Since 1985, Duke Law has offered select JD students the opportunity to pursue a dual degree in international and comparative law. The JD/LLM prepares students for the increasingly global practice of law by combining a rigorous legal curriculum with opportunities to work and study abroad, develop foreign language fluency, and network with Duke's vibrant international LLM student and alumni community.
Students who start at Duke Law on or after Fall 2015 may apply through the Admissions Office to add the LLM degree in International & Comparative law. The JD/LLM program is designed so that students can complete both degrees in six semesters of law study and attendance at one of Duke's summer institutes in either Geneva or Hong Kong.
The degree requirements for the JD/LLM include twenty-one credit hours of coursework approved specifically for the LLM degree. Of those twenty-one credits, JD/LLM candidates must take International Law, Comparative Law, Research Methods in International, Foreign, and Comparative Law, a signature JD/LLM seminar, and coursework or an independent study for which a significant piece of writing is required. Candidates must maintain a minimum grade point average of 2.5 in these courses and must also show competency in at least one foreign language.
JD/LLM students have the opportunity to earn six credits toward their degrees through advanced coursework taken in other schools or divisions at Duke. Some students, for example, choose to study an advanced foreign language through the university. These six credits are in addition to the three credits of non-law coursework a student can count toward the JD.
To apply for the JD/LLM program, candidates should contact the Office of Admissions no later than the last day of classes in the 1L fall semester.
Following the first full year of law school, JD/LLM students attend one of Duke's Institutes in Transnational Law, either in Geneva or Hong Kong. Duke faculty and guest faculty from around the world live in residential quarters with students and teach small, rigorous courses in areas such as emerging markets, terrorism and humanitarian law, comparative constitutional law, and international business law. During the other six weeks of the summer, JD/LLM students work overseas for a law firm, nonprofit organization, research institute, or business.
Learn more about the summer institutes
Candidates for the JD/LLM in International and Comparative Law do not need to apply separately to any school or program at Duke other than the Law School. Complete the regular JD application, but indicate that you wish to be considered for the dual degree. You may apply to only one dual degree program.
Application Review Process
JD/LLM applications are reviewed through the regular Law School process. Although there are no specific prerequisites or admission requirements, the admissions committee pays particular attention to applicants with prior international experience and foreign language study. In rare instances where the applicant is a strong candidate for the JD program but lacks international experience, the admissions committee may offer admission to the JD only.
Additional Application Materials
JD/LLM candidates are not required to submit a statement of purpose for the LLM; however, we encourage applicants to address their interest in international and comparative law, either in their personal statement or include the JD/LLM Addendum attachment.
The LSAT is required for all Law School dual degree applicants. No additional testing is required for the JD/LLM.