About us

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 by providing a rigorous legal education within a collaborative, supportive, and diverse environment. The Duke Law LLM program is designed to introduce international law graduates to the legal system of the United States and to provide the opportunity to take advanced courses in specialized areas of the law. LLM students can select courses from the full JD curriculum, including clinics and externships, and join extracurricular activities such as law journals and moot court teams. Duke’s goal is to integrate LLM and JD students into the whole life of Duke Law School. Students also may take courses in other parts of the university, such as the Fuqua School of Business or the Sanford School of Public Policy. Duke also offers certificates in Environmental Law, Business Law, and Intellectual Property Law as part of the LLM program. At Duke, you’ll find people who are equally enthusiastic about their intellectual life and academic studies as they are about their community and social life. Duke students are known for balancing hard work with fun, and intellectual engagement with purposeful living.

Study Program

The Master of Laws (LLM) program at Duke Law School is designed to introduce graduates of foreign law schools to the legal system of the United States and to provide the opportunity to take advanced courses in specialized areas of the law. Duke is renowned for the strength of our academic offerings. Our faculty provide an extraordinary range of expertise on legal issues, and our clinics and externships offer a platform to explore and engage with cutting-edge legal issues.

The general LLM degree also offers certificate programs in Environmental and Energy Law, Business Law, and IP, Science and Technology Law for students who wish to further refine their research and career focus. Duke’s curriculum is also specifically designed to allow you to take the New York Bar, assuming your previous legal education meets some basic requirements such as the appropriate length of time of the study.

Most students complete the LLM degree in one academic year, which begins in mid-August and ends in mid-May. However, students are welcome to extend the LLM program by one or two semesters. Extending the LLM program allows students to broaden their understanding of U.S. law and add a larger number of advanced, specialized, and interdisciplinary courses.

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Application Requirements

The application review process thoroughly evaluates a candidate’s performance in previous law studies. Also of special significance are the applicant’s professional experience, areas of special interest and expertise, professional and personal goals, strong letters of recommendation, and English proficiency. To be eligible for admission, applicants must hold a first degree in law – the JD, LLB, or the equivalent – from an accredited or comparably recognized law school or law faculty program.

Applicants to Duke Law’s LLM program may begin submitting applications for the 2023-2024 academic year on September 1, 2022. The application deadline for the LLM program is February 1, 2023.

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Scholarships and Financial Assistance

Each year, Duke Law School is pleased to offer financial assistance to highly qualified LLM applicants. This financial assistance generally takes the form of varying amounts of tuition scholarships.

The cost of housing, food, and other living expenses vary significantly from city to city in the United States. When picking the right program, it is important to understand costs outside of tuition. Choosing to live in the Research Triangle region of North Carolina will often be more economical relative to cities such as New York, Chicago, or Los Angeles. Durham is well known for its vibrant cultural, culinary, and art scene, while North Carolina is famous for its stunning natural beauty, from Blue Ridge mountains in the western part of the state to the entire coastline of beaches in the eastern part.

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