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 filters30 courses found.
Course Number Course Title Course Credits Degree Requirements Semesters Taught Methods of Evaluation

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
  6. Spring 20
  • 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
  6. Spring 20
  • 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
  5. Spring 20
  • 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
  5. Spring 20
  • 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.

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.

220

Conflict of Laws 3
  • JD elective
  • LLM-ICL (JD) elective
  • IntlLLM NY Bar
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  1. Spring 18
  2. Spring 19
  3. Spring 20
  • Final Exam
  • Class participation

A study of the special problems that arise when a case is connected with more than one state or nation. Topics include the applicable law (choice of law), personal jurisdiction, and the recognition and effect of foreign judgments.

225

Criminal Procedure: Adjudication 3
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM NY Bar
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • PIPS elective
  1. Spring 18
  2. Spring 19
  3. Spring 20
  • Final Exam

A study of the basic rules of criminal procedure, beginning with the institution of formal proceedings. Subjects to be covered include prosecutorial discretion, the preliminary hearing, the grand jury, criminal discovery, guilty pleas and plea bargaining, jury selection, pretrial publicity, double jeopardy, the right to counsel, and professional ethics in criminal cases.

226

Criminal Procedure: Investigation 3
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM NY Bar
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • PIPS elective
  1. Spring 20
  2. Spring 18
  3. Spring 19
  • Final Exam

This course is a study of the legal limitations on criminal investigative practices contained in the Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Amendments to the Constitution. Topics include search and seizure, arrest, the exclusionary rule, electronic surveillance, the privilege against self-incrimination, interrogation, confessions, and the right to counsel.

*Note: In Spring 2020, up to 10 seats have been reserved for 2Ls who have been pre-approved to enroll as a requirement for their confirmed summer employment.

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.

 

239

Ethics and the Law of Lawyering in Civil Litigation 2
  • JD elective
  • JD ethics
  • IntlLLM NY Bar
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  1. Spring 20
  2. Spring 19
  • Final Exam
  • Practical exercises

This course examines the principles of legal ethics and professionalism. Our focus will be on identifying and responding to the key issues faced by a civil litigator, and on the model rules of professional conduct, case law, and ethics opinions that a lawyer must consider in resolving such issues. Topics include the formation and termination of the attorney client relationship, conflicts of interest, and communications with the court and opposing counsel through the discovery and trial process. We will examine the balancing of the duty of advocacy with the duty to the administration of justice. We will also explore issues such as admissions, discipline, and common law firm associate dilemmas such as billing and changing law firms. During the semester, students will prepare two short (3-5 pp) memoranda. There will also be an open book in-class exam at the end of the semester.

244

The Business and Economics of Law Firms 1
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM NY Bar
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  1. Fall 19
  2. Fall 17
  3. Fall 18
  • Reflective Writing
  • Group project(s)
  • Practical exercises
  • Class participation

This course will provide students with an enhanced and vital understanding of law firms as business entities in a competitive and global market. Based on feedback from employers, interviews with hundreds of lawyers and published accounts from law firm leaders, it is clear that technical legal ability will be necessary but not sufficient to excel in the practice of law or any business endeavor in coming decades. The topics will be explored through the review and analysis of literature, statutes, and case studies, and will include a basic financial analysis of the operations of law firms. Assignments will be collaborative and will simulate the client advisory process allowing students to gain experience providing legal advice and business recommendations. Associate Dean and Senior Lecturing Fellows Bruce Elvin and George Krouse '70 will lead, teach and organize the seminar, with senior law and business leaders serving as guest lecturers many weeks.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

295

Trusts and Estates 3
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM NY Bar
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  1. Fall 17
  2. Spring 18
  3. Spring 19
  4. Spring 20
  • Final Exam
  • Class participation

An examination of noncommercial property dispositions, both testamentary and inter vivos, including the following topics: intestate succession; wills and will substitutes; creation and characteristics of trusts; powers of appointment; problems in trust and estate administration.

300

U.S. Legal Analysis, Research and Writing for International Students 2
  • IntlLLM NY Bar
  • IntlLLM required
  1. Fall 19
  2. Fall 17
  3. Fall 18
  • Reflective Writing
  • Research and/or analytical paper(s), 10-15 pages

In this foundational course, students learn legal reasoning, research skills and predictive legal writing. The course trains students to research, analyze, and present issues in the US common law style, preparing them for law school exams and any future work they might do with US attorneys. It challenges them to write in the direct, succinct style preferred by US lawyers and business people. Students complete two office memoranda that focus on questions of both state and federal law. Students improve their written English through numerous opportunities to review and revise their work. Taught in small sections by faculty who have practiced law and have extensive experience with international lawyers, the course prepares international LLM students for a transnational career.

317

Criminal Justice Ethics 2
  • JD elective
  • JD ethics
  • IntlLLM NY Bar
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • PIPS elective
  1. Fall 17
  2. Fall 18
  3. Spring 20
  • 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.

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.

390

Structuring and Regulating Financial Transactions 3
  • JD elective
  • LLMLE (1 yr) elective
  • IntlLLM NY Bar
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  1. Spring 18
  2. Spring 19
  3. Spring 20
  • Final Exam

In this exciting, innovative, and important area of legal practice, companies domestically and worldwide raise money through an array of structures intended to separate “financial” assets—effectively rights to (or expectations of) payment—from the risks associated with the company.  The assets are then dedicated to repayment of capital market securities.  Sometimes referred to as structured finance or securitization, this approach creatively brings together many fundamental legal disciplines, including bankruptcy, securities law, corporation law, secured transactions, finance, and tax.  Using structured finance as an organizing principle, this course teaches the critical aspects of these disciplines that you are likely to encounter in practice.  In addition, the course introduces important commercial financing techniques and concepts, including guarantees, loan agreements, legal opinions, and letters of credit, as well as interest rate and currency swaps and other derivative products.  Furthermore, the course addresses how the capital markets work, including the role of rating agencies, and touches on the cross-border and transnational considerations that are essential to modern business transactions.  It also shows how structured finance principles can be applied broadly, such as to international project-finance transactions and to microfinance.  Finally, the course examines the ethics and efficiencies of “deconstructing” companies in this manner, including the use and possible abuse of special purpose entities and the potential to generate unanticipated consequences, as occurred in the 2007-09 financial crisis.

There is no formal prerequisite.  The class will be challenged to identify problems and find real-life, creative solutions.  A student without any business-law background should still be able to master the course because the relevant legal principles will be learned and applied along the way, in the same manner that a good practitioner learns. 

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.

539

Ethics in Action 2
  • JD elective
  • JD ethics
  • JD experiential
  • IntlLLM NY Bar
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  1. Fall 17
  2. Spring 19
  3. Spring 20

The class will function as an ethics committee considering current issues and ethics inquiries based upon actual disputes. The participants, working in small groups, will draft detailed ethics opinions that the full class will consider, revise, and the like.

576

Agency Law in a Changing Economy 2
  • JD SRWP, option
  • JD elective
  • IntlLLM NY Bar
  • IntlLLM/SJD/EXC elective
  • IntlLLM writing, option
  • IntlLLM Business Cert
  1. Spring 20
  2. Spring 19
  • Research paper, 25+ pages
  • Oral presentation
  • Class participation

Agency law encompasses the legal consequences of consensual relationships in which one person (the “principal”) manifests assent that another person (the “agent”) shall, subject to the principal’s right of control, have power to affect the principal’s legal relations through the agent’s acts and on the principal’s behalf. As the principal’s representative, an agent owes fiduciary duties to the principal. Agency doctrine applies to a wide range of relationships in which one person has legally-consequential power to represent another, populating the category, “agent,” with a variety of exemplars: lawyers, brokers in securities and other markets, officers of corporations and other legal entities, talent and literary agents, auction houses, and more. Usually, agency relationships contemplate three distinct persons: agent, principal, and third parties with whom the agent interacts, with legal consequences for all three. Agency law also governs the relationship between a principal and its agents, including its employees. The pervasiveness of agency means that its implications remain relevant despite changes in business structures and economies more generally.  This seminar covers the legal doctrines that make agency a distinct subject with in the law, in particular those differentiating agency from general contract and tort law. It also covers a number of contemporary examples in which agency doctrine may—or may not—apply with significant consequences. These may include the status of Uber drivers and other actors who perform services via platforms; the duties of commodities brokers, including merchants in financial derivatives products; the consequences of imputing an agent’s knowledge to the principal; agency as a vehicle for the imposition of vicarious liability; and the consequences for the agent and third party when a principal is undisclosed, unidentified, or undetermined. 
The seminar will meet weekly with assigned readings. Each student will write a research paper on a topic to be chosen with the instructor’s consent and will make brief presentations to the seminar as work on the paper proceeds