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The Duke University School of Law is the law school and a constituent academic unit of Duke Universitymarker, Durham, North Carolinamarker, United Statesmarker. 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 Universitymarker, the school was renamed the Duke University School of Law. The School features programs in Business, Comparative and International Law, Environmental Law, and Intellectual Property, among others.

The School has approximately 640 J.D. students and 75 students in the LL.M. and S.J.D. programs. Admission to Duke Law is highly selective, with fewer than 4% of applicants enrolling. The class of 2012 posted a median LSAT score of 169 (out of 180 possible points) or 98th percentile and a median undergraduate GPA of 3.76. On average, 95% of students are employed at graduation, with a median salary in the private sector of over $160,000. Over 400 law firms annually offer positions to Duke Law students.

Duke Law has the highest New Yorkmarker 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 current Dean of the School of Law is David F. Levi, former Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California. Dean Levi assumed the deanship from outgoing Dean Katharine T. Bartlett on on July 1, 2007.[175075][175076]

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, 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.

Duke Law was ranked 10th among ABA-accredited law schools in the 2010 edition of U.S. News & World Report.


Built in 1929, the Languages Building (as it is currently known) was the home of Duke Law from 1930 to 1962
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 Universitymarker 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 in size. 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.


The present location of the Duke University School of Law, on Science Drive
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

Duke Law School publishes nine academic journals or law reviews, which are, in order of their founding:

Law & 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, which has no law school.

The Duke Journal of Gender Law & Policy (DJGLP) is the preeminent journal for its subject matter in the world. In January 2007, DJGLP published "Makeup, Identity Performance & Discrimination," the largest issue ever published by any journal at the Law School. In May 2007, DJGLP published "Gender, Sexuality & the Military," the second largest issue ever published by the Law School.

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 will feature 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 6th unveiling of the Open Access Law Program, an initiative of Creative Commons, for its work in pioneering open access to legal scholarship.

Notable alumni

Notable faculty

Former faculty


External links

Official Website Centers Programs Publications

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