Duke University School Of Law Profile, Durham, North Carolina | BCGSearch.com

Duke University School of Law

Rank 11

MAILING ADDRESS1

210 Science Drive,

Box 90362,

Durham, NC 27708

MAIN PHONE

919-613-7006

REGISTRAR'S PHONE

919-613-7027

ADMISSIONS PHONE

919-613-7020

CAREER SERVICES PHONE

919-613-7031

Overview 2

Duke Law School is an ambitious, forward-thinking, and innovative institution whose mission is to prepare students for responsible and productive lives in the legal profession. As a community of scholars, the Law School also provides leadership at the national and international levels in efforts to improve the law and legal institutions through teaching, research, and other forms of public service.

At Duke Law School, students and faculty experience academic rigor in an interdisciplinary environment where creativity and innovation rule. Bold, strategic expansions in faculty, clinics, interdisciplinary centers, law journals, public interest opportunities, and high-tech facilities ensure that the Law School stays on the cutting edge of legal scholarship. The Duke Blueprint to LEAD is a powerful set of principles for leadership growth that informs the development of committed, ethical lawyers who are well-equipped for the 21st century.

Student-Faculty Ratio 3

9.1:1

Admission Criteria 4

LSAT GPA
25th-75th Percentile 166-170 3.56-3.84
Median* 169 3.76

The above LSAT and GPA data pertain to the fall 2015 entering class.

Director of admissions William Hoye
Application deadline February 15

Law School Admissions details based on 2015 data.

*Medians have been calculated by averaging the 25th- and 75th-percentile values released by the law schools and have been rounded up to the nearest whole number for LSAT scores and to the nearest one-hundredth for GPAs.

Admission Statistics 5

Approximate number of applications 4819
Number accepted 1122
Percentage accepted 23.3%

The above admission details are based on 2015 data.

Law School Cost 7

Tuition and fees Full-time: $57,717 per year
Room and board $12,978
Books $1,326
Miscellaneous expenses $5,130

Class Ranking and Grades 7

Duke Law School uses a slightly modified form of the traditional 4.0 grading scale. The modification permits faculty to recognize especially distinguished performance with grades above a 4.0, but no more than five percent (5%) of the grades in any class may be higher than a 4.0.

There is an enforced maximum median grade in all first-year courses and in upper-level courses with more than ten (10) students:

  • In all first-year courses and upper-level courses with enrollments of fifty (50) or more students, the median grade is 3.3.
  • In upper-level courses with enrollments of ten (10) to forty-nine (49) students, the maximum median grade is 3.5.

There is no maximum median grade in upper-level courses with fewer than ten (10) students.

A grade higher than 4.0 is comparable to an "A+" under letter grading systems. A grade of 1.5 or lower is failing.

The Law School does not release class rank.

Grade Normalization (Curve) 8

  1. Except as provided in paragraph (2) below, student work in each course shall be evaluated and recorded in numerical terms, according to the following scale:
    1. For all classes:
      1. No more than 5% of the grades, rounding excepted, may exceed 4.0.
      2. It is expected that the distribution of grades in all classes will be mindful of the distribution set out in Rule 3-1(1)(b).
    2. For large classes (50 or more students) and all first-year classes:
      1. The following distribution is required.
      2. Numerical Grade Percentage of Class
        4.1-4.3 0-5%
        3.5-4.0 20-40%
        3.2-3.4 30-50%
        2.8-3.1 20-40%
        2.0-2.7 0-5%
      3. The median shall be 3.3.
    3. For smaller-sized classes (10-49 students) other than first-year classes (see 3-1(1)(b)), the median for the class shall not exceed 3.5. In special circumstances, the faculty member grading the course may exceed this median with the approval of the Dean's Office. It is expected that for classes in which the grading is based upon an exam, the median would ordinarily approach the typical median defined above for larger classes.
    4. Rules 3-1(1)(b) and (c) do not apply to classes in which students are selected for admission through application or other evaluative method (see 3-9).
    5. A failing grade in any course shall be recorded as 1.5.
    6. Compliance: Grades that do not comply with Rule 3-1(1)(a), (b), or (c) will not be recorded or released by the Law School. The Dean's Office will return the grades to the faculty member for recalculation until those grades comply with the applicable portions of the rules. Grades that do not conform are deemed not to have been reported by the faculty member for the purposes of Rule 3-19 (Reporting and Announcing Grades) and Policy 3-2 (administrative policy on Reporting and Announcing Grades).

  2. Student work in the following courses shall be ungraded and shall be evaluated and recorded in credit/no credit terms:
    1. courses so designated by Faculty action,
    2. retaken courses previously audited for not fewer than seven calendar weeks of a thirteen-week course or more than half of a shorter course [See Rule 3-11(3)],
    3. courses retaken pursuant to Rule 3-15(2).
    4. courses in which the student was previously enrolled for not fewer than seven calendar weeks of a thirteen-week course or more than half of a shorter course [see Rule 3-15(3)],
    5. courses in which the student has taken a special final examination or submitted a special paper pursuant to Rule 3-16(3), and
    6. courses in which the instructor elects to grade the student's final examination in such terms because it was not taken at the regularly scheduled time and could not be read together with the examinations of other students in the same course [see Rule 3-16(3)].

  3. At the supervising faculty member's discretion, student work in the following courses or programs shall be either graded according to the Law School's numerical grading scale or evaluated and recorded in credit/no credit terms:
    1. independent study [see Rule 3-12(1)],
    2. ad hoc seminars and research tutorials [see Rule 3-12(2) and Rule 3-12(3)],
    3. capstone projects, and
    4. domestic externships

  4. When a student has properly enrolled in a course in another division of the University pursuant to Rule 3-13(1) or in another law school pursuant to Rule 3-14, the actual grade earned in the course shall be included on the student's transcript. However, the grade earned in such course shall not be included in the calculation of the student's grade point average, regardless of whether the student receives credit for the course. [See Rule 2-1(2) with respect to denial of credit for courses in which a grade lower than 2.1 (equivalent to "C" in a letter-based grading system) has been earned.]

  5. Grade point averages shall be computed by multiplying the numerical grade received in each course by the number of semester-hours in that course and dividing the sum of such products for the courses for which the grade-point average is sought by the sum of the semester-hours in those courses. For this purpose, ungraded courses shall be excluded, except where a failure grade has been received, in which case the course shall be included and assigned the numerical grade of 1.5.

Honors 9

The law school has three levels of graduation honors:

Honor Criteria
Summa Cum Laude JD graduates whose graded work in all courses at the Law School places them in the top two percent of the students in their graduating class shall be graduated Summa Cum Laude. While Summa Cum Laude will generally be based on the combination of first-year and upper-level courses, transfer students who have completed their upper-level course of study at Duke Law School and whose graded work at the Law School places them firmly in the top two percent of their graduating class may be considered for Summa Cum Laude by the Dean in consultation with the Administrative Committee.
Magna Cum Laude and Cum Laude
  1. JD Graduates: JD students who have completed their upper-level course of study at Duke Law School and whose graded work at the Law School in courses other than the required first-year courses places them in the top fifteen and thirty-five percent of the students in their graduating class shall be graduated Magna Cum Laude and Cum Laude, respectively.
  2. LLM Graduates: Students who have completed the LLM program for international law graduates or the LLM program in Law & Entrepreneurship at Duke Law School and whose graded work at the Law School places them at the same grade-point average level attained by JD students receiving at least the lowest grade-point average for which a JD student earned Magna Cum Laude and Cum Laude, respectively, shall be graduated Magna Cum Laude and Cum Laude.
Top Five Percent Honors In addition to the Latin honors awarded at graduation, JD students whose graded work in all courses at the Law School places them in the top five percent of the students in their graduating class shall be recognized for this achievement. Students shall be recognized as in the top five percent of their graduating class both after the recording of all second-year grades and at graduation. Top five-percent recognition is available only to students who complete their first year at Duke Law School.
Individual Course Honors The student earning the highest grade in each class subject to the mandatory median as required by Rule 3-1(b) shall be recognized for this achievement. In all classes subject to this median requirement and with final enrollments of 80 or more students, the two students earning the highest grades in the class shall be recognized. Faculty are responsible for distinguishing between students with identical reported grades to permit this recognition.

Externships, Exchange Programs and Visits Away:
Externships, Exchange Programs and Visits Away: Students who spend a semester in a Law School-sanctioned exchange program or in an externship will be eligible to receive graduation honors unless their academic performance at the other institution or during the externship is, in the judgment of the Dean in consultation with the Administrative Committee, inconsistent with the award of honors. Students who visit away at another institution during one or more upperclass semesters are also eligible to receive graduation honors if:
  1. their upperclass average at Duke is well within the range of those in his or her graduating class who are receiving the honor in question and
  2. their academic performance at the other institution is, in the judgment of the Dean in consultation with the Administrative Committee, not inconsistent with the award of honors.
Summa cum laude, magna cum laude, and cum laude honors may be indicated on diplomas.

Awards 10

Name of Award Awarded for/to
Justin Miller Award for Leadership The recipient is someone who has been especially active in the Law School and/or the greater Durham community, who demonstrates initiative and leads by example. He or she takes responsibility for his or her actions and encourages others to do the same.
Justin Miller Award for Integrity The recipient is a courageous person with strong principles, a solid character, and a true sense of altruism. Demonstrating an appreciation for honesty and justice, he or she instills these same qualities in others.
Justin Miller Award for Citizenship A genuine enthusiasm for the Duke Law School community distinguishes this recipient as someone who brings people together in constructive ways. With a spirit of optimism, he or she looks beyond individual differences to find common ground in mentoring relationships with others.
Justin Miller Award for Intellectual Curiosity Not necessarily the student with the highest grades or the most academic honors, the recipient is a person who truly enjoys learning. He or she has an intellectual hunger and passion for the law and consistently shares this with and encourages it in others.
LLM Award for Leadership and Community Participation The recipient is someone who has demonstrated the following attributes: 1) Engagement with the whole Law School community in addition to showing leadership among the LLM students, 2) Showing a display of concern for the well-being of LLM students at the Law School and at the University, 3) Making effective efforts to promote integration of LLM and JD students, 4) Participating in Law School organizations and activities, 5) Devoting attention to academic performance in Law School Courses.

Journals 11-19

Alaska Law Review:The Alaska Law Review is a scholarly publication that examines legal issues affecting the state of Alaska. It is composed of second and third year law students from Duke University School of Law, and governed by a faculty advisor committee.

Duke Environmental Law & Policy Forum:The Duke Environmental Law & Policy Forum began in 1991 as an interdisciplinary magazine published annually. Since then, the Forum has grown into a traditional environmental law journal. DELPF has retained its interdisciplinary roots and presents scholarship that examines environmental issues by drawing on legal, scientific, economic, and public policy resources. DELPF's affiliations with the Nicholas School for the Environment, the Terry Sanford Institute for Public Policy, and the Law School render it uniquely positioned to adapt to the increasingly interdisciplinary nature of environmental law.

Duke Forum for Law & Social Change:The Duke Forum for Law & Social Change (DFLSC) is the newest addition to the Duke Law family of journals. Created with a mission to foster progressive discussion around important social issues, DFLSC features articles covering a wide range of legal topics. Each issue focuses on a timely, central theme. While the primary focuses of DFLSC are on its annual symposium and symposium-based publication, it also strives to provide a meaningful forum for ongoing discussion of social change and related issues. DFLSC has already actively engaged in many of its forum initiatives. Beginning in March 2008, DFLSC has held a Town Hall Forum each semester, featuring scholars, students and community members. Each Town Hall Forum evokes community-wide discussion on timely social topics.

Duke Journal of Comparative & International Law:The Duke Journal of Comparative and International Law ("DJCIL") was established in 1990 and is dedicated to the publication of original scholarship on international, transnational and comparative law matters. The Journal is edited by a student board and publishes three issues annually. DJCIL not only publishes articles by international scholars and practitioners, but also draws upon Duke's prominent international and comparative law faculty. Additionally, approximately one-third of the Journal's total page count is devoted to notes by Duke Law students. DJCIL's editorial staff includes many students enrolled in Duke's JD/LLM Program in International and Comparative Law and some of the international practitioners enrolled in Duke'sLLM Program.

Duke Journal of Constitutional Law & Public Policy:The Duke Journal of Constitutional Law & Public Policy (DJCLPP) is a scholarly publication that examines legal issues at the intersection of constitutional litigation and public policy. The Journal serves as both a practical resource for lawyers, judges, and legislators who confront cutting-edge constitutional and public policy issues and a forum for intellectual discourse surrounding these issues. The Journal aims to enhance the community's understanding of constitutional law and public policy and to arm practitioners with arguments and proposals for reform.

Duke Journal of Gender Law & Policy:The Duke Journal of Gender Law & Policy is an interdisciplinary publication devoted to a discussion of gender, sexuality, race, and class in the context of law and public policy. Our mission is to foster debate, to publish work largely overlooked by other law reviews, and to encourage scholarship outside the bounds of conventional law school curricula. In doing so, we take an expansive view of law, engaging other disciplines including literature, sociology, anthropology, psychology, politics, and critical theory. Our goal is not only to explore what the law was and is, but what it could and should be.

Duke Law & Technology Review:The Duke Law & Technology Review (DLTR) is an online legal publication that focuses on the evolving intersection of law and technology. This area of study draws on a number of legal specialties: intellectual property, business law, free speech and privacy, telecommunications, and criminal law-each of which is undergoing doctrinal and practical changes as a result of new and emerging technologies. DLTR strives to be a "review" in the classic sense of the word. We examine new developments, synthesize them around larger theoretical issues, and critically examine the implications. We also review and consolidate recent cases, proposed bills, and administrative policies.

Duke Law Journal:The first issue of what was to become the Duke Law Journal was published in March 1951 as the Duke Bar Journal. Created to provide a medium for student expression, the Duke Bar Journal consisted entirely of student-written and student-edited work until 1953, when it began publishing faculty contributions. To reflect the inclusion of faculty scholarship, the Duke Bar Journal became the Duke Law Journal in 1957. In 1969, the Journal published its inaugural Administrative Law Symposium issue, a tradition that continues today.

Law and Contemporary Problems:Law and Contemporary Problems was founded in 1933 and is the oldest journal published at Duke Law School. It is a quarterly, interdisciplinary, faculty-edited publication of Duke Law School. L&CP recognizes that many fields in the sciences, social sciences, and humanities can enhance the development and understanding of law. It is our purpose to seek out these areas of overlap and to publish balanced symposia that enlighten not just legal readers, but readers from these other disciplines as well.

Moot Court 20-21

Moot Court is appellate advocacy, and it is one of most challenging and rewarding activities in which Duke Law students participate. During Moot Court competitions students stand before their professors and peers and test their classroom knowledge and oral skills.

All first-year students compete in the Hardt Moot Court competition, where they argue an appellate brief and endure rigorous questioning by the judges (second- and third-year students). Those who score highest in this competition, or in the Dean's Cup competition, are invited to join the prestigious student-run Moot Court Board. This opens the door to many opportunities: Within the law school, the Board assists the legal research and writing instructors in teaching appellate advocacy and organizes and runs the Moot Court competitions. Joining the Moot Court Board also affords students the opportunity to compete in interscholastic moot court competitions around the country, where topics include intellectual property, products liability, securities, labor, and constitutional law.

Moot Court is valuable professional training wherein students think on their feet and hone their speaking, advocacy, and legal analysis skills.

The Duke Law Moot Court Board is comprised of students who practice the highest level of oral advocacy in the school. Invitations to join the Board are extended based solely on student performance in competitive the Hardt Cup, the Dean's Cup, and the Jessup Cup. Most members earn membership their performance in the Hardt Cup at the end of the first year of law school. Upper level students may earn membership through their performance in the Dean's Cup or the Jessup Cup.

The Benefits of Moot Court Board Membership

The Moot Court Board allows students at Duke to participate in Board activities and Moot Court competitions. Moot Court is appellate advocacy, where students act as if they are arguing a case on appeal to the Supreme Court, a circuit court, or a state supreme court.

The Moot Court Board is entirely student run and is unique among law school organizations because of its eclectic activities. Within the law school, the Board assists the legal research and writing instructors in teaching appellate advocacy and organizes and runs the Hardt Cup, the Dean's Cup, and the Jessup Cup. In addition, the Board sends teams to interscholastic moot court competitions covering diverse topics such as intellectual property, products liability, securities, labor, and constitutional law.

Participating in Moot Court Board gives members a chance to hone their speaking, advocacy, and critical thinking skills. Members are also afforded the opportunity on several occasions to meet judges and visit cutting edge problems in a variety of areas of the law. Most importantly, Board members can compete in interscholastic tournaments which offer competitors the opportunity to build expertise in a field, test themselves against the skills of students at other schools, and win accolades.

The Benefits of Participating in Moot Court Competitions

Participation in moot court competitions such as the Hardt Cup, the Dean's Cup, and the Jessup Cup can benefit every Duke Law student. Competing in moot court competitions provides an opportunity for students to build advocacy skills, sharpen public speaking skills, and engage in legal analysis in a variety of areas of law. The skills are not only beneficial for future trial attorneys. The ability to speak persuasively and think on your feet is invaluable in all types of legal careers.

Requirements of Membership

Top competitors in the Hardt Cup, Dean's Cup, and Jessup Cup are extended invitations to join the Moot Court Board. Each Board member is required to fulfill at least one participation credit prior to graduation. This requirement can be fulfilled in a number of ways including competing in one interscholastic competition or holding an Executive Board position. All Board members also judge the intramural competitions sponsored by the Board.

Clinical Programs 22-33

Duke Law School has experienced an explosion of clinics, offering a variety of opportunities for students to build an experiential bridge between law school and practice. The new clinic space, which occupies one floor of the Law School, is symbolic of the commitment to and growing depth of Duke's clinical program. Working together in the clinic suite, the real-client clinical courses operate as a public interest law firm, providing students challenging opportunities to deepen their substantive legal knowledge, strengthen their lawyering skills, and build their professional identities.

Whether a clinic student is representing a special-needs child in obtaining an individualized education plan, working with a non-profit to help meet the community's need for affordable housing, or advocating for a wrongly-convicted person, the student is not only enhancing his or her own professional skills, but also providing free legal assistance to at-risk populations.

Duke's Clinical Program is on course to become a national leader in teaching clinical skills. Equipped with state-of-the-art technology, Duke Law's clinical faculty is committed to providing high-quality supervision and innovative teaching. Over the course of the semester, clinical faculty members work closely with each individual student to provide mentoring and guidance.

The Appellate Litigation Clinic: allows students to develop litigation skills by preparing and presenting appeals in appellate courts including the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. The courts appoint the supervising professors as counsel of record in appropriate cases filed by parties who are not represented by counsel. Students review the trial court record for the cases, conduct legal research, draft and file appellate and reply briefs, prepare the excerpts of record for the court of appeals, prepare for oral argument, and argue the case, with permission of the court and consent of the client. The clinic provides Duke Law students an extraordinary opportunity to develop their legal skills at the same time that they provide critical legal services to people who would otherwise be unrepresented.

The Children's Law Clinic: is a community law office that provides free legal advice, advocacy, and legal representation to low-income children. The clinic is staffed by Duke Law students who bring their compassion, commitment, and energy to the task of advocating for at-risk children. Since its establishment in 2002, the Children's Law Clinic has represented hundreds of children from a wide region around Durham.

The Civil Justice Clinic: represents a unique partnership between Duke Law and Legal Aid of North Carolina (LANC). Working under the supervision of Clinic Director Charles Holton '73 and staff attorneys in LANC's Durham office, students directly represent clients in matters relating to housing, benefits, and protection from domestic violence, among others. Doing so allows them to develop practical litigation skills that are transferable to a wide range of cases and practice areas, while addressing the critical lack of legal representation among low-income North Carolinians.

The Duke Law School Community Enterprise Clinic: is a resource for non-profit organizations and low-wealth entrepreneurs working to improve the quality of life in low-wealth communities through community economic development ("CED") strategies. We represent a wide range of clients to help them overcome barriers, attract resources and improve the quality of life in the communities they serve.

Environmental Law and Policy Clinic: A joint project of Duke Law School and the Nicholas School of the Environment, the Environmental Law and Policy Clinic operates as a live client clinic out of offices in the Duke Law School building in Durham, N.C. Students work under direct supervision of Clinic Director Ryke Longest and Supervising Attorney Michelle Nowlin. Longest worked for fourteen years as an environmental enforcement attorney for the North Carolina Department of Justice prior to coming to Duke.Nowlin is a joint-degree graduate from Duke Law School and the Nicholas School, and worked for the Southern Environmental Law Center in Chapel Hill for 13 years prior to returning to Duke.

The Duke Health Justice Clinic: has been providing free legal assistance to low-income HIV-infected clients since 1996. The Health Justice Clinic offers law students the opportunity to develop practical lawyering skills through direct representation of clients under close attorney supervision. Each semester ten students are enrolled in this clinical law course, delivering over 100 hours of direct client services each. The students receive practical skills training, specialized training in the law relating to HIV/AIDS and cancer, and academic credit. Through their work, the Health Justice Clinic fills a critical need for legal representation of some of the neediest clients in North Carolina.

HIV / AIDS Policy Clinic: Students in this clinic will focus on policy work rather than direct client representation. Students will work on policy initiatives aimed at increasing access to quality, comprehensive health care for low-income individuals living with chronic illnesses like HIV/AIDS. The policy work will focus on barriers to access to care and prevention, including implementation of health care reform in North Carolina, funding disparities throughout the Southern US, HIV-related stigma, criminalization of HIV, and access to HIV medications. Students will work to inform policy recommendations and advocacy strategies at the national, regional, state and county levels in executive, legislative and regulatory arenas. Over the course of a semester, students can expect to accumulate a wealth of hands-on experience in current and emerging health policy issues on the state and federal level. Students will conduct legal and fact-based research to inform policy recommendations, produce in-depth reports, comment letters, presentations to policy makers, and draft legislation or regulatory guidance. Each student will focus on particular policy project(s) and will be required to spend a minimum of 100 hours on their clinic project(s). We will have regular group meetings with students and clinic faculty throughout the semester.

Since 2005, Duke's Guantanamo Defense Clinic has played a key role in framing legal challenges to Guantanamo military commission proceedings. Supervised by Professor Madeline Morris and Lecturing Fellow Gabriela McQuade '10, students work with military and civilian defense counsel to formulate theories, develop research, and draft pleadings and arguments for use at all levels of Guantanamo litigation, from pre-trial motions to Supreme Court litigation. Students also have participated in the legislative arena, working on both the Military Commissions Act of 2006 and forward-looking counterterrorism law and policy. Through these endeavors, the Clinic has amassed a singular institutional memory for the Guantanamo military commission proceedings and associated legislative and executive activity.

The International Human Rights Clinicenables students to critically engage with cutting-edge human rights issues, strategies, tactics, institutions, and law in both domestic and international settings. Through weekly seminars, fieldwork and travel, students develop a range of practical tools and skills needed for human rights advocacy-such as fact-finding, litigation, indicators, reporting, and messaging-that integrate interdisciplinary methods and new technologies. Students also develop competencies related to managing trauma in human rights work, as well as the ethical and accountability challenges of human rights lawyering. Types of clinic projects include those that: apply a human rights framework to domestic issues; involve human rights advocacy abroad; engage with international institutions to advance human rights; and/or address human rights in U.S. foreign policy. Students work closely with local organizations, international NGOs, and U.N. human rights experts and bodies to further the promotion and protection of human rights.

The Duke Law School Start-Up Ventures Clinicprovides legal advice and assistance to seed and early stage entrepreneurial ventures that have not yet raised significant amounts of outside capital. The clinic assists clients in a wide variety of legal matters including formation, intellectual property protection, commercialization strategies and operational issues.

The Wrongful Convictions Clinicinvestigates claims of innocence made by incarcerated felons. Clinic students study the causes of wrongful convictions - mistaken eyewitness identification, false confessions, faulty forensic evidence, "jailhouse snitches" - and, together with the Duke Law Innocence Project, a student organization with the same mission, manage cases and perform a wide range of duties, including interviewing the inmates, locating and interviewing witnesses, gathering documentation, writing legal documents and memos, and working with experts. Most clinic cases do not involve DNA.

Placement Facts 34

Starting Salaries (2014 Graduates Employed Full-Time)

Private sector (25th-75th percentile) $140,000-$160,00
Median in the private sector $160,000
Median in public service $60,000

Employment Details

Graduates known to be employed at graduation 86.5%
Graduates known to be employed ten months after graduation 93%

Areas of Legal Practice

Graduates Employed In Percentage
Law Firms 65.2%
Business and Industry 5.3%
Government 7.2%
Public Interest Organizations 16.9%
Judicial Clerkships 3.9%
Academia 1.4%
Unknown 0%

Externships/Internships

Externships35

The Law School permits several types of externships: (1) Individual Externships; (2) Faculty-Mentored Externships; and (3) Integrated Externships. Each type of externship is detailed below.

Externship Program

  1. The Externship Program is designed to allow a student to receive academic credit for gaining legal experience beyond that available in the classroom setting by working under the supervision of a licensed attorney or judge in a governmental or non-profit entity.
  2. A student who has completed the first year of law school may participate in an Externship during any semester in which the student is enrolled as a full-time law student. If the student will be advising or representing clients in the externship placement, the student must have completed three semesters of law school, in accordance with North Carolina State Bar Rules, Chapter 1, Subchapter C, Section .0200 et seq.
  3. The amount of credit awarded for the field placement component of the externship will be based on the number of hours that the student works during the semester in the externship placement, with 1 credit awarded for every 50 hours of work. The expectation is that a student will work in the externship placement over the course of the entire semester, with 1 credit of work correlating to approximately 4 hours in the placement each week. In addition to the hours spent working in the externship placement, the student will be required to submit biweekly reflection papers to the faculty supervisor and to the Externship Administrator on a schedule administered by the Externship Administrator. Credit for work in the externship placement and the associated reflection papers will be awarded on a Credit/No Credit basis.
  4. The Externship Administrator is responsible for assisting in the location of suitable field placements where appropriate, working with field supervisors to explain and implement the Law School's expectations for field placements, developing appropriate policies regarding site visits, assisting students in understanding the rules governing placements, developing policies to implement the provisions of this rule, and generally providing guidance to the externship program to achieve the goal of providing students with a sound educational experience.
  5. A student wishing to work in an externship with a particular entity is responsible for contacting the entity and fulfilling any procedures that entity may establish as part of the application process for an externship, including, but not limited to, submission of a resume and transcript and completion of an in-person interview. The decision whether to host a particular student in a given externship rests with the entity where the student will work.
  6. A student participating in an Externship must be supervised by a Duke Law School faculty member who will be responsible for evaluating the student's biweekly reflection papers and any research paper undertaken by the student in conjunction with the externship. The student is responsible for identifying a faculty supervisor prior to the grant of approval for the externship by the Externship Administrator.
  7. A student participating in a Externship must have completed or be currently enrolled in a course designated as satisfying the ethics rules component of the Ethics and Professionalism Requirement for graduation. This requirement may be waived by the Externship Administrator.
  8. As explained below regarding the various types of Externships, a research paper may be done in conjunction with an Externship. The amount of credit to be awarded for the paper component of the Externship will be determined by the length of the paper. In advance of commencing the externship, the student is responsible for obtaining the faculty supervisor's approval of the research paper. The faculty supervisor will be responsible for evaluating the quality of the paper and determining a grade for the paper.. Credits earned for completion of a paper undertaken in conjunction with an Externship will not count toward the limit imposed for Independent Study credits that a student may earn.
  9. With the exception of credits allocated to the classroom component of Integrated Domestic Externships described below, no credit associated with an Externship will count toward the 64.5 credits of regularly-scheduled law school classes required for graduation.
  10. A student participating in an Externship may not earn a salary or receive other compensation for the work performed in the placement except for reimbursement for travel and other work-related expenses required by the placement entity.
  11. A student who has earned 6 credits in externships and wishes to enroll in additional externship credits must obtain the prior approval of both the Externship Administrator and the Curriculum Committee.
  12. There are three types of Externships available under this rule: the Individual Externship, the Faculty-Mentored Externship, and the Integrated Externship. The characteristics of each of these are set out below. All of the above requirements apply to all three types of Externships.
  13. Individual Externships
    • A student may earn from 2 to 4 credits for placement work in an Individual Externship. The number of credits permitted for any particular placement will be determined in advance by the Externship Administrator with input from the supervising faculty member. The Externship Administrator can, in compelling circumstances, approve a 1-credit externship.
    • If a student desires, the student may earn up to an additional 2 credits beyond those awarded for work in the externship placement by completing a substantial research paper that is related to the substance of the externship experience, with the approval and guidance of the faculty supervisor.
    • Individual Externships are expected to occur in the local area, with placements in close enough proximity to the Law School to permit the student to fulfill the remaining credit requirements for the semester by attending regularly scheduled law school classes.
  14. Faculty-Mentored Externships
    • A student wishing to undertake an externship for more credits than permitted for an Individual Externship, or that would involve an externship placement that is not local to Durham, NC, may seek approval for a Faculty-Mentored Externship. This type of externship assumes a particularly high level of engagement by the faculty supervisor, the field supervisor, and the Externship Administrator, in order to ensure a high-quality educational experience for the student. To that end, the faculty supervisor is expected to participate in the selection and approval of the externship placement. In addition, it is expected that there will be regular contact throughout the semester between the faculty supervisor, field supervisor, and Externship Administrator, beyond the level of contact that might otherwise arise from the student's reflection papers.
    • Partial semester Faculty-Mentored Externships are not permitted.
    • A student may receive up to 9 credits for work at the externship placement in a Faculty-Mentored Externship. Credit for work in the externship will be awarded on a Credit/No Credit basis. In addition, the student may receive 2 to 4 credits for work on a related research paper, which may be awarded on a Graded or a Credit/No Credit basis. A student also may receive up to 2 or, in extraordinary circumstances, 3 credits for completion of a set of readings or a tutorial under the direction of the faculty supervisor, which will be awarded on a Credit/No Credit basis. In no event may a student receive more than 14 credits for a Faculty-Mentored Externship.
    • Any student enrolled in the JD/LLM Program in International and Comparative Law may undertake a Faculty-Mentored Externship abroad. Any JD student wishing to pursue a Faculty-Mentored Externship abroad must first complete both a course in comparative law and a course in international law, as well as obtain the approval of the Office of International Studies.
    • A student wishing to undertake a Faculty-Mentored Externship must obtain the approval of the Externship Administrator, a faculty supervisor, and the Curriculum Committee. Approval should be sought through submission of a written proposal that fully describes the proposed externship and outlines the student's goals in undertaking the externship and the means by which the externship will help achieve those goals.
  15. Integrated Externships
    • An Integrated Externship is a curricular offering in which multiple students participate during the same semester in similar externship placements and in a classroom component for which a Duke Law School faculty member serves as instructor. In such an externship, the placements share a theme, such as federal criminal prosecution or policy-making placements in federal entities, which allows for classroom discussions on issues common to the several placements. The faculty member teaching the course component serves as faculty supervisor for each student in the Integrated Externship.
    • As with Faculty-Mentored Externships, this type of externship assumes a high level of engagement by the faculty supervisor, the field supervisors, and the Externship Administrator. The Externship Administrator and the faculty supervisor are expected to assist students to locate and approve externship opportunities, and it is expected that there will be regular contact throughout the semester between the faculty supervisor, field supervisors, and Externship Administrator, beyond the level of contact that might otherwise arise from the student's reflection papers.
    • An Integrated Externship must be approved by the Curriculum Committee under its normal procedures for course approval, based upon a proposal submitted by the faculty member who will teach the course. Prior to seeking Curriculum Committee approval, the faculty member should consult with the Externship Administrator to ensure that the course proposal is consistent with this rule and with the practices developed under other previously approved Integrated Externships.
    • Credit to be awarded for an Integrated Externship will be based on a combination of credits for the externship placement, the associated course, and any substantial research paper required as a part of the course offering. Up to 9 hours of placement credit is permitted where the placements are part of a comprehensive proposal for a semester-away program or a highly structured local externship. The course component of the externship will carry 2 or, in exceptional cases, 3 credits. The faculty member has the option of requiring a major research paper as part of the offering, which may carry up to an additional 4 credits, which may be awarded on a Graded or a Credit/No Credit basis. In no event may the credits awarded for an Integrated Externship exceed 14.
    • The Externship Administrator and supervising faculty members are responsible for helping to identify entities willing to host student externs participating in the Integrated Externship, and providing assistance to students in their applications to host entities, but students remain responsible for obtaining approval to work as an extern with a particular entity. No student may participate in an Integrated Externship unless the student has successfully obtained an externship position with an entity approved by the faculty member.

General Externship Program Information36

The Externship Program is designed to allow a student to receive academic credit for gaining legal experience beyond that available in the classroom setting, by working under the supervision of a licensed attorney in a governmental or non-profit setting. The amount of credit awarded for the field placement component of a student's externship is based on the number of hours that the student works during the semester in the externship placement, with 1 credit awarded for every 50 hours of work. Travel time to and from the externship placement does not count towards the 50 hour per credit requirement. The expectation is that a student will work in the externship placement over the course of the entire semester, with 1 credit of work correlating to approximately 4 hours in the placement each week.

In addition to the hours spent working in the externship placement, externs are required to submit biweekly reflection papers to their faculty supervisor. Credit for work in the externship placement and the associated reflection papers will be awarded on a Credit/No Credit basis.

A student participating in an externship must have completed or be currently enrolled in a course designated as satisfying the Ethics and Professionalism Requirement for graduation. This requirement may be waived, with permission, in order to enroll in an externship. A student who has earned 6 credits in externships and wishes to enroll in additional externship credits must obtain the prior approval of the faculty Curriculum Committee.

A student participating in an externship may not earn a salary or receive other compensation for the work performed in the placement, except for reimbursement for travel and other work-related expenses required by the placement entity.

The following types of externships are available:

Individual Externships:

2 to 4 credits, with option for 1 to 2 credit research paper

To register for Individual Externship credit, fill out the Externship Registration Form obtain required signatures, and submit to the Registrar's Office PRIOR TO THE FIRST DAY OF CLASSES for the semester. Only 2L and 3L students may enroll in an externship, and a student may not exceed 6 total credits of externship during law school. Externs must complete 50 hours of fieldwork per credit enrolled, and those hours must be completed between the semester's first day of classes and the last day of exams, according to a schedule mutually agreed between the student and the host organization. Students are discouraged from enrolling in the same externship placement for an additional semester, and externship credit will be permitted in this circumstance only with special permission.

If your externship will involve working directly with clients and/or appearing before a judge, you also should complete the forms necessary to become approved by the North Carolina Bar for student practice, under the supervision of a licensed attorney. These forms may take up to 4 weeks to process, and so you should begin this process as soon as possible after receiving your externship offer: complete NC Bar "Student Certification Regarding the Rules of Professional Conduct" form and the NC Bar "Law School Certification" form (submit both to the Registrar for processing and signatures). See North Carolina State Bar Rules, Chapter 1.Rules and Regulations of the North Carolina State Bar, Subchapter C. Rules Governing the Board of Law Examiners and the Training of Law Students.

Integrated Externships:

Faculty-taught course that integrates a shared-theme externship experience with complementing seminar

Faculty-Mentored Externships:

Full-semester externships for up to 14 credits

Faculty-mentored externships, including externships abroad, require Curriculum Committee approval.

Human Rights Externships 37

The Duke Law externship program provides an unparalleled opportunity for students to spend a semester in the United States or abroad in placements at highly competitive human rights institutions. The externship program enables students to receive academic credit for gaining legal experience, beyond that available in the classroom setting, by working under the supervision of a licensed attorney in a governmental or non-profit setting. Externships can be local (e.g., the ACLU Capital Punishment Project), through the Duke in D.C. Program (e.g., the World Bank or Department of State), or international. In recent years, students have participated in high-level human rights placements at institutions such as the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva, Switzerland, and The Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

Internships 38-41

Summer Internship

The Dean shall have the discretion to allow an international student, or a J.D. student working abroad, in special circumstances, to obtain up to one credit for work performed in a summer legal internship under the supervision of a practicing attorney. No credit obtained under this provision can be counted toward the student's graduation requirements.

Judicial Internships

A judicial internship or externship (the words are synonymous) is the summer equivalent of a traditional post-graduate judicial clerkship, with the exception that most externships do not pay. Do not let this discourage you. These are excellent jobs and can be especially useful to students intending to pursue a career in litigation or to make legal contacts in a community in which they wish to practice.

The American Bar Association provides $1500 to minority and financially disadvantaged students for internships in ten states under their Judicial Intern Opportunity Program. Other states have programs where law students can be paid to work as a judicial intern. North Carolina has such a program for in-state residents.

Many third-year students will apply to clerk for a judge following graduation. While that application process does not begin until the summer before your third year, an externship can not only help you decide if a clerkship would interest you, but may also provide you with a valuable contact within the judiciary.

Public Interest & Government Summer Internship

Every year, five students from each North Carolina law school are awarded funding for a public interest summer internship. The funding is drawn from the Interest on Lawyers Trust Accounts program (IOLTA), a non-profit organization created by the North Carolina Bar. Students can obtain a list of public interest employers approved for the IOLTA program from the Career Center or the Public Interest & Pro Bono Office during the Spring Semester. More information about IOLTA grants and the selection process for Duke Law students is available from the Public Interest & Pro Bono Office.

Stanback Internship program

The Stanback Internship program provides Duke students with significant summer work experience in advocacy, environmental policy, grassroots conservation, and applied resource management. The program is run by the Nicholas School of the Environment through the generous support of Mr. & Mrs. Fred Stanback. The program is a partnership between the Nicholas School and targeted environmental organizations.

Stanback Internship positions are unique because they are open only to Duke students. Students earn a stipend of $5,000 for 11 weeks of full-time work. Many of the internships with Stanback sponsorship are for direct legal positions in litigation or corporate work, while others of interest that also build transferable legal skills include those in government or legislative affairs or policy.

Students do not have to be interested in environmental careers long term or have prior environmental experience but should see these internships as opportunities to develop a wide range of skills that are transferable to many practice areas.

For more general information about the Stanback Program, please visit the Nicholas School website. For questions and more information regarding positions available and suitable for law students, please email Emily Sharples or Stella Boswell.

Student Organizations 42

  • ABA Law Student Division
  • American Civil Liberties Union
  • American Constitution Society
  • Student Animal Legal Defense Fund
  • Asian Law Students Association
  • Black Graduate and Professional Student Association
  • Black Law Students Association
  • Business Law Society
  • Christian Legal Society
  • Coalition Against Gendered Violence
  • Court Jesters
  • Duke Bar Association
  • Duke Education Law and Policy Society
  • Duke Environmental Law Society
  • Duke Law Basketball
  • Duke Law Democrats
  • Duke Law Veterans
  • Energy Law Society
  • Federalist Society
  • Government and Public Service Society
  • Graduate and Professional Student Council
  • Health Law Society
  • Hispanic Law Students Association
  • Human Rights Law Society
  • Immigrant Education Project
  • Innocence Project
  • Intellectual Property and Cyberlaw Society
  • International Anti-Corruption Law Society
  • International Law Society
  • J. Reuben Clark Society
  • Jewish Law Students Association
  • Law & Economics Society
  • Law & Entrepreneurship Society
  • Law Students for Reproductive Justice
  • Mock Trial Board
  • Moot Court Board
  • Muslim Law Students Association
  • National Security Law Society
  • Off the Record A Capella
  • OUTLaw
  • Public Interest Law Foundation
  • Refugee Asylum Support Project
  • The SJD Association
  • South Asian Law Students Association
  • Southern Justice Spring Break
  • Sports and Entertainment Law Society
  • Street Law
  • Student Organization for Legal Issues in the Middle East and North Africa (SOLIMENA)
  • Transactional Law Competition Board
  • Transfer Students Association
  • Veterans Disability Assistance Project
  • Video Game Law Society
  • Volunteer Income Tax Assistance
  • Women Law Students Association

References

  1. http://law.duke.edu/contact/
  2. http://law.duke.edu/about/
  3. http://premium.usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-law-schools/duke-university-03117
  4. http://premium.usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-law-schools/duke-university-03117/admissions
  5. http://premium.usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-law-schools/duke-university-03117/admissions
  6. http://premium.usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-law-schools/duke-university-03117/cost
  7. https://law.duke.edu/curriculum/rules/gradingpolicy/
  8. https://law.duke.edu/about/community/rules/sec3/#rule3-1
  9. https://law.duke.edu/about/community/rules/sec2/#rule2-7
  10. https://law.duke.edu/studentaffairs/millerawards/
  11. http://alr.law.duke.edu/about/
  12. http://delpf.law.duke.edu/about/
  13. http://dflsc.law.duke.edu/
  14. http://djcil.law.duke.edu/about/
  15. http://djclpp.law.duke.edu/about/
  16. http://djglp.law.duke.edu/about/
  17. http://dltr.law.duke.edu/about/
  18. http://dlj.law.duke.edu/about/
  19. http://lcp.law.duke.edu/about/
  20. https://law.duke.edu/students/mootcourt/
  21. https://law.duke.edu/students/orgs/mootcourt/information/
  22. https://law.duke.edu/clinics/clinical/
  23. https://law.duke.edu/appellatelit/
  24. https://law.duke.edu/childedlaw/
  25. https://law.duke.edu/civiljustice/
  26. https://law.duke.edu/ced/
  27. https://law.duke.edu/envlawpolicy/
  28. https://law.duke.edu/healthjustice/
  29. https://law.duke.edu/academics/course/402/
  30. https://law.duke.edu/guantanamo/
  31. https://law.duke.edu/humanrightsclinic/
  32. https://law.duke.edu/startupventures/
  33. https://law.duke.edu/wrongfulconvictions/
  34. http://premium.usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-law-schools/duke-university-03117/career-prospects
  35. http://law.duke.edu/about/community/rules/sec3/#rule3-25
  36. https://law.duke.edu/publicinterest/externship/
  37. http://law.duke.edu/humanrights/externships/
  38. http://law.duke.edu/about/community/rules/sec3/#rule3-27
  39. https://law.duke.edu/career/1l/employment/internships/
  40. https://law.duke.edu/career/pdf/internship.pdf
  41. https://law.duke.edu/career/publicinterest/stanback/
  42. http://law.duke.edu/students/orgs/

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