Abortion: Law, Policy, Ethics

This year-long discussion course focuses on readings that explore connections between the law, the practice of law, the legal system and issues of current societal importance or interest.  Each of the course is expected to have a different specific focus and different readings.  This course is assessed on a credit/no credit basis.

Sentencing & Punishment

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.

Environmental Law

Concern about environmental risks has spurred the growth of a complex array of laws and regulations over the past four decades. This course is designed to provide a general introduction to the theory and practice of environmental law, with an emphasis on the major pollution control statutes, especially the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act.


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.

Food, Agriculture and the Environment: Law & Policy

In many areas of the country, and especially in North Carolina, sustainable, local food markets represent one of the most exciting opportunities for environmental stewardship, economic growth, value-added agricultural niches, job creation, and community building. However, these opportunities require careful and sustained attention to the legal and regulatory requirements at the international, national, state, and local levels, many of which inhibit the development of sustainable, local food systems.

Energy Law

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

Education Law

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.


Immigration law and criminal law are increasingly intertwined.  From the moment of arrest through completion of any sentence, the criminal justice system functions differently for noncitizens, with significant immigration consequences flowing from decisions at every stage.  Judges, prosecutors, and defense attorneys must be aware of these consequences and prepared to address them in the course of criminal proceedings.  Immigration attorneys must be able to advise defense attorneys on the best resolutions for their clients.

Wrongful Convictions Clinic

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.


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