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 filters8 courses found.
Course Number Course Title Course Credits Degree Requirements Semesters Taught Methods of Evaluation

298

Ocean and Coastal Law and Policy 2
  • JD SRWP, option
  • JD elective
  • LLM-ICL (JD) elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Environ Cert
  • PIPS elective
  1. Fall 19
  2. Fall 18
  3. Fall 20

This course explores laws and policies that affect decisions on United States ocean and coastal resources. We examine statutes, regulations, attitudes, and cases that shape how the United States (and several states) use, manage, and protect the coasts and oceans out to – and sometimes beyond – the 200-mile limit of the Exclusive Economic Zone. We cover government and private approaches to coastal and ocean resources, including beaches, wetlands, estuaries, reefs, fisheries, endangered species, and special areas.

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.

 

368

Natural Resources Law 2
  • JD SRWP, option
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM writing, option
  • IntlLLM Environ Cert
  • PIPS elective
  1. Fall 20
  • Research paper, 25+ pages
  • Class participation

The law of how we use nature - timber, mining, bioversity, fisheries, water rights, and agriculture. Also an introduction to the historical and constitutional geography of American public lands: the national parks, forests, wilderness system, and grazing lands, and disputes over federal versus local control of these. There is special attention to the historical and political origins of our competing ideas of how nature matters and what we should do with it, from economically productive use to outdoor recreation to preserving the natural world for its own sake. Attention also to the complicated interplay of science and law.

520

Climate Change and the Law 2
  • JD elective
  • LLM-ICL (JD) elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Environ Cert
  • PIPS elective
  1. Spring 19
  2. Spring 21
  • Reflective Writing
  • Research and/or analytical paper(s), 10-15 pages
  • In-class exercise
  • Class participation

This 2-credit seminar will examine global climate change and the range of actual and potential responses by legal institutions – primarily at the international treaty level and in the United States, with attention as well to the law in Europe, Australia, China, Brazil, and elsewhere.

We will compare alternative approaches that could be taken by the legal regime to address climate change: the choice of policy instrument (e.g., emissions taxes, allowance trading, technology R&D, prescriptive regulation, reducing deforestation, geoengineering, adaptation); the spatial scale (global, regional, national, local); the time scale (precautionary or adaptive, over decades or centuries); and key normative criteria for policy choice. We will also examine the actual legal measures that have been adopted so far to manage climate change: the international agreements such as the Framework Convention on Climate Change (1992), its Kyoto Protocol (1997), and the results of follow-on meetings such as Copenhagen (2009), Cancun (2010), Durban (2011), Doha (2012), Warsaw (2013), and the Paris Agreement (2015); and the policies undertaken by the US, Europe, Australia, China, Brazil, and other key countries. In the US, we will study national (federal) and sub-national (state and local) policies, including: legislative proposals in the US Congress; the US Supreme Court's decisions in Massachusetts v. EPA (2007), and Connecticut v. AEP (2011), addressing issues including standing to sue, statutory interpretation, delegation, administrative discretion, comparative institutional competence, and statutory preemption of common law; administrative regulation by US EPA under the current Clean Air Act; other federal laws such as the ESA and NEPA; state-level action by California, RGGI, and others; and common-law tort liability applied to climate change.

Questions we will discuss include: How effective and efficient are the policies being proposed and adopted? How do actions at the national and international levels affect each other (e.g. reinforcing or conflicting)? Can current institutions deal with a problem as enormous, complex, long-term, uncertain, and multi-faceted as climate change? What roles do changing scientific and economic understanding play in evolving legal responses? How do institutions and the public respond to potential but inchoate catastrophes? Will dealing with mega-problems necessitate or lead to basic changes in legal institutions? Should the US states be acting? Should you buy personal carbon offsets? Should the US have joined Kyoto, or have organized a parallel regime of major emitters, or have done something else? How should we appraise FCCC/Kyoto process so far? What will follow from the 2015 Paris Agreement, and how should it be implemented? What are the best ways to engage countries in international cooperation? What principles of international and intergenerational justice should guide efforts to control climate change? How should aggregate social well-being, and distributional equity for the world's poor, shape climate change policy? Should greenhouse gas emitters (countries, businesses, consumers) be legally liable or responsible to compensate victims for their losses? What is the best mix of mitigation (prevention) and adaptation (resilience)? How will climate policy be influenced by geopolitical changes such as the rise of China and India, and a shift from the US as lone superpower to a more multipolar world of several great powers? How will technological change affect law and policy, and how should the law seek to promote technological change? How should the legal system learn and remain adaptable to new information over time? What threats, challenges, and opportunities might climate change pose to legal and political systems?

Students must read the assigned materials in advance of class, and participate in class discussion. Each student will submit a short (5-6 page) paper, addressing the week's readings (and adding outside research), for three (3) of the 12 class sessions (not counting the first class session). A sign-up sheet will be circulated at the beginning of the course for students to select the 3 topics/class sessions for which they will submit these 3 short papers (so that these papers are spread across the semester). In addition, each student will write a longer research paper (15 pages), due at the end of the semester. Grades will be based on: 33% class participation, 33% the 3 short papers, and 33% the longer paper.

The Syllabus with weekly assignments, and the Resources (readings), will be posted on the Sakai site. (There is no textbook for this course; all readings will be posted on the Sakai site.)

590

Risk Regulation in the US, Europe and Beyond 2
  • JD SRWP
  • JD elective
  • LLM-ICL (JD) elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Environ Cert
  1. Fall 19
  2. Fall 20
  • Research paper, 25+ pages
  • Class participation

Faced with myriad health, safety, environmental, security and financial risks, how should societies respond?  This course studies the regulation of a wide array of risks, such as disease, food, drugs, medical care, biotechnology, chemicals, automobiles, air travel, drinking water, air pollution, energy, climate change, finance, violence, terrorism, emerging technologies, and extreme catastrophic risks. (Students may propose to research other risks as well.)

Across these diverse contexts, the course focuses on how regulatory institutions deal with the challenges of risk assessment (technical expertise), risk perceptions (public concerns and values), priority-setting (which risks should be regulated most), risk management (including the debates over "precaution" versus benefit-cost analysis, and risk-risk tradeoffs such as countervailing harms and co-benefits), and ongoing evaluation.  It examines the rules and institutions for risk regulation, including the roles of legislative, executive, and judicial functions; oversight bodies (such as judicial review by courts, and executive review by US OMB/OIRA and the EU RSB); fragmentation and integration; and international cooperation.

The course examines these issues through a comparative approach to risk regulation in the United States, Europe, and other countries (especially those of interest to the students in the course each year).  It examines the divergence, convergence, and exchange of ideas across regulatory systems; the causes of these patterns; the consequences of regulatory choices; and how regulatory systems can learn to do better.

This is a research seminar, in which students discuss and debate in class (in person or online), while developing their own research.  We may also have some guest speakers.  Students' responsibilities in this course include active participation in class discussions, and writing a substantial research paper.  Students’ papers may take several approaches, such as analyzing a specific risk regulation; comparing regulation across countries; analyzing proposals to improve the regulatory system; or other related topics.

This course is cross-listed as ENV 733.01 and PUBPOL 891.01.  Graduate and professional students outside the Law School are welcome and should enroll via those course numbers.  (The Law School does not use “permission numbers.”)

636

Food, Agriculture and the Environment: Law & Policy 2
  • JD SRWP
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Environ Cert
  • PIPS elective
  1. Fall 18
  2. Fall 19
  3. Fall 20
  • Reflective Writing
  • Research and/or analytical paper(s), 10-15 pages
  • Oral presentation
  • Class participation

“Food,” “agriculture,” and the “environment” are distinct American mythologies tied to our most basic physical needs and imbued with our most significant cultural meanings. They are also irrevocably entwined. Most of us eat at least three times a day and, unless you are in extraordinary circumstances, those meals were produced within our national—and increasingly global—food and agriculture system. And it’s a system that causes startling environmental harms; think water and air pollution, pesticides, greenhouse gases, non-human animal welfare, deforestation, soil depletion, wetlands destruction, fisheries collapse, and on and on. Yet notions of “agricultural exceptionalism” exempt agriculture from many of our nation’s environmental laws.

Undergirding the system are the people who help put food on our tables. The food and agriculture system depends on immigrants who toil as farmworkers and work the slaughterhouse lines even as it romanticizes the Jeffersonian ideal of the solitary yeoman. It co-opts the knowledge of Black, Indigenous and people of color under terms like “sustainable” and “regenerative” without reckoning with land theft, enslavement, or the patterns of discrimination and land loss that persist today.

This course will survey how law and policy helped create and perpetuate the interrelated social, economic and environmental iniquities of our modern food and agriculture system. More optimistically, we will study how law and policy can address systemic issues and move us toward values of equity and environmental justice, conservation, restoration, community health and economic sustainability. And if you read Omnivore’s Dilemma and want to learn what the Farm Bill actually does, this is your chance.

Course format and expectations: The course will take place entirely online. Students will be expected to stay up on all readings, participate in weekly discussion boards, prepare several small presentations and written assignments throughout the semester, and engage in the “live” seminar each week. As a final assignment, each student will write a 10-15 page law or policy paper on a topic that they will develop in consultation with the rest of the class and the instructor. For students in the Durham area, there will be an additional, optional opportunity to visit a local farm (University policy permitting).

 

714

Coastal Resilience in the Face of Climate Change 2
  • JD SRWP, option
  • JD elective
  • LLM-ICL (JD) elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM writing, option
  • IntlLLM Environ Cert
  • PIPS elective
  1. Spring 20
  2. Spring 19
  • Research paper, 25+ pages
  • Group project(s)
  • Class participation

This seminar will provide students an opportunity to engage closely with emerging law and policy issues associated with the need to increase coastal resilience in the face of climate change.  The recent experiences of both North and South Carolina with Hurricane Florence have highlighted the need for coastal communities to address a wide range of issues associated with climate change.  In addition to designing approaches to increase resilience when faced with storms and rising sea levels, these issues include: (1) information-gathering (via maps, drones, and scientific research about coastal/ocean processes); (2) law and policy refinements (via statutes, regulations, and guidance); and (3) possible litigation to develop useful common law doctrines relevant to the tidelands and the public trust.  Through the use of current cases and policy issues under debate in coastal communities, students will work together to research the most salient questions presented by these issues.  They will analyze relevant facts, laws, policies, socio-economic considerations, and local ordinances, and prepare proposed solutions to these questions in the form of advisory memos and recommendations.  

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.