Course Browser

Search and explore Duke Law's wide variety of courses that comprise near every area of legal theory and practice. Contact the Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs to confirm whether a course satisfies a graduation requirement in any particular semester.
 

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 filters40 courses found.
Course Number Course Title Course Credits Degree Requirements Semesters Taught Methods of Evaluation

101

Foundations of Law 1
  • JD 1L
  1. Fall 17
  2. Fall 18
  • Final Exam

This year-long, signature course exposes all first year students to foundational legal concepts, themes and issues in the study of law. This is a one credit course.

110

Civil Procedure 4.5
  • JD 1L
  • IntlLLM NY Bar
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  1. Fall 17
  2. Fall 18
  3. Fall 19
  • Final Exam
  • Class participation

A consideration of the basic problems of civil procedure designed to acquaint students with the fundamental stages and concerns of litigation, e.g., jurisdiction, pleading, discovery, trial, choice of law, and multiparty actions. In addition, this course will highlight a number of specialized topics including the role of juries in deciding civil disputes, the ethical responsibilities of the litigation attorney, and the development of alternative dispute resolution systems. At several points, this course will focus on an analysis of the procedural system's operations as revealed through empirical studies.

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
  • 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.

130

Contracts 4.5
  • JD 1L
  • IntlLLM NY Bar
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  1. Fall 17
  2. Fall 18
  3. Spring 19
  4. Fall 19
  • Final Exam
  • Class participation

An examination of the formation and legal operations of contracts, their assignment, their significance to third parties, and their relationship to restitution and commercial law developments; the variety, scope, and limitations on remedies; and the policies, jurisprudence, and historical development of promissory liability.

140

Criminal 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
  • Final Exam
  • Class participation

An introductory study of the law of crimes and the administration of criminal justice. One of the purposes of this course is to introduce the students to the nature of social control mechanisms and the role of law in a civilized society.

170

Property 4.5
  • JD 1L
  • IntlLLM NY Bar
  • IntlLLM Environ Cert
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  1. Fall 17
  2. Spring 18
  3. Fall 18
  4. Spring 19
  • Final Exam
  • Class participation

A study of the law of property, its objectives and its institutions. This course investigates how property rights and institutions affect resources, prosperity, fairness, freedom, community, and the sometimes conflicting interests of individuals, groups, and governments, in specific applications such as land, possessions, energy, environmental resources, ideas, music, the family, and the self. The course examines doctrines such as acquisition, exclusion, transfer, estates and future interests, covenants and easements, trespass and nuisance, zoning, landlord-tenant and housing law, and compensation for government takings of property.

180

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

An analysis of liability for personal injuries and injuries to property. The law of negligence occupies a central place in the course content, but this course also considers other aspects of tort liability such as strict liability, liability of producers and sellers of products, nuisance, liability for defamation and invasion of privacy, and commercial torts. The subjects of causation, damages, insurance (including automobile no-fault compensation systems), and workmen's compensation are also included.

200

Administrative Law 3
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM NY Bar
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Environ Cert
  • PIPS elective
  1. Fall 19
  2. Spring 20
  3. Fall 17
  4. Spring 18
  5. Fall 18
  6. Spring 19
  • Final Exam

A study of the legal framework governing administrative agencies under the U.S. Constitution and the Administrative Procedure Act, with a particular focus on agency rulemaking and adjudication; Presidential power; Congressional control of agencies through statutes and other mechanisms of oversight; and judicial review of agency actions.

207

Sports and the Law 3
  • JD elective
  • LLMLE (1 yr) elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  1. Spring 18
  2. Spring 19
  3. Spring 20
  • Final Exam

Sports occupies a central place in modern society. It constitutes a significant sector in the economy and an important form of cultural expression. This course examines the legal relations among the various parties in sports at both the professional and amateur levels. Particular attention will be given to the importance given to the maintenance of competitive balance and its impact on traditional notions of competition that apply in other business settings. Contracts law, antitrust law, and labor law provide the essential core for the investigation of issues in this course. In addition, this course seeks to provide an informed perspective on the financial and business structures that define the industry.

218

Comparative Law 3
  • JD elective
  • LLM-ICL (JD) required
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  1. Fall 17
  2. Fall 18
  • Final Exam

This course has two aims. On a practical level, we will learn about the differences and similarities, both real and perceived, between different legal orders. We will focus on legal orders within the "civil" and "common" law and try to find out in which way it makes sense to conceive of them as "the Western Legal Tradition". On a theoretical level, we will try to understand what it means to "compare", and how it can help us both to understand other legal systems as well as our own.

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.

237

Ethics of Social Justice Lawyering 2
  • JD elective
  • JD ethics
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM NY Bar
  • PIPS elective
  1. Fall 17
  • Final Exam
  • Class participation

This course examines Professional Responsibility as it applies to representing poor and/or underrepresented clients (in criminal and civil cases), as well as to lawyering for social justice causes, through impact litigation and other means. We will explore the substantive law of Professional Responsibility, focusing on ethical challenges frequently encountered in social justice representation (e.g., representing clients who are uneducated or culturally different than the attorney, practicing with limited resources in an environment of many unmet legal needs, defining who the client is when representing a group or cause, and the tensions created when the requirements of Professional Responsibility are at odds with the attorney's personal morality or vision of social justice).  While we will work mostly from the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct, required reading will also include scholarship on the unique ethical and moral dilemmas of social justice lawyers, and students will be encouraged to think critically about the rules of Professional Responsibility and their application in social justice contexts.  Throughout the course, we will consider and practice the lawyering skills needed to ethically represent clients and social causes, through in-class resolution of hypotheticals and experiential learning, such as simulations or role-playing.   Several practicing, social-justice attorneys will join us to guest-speak.

238

Ethics and the Law of Lawyering 2
  • JD elective
  • JD ethics
  • 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

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, statutory rules, and administrative regulations.

 

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.

255

Federal Income Taxation 4
  • JD elective
  • LLM-LE (JD) elective
  • LLMLE (1 yr) elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  1. Fall 17
  2. Spring 18
  3. Fall 18
  4. Spring 19
  5. Fall 19
  6. Spring 20
  • Final Exam

An introduction to federal income taxation, with emphasis on the determination of income subject to taxation, deductions in computing taxable income, the proper time period for reporting income and deductions, and the proper taxpayer on which to impose the tax.

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.

270

Intellectual Property 4
  • JD elective
  • LLM-LE (JD) required
  • LLMLE (1 yr) elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  • IntllLLM IP Cert
  1. Fall 17
  2. Fall 18
  3. Spring 19
  4. Spring 20
  • Final Exam

A comprehensive introduction to the principal theories of trademark law and unfair competition, copyright law, patent law, and related state and federal doctrines.

275

International Law 3
  • JD elective
  • LLM-ICL (JD) required
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • PIPS elective
  1. Spring 18
  2. Spring 19
  3. Spring 20
  • Final Exam

This course offers a general introduction to the international legal system and provides a foundation for more specialized courses. Topics covered include the sources, actors and institutions of international law; the application of international law by U.S. courts; adjudication by international tribunals; the extraterritorial application of domestic law; and an introduction to specific topics, such as human rights, international criminal law, international trade and investment, environmental protection, and the use of force.

285

Labor Law 3
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • PIPS elective
  1. Fall 17
  2. Fall 18
  3. Fall 19
  • Final Exam

The course examines the basic principles of labor law: a body of rulings, regulations, and legislative acts governing the rights of workers to form a union and collectively bargain over workplace terms and conditions. It focuses on the major federal legislation in this area - the National Labor Relations Act - as opposed to other laws governing workplace conduct (wage-hour, anti-discrimination, etc.), state laws, or those pertaining to public sector employees. The class covers the history of the Act, who is covered under its provisions, the jurisdiction of the National Labor Relations Board and judicial review of its actions, how unions are formed, collective bargaining, unfair labor practices and the procedures to remedy same, and economic weapons used in labor disputes (strikes, boycotts, lock-outs, etc.).  The class also analyzes labor law from a multi-disciplinary perspective, with attention given to psychology, economic history, politics, and emerging cultural trends (the rise of social media as a means of union organizing, for example). It is taught using a combination of lecture, case analysis, and classroom simulations. It is the goal of this course to provide the student a firm grounding in the basics of labor law, with a practical appreciation of the passions labor conflict generates.

290

Remedies 3
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM NY Bar
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  1. Spring 18
  2. Spring 19
  3. Spring 20
  • Final Exam
  • Class participation

This course examines the powers and limits of the law to right those who have been wronged. We will cover different forms of remedies—including money damages, injunctions, and declaratory judgments. We will also explore ancillary remedies or enforcement mechanisms, such as the power of courts to hold parties in contempt. The course spans both private and public law contexts, with specific case studies ranging from school desegregation to the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund. Ultimately, the goal of the course is to provide an understanding of how the law responds to transgressions of substantive law, and also to provide a richer account of the power of our legal institutions more generally.

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
  • 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.

327

Energy Law 3
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Environ Cert
  • PIPS elective
  1. Fall 17
  2. Fall 18
  3. Fall 19
  • Final Exam

The course will examine the legal framework governing energy production and consumption in the United States, and policy approaches for balancing energy needs with other societal goals. The course will include three main modules: (1) electricity sector regulation; (2) energy resources for electricity generation; and (3) oil and gas law. Key themes will include:

(1) The historic origins of public utility regulation;
(2) The major U.S. laws that govern energy production and use;
(3) The distinct roles of the federal and state governments; and
(4) Efforts to manage competing societal interests.

331

Introduction to Privacy Law and Policy 3
  • JD elective
  • LLM-LE (JD) elective
  • LLMLE (1 yr) elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntllLLM IP Cert
  1. Spring 19
  2. Spring 20
  • Final Exam
  • Class participation

This course on privacy law and policy examines the ways in which the United States’ legal framework recognizes privacy rights or interests and balances them against competing interests, including, among others: freedom of speech and press, ever-expanding uses of big data, national security and law enforcement, medical research, business interests, and technological innovation. The course will address the ways that torts, constitutional law, federal and state statutes and regulations, and societal norms protect individual privacy against government, corporations and private actors in a variety of areas including: employment, media, education, data security, children’s privacy, health privacy, sports, consumer issues, finance, surveillance, national security and law enforcement. The course will also consider the significantly different approach to information privacy in the European Union and the importance of the new EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which became effective May 2018.  The course may also address briefly privacy issues and laws in an additional country, such as China, for purposes of further comparison.  Students will gain a broad understanding of the breadth, diversity and growing importance of the privacy field.

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.

359

Introduction to Law and Economics 3
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  1. Fall 17
  • Final Exam

Law and economics is one of the most influential schools of thought in modern legal theory. The ideas propounded by the economic analysis of law are gaining increasing traction in court decisions as well as in legal policy. This course explores the methodology of economic analysis in the legal context and discusses several of its provocative insights. This course will examine the major contributions of the economic analysis of law in the classical common law categories of contract, tort and property, as well as in other areas that may not initially appear to be amenable to economic reasoning. The course does not require any background in economics.

Grades: 100% of the grade will be based on the final exam.

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.

395

Distinctive Aspects of U.S. Law 2
  • IntlLLM NY Bar
  • IntlLLM required
  1. Fall 19
  2. Fall 17
  3. Fall 18
  • Final Exam

This course is intended to provide a broad introduction to key elements of American law. Emphasis will be placed on exploring contemporary constitutional issues and other issues involving fundamental principles of American law. Much of the focus will be on recent, and controversial, Supreme Court cases dealing with property law rights, affirmative action, the death penalty, punitive damages, the commerce clause, federalism, and separation of church and state. Special focus will also be given to developing a working understanding of the American litigation system, including reliance on pre-trial discovery, experts, and the jury system.

470

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

This course provides an introduction to the relationship between law and poverty, including the relevance of legal doctrine, policy and practice to the significant inequality in income, assets and basic social goods impacting tens of millions of people in the United States.

We will begin by considering historical and contemporary trends in domestic poverty, U.S. social welfare policy, the legal framework under which poverty-related claims have been adjudicated, and the role of lawyers in combatting poverty.

Grounded in poverty data, policy arguments, legal doctrine and practice, we will explore modern government anti-poverty programs and issues such as welfare, work, housing, health, education and criminalization.

We will conclude by considering non-governmental approaches to combating poverty, including market-based solutions and international human rights, with an emphasis on the role of law, lawyers and legal institutions in such efforts.

Drawing on the rich expertise of those in Durham and beyond, we will occasionally be joined by guest speakers. The primary textbook for the course is Poverty Law, Policy and Practice (Aspen/Wolters Kluwer, 2014).

541

Nonprofit Organizations 3
  • JD elective
  • LLM-LE (JD) elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  • PIPS elective
  1. Fall 17
  2. Fall 18
  3. Fall 19
  • Final Exam

The subject of the course is the diverse sector of the economy composed of nonprofit organizations. The topics to be covered include their economic function, governance issues, the tax laws covering them, abuses of their special status, and policy issues regarding them.

553

Empirical Research Methods in Law 1
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  1. Fall 18
  • Final Exam, option
  • Research and/or analytical paper(s), 10-15 pages, option
  • In-class exercise

There are three major objectives for this course: (1) to provide you with a substantive understanding of empirical methods and an opportunity to learn the principals of these methods with hands-on experience with easy-to-use statistical software (e.g., Excel and Stata); (2) to develop skills to choose and work with experts, and the ability to develop and refute quantitative evidence; and (3) to develop the necessary skills for critical thinking and evaluation of empirical work in academic studies and expert witness reports.

The course will be divided into three major components. The first section of the course will introduce a broad range of topics in methodology, from study design and hypothesis testing to descriptive statistics and multivariate regression techniques in the context of legal issues faced by practicing attorneys. The second section will include a series of lectures by judges and empirical scholars with a wealth of experience working with and as expert witnesses. The final section of the course will utilize this new knowledge and training to critically evaluate empirical scholarship and expert reports. Together, these course components will provide you with a comprehensive background in empirical methods and will prepare you for sophisticated and critical consumption of statistical analyses. The course also will equip those of you who are interested in pursuing academia with a foundation in quantitative research to produce empirical scholarship.

Participation during class is strongly encouraged, and computers are allowed in the classroom. Course grades will be based on class participation (10%), hands-on exercises (10%), and a discussion paper (80%).  For the paper, you will be asked to evaluate an Expert Report and discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the study based on the research methods covered in this course. You have the option to take an in-class exam as a substitute for the paper.

 

579

Mass Torts 3
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • PIPS elective
  1. Fall 19
  • Final Exam
  • Class participation

Mass Torts is a course designed to introduce students to the theory, practice, and strategy associated with the substantive law, procedure, and resolution of a wide variety of mass tort litigations.  Most mass torts are consolidated by the Judicial Panel on Multi- District Litigation, and the organization of the course is based on the life of a case in MDL: origins, pleadings, referral to a transferee judge, e-discovery, fact discovery, expert discovery, motion practice, test cases, pre-trial hearings, trials, appellate practice, remands, settlement, and claims resolution facilities.  There will also be substantial emphasis on larger themes and issues that are implicated by mass torts in the relationship between federal and state courts, in competing theories of liability and procedure, in the interaction of litigation, bankruptcy, and administrative processes, in the roles of public and private litigation and attorneys, in the respective interests of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of federal and state governments, and in a variety of competing economic, jurisprudential, policy, and practical concerns.  The course will be updated during the semester with emerging developments in currently pending mass tort litigation including opioids, asbestos, and Roundup.  The readings are prepared specifically for this course and will consist of excerpts from judicial opinions, pleadings, briefs, motions, and other original source material as well as excerpts from law review articles, press accounts, and books.  The grade will be based on a take home examination consisting of short answer and essay questions.  

702

Alternative Dispute Resolution 3
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  1. Fall 17
  2. Fall 18
  3. Fall 19
  • Final Exam

This course surveys the most common types of alternative dispute resolution processes: negotiation, mediation, arbitration, and court-annexed and governmental-agency ADR -all of which have gained wide-spread use as alternatives to traditional litigation. The survey encompasses three perspectives; the advocate's perspective in choosing the most appropriate ADR process in light of the different advantages and disadvantages of the various processes; the third-party neutral's perspective in facilitating or fashioning a just resolution of the parties' dispute; and the policy maker's perspective in utilizing ADR as a more efficient and cost effective substitute for traditional adjudication.