The three-year Juris Doctor degree is the first professional degree in law. The first-year curriculum provides a firm grounding in the core subjects of the study of law along with rigorous training in legal analysis, reasoning, and writing. In the second and third years, students explore more specialized areas of study and practice and are able to conduct their own independent study projects.
Dual Degree Programs
Nearly 20 percent of students at Duke pursue a dual degree -- that's more than any other top law school in the country. Students who choose these routes embody the Duke Law spirit: They're driven, they're curious, and they want a challenge. By taking advantage of our commitment to interdisciplinary education, dual degree students enhance their academic experience, and their post-Duke experience, in every way possible.
Read more about the following dual degree programs:
LLM for International Law Graduates
The LLM program for international law graduates at Duke Law School is designed to introduce foreign-trained law graduates to the legal system of the United States and to provide them the opportunity to take advanced courses in specialized areas of the law. LLM students join American students in nearly all classes. The program of study is normally completed in one academic year, which begins for all new students in late August.
Law and Entrepreneurship LLM
The Law and Entrepreneurship LLM is an intensive year-long program that provides a rigorous academic and experiential foundation for lawyers who plan to be involved with innovative business, either as advisers, or as is increasingly common, as CEOs or other executives. Admission is limited to applicants who hold a JD or an LLM from an American law school.
Master of Laws in Judicial Studies
Through Duke’s Master’s Program in Judicial Studies, judges learn the analytical skills and research approaches necessary for studying judicial institutions and apply those skills to studies of domestic and international judicial institutions, common and emerging legal issues, general judicial practices, and judicial reform efforts. The program is open to state, federal, and international judges.
The SJD is a doctorate program for students with outstanding academic credentials who intend to pursue an academic career in law. The completion of the degree requires a minimum of two-to-three years and normally will involve at least one semester of courses in addition to those taken for the LLM degree.