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Duke Law School


Duke Law School, located in Durham, NC, is one of the top law schools in the country, currently ranked 11th by U.S. News and World Report, tied with Northwestern Law.

Along with its outstanding academic reputation, Duke Law also has one of the most beautiful campuses in the country; the school sometimes called the "Harvard of the South" had an acceptance rate of 26.6% in 2007.

Duke Law's three-year full-time day Juris Doctor (J.D.) program operates from mid-August to mid-May; there are no part-time or evening programs. For information on living and childcare accommodations, see Housing.

Contact Information

Towerview and Science Drive
Box 90362
Durham, NC 27708-0362
(919) 613-7020

Email: admissions@law.duke.edu
Website: http://www.law.duke.edu/

Fast Facts (Class of 2012)

  • Enrollment Information

    Total enrollment: 583

    Women: 43%
    Students of color: 24%

    Student to Faculty Ratio: 1: 13.9

  • GPA/LSAT Scores

    LSAT Median: 169
    LSAT 25/75 Percentile: 167-171

    UGPA Median: 3.76
    UGPA 25/75 Percentile: 3.60-3.84

  • Costs and Fees (2009-2010)

    Tuition: $44,480
    Total estimated budget: $63,692

Application Procedures

Application fee: $70
Application deadline: February 15 for admission the following fall; Binding Early Decision deadline is November 1.

Applicants must submit applications online through the Law School Admission Council (LSAC).

In addition to the application and fee, applicants must submit:

  • Personal statement and one or two optional essays
  • LSAC report including transcripts
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Resume

For complete information on admission procedures at Duke Law, see J.D. Program Application Instructions.

Transfer Procedures

Duke Law generally accepts about 12-20 transfer students a year; applicants must have completed one year in an ABA-accredited law school and are usually in the top quarter of their law school class.

Transfer applicants must submit applications by July 1 of the year in which they wish to transfer. In addition to the $70 application fee and completed transfer application, available through LSAC, transfer applicants must also submit the following:

  • Personal statement
  • Resume
  • Two letters of recommendation from law school professors
  • LSAC report
  • Official law school transcript
  • Letter of good standing from current law school
  • Final semester class rank

For more information on transferring to Duke Law, see Transfer/Visitor Application Instructions.

Degrees and Curriculum

In order to earn a Juris Doctor degree, a Duke Law student must earn 84 law credits.

For more specific information, see Degree Requirements.

The first-year curriculum includes Civil Procedure, Constitutional Law, Property, Contracts, Torts, Criminal Law, and Legal Analysis, Research and Writing.

Twenty-five percent of Duke Law students pursue dual degrees with other departments, in particular, J.D./M.B.A., J.D./Ph.D, J.D./Master of Public Policy, and J.D./M.D.; students must be accepted to each program separately.

The law school also offers graduate L.L.M. and S.J.D degrees.

Study Abroad

Duke Law offers 20 study abroad programs in 17 countries, including China, Germany, and South Africa. The school also has pre-approved externships both domestically and abroad in places like the Office of the Legal Adviser at the U.S. Department of State, the the U.S. Trade Representative Offices in Geneva, Switzerland and Washington, D.C., and the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.

Law Journals and Other Activities

Duke Law has nine student-edited journals, including the Duke Law Journal, Duke Forum for Law & Social Change, and Alaska Law Review.

Along with many student organizations, the law school has specialized programs and centers for specific legal interests, such as the Center for Criminal Justice and Professional Responsibility, the Center for Genome Ethics, Law and Policy, and Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions. Duke Law also has several clinics, such as the Children's Law Clinic, Guantanamo Defense Clinic, and the Wrongful Convictions Clinic.

Bar Exam Passage Rate

A majority of Duke Law students take the New York State Bar Exam and, in 2007, achieved a 97% pass rate. The overall pass rate for the New York Bar Exam was 77%.

Post-Graduation Employment

From the 2008 graduating class, 100% were employed nine months after graduation. The median starting salary was $160,000.

Seventy-five percent of the Class of 2008 secured work in private practice, 16% received judicial clerkships, 5% accepted government, public interest, and military positions, 3% entered the business field, and 1% entered academia.

Duke Law in the News

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