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 filters10 courses found.
Course Number Course Title Course Credits Degree Requirements Semesters Taught Methods of Evaluation

320

Water Resources Law 2
  • JD SRWP
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM writing, option
  • IntlLLM Environ Cert
  • PIPS elective
  1. Spring 20
  2. Spring 19
  3. Spring 21
  • Research paper, 25+ pages

This survey course studies the legal and policy issues governing water resource allocation in the United States. Students will be introduced to both the Prior Appropriation systems of the western United States and the Reasonable Use systems dominating the eastern states. We will study the law applied to groundwater use as well as issues of federalism. Examples from disputes around ACF basin and the Colorado River will be contrasted. We will examine the issues from the perspective of different user groups.

 

545

Urban Legal History 3
  • JD SRWP
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM writing, option
  1. Spring 20
  • Research paper, 25+ pages
  • Class participation

Urban Legal History is a research seminar which will focus on the legal issues relating to Durham's political, social, and economic development. The class will involve intensive study of primary and secondary materials, and will require students to produce substantial (45 page) research papers.

555

Law and Financial Anxiety 2
  • JD SRWP, option
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM writing, option
  • PIPS elective
  1. Fall 20
  • Reflective Writing
  • Research paper option, 25+ pages
  • Research and/or analytical paper(s), 15-20 pages
  • Oral presentation
  • Class participation

This course identifies and explores aspects of the American legal system that have effects – both negative and positive – on the ability of people and society to prevent the onset of financial anxiety and economic insecurity.   Set in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic but with analogues in laws that were enacted and implemented in other contexts,  the class will explore the meaning of financial anxiety and economic insecurity and discuss why they matter.  The class will then explore various laws. and their implementation by federal and state agencies, as relevant to financial anxiety and economic insecurity.   Subjects that bear upon financial anxiety that will be explored through the prism of law include housing finance, student loan finance, personal information security and climate security. The legislative response to the COVID-19 pandemic, in particular the CARES Act, will be analyzed in relation to how laws regarding financial anxiety and economic insecurity have been crafted by Congress in the last decade as a response to crises such as the financial and foreclosure crisis of 2008,   With these comparative laws and financial contexts, the class will engage in discussions about the extent to which the American legal system is equipped to handle the challenges of dealing with financial anxiety in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.  We will discuss financial anxiety in the larger context of consumer debt, agency and regulatory action, and legislative responsiveness as well as differential impacts related to debt, race and gender. The readings will come from law and non-law sources. The class will discuss issues relevant to the legal system and the study of business law and finance generally, including the use of data to illuminate legal problems, the role of lawyers and business actors, and the nature of modern policymaking.

574

Lying and The Law of Questioning 1
  • JD SRWP with add-on credit
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM writing, option
  1. Spring 19
  2. Spring 20
  • Reflective Writing
  • Class participation

This seminar will address the way in which legal institutions define and detect dishonesty. We will first discuss what is sometimes called “post-truth” discourse and the seeming suspension of fact-finding and truth-seeking in public life. The criminal justice system is both a natural habitat for dishonesty and the place where achieving accuracy is most important. Accordingly, we will use the context of investigations and trials to explore some larger themes about establishing factual baselines despite intense conflict. Topics will include liability for dishonest statements in investigations and testimony, interrogation practices, the problem of false confessions, incentivized witnesses, character and credibility, cross examination, storytelling at trial, and lie detection in the laboratory, courtroom, and popular culture. Readings will be posted on line and will include excerpts from law review articles and scholarly books, works of social science, investigative reporting, documentary footage, editorial commentary, and popular culture. The one-credit class will meet roughly every other Wednesday during the spring semester. There will be short writing assignments, and students will receive feedback on both written expression and class participation. Students who plan significant research projects on related topics may register for a second credit.

574W

Lying and The Law of Questioning, Writing Credit 1
  • JD SRWP
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM writing, option
  1. Spring 20
  2. Spring 19
  • Add on credit

While enrolled in Law 574 Lying and the Law of Questioning, students who plan significant research projects on related topics may register for a second credit in order to satisfy the JD Writing Requirement. *LAW 574W must be added no later than 7th week of class.*

587

Race and the Law 2
  • JD SRWP
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM writing, option
  • PIPS elective
  1. Spring 20
  2. Spring 21
  • Research paper, 25+ pages

Are we a post-racial society? Is English-only the way to go? Is there a model minority? Are Native American children better off with Native American parents? Should affirmative action be abolished? Are all women white and all blacks men? Was Brown right? This seminar will explore the historical and contemporary treatment of race in the United States by both the courts and the legislature. The seminar will employ an interdisciplinary approach to examining the social and political forces that have and continue to contribute to the development of legal doctrine in the areas of education, employment, health care, interracial sex and marriage, and public accommodations, among other things. Throughout, the seminar will explore the definition of race, the intersection of race and gender, the interplay of race and class, the juxtaposition of various racial groups, and the utility of a biracial dichotomy in a multiracial and multiethnic society. Materials will include cases, films, law review articles, excerpts from books, and other nonlegal materials. The seminar will examine race from a multiracial, multiethnic perspective. Participation from a diverse group of students is encouraged. A paper will be required.

588

Investigating and Prosecuting National Security Cases 2
  • JD SRWP with add-on credit
  • JD elective
  • LLM-ICL (JD) elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM writing, option
  • PIPS elective
  1. Spring 20
  2. Spring 19
  3. Spring 21
  • Reflective Writing
  • Research and/or analytical paper(s), 10-15 pages
  • Class participation

National security cases present unique challenges to prosecutors and defense attorneys. From the outset of an investigation, and before charges are brought, prosecutors and investigators must take into account a number of considerations, including coordination with the intelligence community and potential conflicts that may arise between law enforcement and intelligence gathering. After a case is charged, such cases frequently present other challenges, such as complying with discovery obligations while protecting classified information and obtaining testimony from foreign witnesses who may be beyond the reach of the U.S. government. This course will provide an in-depth examination of the unique issues that lawyers face in national security prosecutions and the substantive and procedural tools used to navigate those issues.  We will also examine the advantages and limitations of civilian prosecutions and consider the effectiveness of current procedures and criminal statutes in addressing modern national security threats.  An emphasis will be placed on case-specific examples and hypotheticals, drawing in part on the instructor’s experience and pending public cases.  The course will culminate in a simulation in which students are presented with a rapidly unfolding national security incident in which they are asked to address various hypotheticals at different stages of the case.

Students will be expected to complete a final paper of 10-15 pages in length on a topic approved by the instructor.  Students who wish to use the paper to satisfy the JD ULWR should enroll in a 1 credit Independent Study with Professor Stansbury and will be expected to write a final paper of 25-30 pages in length.  The Independent Study will be graded on a credit/no-credit basis.

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.

758

Originalism and Its Discontents 3
  • JD SRWP
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM writing, option
  1. Spring 20
  2. Spring 19
  3. Spring 21
  • Reflective Writing
  • Research paper, 25+ pages
  • Class participation

Originalism is a major school of constitutional interpretation and a growing field of study. Both public discourse and legal practice commonly feature originalist arguments as well as criticisms of originalism. To engage these arguments, lawyers and citizens should be able to weigh the merits of a diverse set of originalist theories. This course is designed to acquaint you with a number of originalist and nonoriginalist arguments; enable you to judge for yourself the strengths and weaknesses of each; and give you an opportunity to sharpen your own views on the topic. It examines various originalist theories (original intentions, original meanings, original methods, and so on), different emphases in originalist argumentation over time (the “old” originalism vs. the “new”), and forms of argument used in support or opposition (conceptual, normative, positive). The course will be taught as a two-hour weekly seminar, focused on class discussion of the readings. Each student will choose weeks in which to submit a total of eight short papers (5-8 pp.) in response to the readings. These papers will be circulated to all participants via Sakai and will serve, together with my own comments at the start of each session, as a basis for class discussion. Alternatively, students may instead pursue independent research projects related to originalism, submitting first and final drafts (~30 pp.) in compliance with the upper-level writing requirement. Students choosing this option must do so prior to the close of the Drop/Add period.

781

Music's Copyright: A Historical, Incentives-Based, and Aesthetic Analysis of the Law of Music 3
  • JD SRWP
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM writing, option
  • IntllLLM IP Cert
  1. Fall 18
  2. Spring 20
  3. Fall 20
  • Reflective Writing
  • Research paper, 25+ pages
  • Oral presentation
  • Class participation

This course will begin by exploring the historical structure of incentives in music and the changing economics of music production, including the preconditions for thinking of music as "property" and the gradual shift from patronage to a market-oriented system. It will then proceed to examine music's unusually complex and increasingly fraught relationship with copyright law. The fundamental notions of originality and illicit copying are at odds with both functional limitations and long-standing aesthetic practices in music, such as the long history of accepted borrowing. As a result, there is an unusual body of music-specific case law that features intriguing circuit splits, vigorous disputes about expert testimony and prior art, and specialized doctrinal issues. Students will gain an in-depth knowledge of these issues, and their application in prominent cases involving the songs "Blurred Lines," "Stairway to Heaven," and Katy Perry's "Dark Horse," as well as pending disputes over Lizzo's "Truth Hurts" and "Baby Shark," and then apply this knowledge in a mock trial. The course will also cover the complicated licensing schemes that attach to different uses of music, from traditional revenue streams to fresh disputes regarding royalties for new uses such as ringtones and streaming services. This portion will include a discussion of the new Music Modernization Act. Finally, the class will conclude with an in-depth examination of the ongoing debates about how both the law and business practices might adapt to the new musical forms (such as sampling and remixing) and business models (such as do-it-yourself distribution) enabled by digital technology. Throughout the semester, the course will include a special focus on current and ongoing disputes, issues, scholarship, and proposals.

The writing for this course may be used to satisfy the JD Substantial Research and Writing Project Requirement.