Duke University School of Law, or Duke Law began in 1868 as the Trinity College School of Law. In 1924, the Trinity College was renamed Duke University, and the law school followed suit. Since then, Duke Law has grown into a prestigious law school with a relatively small size of around 710 total students.
All students enrolled in Duke Law follow the “Duke Law Blueprint,” which places significance on integrity, professionalism, and leadership. Aside from a J.D. program, there are also dual-degree options, like the J.D. /M.B.A. with the Fuqua School of Business, the J.D. /M.D. with Duke Medical School, and the J.D./Master of Environmental Management with the Nicholas School of the Environment. Usually, about 25% of students are enrolled in a joint degree instead of a traditional J.D. degree. Some of the most popular programs are Environmental Law, Intellectual Property Law, and International Law. Students can get real-life law experience in eight clinics, including the AIDS Legal Project, Appellate Litigation Clinic, Children’s Law Clinic, Community Enterprise Clinic, Environmental Law and Policy Clinic, Guantanamo Defense Clinic, International Human Rights Clinic, Wrongful Convictions Clinic, and the Start-Up Ventures Clinic. Students are also required to complete at least 50 pro bono hours before graduation.
One of the most important areas of a Duke student’s education is the exposure to the 10 legal centers and programs. Students can gain experience preventing the wrongful conviction of innocent people in the Center for Criminal Justice and Professional Responsibility or support research for genome sciences in the Center for Genome Ethics, Law, and Policy. Because the centers focus on so many diverse topics, students can learn about international and comparative law, judicial studies, public policy, public domain, and global financial markets. Individuals can also participate in the publishing of nine legal journals or join one of over 60 student organizations on campus.
It’s easy for students to find themselves immersed in campus life at Duke. Law students can apply for on-campus housing, but the spaces are often limited. Most law students find off-campus housing in the Durham, North Carolina area. Those who want assurance they will have a rewarding legal education and plenty of opportunities at graduation should make sure they keep Duke Law on their list of possible law schools to target.