Tuition & Financial Aid

Financial Aid For JD students

A degree from Duke Law is an investment with many benefits - career options, earning potential, leadership development, and the chance to join an active and extensive alumni network.  However, we realize that most applicants cannot fund a legal education on their own.  For that reason, Duke Law offers a comprehensive financial aid program that seeks to make a high-quality, innovative legal education a possibility for accepted students.

In conjunction with scholarships, federal loans, and our generous Loan Repayment Program (LRAP), the Research Triangle's low cost of living make it possible to minimize the cost of your legal education.  This is important to consider when comparing law schools.  While others may also offer aid, few can offer the combination of scholarship funding and low costs available at Duke Law.

Scholarships

Duke University School of Law devotes significant resources to scholarship funding in order to support applicants who demonstrate exceptional merit as well as financial need.  These awards help to offset the cost of your legal education while making a wide array of legal jobs possible.

The extraordinary generosity of our alumni allows us to offer scholarships to approximately 75% of our students.  Most scholarships are based on a combination of merit and financial need.  In addition, some scholarships are offered based on merit alone, including our full-tuition Mordecai Scholarship.  
 
All scholarships are awarded for three years.  The requirements for retaining the scholarship are simple and straightforward, allowing students to concentrate on their studies instead of next year's tuition bill.  There is no GPA requirement, other than ensuring one remains in good academic standing.

Loans

Most students will need additional funding to finance their legal education.  This funding is most often obtained through educational loans, which are offered by both the federal government and private lenders. Applicants who have good credit and are U.S. citizens or permanent residents will be able to fully finance the cost of a legal education.  Students who borrow through the federal program can make use of programs such as Income-Based Repayment (IBR), the federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program, and Duke’s Loan Repayment Assistance Program (LRAP).  Additional information about loan options can be found here.

Loan Repayment Assistance Program

Duke Law has a long-standing tradition of supporting our students and graduates who commit to public service careers.  To that end, Duke Law offers a generous Loan Repayment Assistance Program (LRAP) to students who engage in qualified public interest legal careers.  This program greatly reduces the degree to which financing the cost of a legal education limits career options and opens the door to public service careers by providing a path for total loan forgiveness.

Under the plan, graduates who earn $60,000 or less could have all loan payments covered by LRAP during the entire 10-year period necessary to qualify for the federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program, which forgives remaining loan debt after 10 years in a qualifying public service position. This means that a participant whose salary remains under $60,000 for 10 years could achieve total loan forgiveness with zero out-of-pocket cost.  Graduates making between $60,000 and $75,000 are also invited to participate in LRAP, and receive generous assistance on a sliding scale.
 

Financial Aid For Dual Degree Students

Students pursuing dual degrees with other departments at Duke may also be eligible for financial aid. Those enrolled in summer-starting programs are eligible only for financial aid through the Law School. Scholarships and loans are available for the summer term.

Students pursuing dual professional degrees through the Law School and another professional school (Fuqua School of Business, Nicholas School of the Environment, etc.) may qualify for financial aid from the other school during the terms in which they are not enrolled at the Law School. During terms in which they are enrolled at the Law School only or are taking classes at both schools, all financial aid will be administered through the Law School Office of Financial Aid. For more information, contact the Law School Financial Aid Office.

Financial Aid for LLM Students

LLM for International Law Graduates

Duke Law School has limited financial assistance to offer international students. A small amount of scholarship assistance based on merit is awarded to outstanding applicants. Very qualified applicants should submit with the application a letter requesting scholarship consideration and explaining the basis for merit consideration.

For additional information on financial assistance for international students, visit International Programs.

Law and Entrepreneurship LLM Students

U.S. citizens and permanent residents are eligible to apply for federal loans. Most students who are eligible for federal student loans will be able to borrow an amount sufficient to cover the cost of attendance, including tuition and living expenses, but the type of federal loan available will depend on the borrowing history of the applicant. For more information and a loan application, see the Duke Student Loan Office's website.

Limited scholarship assistance may be available to some applicants; students will be invited to complete a scholarship application upon admission to the program.

For more information, please contact our financial aid office at financial_aid@law.duke.edu.

student with advisor

Mordecai Scholars

A select group of outstanding entering JD students are chosen each year as Mordecai Scholars – students who receive full tuition financial assistance through the Law School’s high-merit scholarship program.

Learn more