Duke University School of Law
|Duke University School of Law|
|Parent school||Duke University|
|Established||1868 as Trinity College School of Law, 1924 as Duke University School of Law|
|Parent endowment||$7.0 billion|
|Dean||David F. Levi|
|Location||Durham, North Carolina, USA|
|Enrollment||640 JD, 75 LLM|
|Bar pass rate||97%, 100%|
Duke University School of Law (also known as Duke Law School or Duke Law) is the law school and a constituent academic unit of Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, United States. One of Duke's 10 schools and colleges, the School of Law began as the Trinity College School of Law in 1868. In 1924, following the renaming of Trinity College to Duke University, the school was renamed the Duke University School of Law. Notable alumni include former U.S. President Richard Nixon.
On average, 95% of students are employed at graduation, with a median starting salary in the private sector of over $160,000. According to U.S. News Report, Duke Law is ranked the #8 law school in the United States.
Duke Law is routinely ranked within the top 14 law schools in the country, and is a member of the "T-14" law schools, a prestigious group of 14 schools that have national recognition. Duke Law along with only two other T-14 schools (Harvard and Yale) has graduated a President of the United States. In 2011, law firm recruiters ranked Duke Law as the 8th best law school in the country. In addition, Duke Law was ranked by Forbes as having graduated lawyers with the 2nd highest median mid-career salary amount. Over 400 law firms annually offer positions to Duke Law students.
In the Above The Law Rankings, Duke Law ranks within the top ten law schools at #6 based on long-term employment data, large firm placement, and federal clerkship placements. It currently is ranked the #8 best law school by the 2015 U.S. News Rankings  and has remained in the T-14 since U.S. News began ranking law schools.
Duke Law has the highest New York Bar Exam pass rate of all US law schools. A reported 97% of students that take the exam pass at first sitting. Duke's overall student pass rate (based on two attempts) is 100%. This record is compared with all law schools across the nation, where on average 77% of students pass the New York Bar exam on their first sitting.
The law school is also well known for the strength of its alumni network. The law school's career services office regularly keeps in contact with Duke Law alumni, fostering concrete relationships between students, alums, and faculty.
Duke Law is one of the most selective law schools in the United States. The law school is one of few that have actually experienced an increase in law school applications despite an overall national decline of applications in recent years. For the class entering in the fall of 2014, 221 students enrolled out of 5,358 applicants. The 25th and 75th LSAT percentiles for the 2014 entering class were 166 and 170, respectively, with a median of 169 (top 3% of test takers worldwide). The 25th and 75th undergraduate GPA percentiles were 3.66 and 3.85, respectively, with a median of 3.77. The School has approximately 640 J.D. students and 75 students in the LL.M. and S.J.D. programs.
In 1855 Trinity College, the precursor to Duke University, began offering lectures on Constitutional and International Law (during this time, Trinity was located in Randolph County, North Carolina). In 1865, Trinity's Law Department was officially founded, while 1868 marked the official chartering of the School of Law. After a ten-year hiatus from 1894 to 1904, James B. Duke and Benjamin Newton Duke provided the endowment to reopen the school, with Samuel Fox Mordecai as its senior professor (by this time, Trinity College had relocated to Durham, North Carolina). When Trinity College became part of the newly created Duke University upon the establishment of the Duke Endowment in 1924, the School of Law continued as the Duke University School of Law. In 1930, the Law School moved from the Carr Building on Duke's East Campus to a new location on the main quad of West Campus. During the three years preceding this move, the size of the law library tripled. Among other well-known alumni, President Richard Nixon graduated from the school in 1937. In 1963, the school moved to its present location on Science Drive in West Campus.
- 1st Best Quality of Life according to the Princeton Review
- 2nd Highest Median Mid-Career Salary
- 2nd Best Professors according to Princeton Review
- 3rd Best Law School (overall) according to the Best Law Schools ranking published by the National Jurist in 2013.
- 4th Best Classroom Experience according to Princeton Review
- 6th Best Law School according to CNN Money 
- 6th Best Law School for Federal Clerkships according to National Jurist
- 6th Best Law School for Moot Court according to National Jurist
- 8th Best Law School by U.S. News Rankings 
- 8th Best Law School for BigLaw Hiring according to National Law Journal
- 8th Best Law School as Ranked by Law Firm Recruiters
- 8th Most BigLaw Partners in Atlanta according to National Jurist
- 10th Best for Standard of Living according to National Jurist
- 12th Most Median Grant Money and Percentage of Students Receiving Grants according to National Jurist
- 12th in Employability by Vault 
- 17th Best Law Review according to National Jurist
- 19th Best Law School Library according to National Jurist
The Trinity College School of Law was located in the Carr Building prior to the renaming of Trinity to Duke University in 1924. The Duke University Law School was originally housed in what is now the Languages Building, built in 1929 on Duke's West Campus quad.
The Law School is presently located at the corner of Science Drive and Towerview Road and was constructed in the mid-1960s.
The first addition to the Law School was completed in 1994, and a dark polished granite façade was added to the rear exterior of the building, enclosing the interior courtyard.
In 2004, Duke Law School broke ground on a building construction project officially completed in fall 2008. The renovation and addition offers larger and more technologically advanced classrooms, expanded community areas and eating facilities, known as the Star Commons, improved library facilities, and more study options for students.
Law journals at Duke
- Law and Contemporary Problems
- Duke Law Journal
- Alaska Law Review
- Duke Journal of Comparative & International Law
- Duke Environmental Law & Policy Forum
- Duke Journal of Gender Law & Policy
- Duke Law & Technology Review
- Duke Journal of Constitutional Law & Public Policy
- Duke Forum for Law & Social Change
Law and Contemporary Problems is Duke Law's oldest law journal, though it was originally faculty-edited until the 1970s.
The Duke Law Journal was the first student-edited publication at Duke Law and publishes articles from leading scholars on topics of general legal interest.
Duke publishes the Alaska Law Review in a special agreement with the Alaska Bar Association, as the state of Alaska has no law school.
The Duke Journal of Gender Law & Policy (DJGLP) is the preeminent journal for its subject matter in the world.
The Duke Journal of Constitutional Law & Public Policy was founded by members of the Class of 2006—the six members of the inaugural executive board were Sarah Coble, Chris Fulmer, Richard Goldberg, John Lomas, Scott Mikkelsen, and John Plecnik. Professors Erwin Chemerinsky and Christopher H. Schroeder served as the ConLaw journal's inaugural faculty advisors.
The Duke Forum for Law & Social Change was founded in 2008 and features articles covering a wide range of social issues, from immigration law and policy to poverty initiatives.
The Law School provides free online access to all of its academic journals, including the complete text of each journal issue dating back to January 1996 in a fully searchable HTML format and in Adobe Acrobat format (PDF). New issues are posted on the web simultaneously with print publication.
In 2005, the Law School was featured in the June 6 unveiling of the Open Access Law Program, an initiative of Creative Commons, for its work in pioneering open access to legal scholarship.
The School offers joint-degree programs with the Duke University Graduate School, the Duke Divinity School, Fuqua School of Business, the Medical School, the Nicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences, the Pratt School of Engineering, and the Sanford School of Public Policy; and a JD/LLM dual degree program in International and Comparative Law. Approximately 25% of students are enrolled in joint-degree programs.
- LL.M. in Judicial Studies. A program for siting state, federal, and international judges that takes place over two summers (four weeks per summer). The inaugural class of 2012 included a total of 18 judges, including 12 state court judges, 4 federal court judges and 2 international judges. Faculty included Justice Samuel Alito; Judge Lee Rosenthall of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas; and David F. Levi, Former U.S. Federal Judge and Dean of Duke Law School; as well as guest lectures from the Chief Justices of both the Supreme Court of Utah and the Supreme Court of Texas.
- JD/LLM in International & Comparative Law
- JD/LLM in Law & Entrepreneurship
- JD/MA or MS
- JD/MBA and Accelerated-JD/MBA (
- JD/Master of Environmental Management (
- JD/Master of Public Policy (
- JD/Master in Global Business Law
- JD/Master of Theological Studies
- JD/MD (Duke Medical School)
- JD/MPP or MPA (
According to Duke's 2013 ABA-required disclosures, 85.9% of the Class of 2013 obtained full-time, long-term, JD-required employment nine months after graduation. Duke's Law School Transparency under-employment score is 11.6%, indicating the percentage of the Class of 2013 unemployed, pursuing an additional degree, or working in a non-professional, short-term, or part-time job nine months after graduation.
The total cost of attendance (indicating the cost of tuition, fees, and living expenses) at Duke for the 2013–2014 academic year is $77,750. The Law School Transparency estimated debt-financed cost of attendance for three years is $285,725.
- David Addington, '81 – Chief of Staff and former legal counsel to Vice President Dick Cheney
- Claude Allen, '90 – former Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy
- Daniel T. Blue, Jr. '73 – North Carolina State Senator and former Speaker of the North Carolina House of Representatives
- Susan Bysiewicz, '86 – Former Connecticut Secretary of State
- Bill Campbell, '77 – former Mayor of Atlanta, Georgia
- Jim Courter '66 – former U.S. Representative from New Jersey
- Michael Elston, '94 – former Chief of Staff & Counselor, Office of the Deputy Attorney General
- Nick Galifianakis, '53 – U.S. Representative from North Carolina
- Tom Grady, '82 – U.S. Representative from Florida
- Jaime Aleman Healy, '79 – Panama's Ambassador to the United States
- Jerry Meek, '97 – former Chairman of the North Carolina Democratic Party
- Richard Nixon, '37 – 37th President of the United States
- Deanna T. Okun, ’90 – Chair, U.S. International Trade Commission
- Manuel Sager, ’85 – Swiss Ambassador to the United States
- Kenneth Starr, '73 – Solicitor General, Independent Counsel during the Clinton Administration
- William B. Umstead, '21 – former Governor of North Carolina, U.S. Senator from North Carolina, U.S. Representative from North Carolina, Chairman of the North Carolina Democratic Party
- Robert L. Clifford, '50 – former Associate Justice, New Jersey Supreme Court
- Allyson Kay Duncan, '75 – U.S. Court of Appeals Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.
- Todd M. Hughes, '92 – U.S. Circuit Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, first openly gay U.S. Circuit Court Judge
- Carolyn Kuhl, '77 – Judge, Los Angeles Superior Court
- Denise Majette, '79 – former U.S. Representative from Georgia, former Georgia state judge
- Graham Calder Mullen, '69 – U.S. District Judge, U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina
- William H. Pauley III, '77 – U.S. District Judge, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York
- Kenneth Starr, '73 – former U.S. Court of Appeals Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia
- Gerald B. Tjoflat, '57 – U.S. Court of Appeals Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
- Ernest C. Torres, '68 – U.S. District Judge, U.S. District Court for the District of Rhode Island
- Peter Verniero, '84 – former Associate Justice, New Jersey Supreme Court & Former New Jersey Attorney General
- Don R. Willett, '92 – Texas Supreme Court Justice
- Garrett Epps, '91 – Professor, University of Baltimore School of Law
- Pamela Gann, '73 – President, Claremont McKenna College
- Rodney A. Smolla, '78 – President, Furman University
- Kenneth Starr, '73 – President of Baylor University and former Dean of Pepperdine University School of Law
- John Canning, Jr. – Co-founder of Madison Dearborn Partners, Co-owner of Milwaukee Brewers
- Gérard Louis-Dreyfus – Billionaire/Energy Magnate, Chairman of Louis Dreyfus Energy Services. Father of actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus
- Monty Sarhan, '99 – Publisher and CEO, Cracked Magazine
- Gao Xiqing, '86 – Vice Chairman, President, and Chief Investment Officer of the China Investment Corporation
- Dan McCarthy, '83 – JAG Chief Prosecutor, United States Navy
- Jay Bilas, '92 – ESPN Commentator and Former Duke Basketball Player and Coach
- Drew Rosenhaus, '90 – Sports Agent/Owner of Rosenhause Sports
- Bobby Sharma, '98 – Sr. Vice President, Global Business Development, Basketball, IMG
- Quin Snyder, '95 – Head Coach, Utah Jazz
- D. Todd Christofferson, '72 – Apostle, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
- Jeffrey Lichtman, '90 – Prominent criminal defense attorney
- Gary Lynch, '75 – Chief Legal Officer, Morgan Stanley
- David H. Steinberg, '93 – Writer/Director for film and television
- Tucker Max, '01 – Humorist and entrepreneur
- Charlie Rose, '68 – journalist/TV host of the Charlie Rose Show on PBS
- Michael P. Scharf, '88 – professor of law and director of the Frederick K. Cox International Law Center at Case Western Reserve University School of Law
Notable faculty including a sitting Supreme Court Justice, a former United States Senator, 14 former Supreme Court clerks, a former federal judge and a former Judge Advocate General.
- James Boyle, William Neal Reynolds Professor of Law (Intellectual Property and Legal Theory)
- Richard A. Danner, Archibald C. and Frances Fulk Rufty Research Professor of Law
- Walter E. Dellinger III, Douglas Blount Maggs Professor of Law, Fmr. Acting Solicitor General of the United States (1996–1997), Fmr. Law Clerk to Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black
- David F. Levi, Dean, former Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California (1994–2007), Fmr. Law Clerk to Supreme Court Justice Lewis Powell, Son of Fmr. U.S. Attorney General Edward H. Levi.
- Christopher H. Schroeder, Charles S. Murphy Professor of Law (administrative law), Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Policy (OLP), Fmr. Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Policy, Chief Counsel to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee
- Scott Silliman, Professor of the Practice of Law (national security law, military law, and the law of armed conflict)
- Michael Tigar, Professor of the Practice of Law (criminal law), Fmr. Law Clerk to Supreme Court Justice William Brennan,
- Former faculty
- William Van Alstyne, former William R. & Thomas S. Perkins Chair of Law (Constitutional Law), 1974–2004; current Lee Professor of Law at William and Mary Law School
- Erwin Chemerinsky, former Alston & Bird Professor of Law (Constitutional Law), current Dean of the University of California, Irvine School of Law
- Brainerd Currie, conflict of laws pioneer (deceased)
- Robinson O. Everett, Professor of Criminal Law and Former Chief Judge of the United States Court of Military Appeals (deceased)
- , Timeline of Duke Law. Accessed November 12, 2007.
-  Princeton Review
- >Princeton Review
-  preLaw by National Jurist Winter 2012
-  National Jurist September 2011
-  preLaw by National Jurist Spring 2010
- "Employment Statistics".
- "Duke University Profile".
- "Tuition and Expenses".
- "Duke University Profile".
- James Andrew Courter, Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Accessed September 6, 2007.