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Duke Law School

From lawbrain.com

Located in a beautiful suburban setting in Durham, North Carolina, the law school was established in 1868 as Trinity College School of Law, and in 1924 as Duke University School of Law.



Located in a beautiful suburban setting in Durham, North Carolina, the law school was established in 1868 as Trinity College School of Law, and in 1924 as Duke University School of Law. Duke Law School is one of the nation’s most honored law schools. Compared to other law schools, Duke Law School’s admissions process is highly selective. Duke strives to attract the most successful applicants who graduated near the top of their undergraduate classes, have high test scores, and possess a clear record of achievement in other areas, such as community service business, graduate study, or extra-curricular activities. The school's admission criteria match its high standings. Of the 6,300 applicants for the recent entering class, roughly 1500 were offered acceptance and 228 matriculated. The median LSAT was 169 and the median GPA was 3.76.

David F. Levi became the 14th Dean of Duke Law School that has over 50 full-time faculty members, 16 visiting faculty and over 90 extended faculty members coming from diverse backgrounds providing a dynamic environment for teaching law students.

Tuition to attend Duke Law School is around $46, 930 a year and the school enrolls about 626 Full-time and 35 Part-time students each year. Duke Law School’s first-year curriculum provides a firm grounding in the core subjects of the study of law and rigorous training in legal analysis, reasoning, and writing. Students take six semester-long courses: Civil Procedure, Constitutional Law, Contracts, Criminal Law, Property, and Torts, as well as a year-long Legal Analysis, Research, and Writing course. In the second and third years, students focus in a specialized area of study and practice and conduct their own independent study projects.

More than any other top law school in the country, twenty-five percent of students at Duke are pursuing a dual degree – Duke offers a variety of programs to choose from, including:

  • JD/LLM in International and Comparative Law
  • JD/MBA and Accelerated JD/MBA
  • JD/Master of Environmental Management
  • JD/Master of Public Policy,
  • JD/Master of Theological Studies
  • JD/MD, JD/PhD
  • JD/Master in Global Business Law

The LLM program (Masters in Laws) at Duke Law School, which attracts numerous international students around the world, is designed to introduce foreign-trained law graduates to the legal system of the United States and to provide them the opportunity to take advanced courses in specialized areas of the law. Applicants must hold a first degree in law from an accredited institution outside the United States. The law degree should be the equivalent of the JD or LLB degree. The program of study is normally completed in one academic year, which begins for all new students in late August.

Duke Law School is a leader in electronic publishing of legal scholarship Journals. The law school produces notable law journals:

  • The Duke Journal of Comparative & International Law,
  • Duke Journal of Constitutional Law & Public Policy,
  • Duke Journal of Gender Law Policy, and
  • Duke Law Journal

Duke Law School offers a variety of opportunities for students to build an experiential bridge between law school and practice. Duke offers a Variety of Law Clinics, including:

  • The Appellant Litigation Clinic, Children’s Law Clinic
  • Community Enterprise Clinic
  • Environmental Law & Policy Clinic,
  • Wrongful Conviction Clinic and the most intriguing Guantanamo Defense Clinic.

The Guantanamo Defense Clinic has worked with defense counsel on 10 of the military commission cases, including all four of those that have been concluded since the initiation of military commissions in 2001 -- U.S. v. Hamdan, U.S. v. Hicks, and U.S. v. al Bahlul and U.S. v. Jawad.


Duke Law School ranks #11 among the top law schools in the country and in areas of specialty, #10 in International Law, #9 in Intellectual Property Law according to the U.S. News World Report.

What They Are Saying

Duke is going international. The trustees reviewed plans for a Duke campus in the city of Kunshan, China, which Duke officials now hope to open in late 2012. The board approved a number of steps that will allow Duke next month to submit to the Chinese Ministry of Education a formal application to open the campus, with Wuhan University sponsoring its proposal. By Chinese law, a Chinese academic partner must co-sponsor a new educational entity. Near the end of last year, Duke lost its previous formal Chinese sponsor, as Shanghai Jiao Tong University dropped out of the picture.


American International Group Inc. has resolved a lawsuit filed by Duke University over expenses tied to the school’s dispute with lacrosse team members falsely accused of sexually assaulting a stripper. The university and the unit of New York-based AIG that sold insurance coverage to Duke “agree to the dismissal” of the claims, according to a joint filing yesterday in U.S. District Court in Durham, North Carolina. The school was seeking reimbursement of costs from confidential settlements with three members of the team who were exonerated after they were accused of rape by a woman invited to a 2006 party. Duke had demanded reimbursement for costs tied to lawsuits by players and another by the team’s former coach over the school’s role in investigating the accusation, according to the November 2008 complaint. The athletes said Duke remained silent during the probe even though the university had evidence they were innocent.

Notable Professors

  • David F. Levi, Dean and Professor of Law, Former Chief United States District Judge for the Eastern District of California, and was appointed United States Attorney by President Ronald Reagan in 1986.
  • Neil S. Siegel, Professor of Law, and served as special counsel to Senator Joseph R. Biden during the confirmation hearings of John G. Roberts and Samuel A. Alito.
  • Katharine T. Barlett, Former Dean and Professor of Law.
  • Walter E. Dellinger III, Professor of Law, and served as acting Solicitor General for the 1996-97 Term of the Supreme Court.

Notable Alumni

  • Jay Bilas (1992), ESPN & CBS Basketball Analyst, & Former Duke Men's Basketball Player.
  • Drew Rosenhaus (1990), Top NFL sports agent, represents over 100 NFL players.
  • Gao Xiqing (1986), General Manager, China Investment Corporation.
  • Capt. Dan McCarthy (1983), JAG Chief Prosecutor, US Navy.
  • Kenneth Starr (1973), Former Solicitor General.
  • Richard Nixon (1937) 37th President of the United States.



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