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.

 

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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 filters22 courses found.
Course Number Course Title Course Credits Degree Requirements Semesters Taught Methods of Evaluation

201

Legal Writing: Craft & Style 2
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  1. Fall 18
  2. Fall 19
  3. Fall 20
  • Practical exercises
  • Class participation

"Legal Writing: Craft & Style" is the new moniker for the "Advanced Legal Writing Workshop." This series of thirteen workshops is for 2Ls and 3Ls who wish to hone their legal writing or editing skills. Half of each workshop consists of a teaching component that focuses on topics from clarity to cohesiveness to effective style. The other half is spent working as a group on exercises—flawed sentences or passages from legal documents or articles. In addition to the exercises, required written work includes three short written assignments and peer reviews of each of these using criteria developed over the course of the workshop. These peer reviews will be reviewed in turn by me. In addition, I will be available to work one-on-one with any workshop participant who has a lengthier piece on which he or she would like feedback. The workshop offers two credits. It is not graded.

The workshop might be particularly useful to:

  • law review editors,
  • students on moot court,
  • students writing law-review notes or independent-study- or seminar papers (with the permission of the guiding professor),
  • students wishing to polish their writing samples, and
  • students wishing to improve the effectiveness of their writing for any reason whatsoever.

231

Ethics in Action: Large Firm Practice 2
  • JD elective
  • JD ethics
  • JD experiential
  • LLM-LE (JD) elective
  • LLMLE (1 yr) elective
  • IntlLLM NY Bar
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  1. Fall 20
  • Simulated Writing, Transactional
  • Simulated Writing, Litigation
  • Group project(s)
  • Oral presentation
  • Practical exercises
  • Class participation

Large, multi-jurisdictional law firms face complex issues of regulation and professionalism. Managing and solving those issues require keen analytical, litigation, and transactional drafting skills. This course will offer an opportunity to practice those skills while gaining a background in the law governing lawyers. Students will participate in a two-credit, experiential seminar that can be used for either ethics or experiential credit. 

Students will first gain a background in the ABA Model Rules (and state variants) by analyzing and resolving simulated ethical inquiries that might be received by the general counsel’s office of a large firm. Then, for the bulk of the course, students working in teams will tackle a more complex, multi-issue inquiry that will require deeper research, a simulated internal investigation, a presentation, and a written memorandum. The course will conclude with revising the memorandum in response to feedback and a transactional drafting exercise such as an engagement letter and fee agreement involving client intake issues.

238

Ethics and the Law of Lawyering 2
  • JD elective
  • JD ethics
  • IntlLLM NY Bar
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  1. Fall 18
  2. Spring 19
  3. Fall 19
  4. Spring 20
  5. Fall 20
  6. Spring 21
  • Final Exam
  • Reflective Writing
  • Practical exercises
  • Class participation

This course examines in detail the "law of lawyering" relating to such issues as the formation of the attorney-client relationship, confidentiality, communications with clients, conflicts of interest, regulation and discipline of attorneys, and numerous other areas relating to the lawyer's role in American society. In addressing these issues, we will consider the extent to which the law governing lawyers derives from the concept of a learned profession, as well as the degree to which the ethics of lawyering may differ from personal ethics and morality. While particular attention will be paid to the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct, the class will also examine other sources of relevant law, including the Restatement (Third) of the Law Governing Lawyers, court decisions and rules, statutes, and administrative regulations.  Grading is based on a final examination, written work relating to casebook problems and reflections on current issues in legal ethics, and class participation.

 

239

Ethics and the Law of Lawyering in Civil Litigation 2
  • JD elective
  • JD ethics
  • IntlLLM NY Bar
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  1. Spring 20
  2. Spring 19
  • Final Exam
  • Practical exercises

This course examines the principles of legal ethics and professionalism. Our focus will be on identifying and responding to the key issues faced by a civil litigator, and on the model rules of professional conduct, case law, and ethics opinions that a lawyer must consider in resolving such issues. Topics include the formation and termination of the attorney client relationship, conflicts of interest, and communications with the court and opposing counsel through the discovery and trial process. We will examine the balancing of the duty of advocacy with the duty to the administration of justice. We will also explore issues such as admissions, discipline, and common law firm associate dilemmas such as billing and changing law firms. During the semester, students will prepare two short (3-5 pp) memoranda. There will also be an open book in-class exam at the end of the semester.

302

Appeals 2
  • JD SRWP
  • JD elective
  • PIPS elective
  1. Spring 20
  2. Spring 21
  • Research paper, 25+ pages

This course will examine the practices and powers of American appellate courts, with a particular emphasis on the federal courts of appeals.  Our discussion will focus on the goals of these institutions and the extent to which individual components of the appellate decision-making process—including oral argument and opinion-writing—further those goals.

We will begin with an overview of the function of appellate courts—why they were created and what we expect of them today.  We will then move to the specific components of appellate adjudication, including mediation, briefing, oral argument, and judgment, as well as the personnel who contribute to the adjudication process.  Finally, we will consider the ways in which the appellate courts have been affected by an increasing caseload, and proposals for alleviating the strain on the courts.

Ultimately, the goal of the course is to expose you to how appellate courts operate and the purported goals of these institutions.  Over the course of the semester, you should also be evaluating what you think are the fundamental objectives of appellate review and whether the current structure of the courts allows them to meet those goals.

Evaluation in the course will be based on a final research paper, which may be used to satisfy the SRWP.

319

Analytical Methods 2
  • JD elective
  • LLM-LE (JD) required
  • LLMLE (1 yr) elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  1. Fall 18
  2. Spring 19
  3. Fall 19
  4. Fall 20
  • Final Exam
  • Practical exercises
  • Class participation

Lawyers face non-legal, analytical issues every day. Business lawyers need to understand a business in order to represent their client properly. Litigators need to judge the best route in adopting a litigation strategy. Family lawyers routinely need to value a business. Environmental lawyers need to understand economic externalities. Social lawyers need familiarity with financial instruments that have positive and negative attributes. Students taking this course will find it foundational in running a business, advising a business, or litigating business matters that go beyond the strict letter of the law. In this sense, this is not your standard doctrinal law school course. Rather, it is designed to give students the tools necessary to interact with the business community and run a company or firm.

The areas of focus include:

  • Decision Analysis, Games and Information: We will explore a standard technique that has been developed to organize thinking about decision-making problems and to solve them.
  • Accounting: Basic accounting concepts will be introduced, and the relationship between accounting information and economic reality will be examined.
  • Microeconomics: This unit presents basic economic concepts--the operation of competitive markets, imperfect competition, and market failures--that are necessary to this understanding.
  • Statistics and Artificial Intelligence: We will address the basic statistical methods, including regression analysis, as well as issues that commonly arise when statistics are used in the courtroom. We will also have a brief introduction to statistical learning, which forms the basis for machine learning and artificial intelligence.

This basic introductory survey course is aimed at students who have only a basic background in math (basic high school algebra) and may have majored in humanities and social science as an undergraduate.

338

Animal Law 2
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Environ Cert
  • PIPS elective
  1. Spring 19
  2. Spring 20
  3. Spring 21
  • Reflective Writing
  • Class participation

This course will examine a number of topics related to the law of animals, including various issues that arise under the laws of property, contracts, torts, and trusts and estates. It will also examine various criminal law issues and constitutional law questions. The class will consider such issues as the definition of "animal" as applicable to anti-cruelty statutes, the collection of damages for harm to animals, establishing standing for animal suits, first amendment protections, and the nuances of various federal laws.

408

Appellate Litigation Clinic (Spring) 2
  • JD elective
  • JD experiential
  • PIPS elective
  • PIPS experiential
  1. Spring 20
  2. Spring 19

Spring continuation of Appellate Litigation Clinic.

421

Pre-Trial Litigation 2
  • JD elective
  • JD experiential
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  1. Fall 18
  2. Spring 19
  3. Fall 19
  4. Spring 20
  5. Fall 20
  6. Spring 21
  • Practical exercises
  • In-class exercise
  • Class participation

This practical skills course focuses on the path civil litigators must navigate prior to trial. It is becoming increasingly rare for cases to be decided by a jury.  Lawyers must instead learn to succeed during the pretrial process.  We will examine the key components of the civil pretrial litigation process, beginning with the filing of a law suit.  The class will be divided into law firms on the second week of class. You will work with co-counsel, representing a hypothetical client, for the entire semester.  Law firms will prepare and serve discovery and respond to discovery from opposing counsel. Students will prepare and argue a short discovery motion. The last four weeks of class focus on depositions, with each student taking and defending a deposition. This course will help students synthesize and more deeply understand the strategy and the practical application of civil procedure and evidence rules used in litigation advocacy. 

Topics  include:

  • Drafting pleadings and motions
  • Preparing and responding to discovery
  • Taking and defending depositions
  • Practicing becoming a more effective advocate in the current on-line environment facing all attorneys and courts.

The course grade is based on written and practical skills-based work product and class participation, as described in the syllabus.  There is not a final exam.

471

Science Regulation Lab 2
  • JD elective
  • JD experiential
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Environ Cert
  1. Spring 20
  2. Spring 19
  3. Spring 21

SciReg Lab teaches students about the use of emerging science and technology in the regulatory agencies through the drafting and submission of comments to federal rule-makings. The comments will be unaligned with any party and are intended to provide the regulatory agencies with unbiased, current, accurate and coherent information about the science underlying the proposed rule. The course is cross-listed in the Law School and Graduate School and the students will be drawn from the sciences, ethics, policy and law to work in interdisciplinary teams. The course will begin with a brief overview of notice-and-comment rulemaking, and how to translate scientific information into the language of courts and agencies. The ethical issues presented by this process will be an important component of the course content. With the assistance of faculty, the students will track pending rulemakings and select proceedings in which to file a comment. A background is science is recommended, but not required.

472

Amicus Lab 2
  • JD elective
  • PIPS elective
  1. Fall 19
  • Simulated Writing, Litigation
  • Group project(s)

A wide range of cases raise novel scientific issues, which judges can struggle to resolve. One way to provide courts with independent information and insight regarding complex scientific issues is through the filing friend of the court, or amicus curiae briefs. The purpose of the Amicus Lab is to teach students about the use of emerging science and technology in the courts through the drafting and submission of such amicus briefs.  We will submit a number of amicus briefs to state and federal appellate courts and the US Supreme Court, in cases where independent expert views could play a useful role. These amicus briefs will be unaligned with any party and are intended to provide the court with unbiased, current, and coherent information about the scientific issue in the case. 

Our cases for Fall 2019 include:

Garner v. Colorado. We have already filed an amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court in support of cert.  If cert. is granted, we will work this Fall on a merits amicus brief.  Defendant-Petitioner James Joseph Garner was identified in court by eyewitnesses while he sat at counsel’s table with his two female defense attorneys, readily identifiable as the defendant in the relevant proceedings. The evidence against Garner consisted entirely of testimony by the three eyewitnesses, each of whom had earlier failed to identify Garner from a photo array, and instead identified Garner for the first time in court. We argue that the Colorado Supreme Court ruling affirming the use of this evidence, neglected the central rationale for carefully scrutinizing suspect identification procedures—their manifest unreliability.

Bryan v. State.  This case is pending before the Texas and involves blood-spatter analysis. Bryan was twice convicted of murder of his wife, largely based on forensic evidence. The forensic expert has admitted that his conclusions were wrong.  Our brief will detail the scientific flaws in the blood spatter testimony at Bryan’s trials and the problems with the use of such methods.  Propublica has published an in-depth series, “Blood will Tell,” on this case.

Penuelas v. State.  This case, on appeal before the California Supreme Court, involves a challenge to a dog sniff identification. After the defendant had been interrogated for several hours, detectives walked him outside to create a path with his scent. At the end of this trail, he and the Detective sat at a picnic table. When the dog reached the table, she stopped trailing and jumped up near Penuelas, ostensibly identifying him as the killer. This type of dog scent procedure – known as a station identification – has been criticized as a scientifically untested, unreliable, and used by only a few outlier police agencies.

Parks v. State.  This North Carolina case appeals pathologist testimony regarding blood observed at a the defendant’s home.  The examiner testified, speculating based on photographs and no research or examination,  that the blood stain indicated that a death occurred there.  The Court, in conducting a Daubert review, asked the expert whether the testimony was  “based on any type of peer review authorized formulas, extrapolations or anything that can be objectively quantified and tested” and the expert agreed it was not. The expert explained she “did the test of thinking about this case.”

We will meet weekly at a time convenient for all of the students in the lab. Students will initially focus upon the preparation of background memoranda on the selected scientific issues. These memoranda will be used to develop draft amicus briefs over the course of the semester. No scientific background is required, but it would be helpful, as would the basic Evidence course.

504

Critical Race Theory 2
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • PIPS elective
  1. Spring 19
  2. Fall 20
  • Reflective Writing
  • Research and/or analytical paper(s), 10-15 pages
  • Oral presentation
  • Class participation

Critical race theory (CRT), a scholarly movement that began in the 1980s, challenges both the substance and style of conventional legal scholarship.  Substantively, critical race scholars (“race crits”) reject formal equality, individual rights, and color-blind approaches to solving legal problems.  Stylistically, race crits often employ new methodologies for legal scholarship, including storytelling and narrative.  This course introduces CRT’s core principles and explores its possibilities and limitations.  With a heavy focus on writings that shaped the movement, the course will examine the following concepts and theories: storytelling, interest convergence theory, the social construction of race, the black-white paradigm, the myth of the model minority, intersectionality, essentialism, working identity, covering, whiteness and white privilege, colorblindness, microaggressions, and implicit bias.  Students will apply these theories and frameworks to cases and topics dealing with, among other things, first amendment freedoms, affirmative action, employment discrimination, and criminal disparities and inequities.  The course affords students an opportunity to think about the ways in which racism, sexism, classism, and heterosexism are inextricably interwoven as well as an opportunity to challenge critically our most basic assumptions about race, law, and justice.

510

Legal Interviewing & Counseling 2
  • JD elective
  • JD experiential
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • PIPS elective
  1. Fall 18
  2. Spring 19
  3. Fall 19
  4. Fall 20
  • Reflective Writing
  • Practical exercises
  • In-class exercise
  • Class participation

This course will provide students a framework for effective client interviewing and counseling, skills which are foundational to successful lawyering. While lawyers must master substantive and procedural law to gain the confidence of their clients, they must be able to exercise effective communication skills in “real time.”  Legal Interviewing and Counseling will help students learn to plan effective interviewing and counseling sessions, to identify and solve problems collaboratively with clients, and to further develop their abilities to effectively communicate difficult legal and factual information. This course seeks to further understanding of a broad range of communication skills, to facilitate client decision making and implementation of solutions, to manage the professional relationship, and to navigate common ethical issues that arise in the context of legal interviewing and counseling. Structured in-class simulation exercises will allow students to develop and practice these skills in real-world contexts . While each of these skills will be developed over the entirety of any lawyer's career, Legal Interviewing & Counseling aims to help students to jumpstart this development and to gain additional tools needed to ensure effective client relationships when they enter practice. Students will be evaluated on their participation in structured, in-class simulation exercises and discussions; video-taped skills exercises done outsides of class; guided self-assessments; guided reviews of other students' simulation exercises; and a final capstone simulation interview and counseling projects. Students will be required to attend class regularly and to participate consistently in all exercises. Students will be assessed on a C/NC basis. I plan to offer in person office hours for those interested and also hope to develop supplementary, optional opportunities for in-person engagement, conditions permitting, with equal opportunity for students who are remote.

539

Ethics in Action 2
  • JD elective
  • JD ethics
  • JD experiential
  • IntlLLM NY Bar
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  1. Spring 19
  2. Spring 20
  3. Spring 21

The class will function as an ethics committee considering current issues and ethics inquiries based upon actual disputes. The participants, working in small groups, will draft detailed ethics opinions that the full class will consider, revise, and the like.

575

Securities Litigation and Enforcement in Practice 2
  • JD elective
  • JD experiential
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  1. Spring 19
  2. Fall 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.

707

Statutory Interpretation Colloquium 2
  • JD SRWP
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM writing, option
  1. Spring 20
  • Reflective Writing
  • Research paper, 25+ pages

The objective of the course is to introduce students to important issues concerning the theory and doctrine of statutory interpretation through exposure to cutting-edge legal scholarship. The colloquium will feature bi-weekly presentations of works-in-progress by leading scholars of statutory interpretation, legislation, and administrative law. In the week preceding each presentation, students will read and discuss foundational materials (a mix of academic commentary and case law) on topics related to the work-in-progress.

Students may opt to prepare six short (5-10 page) papers in response to each work-in-progress, which would be due in advance of the presentation and used to stimulate discussion. Alternatively, students may write one longer research paper (roughly 30 pages) dealing with a topic of their choice related to the themes of the class. Students who take the latter option may use the colloquium to satisfy the upper-level writing requirement.

737

Environmental Litigation 2
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Environ Cert
  • PIPS elective
  1. Spring 19
  2. Spring 20
  • Research and/or analytical paper(s), 10-15 pages
  • Practical exercises
  • Class participation

During the past 40 years, environmental litigation in the federal courts of the United States has played an important role in shaping our quality of life.  Federal statutes designed to improve air and water quality, manage waste, protect species, and establish rules for the management of ocean resources have spawned numerous federal cases – some filed by affected industry, some by the government, and others filed by conservation groups and private citizens.  The resulting precedents affect many aspects of the environment in which we live.

This course introduces students to the progression of a hypothetical environmental case in United States federal courts.  The course begins with the appearance of a potential client, addresses several considerations relevant to a decision whether to file a complaint, examines discovery planning and execution, studies the preparation of dispositive motions, and concludes with an overview of the appeal process.  The course assumes that the hypothetical case will be decided on motions for summary judgment or for injunctive relief.  Therefore, class discussions focus on the manner in which such a case unfolds, with particular attention to developing both the facts and the theory of the case, framing pleadings, and designing and managing discovery.  The course explores these subjects from the perspective of counsel for defendants as well as for plaintiffs.  Students should emerge from the course better equipped to handle various practical aspects of litigation.

760

A Practitioner's Guide to Labor Law and Employment 2
  • JD elective
  • JD experiential
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • PIPS elective
  1. Spring 19
  2. Spring 20
  3. Spring 21
  • Reflective Writing
  • Practical exercises
  • Class participation

This course is designed to provide a practical overview of the main labor and employment law issues that arise in the U.S. workplace. Using a variety of approaches to instruction including mock exercises, outside speakers, writing exercises (such as drafting communications to government agencies or corporate clients), and drawing from current developments in the law, instructors familiarize students with the basic concepts underlying the broad range of labor and employment law. Students will explore issues from multiple perspectives including the employee, the employer, the union, and compliance enforcers. As a result of this course, students will attain an advanced, yet practical familiarity with such issues that can be applied in any business context. The course will be co-taught by practicing attorneys who have experience both as private practitioners with large firms and as corporate officers for a Fortune 125 company (former partner in private practice and Senior VP of Human Resources for a Fortune 125 company; General Counsel of a $1 billion privately-held company, formerly Deputy General Counsel with a Fortune 125 company). Students should have taken the basic labor law course or have a familiarity with the National Labor Relations Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. A Liberal Arts background (knowledge of history, sociology, and/or political science) is a plus.

Please note that class attendance and active class participation count heavily toward the final grade. Participants should expect several shorter (2-3 pages), practice-oriented writing assignments.

765

Introduction to Technology in the Law Office 2
  • JD elective
  • JD experiential
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  1. Spring 19
  2. Spring 20
  • Research and/or analytical paper(s), 10-15 pages
  • Group project(s)
  • Oral presentation
  • Practical exercises
  • Class participation

Technology is changing the practice of law in all fields and venues. This course will provide you with the theoretical and practical foundation to understand these changes and to positively impact your firm's or organization's responses to such challenges. Areas of focus include ethical obligations surrounding technology use; privacy and security; practice management; electronic discovery; information literacy (including advanced research techniques) and media literacy; and presentation and courtroom technology. Readings and guest speakers will address both general technological issues as well as specific legal and ethical ramifications. Students will be graded on participation, exercises and a final project that is presented both in class and in writing. Students who take Law 765 Introduction to Technology in the Law Office may not take Law 766 Law Practice Technology.

766

Law Practice Technology 2
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  1. Fall 19
  • Research and/or analytical paper(s), 10-15 pages
  • Oral presentation
  • Practical exercises
  • Class participation

Rapidly evolving technologies are undoubtedly transforming the traditional law practice. The purpose of this course is to explore and investigate the use and impact of current technologies in the practice of law. The focus will be smaller to mid-sized law firms but there will also be some discussion on large practice groups. Tools for client management, electronic discovery, and document management will be analyzed. Ethical issues relating to proper use of technology and data management will be discussed. Electronic communications and social networking tools will also be explored.
Students who take Law 766 Law Practice Technology may not take Law 765 Introduction to Technology in the Law Office.

785

Legal Writing in Civil Practice 2
  • JD elective
  • JD experiential
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  1. Fall 18
  2. Fall 19
  • Practical exercises
  • In-class exercise
  • Class participation
  • Other

Writing is integral to most aspects of state and federal civil law practice including communicating effectively with clients, asserting clients' rights, and advocating for clients in litigation. This two-credit hour advanced writing course helps prepare students for the rigors of legal analysis and writing in general civil practice by providing a variety of writing experiences including opinion and demand letters, pleadings, motions, and trial briefs. Assignments will be based on a number of substantive issues of statutory and common law including property, contracts, torts and civil procedure. Writing assignments will involve initial drafts, instructor feedback, peer review, and final revisions with students building a portfolio of their work during the course of the semester. Research skills will be reviewed and practiced. In addition to content analysis and structure, emphasis will be placed on the ethical and professional considerations involved with each assignment. The semester will culminate in oral arguments on motions before members of the bench and bar.

789

Writing: Federal Litigation 2
  • JD elective
  • JD experiential
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  1. Spring 20
  2. Fall 20
  • Reflective Writing
  • Research and/or analytical paper(s), 10-15 pages
  • Oral presentation
  • Practical exercises
  • In-class exercise
  • Class participation

Persuasive writing is integral to almost all aspects of civil litigation.  This two-credit hour advanced experiential course will allow you to deepen your understanding of legal research while honing your written and oral advocacy skills.  Using a simulated case, you will plan litigation strategy by interviewing a client, preparing a factual chronology of the case, and analyzing the merits of the claims.  You will also practice drafting and responding to discovery requests and preparing to take and defend depositions.  Finally, you will draft a motion for summary judgment and supporting memorandum of law and argue the merits of the motion in a mock oral argument.