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 filters31 courses found.
Course Number Course Title Course Credits Degree Requirements Semesters Taught Methods of Evaluation

242W

Social Justice Lawyering, Writing Credit 1
  • JD SRWP
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM writing
  • PIPS elective
  1. Fall 19
  2. Fall 18
  3. Fall 20
  • Research paper, 25+ pages

While enrolled in Law 242 Social Justice Lawyering, with prior professor approval, students may submit a 30-page research paper and earn an additional one credit for the course.  This paper is in addition to all the other course requirements, including the five written assignments, but may be related to your case study presentation.

The paper may be used to satisfy the upper level writing requirement, the LLM writing requirement, and/or the JD/LLM writing requirement.  You must meet with Professor Gordon or McCoy by the second week of class if you would like to seek this additional credit and plan to use this paper to satisfy one or more of these requirements.

Social Justice Lawyering is a co-requisite.

 

302

Appellate Courts 2
  • JD SRWP
  • JD elective
  • PIPS elective
  1. Spring 21
  2. Spring 20
  • Research paper, 25+ pages

This course will examine the practices and powers of American appellate courts, with a particular emphasis on the federal courts of appeals.  Our discussion will focus on the goals of these institutions and the extent to which individual components of the appellate decision-making process—including oral argument and opinion-writing—further those goals.

We will begin with an overview of the function of appellate courts—why they were created and what we expect of them today.  We will then move to the specific components of appellate adjudication, including mediation, briefing, oral argument, and judgment, as well as the personnel who contribute to the adjudication process.  Finally, we will consider the ways in which the appellate courts have been affected by an increasing caseload, and proposals for alleviating the strain on the courts.

Ultimately, the goal of the course is to expose you to how appellate courts operate and the purported goals of these institutions.  Over the course of the semester, you should also be evaluating what you think are the fundamental objectives of appellate review and whether the current structure of the courts allows them to meet those goals.

Evaluation in the course will be based on a final research paper, which may be used to satisfy the SRWP.

311

Election Law 3
  • JD elective
  • JD SRWP
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • PIPS elective
  1. Spring 20
  • Research and/or analytical paper(s), 10-15 pages
  • Research paper, 25+ pages
  • Reflective Writing
  • Group project(s)
  • Oral presentation
  • Practical exercises
  • In-class exercise
  • Class participation

This course will explore selected topics in Law and Politics of American Democracy. We will examine the way the law and other forces have shaped the structure of American political participation, and we will consider alternative directions American democracy might take. Time permitting, we will focus on the right to vote, racial and political gerrymandering, campaign finance, political parties, ballot access, reapportionment/redistricting, and the Voting Rights Act.

318W

Comparative Constitutional Law, Writing 1
  • JD SRWP
  • LLM-ICL (JD) elective
  1. Fall 19
  2. Fall 20
  • Research paper, 25+ pages

Students enrolled in Law318 Comparative Constitutional Law may choose to write a 25-30 page research paper, in lieu of the 10-12 page paper, in order to satisfy the JD Substantial Research and Writing Project degree requirement.  Students choosing this option should enroll in Law 318W.

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.

 

321

The Law and Policy of Innovation: the Life Sciences 3
  • JD SRWP
  • JD elective
  • LLM-LE (JD) elective
  • LLMLE (1 yr) elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM writing, option
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  • IntllLLM IP Cert
  1. Spring 20
  2. Spring 19
  3. Spring 21
  • Reflective Writing
  • Research paper, 25+ pages
  • Class participation

This course analyzes the legal and policy regimes that shape the introduction of new products, processes, and services in the life science industries. Innovation in biopharmaceuticals, medical devices, health services, and health care delivery is central to the heavily regulated life sciences sector, and thus the sector offers a window into multiple intersections of scientific innovation, regulatory policy, and law.  Innovation in this sector is also shaped by multiple bodies of law (e.g. intellectual property law, FDA law, federal and state-based insurance and professional regulation, antitrust, tax), each with its own private and public constituencies, and therefore offers an opportunity to assess how different bodies of law approach the common issue of innovation.  Although this course focuses on innovation in the life science industries, this focus will produce lessons for innovation policy in other regulated and less-regulated industries. 

329

Education Law 2
  • JD SRWP
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • PIPS elective
  1. Fall 18
  2. Fall 19
  • Research paper, 25+ pages
  • In-class exercise
  • Class participation

Education Law: Constitutional, Statutory, and Policy Considerations This seminar introduces students to the legal standards that govern public schools in the United States. Constitutional topics include the right to a public education, the financing of public schools, desegregation and equal opportunity of students, limitations on student speech, school discipline and the right to due process, religion in schools, and privacy rights of students. Statutory topics include federal laws such as the Every Student Succeeds Act, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, Title IX, and the Equal Educational Opportunities Act. Policy topics include school reforms, such as charters and vouchers, and the ongoing inequities in US public schools, and the school-to-prison pipeline. A research paper is required; successful completion of the paper will satisfy the upper-level writing requirement. A course pack will be used in lieu of a textbook.

367

Advanced Topics in Administrative Law 2
  • JD SRWP
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • PIPS elective
  • Research paper, 25+ pages
  • Class participation

The objective of this course is to provide students the tools to delve deeper into policy questions that are currently arising in administrative law: What is the purpose of the administrative state?  How is it serving the public?  What are the costs and benefits of agency specialization and independence?  To what extent is public participation helpful in maintaining accountability?

Because administrative agencies are decision-making bodies that are not directly accountable to the electorate, accountability is often achieved by encouraging public participation, transparency, and notice.  This course will explore these themes in the context of selected administrative law topics.  Example topics include: agency capture, independence of administrative law judges, over-specialization of agency-specific precedent, preclusion of judicial review, public participation in rulemaking, the Freedom of Information Act, policy-making through adjudication, and informal agency action.  For certain topics, we will focus on one or two illustrative agencies (e.g., EPA, NLRB, PTO, IRS, VA, etc.).  Reading materials will include textbook excerpts, cases, and legal scholarship.  A previous administrative law course is strongly encouraged.

Each class will consist of a background lecture followed by an interactive discussion of the policy issues raised in the reading.  The course will be taught as a two-hour weekly seminar, focused on class discussion of assigned readings. Students will complete one 25–30 page research paper that can be used to satisfy the upper-level writing requirement.  Students will also present their research papers to the class towards the end of the semester.

473

Scholarly Writing Workshop 3
  • JD SRWP
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  1. Fall 19
  2. Spring 20
  3. Fall 18
  4. Spring 19
  5. Fall 20
  • Research paper, 25+ pages
  • Class participation
  • Other

In a workshop led by a faculty member, students will produce an original analytic paper of substantial length (ordinarily at least 30 pages). Papers must involve significant and thorough independent research, be well-written, and provide appropriate sourcing. Participants are free to choose any topic that may be addressed seriously in an article-length piece and that may be written during one semester. Papers produced in the workshop are expected to satisfy the JD or LLM substanial research and writing project requirement.

In the workshop, participants will learn about the conventional features of academic legal writing, conduct research into and hone their topics, write and give each other feedback on first and second drafts, and complete a final draft of their paper. The faculty member leading the workshop will also provide feedback and will, as appropriate to each participant's paper topic, facilitate introductions to other faculty who may be of assistance.

Because of the nature of this course it is exempt from Rule 3-1’s median requirement.  Nevertheless, the expectation is that work produced in the workshop will be very strong.

 

517W

Advanced Contracts, Writing Credit 1
  • JD SRWP
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  1. Spring 19
  2. Spring 20
  3. Fall 20
  • Research paper, 25+ pages

While enrolled in LAW 517 Advanced Contracts, students may submit a significant research paper which would be eligible for satisfaction of the JD-ULWR.  LAW 517W must be added no later than the 7th week of class.

527W

Access to Medicines Writing Credit 1
  • JD SRWP
  • JD elective
  • IntllLLM IP Cert
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
    • Add on credit

    While enrolled in Law 527 Access to Medicines: Intellectual Property and Global Public Health, students have the option to take an additional 1 credit if they wish to write a 45 page paper. *LAW 527W MUST be added no later than 7th week of class.*

    537

    Human Rights Advocacy 2
    • JD SRWP
    • JD elective
    • LLM-ICL (JD) elective
    • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
    • PIPS elective
    1. Fall 18
    2. Fall 19
    3. Fall 20
    • Research paper, 25+ pages
    • Class participation

    This course critically assesses the field of human rights advocacy, its institutions, strategies, and key actors. It explores how domestic, regional, and global human rights agendas are set using international law frameworks; the ethical and accountability dilemmas that arise in human rights advocacy; and human rights advocacy concerning a range of actors, including governments, international institutions, and private actors. It addresses the role of human rights in social movements, including in addressing systemic racism, as well as the development of transnational human rights networks. It also considers issues such as how to resolve purported hierarchies and conflicts between internationally-guaranteed rights, efforts to decolonize the practice of human rights, and the ways in which populist and other forces also invoke human rights to further particular agendas. Drawing on case studies within the United States and abroad, it will examine core human rights advocacy tactics, such as fact-finding, litigation, standard-setting, indicators, and reporting, and consider the role of new technologies in human rights advocacy. In examining the global normative framework for human rights, this course focuses on how local, regional, and international struggles draw on, and adapt, the norms and tactics of human rights to achieve their objectives. Evaluation will be based on class participation and a final paper.

    This class is a pre-requisite or corequisite for Law 437 International Human Rights Clinic.

    544

    The Collective Action Constitution 3
    • JD SRWP
    • JD elective
    • LLM-ICL (JD) writing
    • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
    • IntlLLM writing
    • PIPS elective
    1. Fall 20
    • Reflective Writing
    • Class participation

    Collective action problems arise where every member of a group has a choice between alternatives, and if each member acts in a narrowly self-interested fashion or all members are unable to coordinate their actions, the outcome will be worse for all members by their own estimations than it will be if all or some of them choose another alternative.  Collective action problems are caused either by externalities (e.g., a prisoners’ dilemma), or by coordination difficulties (e.g., deciding which side of the road to drive on).  This seminar will examine the extent to which the United States Constitution can be understood as solving collective action problems that arise for the states and as empowering the states themselves and the federal government to solve such problems.  Topics will include:

    1. the number and importance of multi-state collective action problems both today and at the time of the creation of the Constitution;
    2. collective action theory in the social sciences;
    3. the promise and perils of relying on interstate compacts and other agreements to solve multi-state collective action problems;
    4. the necessity of federal power to solve such problems and a general examination of how Article I, Section 8, of the Constitution authorizes Congress to do so;
    5. the Interstate Commerce Clause and related structural principles (i.e., the anti-commandeering doctrine and the dormant commerce doctrine);
    6. the Taxing and Spending Clause and the Necessary and Proper Clause;
    7. the many other parts of the Constitution that can be explained to a significant extent by the logic of collective action (e.g., the Foreign and Indian Commerce Clauses; Article I, Section 10; the Treaty Clause of Article II; certain heads of federal jurisdiction in Article III, especially diversity and suits between states; the Privileges and Immunities Clause and the Territories Clause, both of Article IV; Article V’s requirements for constitutional amendments; and Article VII’s requirements for ratification of the Constitution);
    8. the inability of the collective action theory of the Constitution to explain certain parts of the Constitution, especially the Reconstruction Amendments, which follow a different structural logic;
    9. various challenges to the theory (e.g., that partisan polarization and congressional dysfunction undermine federal power to solve collective action problems; that the theory threatens to collapse the text of the Constitution into its underlying purposes; that the theory limits federal power too much (according to legal liberals) or not enough (according to legal conservatives); and that claims about whether collective action is rational or likely to occur are historically contingent and normatively contestable; and
    10. why the theory should matter to judges, elected officials, academics in several disciplines, and engaged citizens.

    Readings will draw from The Federalist Papers and other Founding materials (e.g., the Articles of Confederation, Madison’s Vices memorandum, various letters of the Founders, the Virginia Plan, and the Constitution); book chapters (by, e.g., Akhil Amar, Jack Balkin, Daniel Farber, Jack Rakove, and Neil Siegel); law review articles (by, e.g., Robert Stern, Donald Regan, Steven Calabresi, Robert Bork, Robert Cooter, Neil Siegel, and Ernest Young); U.S. Supreme Court opinions from the Marshall Court to the present; and select draft chapters of my book manuscript.

    Students will be required to write a 30-page research paper on a topic related to the substance of the seminar, which may be used to fulfill the JD SRWP degree requirements, the LLM writing requirement, or the special writing requirement for JD/LLMs. 

    Grades will be based on the quality of students’ course participation (40%) and the quality of their research papers (60%).

    545

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

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

    558W

    Foreign Anti-Bribery Law, Independent Study 2
    • JD SRWP
    • JD elective
    • LLM-ICL (JD) elective
    1. Fall 18
    2. Fall 19
    3. Fall 20
    • Research paper, 25+ pages
    • Add on credit

    While enrolled in Law 558 Foreign Anti-Bribery Law, students have the option to take 2 additional credits in order to satisfy the JD or JD/LLM Writing Requirement.  These credits will count towards the Independent Study Research Credit Limit (Rule 3-12).  This section will meet in-person on schedule to be determined.  The instructor will meet online with any student who prefers that.  Students will be placed in groups of 2 or 3 students for a writing group.  The instructor will meet with each writing group separately. *LAW 558W MUST be added no later than 4th week of class.*

    562

    Sentencing & Punishment 2
    • JD SRWP
    • JD elective
    • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
    • PIPS elective
    1. Fall 18
    2. Fall 19
    3. Fall 20
    • Research paper, 25+ pages
    • Class participation

    This new seminar will focus on the process of imposing sentences in criminal cases, administering punishment, and attempting rehabilitation of convicted criminals. The course will first provide background regarding the purposes of punishment and the history of mandatory sentences, presumptive sentences, and sentencing guidelines, and focus on some of these issues in more detail through the use of a expert guest lecturers and a tour of the Federal Correctional Facility in Butner, NC. Students will be expected to participate meaningfully in the lectures, guest speakers and field trip, and produce a research paper on a related topic.

    574W

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

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

    579W

    Mass Torts Writing Credit 1
    • JD SRWP
    • JD elective
      • Add on credit

      While enrolled in Law 579 Mass Torts, students have the option to take an additional 1 credit if they wish to expand the required 15 page paper to 30 pages in order to satisfy the JD Writing Requirement. *LAW 579W MUST be added no later than 7th week of class.*

      581

      FinTech Law and Policy 3
      • JD SRWP
      • JD elective
      • LLMLE (1 yr) elective
      • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
      • IntlLLM Business Cert
      1. Fall 18
      2. Fall 19
      3. Fall 20
      • Research paper, 25+ pages
      • Oral presentation
      • Class participation

      In 2016, few people had ever heard of Bitcoin or blockchain, initial coin offerings were non-existent, and U.S. financial regulatory agencies had yet to react to the emergence of non-bank financial services providers. The FinTech industry has changed dramatically since then: Bitcoin has captured the public imagination and spawned new derivatives products, central banks are considering launching their own digital currency, you can apply for a mortgage on your smartphone, and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency proposed a new kind of bank charter specifically for FinTech firms. While many have focused on the technologies underpinning the FinTech revolution, less attention has been placed on how these technologies fit within the current financial regulatory framework. Understanding this framework is critical to the long-term success of any FinTech startup. While technology startups in other sectors may predicate their business on breaking rules and ignoring regulations, such a strategy is sure to fail if deployed by a FinTech firm. This is because the financial industry is heavily regulated by multiple state and federal agencies that often have overlapping authority. Being a successful FinTech firm requires more than just great technology; it also requires an understanding of the laws and regulations applicable to your business.

      This course aims to provide you with that understanding. You will learn about the critical legal, regulatory, and policy issues associated with cryptocurrencies, initial coin offerings, online lending, new payments and wealth management technologies, and financial account aggregators. In addition, you will learn how regulatory agencies in the U.S. are continually adjusting to the emergence of new financial technologies and how one specific agency, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, proposed a path for FinTech firms to become regulated banks. The course will also address the role FinTech has played during the pandemic; from FinTech lenders administering small business loans, to a Congressional proposal to administer stimulus payments through Federal Reserve digital wallets.  You will also learn the basics of how banks are regulated in the U.S.

      If you are unfamiliar with how these new financial technologies work, fear not. We will begin each new course section with a high-level overview of the underlying technology.

      Due to the pandemic, course content will be delivered online, but in person office hours will be held for those interested. Class participation will remain a required and graded component of the course. To help facilitate class participation, each student will be required to deliver a company profile presentation during the semester. In addition, each student, as part of a team, will deliver a presentation related to an assigned case study. Class participation will account for 40% of your grade and a final paper will make up the remaining 60%.

      582

      National Security Law 3
      • JD SRWP
      • JD elective
      • LLM-ICL (JD) elective
      • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
      • PIPS elective
      1. Fall 18
      2. Fall 19
      3. Fall 20
      • Research paper, 25+ pages
      • Oral presentation
      • Class participation

      This fall-only survey course is designed to provide students, particularly those with no background in the topic, with an overview of the American legal architecture related to the U.S. security enterprise.  The class will also examine related issues that arise "in the news."  It is aimed not only at students considering a career in government or the military, but also for those headed to private practice who appreciate that the U.S.’s $740 billion defense budget, along with $1.9 trillion in defense outlays worldwide, impact virtually all potential clients.

      The course includes analyzing the Constitutional structure governing national security matters, and the role played by the three branches of government (with special emphasis on Presidential power).  It will also examine governmental surveillance, the investigation and prosecution of national security cases, as well as First Amendment issues related to national security.  In addition, homeland security issues (to include the domestic use of the armed forces), security-based travel restrictions, public health emergencies, civil-military relations, and the impact of national security issues on business transactions will be reviewed.

      The textbook for this course will be Dycus, et al., National Security Law (7th ed., 2020) ISBN9781543806793.  Supplementary materials may be provided as necessary.  The instructors will use episodes from their extensive careers in government to illustrate issues, and offer practical, real-world perspectives.

      Although the course will be taught online, we expect to offer in-person office hours and other small-group meetings on campus if possible (with virtual options for students who cannot attend). There is one assigned time block for the course, but the structure of classes may vary, and students may be divided into sections, discussion groups, and panels.

      We will have some synchronous whole-group meetings and some class time divided between sections.  The course is expected to include guest speakers (via Zoom).  There may be occasional asynchronous content, including short lectures, podcasts, and some documentary footage. Students will have advance notice of all required participation elements.

      Given this is a course in national security, class instruction will likely include written, oral, and visual depictions of physical force and violence—and occasionally extreme representations of the same.

      There is no examination for this course, but a 30-page research paper (constituting 60% of the grade) is required on a topic chosen by the student and approved by the instructors.  With instructor approval, the course paper may fulfill the Substantial Research and Writing Project provided all SRWP requirements are met.  The remainder of the grade (40%) is based on the quality and frequency of class participation (which may include short papers).

      587

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

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

      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.”)

      593

      Sexuality and the Law 2
      • JD SRWP
      • JD elective
      • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
      • PIPS elective
      1. Spring 19
      • Research and/or analytical paper(s), 10-15 pages
      • Midterm
      • Class participation

      Issues in the legal regulation of sexuality are among the most contested in US law today.  Determining a) whether gays and lesbians are entitled to the same marriage rights as heterosexual couples, b) whether the gender identities of transgender persons are to be accepted in public facilities like restrooms, c) if and when women should have access to contraception or abortion, and d) whether LGBTQ persons can rely on constitutional and statutory provisions providing for equal protection or nondiscrimination when availing of government provided services or commercial services, are all questions which either have been litigated in US courts in recent years, or are currently being litigated.  Assessing the merits of the arguments of parties involved in litigating these issues requires delving into the disparate areas of law which converge in these cases.  These areas of law include the jurisprudences of liberty, privacy, equal protection and the free exercise of religion, as well as issues concerning the extent of executive authority.  This course will explore these issues through an examination of recent US jurisprudence, as well as statutory law and regulatory actions, as they pertain to LGBTQ rights and women’s reproductive rights at both the state and national level.  While the primary focus will be on developments in the US, the treatment of similar issues in selected foreign jurisdictions will be introduced occasionally to present alternative approaches.

      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).

       

      640

      Independent Study 2
      • JD SRWP
      • JD elective
      • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
      • IntlLLM writing
        • Research paper, 25+ pages

        Per Rule 3-12, the Law School permits students to pursue independent study, approved and supervised by a member of the faculty. For more information, please visit https://law.duke.edu/academics/independentstudies/. With permission only.

         

        677

        Duke Law in DC: Rethinking Federal Regulation 4
        • JD SRWP
        • JD elective
        • PIPS elective
        1. Fall 18
        2. Fall 19
        3. Fall 20

        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/.

        707

        Statutory Interpretation Colloquium 2
        • JD SRWP
        • JD elective
        • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
        • IntlLLM writing, option
        1. Spring 20
        • Reflective Writing
        • Research paper, 25+ pages

        The objective of the course is to introduce students to important issues concerning the theory and doctrine of statutory interpretation through exposure to cutting-edge legal scholarship. The colloquium will feature bi-weekly presentations of works-in-progress by leading scholars of statutory interpretation, legislation, and administrative law. In the week preceding each presentation, students will read and discuss foundational materials (a mix of academic commentary and case law) on topics related to the work-in-progress.

        Students may opt to prepare six short (5-10 page) papers in response to each work-in-progress, which would be due in advance of the presentation and used to stimulate discussion. Alternatively, students may write one longer research paper (roughly 30 pages) dealing with a topic of their choice related to the themes of the class. Students who take the latter option may use the colloquium to satisfy the upper-level writing requirement.

        710

        Derivatives: Financial Markets, Law and Policy 3
        • JD SRWP
        • JD elective
        • LLMLE (1 yr) elective
        • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
        • IntlLLM writing, option
        • IntlLLM Business Cert
        1. Spring 20
        2. Spring 19
        3. Spring 21
        • Research paper, 25+ pages
        • Oral presentation
        • Class participation

        Modern capital and financial markets rely on a wide variety of complex instruments, including Treasury securities, structured debt and equity instruments, and derivatives of various kinds.  Public awareness regarding these instruments has grown since the Financial Crisis of 2008 because they are thought to have played an important role in both the rapid growth of financial markets (“financialization”) and their destabilization.  Yet these instruments and the role they play in modern markets remain little understood.  A basic understanding of these instruments has now become important in modern financial law practice and any discussions on financial policy and regulation.

        This course will review the workings of derivative instruments in the capital markets and how such instruments themselves are used.  The relationship between banking and capital markets, and between government and the private markets, will be explored, as will the most important legal and fiduciary responsibilities involved.  While not highly technical, the various principal types of government securities and derivatives will be examined. 

        Warren Buffet once called derivatives “weapons of mass financial destruction.”  We will consider the numerous public policy issues relating to derivatives, their role in the Crisis of 2008 (and more recent financial distress such as the Eurozone crisis and the US debt ceiling controversy), the history of attempts to regulate these instruments, and the current regulatory structure.

        Required Coursework

        The 3-credit graded requirements for the course will be:

        1. A final paper, about 25-30 pages in length, to be submitted by the Thursday, April 16, 2020 (last day of all classes) (75%); JD writing credit will be given to any JD students who present research proposals (see “Paper” above), approved by me, commit to completing their drafts for class presentation and subsequent comments by me (draft for comments by Friday March 20), and submit their final drafts in response to my comments by Thursday April 16, when all papers will be due.
        2. An individual class presentation, of 20 minutes in length (10%), on the early draft of the 3-credit paper; and
        3. Overall class participation (15%).The course will be highly interactive and graded on this basis.

        The course will be highly interactive and graded on this basis.

        717

        Comparative Constitutional Design 2
        • JD SRWP
        • JD elective
        • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
        1. Spring 21
        • Research paper, 25+ pages

        Recent constitutional reconstructions in various parts of the world have called new attention to the problems of institutional design of political systems. In this course we will examine the design and implementation of national constitutions. In particular, we will address the following questions. What are the basic elements of constitutions? How do these elements differ across time, across region, and across regime type? What is the process by which states draft and implement constitutions? What models, theories, and writings have influenced the framers of constitutions?

        In the first half of the course, we will review the historical roots of constitutions and investigate their provisions and formal characteristics. We will also discuss the circumstances surrounding the drafting of several exemplary or noteworthy constitutions, from various regions of the world. We will then examine particular features of institutional design in depth. These will include judicial review, presidentialism vs. parliamentarism, federalism, and the relationship of the national legal system to international law.

        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

        781

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

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

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