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 the relatively small size of around 670 total students and a student to faculty ratio of nine to one.
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 the 40 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.
Median Student Scores
LSAT Range (25 to 75 Percentile)
GPA Range (25 to 75 Percentile)
2017 acceptance rate: 22.75%
Number of 2017 applicants: 4,672
Number of 2016 matriculants: 207
LSAT (median): 169
LSAT range (25 to 75 percentile): 166 to 170
GPA (median): 3.75
GPA range (25 to 75 percentile): 3.57 to 3.84
Early Decision Round 1 deadline is November 10.
Early Decision Round 2 deadline is January 8.
February 15 is the deadline for regular admission. Decisions are made by the end of April.
Admitted students must start in the fall.
Total Cost and Total Expected Cost of Attendance
Median Grants for Students
Tuition (2018-2019): $63,400
Room, board and other (2018-2019): $25,241
Total estimated cost of attendance (2018-2019): $88,641
Students who receive grants: 86%
Median grant amount: $24,000
Duke Law School does not award scholarships that may be reduced or eliminated based on law school academic performance other than failure to maintain good academic standing.
Career Placement Results
Average Bar Passage Differential
Employed full-time, long-term, bar passage required: 93.8%
Employed full-time, long-term, JD advantage: 1.8%
Career Placement Results
Federal Clerkships: 16.9%
Net Transfers: 4
Transfers Out: 0
Average Bar Passage Differential (first time takers): 20.38%