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 filters20 courses found.
Course Number Course Title Course Credits Degree Requirements Semesters Taught Methods of Evaluation

120

Constitutional Law 4.5
  • JD 1L
  • IntlLLM NY Bar
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  1. Fall 17
  2. Spring 18
  3. Fall 18
  4. Spring 19
  5. Fall 19
  6. Spring 20
  • Final Exam
  • Class participation

An examination of the distribution of and limitations upon governmental authority under the Constitution of the United States. Included are study of the doctrine of judicial review of legislative and executive action, the powers of Congress and the President, the limitations on state governmental powers resulting from the existence or exercise of congressional power, and judicial protection against the exercise of governmental power in violation of rights, liberties, privileges, or immunities conferred by the Constitution.

220

Conflict of Laws 3
  • JD elective
  • LLM-ICL (JD) elective
  • IntlLLM NY Bar
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  1. Spring 18
  2. Spring 19
  3. Spring 20
  • Final Exam
  • Class participation

A study of the special problems that arise when a case is connected with more than one state or nation. Topics include the applicable law (choice of law), personal jurisdiction, and the recognition and effect of foreign judgments.

225

Criminal Procedure: Adjudication 3
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM NY Bar
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • PIPS elective
  1. Spring 18
  2. Spring 19
  3. Spring 20
  • Final Exam

A study of the basic rules of criminal procedure, beginning with the institution of formal proceedings. Subjects to be covered include prosecutorial discretion, the preliminary hearing, the grand jury, criminal discovery, guilty pleas and plea bargaining, jury selection, pretrial publicity, double jeopardy, the right to counsel, and professional ethics in criminal cases.

226

Criminal Procedure: Investigation 3
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM NY Bar
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • PIPS elective
  1. Spring 18
  2. Spring 19
  3. Spring 20
  • Final Exam

This course is a study of the legal limitations on criminal investigative practices contained in the Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Amendments to the Constitution. Topics include search and seizure, arrest, the exclusionary rule, electronic surveillance, the privilege against self-incrimination, interrogation, confessions, and the right to counsel.

229

State and Local Government Law 3
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • PIPS elective
  1. Spring 18
  2. Spring 19
  • Final Exam
  • In-class exercise
  • Class participation

Much of the business of governing takes place at the state and local level, rather than on the federal level. Competent attorneys must consider the effect that various state and local actors will have on their clients' interests, whether they represent large corporations, small franchises, or individuals. This course is designed to offer an overview of the issues concerning state and local governance from both a theoretical and practical perspective. The course will acquaint students with the broad issues surrounding state and local government, rather than focus on any particular state or municipality. Among the topics of discussion: state constitutional law, structure, and rights; distribution of authority between federal, state, and local governments; federal, state, and local government coordination and conflict; issues surrounding state and local provision of services and employment; state and municipal governance and oversight, and the role of localism and direct democracy in our constitutional structure. Evaluation will be based on class participation, class exercises, and an examination.

232

Employment Discrimination 3
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • PIPS elective
  1. Spring 18
  2. Spring 19
  3. Spring 20
  • Final Exam

A study of the law of employment discrimination, focusing mainly on the federal law that prohibits discrimination based on race, sex, age, religion, and disability. Issues of both practice and theory are discussed.

236

International Human Rights 2
  • JD elective
  • LLM-ICL (JD) elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • PIPS elective
  1. Spring 19
  2. Spring 20
  • Final Exam
  • In-class exercise
  • Class participation

This course critically assesses the international and domestic laws, institutions, and legal and political theories that relate to protecting the fundamental liberties of all human beings. The course emphasizes (1) specific "hot button" topics within international human rights law, such as extraordinary renditions, hate speech, and lesbian and gay rights); (2) the judicial, legislative, and executive bodies that interpret and implement human rights; and (3) the public and private actors who commit rights violations and who seek redress for individuals whose rights have been violated. Course requirements include a final exam, a negotiation exercise, and student participation in class discussions.

250

Family Law 3
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM NY Bar
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • PIPS elective
  1. Fall 17
  2. Fall 18
  3. Fall 19
  • Final Exam
  • Practical exercises
  • Class participation

A study of legal and policy issues relating to the family. Topics include requirements for marriage, nontraditional families, obligations at divorce, establishing parenthood, and adoption. Grading is based on a final examination, class participation, and written work relating to a visit to family court and completion of a divorce settlement exercise.

252

Foreign Relations Law 3
  • JD elective
  • LLM-ICL (JD) elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  1. Fall 17
  2. Fall 19
  • Final Exam

This course examines the constitutional and statutory doctrines regulating the conduct of American foreign relations. Topics include the distribution of foreign relations powers between the three branches of the federal government, the status of international law in U.S. courts, the scope of the treaty power, the validity of executive agreements, the pre-emption of state foreign relations activities, the power to declare and conduct war, and the political question and other doctrines regulating judicial review in foreign relations cases. Where relevant, we will focus on current events, such as military detention of alleged terrorists, human rights litigation against multinational corporations, the prosecution of piracy, and controversies over immigration enforcement.

265

First Amendment 3
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM NY Bar
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • PIPS elective
  1. Fall 17
  2. Fall 18
  3. Fall 19
  • Final Exam

This course examines the legal doctrines, theories, and arguments arising out of the free speech and religion clauses of the First Amendment.

313

Judicial Decisionmaking 3
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  1. Spring 19
  2. Spring 20
  • Final Exam

What decides legal cases? One obvious answer is: the law. Judges apply the law to the facts of a case and an answer presents itself. This simple understanding of how law and the judicial process work may be true in many cases, but it is not true in all of them. Social scientists have sought to explain judicial decisionmaking by reference to a variety of non-legal factors, including judges' personal characteristics, their caseloads, and their relationships with each other. The social scientific study of courts raises a host of interesting questions.

For example, on a multi-member court like the Supreme Court, does it matter which Justice is assigned to write the opinion, or will the majority (or the whole Court) bargain to the same outcome anyway? If opinion assignment matters to outcomes, how might judges' choices about the division of labor influence the content of the law? How do higher courts ensure that lower courts comply with their decisions? Does the need to police lower courts alter legal doctrine, giving us more bright line rules and fewer fuzzy standards? Similarly, does the fact that certain groups, like the Chamber of Commerce, are repeat players, affect the outcome of cases? Does it affect doctrine? Finally, does it matter who is under the robes? Does the ideology of the judge, or her race or gender, matter to the outcome of cases? (Which cases?) If so, is it possible to predict how judicial characteristics will shape the law? Should our answers to these questions affect how we choose judges?

This course that will examine these questions and many like them. In law schools, these sorts of questions get limited attention: our focus is primarily on the legal doctrine or rules themselves. Social scientists take a very different approach, studying the behavior of judges rather than legal doctrine and trying to understand what accounts for judicial outcomes and the shape of legal institutions. This course will marry the social science literature and the questions it raises to a set of normative problems within the law itself.

 

317

Criminal Justice Ethics 2
  • JD elective
  • JD ethics
  • IntlLLM NY Bar
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • PIPS elective
  1. Fall 17
  2. Fall 18
  3. Spring 20
  • Final Exam
  • Reflective Writing
  • Class participation
  • Other

The Criminal Justice Ethics course is centered on the law governing lawyers operating in the criminal justice system. It explores some of the critical issues facing lawyers in the roles of defense counsel, prosecutor, judge, etc., and includes several guest speakers and visits to a prison and courthouse. Case studies and problems are drawn from North Carolina cases, including some of the Duke Wrongful Conviction Clinic's cases of actual innocence.

334

Civil Rights Litigation 3
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • PIPS elective
  1. Spring 18
  2. Spring 19
  3. Spring 20
  • Final Exam
  • Practical exercises
  • In-class exercise
  • Class participation

This course focuses on section 1983 of the United States Code, a Reconstruction-era statute that enables private parties to sue any other person who "under color" of law deprives them of the "rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and laws" of the United States.  Class participants will become familiar with the theoretical, procedural, and practical aspects of civil rights litigation, including constitutional and statutory claims, defenses and immunities, and available remedies, including attorney fees.   Related U.S. Code provisions concerning discrimination in housing, contractual relations, employment, and voting are examined where relevant. Exam-based evaluation.

342

Federal Courts 3
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM NY Bar
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • PIPS elective
  1. Fall 19
  2. Spring 20
  3. Spring 18
  4. Spring 19
  • Final Exam

The course considers the structure and powers of the federal courts and their relationship to the political branches and the state courts. The topics covered include justiciability, congressional authority to define and limit federal court jurisdiction, federal common law and implied rights of action, the application of state law in federal courts under the Erie doctrine, civil rights actions and immunities of state officials and governments, and habeas corpus. The focus of the course is on structural constitutional considerations relating to both the separation of powers between the three branches of the national government as well as the federalism relationship between the national government and the state governments.

343

Federal Courts I: Constitution & Judicial Power 3
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM NY Bar
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • PIPS elective
  1. Fall 17
  2. Fall 18
  • Final Exam

This installment focuses on the nature of the Article III judicial power and its place in the constitutional scheme. We begin with the justiciability doctrines (standing, ripeness, mootness, and finality), then move on to Congress's control over federal court jurisdiction and adjudication in non-Article III courts (e.g., bankruptcy courts and administrative agencies).

This installment also focuses on the relationship between federal and state courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court's power to review state court decisions, the Erie doctrine's restriction on the common lawmaking powers of federal courts, and the parameters of federal question jurisdiction.

344

Federal Courts II - Public Law Litigation 3
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM NY Bar
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • PIPS elective
  1. Spring 18
  2. Spring 19
  • Final Exam

This installment addresses a broad variety of public law litigation, including private rights of action to enforce federal statutes and constitutional litigation against federal and state governments and their officials. We will give significant attention to both federal and state sovereign immunity, as well as to doctrines of qualified and absolute immunity that protect individual government officers. The course also discusses the roles of state and federal courts in hearing public law litigation, including principles of judicial federalism limiting federal court interference with state judicial proceedings. We conclude with an extensive unit on federal habeas corpus remedies, including both challenges to federal executive detention (including the War on Terror cases) and collateral attack on state criminal convictions.

Federal Courts I (Fall 2015) is not required.

345

Gender & the Law 3
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • PIPS elective
  1. Spring 18
  2. Spring 19
  • Final Exam
  • Reflective Writing
  • Oral presentation
  • Practical exercises
  • In-class exercise
  • Class participation

This survey course examines topics in law relating to gender through a series of different theoretical perspectives. Topics include employment, the family, domestic violence, school sports, sexual harassment, pornography, prostitution, rape, affirmative action, women in legal practice, pregnancy, and sexual identity. Some film is used in class. Evaluation is by an end-of-term exam and three short "reaction papers."

350

Advanced Constitutional Law: A Legal History of the US Civil Rights Movement 3
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • PIPS elective
  1. Spring 19
  • Final Exam
  • Class participation

 This course will examine the role of social movements in the development of U.S. constitutional law. Conventional theories of judicial independence do not define a legitimate role for social movements, but recent advances in legal scholarship have underscored the co-constitutive relationship between law and social movements. Accordingly, this course will explore how participants in social movements engage the Constitution and how these encounters shape constitutional doctrine, social institutions, public discourse, and movements themselves. We will investigate the processes of mobilization and counter-mobilization and reflect on how movements often spur constitutional change through means other than constitutionally specified procedures. We will also consider why movements fail and will critically analyze rights-based approaches to reform. The course will place particular emphasis on the involvement of social movement actors in the transformation of civil rights law. Course readings will draw from a wide range of historical, sociological, and legal sources.

351

U.S. Immigration and Nationality Law 3
  • JD elective
  • LLM-ICL (JD) elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • PIPS elective
  1. Spring 20
  2. Fall 17
  3. Spring 19
  • Final Exam
  • Class participation

This 3-credit course will provide an overview of immigration law and policy. It will examine the legal, social, historical, and political factors that constructed immigration law and policy in the U.S.  In examining these various factors, the course will analyze several inherent conflicts that arise in immigration law, including, among other things, the tension between the right of a sovereign nation to determine whom to admit to the nation state and the constitutional and human rights of noncitizens to gain admission or stay in the U.S., issues that arise between noncitizens and citizens of the U.S. with regard to employment, security, and civil rights and the tension between the federal and state governments in regulating immigration law.

363

Legislation and Statutory Interpretation 3
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  1. Spring 18
  2. Fall 18
  3. Fall 19
  • Final Exam

Legislation is one of the most important forms of law in modern American society. Indeed, it has been said that we are living in an 'age of statutes.' Almost every aspect of legal practice involves construction of statutes, whether defining the jurisdiction of the courts or establishing the norms to which society must conform. In this course, we will examine the legal theory and practice of the making and enforcement of statutes. The course will begin with a study of the legislative process, with special attention to theories that seek to understand why some bills succeed where others fail. The next unit of the course will consider statutes as a unique source of law, comparing them to the common law and the Constitution. We will then move to the heart of the course, which will focus on how judges and other legal actors (agencies, enforcers, etc.) interpret statutes. There will be a take-home final for this course.