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 filters18 courses found.
Course Number Course Title Course Credits Degree Requirements Semesters Taught Methods of Evaluation

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.

323

Bankruptcy and Corporate Reorganization 2
  • JD elective
  • LLMLE (1 yr) elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  1. Spring 19
  2. Spring 20
  • Final Exam

The course will focus on the process by which a corporate debtor achieves reorganization pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code. Prior familiarity with bankruptcy principles and debtor-creditor law is not required. These will be incorporated in the course as it unfolds. Some familiarity with business organization is helpful but not necessary.

The subject will be covered primarily from two perspectives: that of supervision of a debtor by the bankruptcy court and that of the underlying business and economic dynamics that lead both to the debtor's financial crisis and to its ability to secure a fresh start through a plan of reorganization.


Topics to be covered include: historical, Constitutional, and policy issues underlying Chapter 11's provisions and goals; overview of basic business structures and transactions bearing on Chapter 11 reorganization; alternatives to avoid Chapter 11; the powers and oversight role of the bankruptcy court and the obligations and governance of a corporate debtor when under the protection of the bankruptcy court; the major phases of a Chapter 11 case from initial filing to consummation of a plan of reorganization (e.g., formulation of a business plan and the plan of reorganization, claims procedures and classification, plan disclosure and voting, plan confirmation, discharge, and consummation); recovery and disposition of assets in Chapter 11, including asset sales, and avoidance remedies; and numerous special topics encountered in Chapter 11 practice.

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.

336

Mergers & Acquisitions: A Practitioner's Perspective 2
  • JD elective
  • LLM-LE (JD) elective
  • LLMLE (1 yr) elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  1. Spring 19
  2. Spring 20
  3. Spring 21
  • Final Exam

This two-credit course will consider and analyze corporate mergers and acquisitions and the process of initiating and completing a corporate acquisition. Topics covered will include the structures commonly used in M&A transactions (and the factors affecting choice of deal structure); strategies employed by the acquiring company and the target firm in negotiating an acquisition and the differing roles played by the various parties involved; the critical role of information in M&A deals; conducting due diligence; the elements and structure of a typical acquisition agreement; certain techniques for effective drafting of M&A agreements; the roles and responsibilities of management, Boards of Directors and shareholders in connection with transactions; securities laws affecting transactions; acquisition financing; and getting the transaction to closing.

379

Partnership Taxation 2
  • JD elective
  • LLM-LE (JD) elective
  • LLMLE (1 yr) elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  1. Spring 19
  2. Spring 20
  • Final Exam

The course will cover the tax consequences of organizing, operating, and liquidating entities including related issues taxed as partnerships.

393

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

Current trademark and unfair competition law will be inspected from three different view points: theory, case law, and client representation involving transaction and litigation strategies. The course will cover the requirements for obtaining trademark protection (distinctiveness, use in commerce, special rules for trade dress, various bars to protection such as functionality), confusion-based infringement, secondary liability, trademark dilution, statutory and common law defenses, false advertising, and cybersquatting.

428

Advanced Community Enterprise Clinic 2
  • JD elective
  • JD experiential
  • LLM-LE (JD) elective
  • PIPS elective
  • PIPS experiential
  1. Spring 20
  2. Spring 19
  • Group project(s)
  • Practical exercises
  • Live-client representation and case management
  • Class participation

This two-credit course is available to students who have participated in one semester in the community enterprise clinic and wish to participate for a second semester. Students may enroll only with approval of the Director of the Clinic. Placements may be available in the event that the clinic is not fully enrolled with first-time participants, and in exceptional situations, when the clinic director determines it would be in the best interest of the clinic to make an exception to the usual maximum enrollment. Students enrolled in Advanced Clinical Studies are required to participate fully in the case work portion of the clinic, performing 100-120 hours of client representation work, but will not be required to attend the class sessions.

475A

Law & Policy Lab 2
  • JD elective
  • LLM-LE (JD) elective
  • LLMLE (1 yr) elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  • IntllLLM IP Cert
  1. Fall 18
  • Research and/or analytical paper(s), 10-15 pages
  • Class participation

The tech-savvy lawyer-leader of tomorrow must understand blockchains. Blockchains—decentralized databases that are maintained by a distributed network of computers—present manifold challenges and opportunities, including unprecedented potential to disrupt financial systems, to support civic participation and democratize access to resources, and even to change what we understand “law” to be.

As this set of technologies rapidly emerges, we must consider the extent to which we allow regulation and government intervention, balancing the maintenance of social norms against the need to let a nascent technology innovate. Moving forward, as decentralized networks possibly replace centralized systems, we must find ways to maintain rule of law through appropriate legal and regulatory levers. This course aims to help each of us become active participants in these endeavors.

515

Contract Drafting for the Finance Lawyer 2
  • JD elective
  • JD experiential
  • 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
  • Practical exercises
  • In-class exercise
  • Class participation
  • Variable by section

Contract Drafting is an upper-level course that teaches basic practical skills in contract drafting through written drafting exercises. The exercises will be done both in and outside of class, and extensive peer and instructor editing will be used. While the skills taught will be basic, they will also be translatable to more sophisticated contracts, such as those that Duke Law students can expect to see and draft in practice. The course will be a combination of lecture and in-class drafting and editing exercises, with an emphasis on the exercises. There will be pre-class reading assignments from the text, possibly supplemented with other outside reading. Some drafting exercises will be assigned to be done outside of class for subsequent in-class editing. Grading will be on the basis of these written drafting assignments, the quality of editing others' drafts, and class participation.

517

Advanced Contracts 2
  • JD SRWP with add-on credit
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  1. Spring 20
  2. Spring 19
  3. Fall 20

Each course segment will consider in depth a foundational tenet of contract law, but applied to a new and modern fact pattern. For example, does an agreement to exchange one kidney for another (as in the increasingly common kidney paired donation) involve consideration? Is it void as against public policy? What is the obligation of airlines, hotels, and third party providers (such as Expedia) to honor "mistake fares" in an age when technology allows potentially millions of purchases before the offeror discovers the error?
We'll begin each segment with a modern fact pattern in which the law is unclear or in flux. We'll read the classic contracts cases and scholarly articles on point, with application to the new fact pattern in mind. Are the old doctrines still a good fit for the new world? Are the public policy rationales behind the law still relevant? What new considerations are present? Project assignments are designed to place students in roles of problems-solvers, policymakers, or judges considering real-life, current disputes. There will be substantial writing, teamwork, and oral presentations.

519

Contract Drafting 2
  • JD elective
  • JD experiential
  • LLM-LE (JD) elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  1. Fall 18
  2. Spring 19
  3. Fall 19
  4. Fall 20
  5. Spring 21
  • Practical exercises
  • In-class exercise
  • Class participation
  • Other

Contract Drafting is an upper-level simulation course that teaches basic practical skills by having students work “in role” as lawyers undertaking various drafting tasks in a series of exercises. While the skills taught will be basic, they will also be translatable to more sophisticated contracts. The course will feature lectures, class discussions, and in-class business issue-spotting and drafting exercises, with an emphasis on the exercises. There will be pre-class reading assignments from the text, sometimes supplemented with other outside reading, including various sample contracts. Some exercises will be group projects, and regular peer feedback, along with feedback from the instructor, will be a feature. Grading will be on the basis of written drafting assignments, at least one graded peer-feedback assignment, and class participation.

Students who take Law 519 Contract Drafting may not take Law 522 Contract Drafting: The Next Generation.

549

Corporate Counseling and Communication 2
  • JD elective
  • JD experiential
  • LLM-LE (JD) elective
  • LLMLE (1 yr) elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  1. Spring 19
  2. Spring 20
  3. Spring 21
  • Final Exam
  • Practical exercises
  • In-class exercise
  • Class participation

The goal of this class is for students to develop skills working with sophisticated clients on complex issues that lack easy answers and to simulate the practice of law in a way that a young associate is likely to experience it whether at a large law firm or in a small legal office. The primary focus is interviewing and counseling business clients and drafting client-related communications.

The first part of the class is split into five two-week segments. In the first week of each segment, the class will study a legal issue and prepare to interview the client. Then, one student interviews the client about a simulated scenario in a conference call as the rest of the class observes.  After the call, the class assesses the legal issues and strategies for responding. Students must then decide what advice to give.

In the second week of each segment, the class evaluates potential responses and prepares to advise the client. Another student counsels the client as the class observes. The focus of the class is on client communications, legal strategy, and developing professional skills, and students will gain exposure to the types of issues commonly faced by corporate counsel, including contract negotiations and potential claims.

Students will also practice working in a law office environment by sending emails to the professor that simulate reports to a supervising attorney and by submitting timesheets showing work they have completed. The final three weeks focus on a 15-page paper that will require independent research on a complex legal topic assigned by the professor. Through these exercises, students will learn to speak confidently with experienced business executives, collect information efficiently from busy professionals, and deliver practical, business-oriented legal advice orally and in writing.

577

Emerging Issues in Sports and the Law 2
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  1. Spring 19
  2. Spring 20
  • Reflective Writing
  • Research and/or analytical paper(s), 10-15 pages
  • Class participation

The course will examine the regulation of NCAA athletics and the enforcement of NCAA rules. It will examine in detail several high profile NCAA cases including those involving Penn State, Miami and UNC-Chapel Hill.

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.”)

720

Advanced Copyright: Digital Technologies 2
  • JD SRWP
  • JD elective
  • LLMLE (1 yr) elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM writing, option
  • IntllLLM IP Cert
  1. Spring 20
  2. Spring 19
  • Research paper, 25+ pages
  • Class participation

This advanced copyright course will explore the legal and policy issues arising from the application of copyright law in the digital, networked environment. We will examine how the Copyright Act and traditional copyright doctrines have been adapted and applied by courts in an environment of rapid technological change, and what this means both for creators and users of creative works. The course will give particular attention to the scope and application of the author's various exclusive rights in a digital environment, doctrines of direct infringement and secondary liability as applied to Internet-based businesses and technologies, and questions relating to fair use, first sale, statutory licenses, and other defenses to infringement. We will explore in detail the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, including both the legal framework for the protection of technological protection measures and the safe harbor provisions protecting Internet Service Providers. Exploration of these and other issues will include detailed discussion of current legislative and related policy issues, major recent and ongoing litigation in the areas of Internet file sharing, cloud computing, and online video distribution, and new and emerging issues in the music, movie and interactive gaming sectors. This advanced course assumes a basic understanding of U.S. copyright law.

Enrollment Pre- or Corequisite

Intellectual Property or Copyright Law or Music's Copyright: A Historical, Incentives-Based, and Aesthetic Analysis of the Law of Music

740

Data and Democracy 2
  • JD SRWP, option
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  1. Fall 19
  2. Spring 19
  • Research paper, 25+ pages
  • Class participation

Russian interference of the 2016 presidential election and the 2018 midterm elections have exposed unprecedented vulnerabilities: shortcomings to national cybersecurity policy and the failure to develop effective cyber threat deterrents; underregulation of social media platforms and Internet governance; how best to safeguard voter data and consumer data; and what federal oversight of election administration and voting systems may be necessary while still respecting federalism principles and state sovereignty. Multiple intelligence reports have described the interference as an “influence campaign” that blended covert cyber operations, and overt propaganda and misinformation operations. This seminar will explore how best to address the legal and policy challenges posed by the foreign interference in U.S. elections. The course will explore how policy and corporate reform efforts can be shaped by the emerging fields of cyber ethics and data ethics. The seminar will include a close examination of intelligence reports, the Special Counsel’s indictments, and other original source material to better understand the nature of foreign interference in US elections. It will also include an in-depth discussion of interdisciplinary work authored by experts in multiple fields: data and information science, ethics, privacy law, cybersecurity, national security, federalism, state and local governments, corporate governance, election law and voting rights, media and communications law, internet governance, civil rights and civil liberties, international relations, and political science and political theory. For graduate students and law students, regular participation will be supplemented by additional reading assignments and more in-depth research requirements, including an expectation to pursue original source research.

Graduate and law students will also meet separately with the instructor throughout the semester to discuss the supplemental reading assignments and research progress, and will have an opportunity to present their research findings at the conclusion of the semester.  This course may be used by law students to satisfy the Substantial Research and Writing Project degree requirement.

754

IP Transactions 2
  • JD elective
  • LLM-LE (JD) elective
  • LLMLE (1 yr) elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  • IntllLLM IP Cert
  1. Spring 19
  2. Spring 20
  3. Spring 21
  • Final Exam
  • Class participation

Patents, trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets are the currency of an innovation economy. Each of these forms of intellectual property may be bought and sold, licensed, or used as security. How each is used will depend on the business context; the needs of a start-up company being far different from those of a multinational corporation. This course will focus on intellectual property transactions in various business contexts, including: maximizing value and assessing risks; using intellectual property in financing start-ups; protecting trade secrets; employment issues related to intellectual property; intellectual property licensing; and intellectual property in mergers, acquisitions and bankruptcy.

778

Law & Entrepreneurship 2
  • LLM-LE (JD) required
  • LLMLE (1 yr) required
  1. Fall 18
  2. Fall 19
  3. Fall 20

This perspectives course serves as an anchor for the E-LLM program. In addition to giving students a theoretical framework through which to understand the relationship of entrepreneurship and law, the course will feature regular opportunities to learn directly from entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial lawyers.