, you can apply for a mortgage on your smartphone, and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency 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, proposed a path for FinTech firms to become regulated banks. The course will also address the role FinTech has played during the pandemic; from FinTech lenders administering small business loans, to a Congressional proposal to administer stimulus payments through Federal Reserve digital wallets.  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.

Due to the pandemic, course content will be delivered online, but in person office hours will be held for those interested. Class participation will remain a required and graded component of the course. To help facilitate class participation, each student will be required to deliver a company profile presentation during the semester. In addition, each student, as part of a team, will deliver a presentation related to an assigned case study. Class participation will account for 40% of your grade and a final paper will make up the remaining 60%.

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 21
  2. Spring 19
  3. Spring 20
  • 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. Class participants, probably in groups of two or three, will take turns in leading the class through the topic for the day (that will be found I the detailed syllabus as soon as it is completed).  Class leaders can use slides or videos or both, and they will be expected to base their material on the assigned readings and subsequent updates.

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