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 filters19 courses found.
Course Number Course Title Course Credits Degree Requirements Semesters Taught Methods of Evaluation

160AB

Legal Analysis, Research & Writing 4
  • JD 1L
  1. Fall 17
  2. Spring 18
  3. Fall 18
  4. Spring 19
  5. Fall 19
  6. Spring 20
  • Reflective Writing
  • Research and/or analytical paper(s), 10-15 pages

An introductory study of the various forms of legal writing and modes of legal research. Through an integrated approach to writing and research, the course begins by analyzing the components of judicial opinions and ends with the students independently researching and writing a sophisticated appellate brief. The principal goal of this course is the mastery of the basic tools of legal analysis, the principles of legal writing, and the techniques of legal research using both print and online resources.

This is a year-long course.  Upon successful completion of the Fall and Spring semesters, students are awarded four credits and graded on numerical scale.  A grade of Credit (CR) or No Credit (NC) is given after the Fall semester.

210

Business Associations 4
  • JD elective
  • LLM-LE (JD) required
  • IntlLLM NY Bar
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  1. Fall 17
  2. Spring 18
  3. Fall 18
  4. Spring 19
  5. Fall 19
  6. Spring 20
  • Final Exam

This course surveys the law providing ground rules for the organization, internal governance, and financing of corporations and other forms of business associations such as partnerships and limited liability companies. Topics include limited liability, fiduciary duties, shareholder voting, derivative suits, control transactions, mergers and acquisitions, public contests, and trading. The emphasis throughout is on the functional analysis of legal rules as one set of constraints on business associations, among others.

215

Commercial Transactions 4
  • 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

A study of basic policy choices made in the structuring of the law governing consumer and commercial transactions. The course serves as an overview of the role of debt in US society, especially consumer debt. This course looks at common debt arrangements, bankruptcy, and secured lending, both for personal property and for real property (mortgages). Particular attention is given to the lessons learned, and not learned, in the recent mortgage crisis. The course weaves discussions of major policy issues on excessive consumer and student debt with the substantive rules that define how debt arrangements are structured and then resolved, as in bankruptcy. Commercial Transactions and Principles of Commercial and Bankruptcy Law have a substantial overlap, and enrollment in one precludes enrollment in the other. The courses differ in their relative emphasis on bankruptcy law.

245

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

This course covers the limitations on the information that can be introduced in court codified in the Federal Rules of Evidence. We will take up the issue of relevance, including the rules concerning the balance between the probative value and the prejudicial impact of evidence and the special problems of character and credibility. We will also address the rules pertaining to the reliability of evidence, including the prohibition against hearsay and its many exceptions, the constitutional constraints on the testimony offered during criminal trials, scientific and expert testimony, and authentication. The course touches on evidentiary privileges as well. Professor Griffin will focus on the text, legislative history, and common law roots and development of the rules. "Readings" in her course include cases, problems, some theoretical materials, and film. Professor Beskind will primarily assign readings in a treatise rather than individual cases. In his class, students will work from two case files, one criminal and one civil, taking the role of advocates and arguing the evidentiary principles being studied as they arise in the cases.

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.

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.

287

Principles of Commercial and Bankruptcy Law 4
  • JD elective
  • LLM-LE (JD) elective
  • LLMLE (1 yr) elective
  • IntlLLM NY Bar
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  1. Fall 17
  2. Fall 18
  3. Fall 19
  • Final Exam

This is an introduction to the principles and concepts of commercial law and bankruptcy and their interplay. The course will start with a brief overview of the more innovative aspects of sales law, and then will introduce such basic commercial law concepts as letters of credit, documents of title, and negotiable instruments.

The course then will focus on secured transactions under Article 9 of the Uniform Commercial Code, including the concepts of security interests, collateral, perfection and priority, and foreclosure. That will bring in the natural interplay with such bankruptcy law concepts as property of a bankrupt debtor's estate, automatic stay of a foreclosure action, use by a debtor of property subject to a security interest, adequate protection of the secured party's interest, rejection of executory contracts, bankruptcy trustee's avoiding powers, preferences, fraudulent conveyances, postpetition effect of a security interest, set-offs, and subordination. The course also introduces principles of international insolvency and bankruptcy.

Commercial Transactions and Principles of Commercial and Bankruptcy Law have a substantial overlap, and enrollment in one precludes enrollment in the other. The courses differ in their relative emphasis on bankruptcy law. This course (Principles) is intended to give a solid, conceptual and practical grounding in all of the basic commercial and bankruptcy law issues that you are likely to encounter in your practice.

304

Big Bank Regulation 4
  • JD elective
  • LLMLE (1 yr) elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  1. Fall 17
  2. Fall 18
  3. Fall 19
  • Final Exam

Banking has evolved rapidly in just a few years. Global trade and investment has been supported and promoted by an emerging global financial system. This has in turn encouraged the growth of giant universal banks, based in the United States, the United Kingdom, mainland Europe, and in China and Japan. Most modern banks of any significant size (greater than $100 billion in total assets) have transnational and often truly global operations, but they also create major new risks and regulatory challenges. The debate over big banks and "too big to fail" concerns continued to be an important public policy concern in the 2016 Presidential election campaign. Since the Global Financial Crisis of 2008, the largest in a long run of domestic and international crises since the Great Depression of the 1930s, a new “Dodd-Frank” and “Basel III” framework has been emerging.  This framework has fundamentally changed the way in which such financial institutions are regulated.  After nearly a decade of reform, however, the framework remains fundamentally controversial, at least in the United States, and executive and congressional efforts to reverse the Dodd-Frank and Basel models are currently on the main national political agenda. 

The walls between the three main sectors of finance - banking, securities and insurance - have broken down, yet at their core banks continue to be somewhat unique in their functions and the challenges they present for financial stability. This course will review all the domestic and international regulatory developments since the Global Financial Crisis, focusing on the established and emerging regulatory architectures and systems, both domestic and international, currently proposed reforms, and  future challenges and prospects for global and domestic financial reform.

 

306

Corporate Crime 4
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  1. Fall 17
  2. Spring 18
  3. Spring 20
  • Final Exam
  • Class participation

This course serves as an introduction to the field of corporate crime, which now covers a large realm of government and law firm practice. The course will give students a first exposure to: (1) the contemporary practice in federal government agencies and medium to large corporate law firms of investigating, sanctioning, and representing corporations and their managers involved in potential criminal violations (and certain civil analogues); and (2) the debate in the public policy realm over whether, why, how, and when the criminal law should be applied in the corporate and business context.

This field is large, complex, and developing rapidly. This course therefore can cover only a selection of topics, and will emphasize policy and the need to confront gaps and uncertainty in doctrine. As there is no unitary body of black letter law in this field, this is not that kind of course. Coverage is likely to include mail and wire fraud, perjury and obstruction of justice, securities fraud (including insider trading and accounting fraud), the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, corporate criminal liability, grand jury powers and procedure, representation of entities and individuals, the Fifth and Sixth Amendments in the corporate context, plea and settlement agreements, and sentencing.

The materials consist of a course pack and occasional handouts. Assigned reading averages about 80 pages per week. The grade will be based primarily on a take home exam, with some weight given to class participation. Use of laptops, smartphones, tablets, and the like will be prohibited during class meetings.

330

Federal Criminal Law 4
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • PIPS elective
  1. Spring 18
  2. Fall 18
  3. Spring 20
  • Take-home examination
  • Oral presentation
  • Practical exercises
  • In-class exercise
  • Class participation

This course examines the role of the federal government in the criminal justice system, focusing on significant federal offenses criminalizing fraud, public corruption, drugs, money laundering, racketeering, firearms, and terrorism. We will also consider prosecutorial discretion, plea bargaining, and sentencing in the federal system.  The objective of this course is to master doctrine and to learn how to debate federal criminal law's merits and proper limits.  Public policy, theory, critical thinking, and oral advocacy will be emphasized.

The grade will be based on mock arguments and a take-home examination.

Federal criminal law is recommended either for second- or third-year students. It is especially helpful for students who will have a federal judicial clerkship, and those who anticipate a career in litigation. There are no prerequisites.

 

384

Securities Regulation 4
  • JD elective
  • LLM-LE (JD) required
  • LLMLE (1 yr) elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  1. Spring 18
  2. Spring 19
  3. Spring 20
  • Final Exam

A study of the federal and state securities laws and the industry they govern with emphasis on the regulation of the distribution process and trading in securities; subjects dealt with include the functions of the Securities and Exchange Commission, registration and disclosure requirements and related civil liabilities, "blue-sky" laws, proxy solicitation and reporting requirements, broker-dealer regulation, the self-regulatory functions of the exchanges, and the regulation of investment companies.

409

Entrepreneurship Immersion 4
  • JD experiential
  • LLM-LE (JD) elective
  1. Summer 2017
  2. Summer 2018
  3. Summer 2019

Entrepreneurship Immersion provides students with concentrated exposure to the legal, business and regulatory aspects of early-stage company formation. In partnership with Duke in Silicon Valley, the class takes place in the summer before 2L year for all JD/LLMLE students. The practical application of entrepreneurial skills is paired with classroom instruction each day in the range of business and legal issues likely to be encountered by practitioners. The course addresses the major areas each start-up must consider, from the various perspectives of company founders, investors, customers, and lawyers who represent each constituency.

427

Community Enterprise Law Clinic 4
  • JD elective
  • JD experiential
  • LLM-LE (JD) elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  • PIPS elective
  • PIPS experiential
  1. Fall 17
  2. Spring 18
  3. Spring 19
  4. Fall 19
  5. Spring 20
  • Group project(s)
  • Practical exercises
  • Live-client representation and case management
  • Class participation

Operating like a small private law firm, this clinic will provide students interested generally in business law practice and/or in specializing in affordable housing and community development law with practical skills training in many of the core skills required in any transactional legal practice, including interviewing, counseling, drafting and negotiation. Under the supervision of the clinical faculty, students will represent low-income entrepreneurs, as well as a wide variety of nonprofit organizations engaged in community development activities. In their cases, students will have the opportunity to work on a wide variety of legal matters for their clients. These may include entity formation (both for-profit and nonprofit); obtaining tax-exempt status for nonprofit clients and providing ongoing tax compliance counseling; negotiating and drafting contracts; and representing clients in community development transactions. All enrolled students will be required to provide a minimum of 100 hours of legal work per semester and to participate in weekly group training meetings. Students must be in at least their fourth semester of law school to enroll in the clinic.

Clinics Enrollment Policy

Important:

  • This course may not be dropped after the first class meeting.
  • Students MUST be able to attend the day-long clinic intensive training session to enroll in this course.
  • International LLM students who wish to enroll in a clinic must seek the permission of the clinic's faculty director prior to the enrollment period. Permission is required to enroll but permission does not constitute entry into the clinic.

Ethics Requirement

Students are required to have instruction in the Model Rules of Professional Conduct prior to, or during, enrollment in the Community Enterprise Clinic. The following ethics classes meet the requirement: Ethics of Social Justice Lawyering (LAW 237), Ethics and the Law of Lawyering (LAW 238), Ethics and the Law of Lawyering in Civil Litigation (LAW 239), Criminal Justice Ethics (LAW 317) and Ethics in Action (LAW 539).

429

Civil Justice Clinic 4
  • JD elective
  • JD experiential
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • PIPS elective
  • PIPS experiential
  1. Fall 19
  2. Spring 20
  3. Fall 17
  4. Spring 18
  5. Fall 18
  6. Spring 19
  • Group project(s)
  • Practical exercises
  • Live-client representation and case management
  • Class participation

This clinic will develop and hone civil litigation skills in the context of working on actual cases taken in directly by the CJC or working in association with the Durham and Raleigh offices of Legal Aid of North Carolina and with the North Carolina Office of Administrative Hearings. Cases will focus on vindicating the rights of impoverished individuals or groups who cannot otherwise adequately find justice in the civil courts. Students will be directly supervised by the Clinic Director and/or Supervising Attorney and/or Legal Aid attorneys. Cases may include prosecuting sub-code housing claims, defense of eviction claims, prosecuting unfair trade practice claims, administrative hearing appeals for the revocation of licenses/certifications, and a variety of other matters. Initial classroom training in the various stages of civil litigation will be conducted by the Clinic Director and Supervising Attorney, followed by weekly individual or group training sessions. Skill development will include interviewing clients/witnesses, review of relevant documents/discovery, assessment of cases, drafting of pleadings, drafting of discovery, taking of depositions, recognition of ethics issues, and actual court or agency appearances. All enrolled students will be required to provide a minimum of 100 hours of client legal work per semester as well as to participate in the weekly class and training sessions. Students must be in at least their fourth semester of law school to enroll in the clinic. Courses in Evidence and/or Trial Practice are recommended but not required as prerequisites or corequisites.

Important:

  • This course may not be dropped after the first class meeting.
  • Students must be able to attend the day-long clinic intensive training session to enroll in this course.
  • International LLM students who wish to enroll in the clinic must seek the permission of the Clinic Director prior to the enrollment period.
  • An Advanced Civil Justice Clinic can be available for a second semester, with the permission of the Clinic Director.

Ethics Requirement

Students are required to have instruction in the Model Rules of Professional Conduct prior to, or during, enrollment in the Civil Justice Clinic. The following ethics classes meet the requirement: Ethics of Social Justice Lawyering (LAW 237), Ethics and the Law of Lawyering (LAW 238), Ethics and the Law of Lawyering in Civil Litigation (LAW 239), Criminal Justice Ethics (LAW 317) and Ethics in Action (LAW 539).

435

First Amendment Clinic 4
  • JD elective
  • JD experiential
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • PIPS elective
  • PIPS experiential
  1. Fall 19
  2. Spring 20
  3. Fall 18
  4. Spring 19
  • Live-client representation and case management

This clinic will develop counseling, litigation, and legal commentary skills in the context of working on actual cases and issues involving the First Amendment freedoms of speech, press, assembly and petition.  We will advise and represent individuals and groups with First Amendment concerns or claims who cannot afford the assistance of lawyers with specialized First Amendment expertise.  We will also provide commentary and legal analysis on pending or enacted legislation that implicates First Amendment freedoms, and other governmental as well as academic developments.  Students will be directly supervised by the Clinic Director and the First Amendment Fellow.  All enrolled students will be required to work a minimum of 100 hours a semester with clients or in other professional activities such as answering questions from journalists or analyzing and preparing commentary on pending legislation, as well as to participate in the weekly class and training sessions. Students must be in at least their fourth semester of law school to enroll in the clinic.  Either First Amendment or Defamation and Privacy is a prerequisite or corequisite.

 

Important:

This course may not be dropped after the first class meeting.

Students must be able to attend the day-long clinic intensive training session to enroll in this course.

 

441

Start-Up Ventures Clinic 4
  • JD elective
  • JD experiential
  • LLM-LE (JD) elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  • PIPS elective
  • PIPS experiential
  1. Fall 17
  2. Spring 18
  3. Fall 18
  4. Spring 19
  5. Fall 19
  6. Spring 20
  • Group project(s)
  • Practical exercises
  • Live-client representation and case management
  • Class participation

The Start-Up Ventures Clinic represents entrepreneurs and early-stage businesses and social ventures on a variety of matters related to the start-up process, including formation, founder equity and vesting, shareholder agreements, intellectual property protection and licensing agreements, commercialization strategies, and other issues that new enterprises face in their start-up phases.

The course incorporates client representation with a seminar and individualized supervision to provide students with a range of opportunities to put legal theory into practice and to develop core legal skills such as interviewing, client counseling, negotiation, and drafting. Students in this course will, among other things, have the chance to deepen their substantive legal knowledge in entrepreneurial law and business law more generally while at the same time developing critical professional skills through the direct representation of start-up businesses.

Law Tech Focus: Some enrolled students will have the option of spending a portion of their clinic time working on legal technology projects in association with the Duke Law Center on Law & Technology, including (1) working with the Duke Law Tech Lab, a pre-accelerator program for legal technologies and (2) building real legal tech tools to serve entrepreneurs.

Important:

    • In order to be eligible to enroll in the Clinic, you must have successfully completed at least three semesters of Law School and meet the Ethics Requirement. See Clinics Enrollment Policy
    • This course may not be dropped after the first class meeting.
    • Students MUST be able to attend the day-long clinic intensive training session to enroll in this course.
    • International LLM students who wish to enroll in a clinic must seek the permission of the instructor prior to the enrollment period. Permission is required to enroll but permission does not constitute entry into the clinic.
  • Business Associations and Advising the Entrepreneurial Client are recommended but not required.

Ethics Requirement

Students are required to have instruction in the Model Rules of Professional Conduct prior to, or during, enrollment in the Start-Up Ventures Clinic. The following ethics classes meet the requirement:  Ethics of Social Justice Lawyering (LAW 237), Ethics and the Law of Lawyering (LAW 238), Ethics and the Law of Lawyering in Civil Litigation (LAW 239),  Criminal Justice Ethics (LAW 317) and Ethics in Action (LAW 539).

443

Environmental Law and Policy Clinic 4
  • JD elective
  • JD experiential
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Environ Cert
  • PIPS elective
  • PIPS experiential
  1. Fall 17
  2. Spring 18
  3. Fall 18
  4. Spring 19
  5. Fall 19
  6. Spring 20
  • Group project(s)
  • Practical exercises
  • Live-client representation and case management
  • Class participation

Under the supervision of the clinical faculty, students will work on current case and policy advocacy priorities as determined by the Clinic's Intake Board. Cases and issues undertaken by the Clinic may include the following subject areas: water quality, air quality, natural resources conservation, endangered species, agriculture, sustainable development, public trust resources and environmental justice. Practical skills training will emphasize skills needed to counsel clients, examine witnesses and to advocate effectively in rulemaking and litigation settings. Generally, students may only enroll in the clinic for 1 semester, but may enroll for 2 semesters with the permission of the instructor if space permits. All enrolled students will be required to provide a minimum of 100 hours of work per semester to the clinic. In addition, students must participate in weekly group training meetings as well. The clinic office is located in the law school building. Law students must be in at least their fourth semester of law school to enroll in the clinic. Nicholas School students must be in at least their second semester.

Clinics Enrollment Policy

Important:

  • This course may not be dropped after the first class meeting.
  • Students MUST be able to attend the day-long clinic intensive training session to enroll in this course.
  • International LLM students who wish to enroll in a clinic must seek the permission of the clinic's faculty director prior to the enrollment period. Permission is required to enroll but permission does not constitute entry into the clinic.

Ethics Requirement

Students are required to have instruction in the Model Rules of Professional Conduct prior to, or during, enrollment in the Environmental Law and Policy Clinic. The following ethics classes meet the requirement: Ethics of Social Justice Lawyering (LAW 237), Ethics and the Law of Lawyering (LAW 238), Ethics and the Law of Lawyering in Civil Litigation (LAW 239), Criminal Justice Ethics (LAW 317) and Ethics in Action (LAW 539).

493

Wrongful Convictions Clinic 4
  • JD elective
  • JD experiential
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • PIPS elective
  • PIPS experiential
  1. Fall 19
  2. Spring 20
  3. Fall 17
  4. Spring 18
  5. Fall 18
  6. Spring 19
  • Practical exercises
  • In-class exercise
  • Live-client representation and case management
  • Class participation

The Wrongful Convictions Clinic is an investigative and litigation clinic.  With the assistance of supervisors, outside counsel, and other professionals, students work in teams to help free innocent inmates in North Carolina by developing their claims of innocence and, when necessary, pursuing relief on their behalf in state and federal court.  Each team of students,  under the supervision of Clinic faculty, undertakes a wide range of work, which can include corresponding and meeting with the client, identifying and interviewing witnesses, developing an investigative and legal strategy for advancing the client’s case, researching and drafting complex complaints and briefs, assisting in court proceedings, and, eventually, assisting the client in transitioning from wrongful imprisonment to freedom.

The seminar component of the Clinic examines the principal factors that contribute to wrongful convictions (e.g., mistaken eyewitness identification, false confessions, faulty forensic evidence, incompetent defense counsel, and police and prosecutorial misconduct) and offers training in relevant investigative and litigation skills ( e.g., interviewing, writing, and analysis of various forms  of evidence).

Clinic students must attend an all-clinics’ intensive training day scheduled early in the semester and, over the semester, perform a minimum of 100 hours of client work (in addition to weekly seminar preparation and attendance).

677

Duke Law in DC: Rethinking Federal Regulation 4
  • JD SRWP
  • JD elective
  • PIPS elective
  1. Spring 18
  2. Fall 18
  3. Fall 19

This course is open to students participating in the Duke in DC integrated externship program (LAW 679: Duke Law in DC Externship). The Rethinking Federal Regulation course is a graded 4-credit weekly class that focuses on trends in regulatory philosophy, competing models for regulation, the nature of administrative rulemaking and enforcement of rules and regulations, and some of the sources of regulatory dysfunction. Students will develop critical analysis skills that are necessary to evaluate federal regulatory law, and will produce a 30-page final paper for the course. This course is open to second and third year law students, by permission only. For more information, please visit https://law.duke.edu/curriculum/dukedc/.