Juris Doctor Program
The three-year Juris Doctor degree is the first professional degree in law in the U.S. 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.
Global Leaders Scholarship applicants to Duke Law School’s JD program must have completed a bachelor’s degree (or the equivalent) by the time they begin their JD studies, although the degree may still be in progress at the time the application is submitted.
Global Leaders Scholarship JD Application Checklist:
- Create an LSAC account.
- Download, complete and send the Global Leaders Scholarship form to Duke Law School at least two weeks prior to submission of the full application.
- Register to take the LSAT in December.
- Register to take the TOEFL.
- Send LSAC your transcripts and letters of recommendation.
- Submit your nomination letter for the Global Leader Scholarship Program. You must submit either a letter of nomination from one of the eligible institutions OR a letter of self-nomination. Use the “miscellaneous addendum” attachment in the LSAC process.
- Complete the Duke Law application.
Interviews: Applicants who are selected as finalists will be scheduled for an interview with the Selection Committee in Beijing in February or March 2013. Finalists also will be required to write an additional essay prior to their interview.
Student Visa: Please note that recipients of the Global Leaders Scholarship must provide financial documents certifying that they have access to funds sufficient to cover the cost of attendance beyond tuition.
JD Program: How to Apply
The Law School Admission Council (LSAC) coordinates many aspects of applying to U.S. law schools for a JD. Your first step should be to create an online account with LSAC.
Create an LSAC account (Click on “Sign up now”)
Complete this form, indicating which degree(s) at Duke you plan to apply for. Fax the form to 919-613-7257, or send a scanned copy in .pdf format by e-mail to email@example.com. You must submit this form at least two weeks before submitting your application to Duke Law School.
Applicants to Duke Law School must take the LSAT (Law School Admission Test), an exam that is administered several times a year by the LSAC. In China, the LSAT may be taken at test centers in Beijing, Guangzhou, Kowloon, and Shanghai. The LSAC fee to take the LSAT is US $160.
In order to apply for 2013 enrollment and consideration for the Global Leaders Scholarship, you must take the LSAT no later than December 2, 2012. The deadline to register for the December LSAT in China is November 2, 2012. You will be notified of your score by e-mail by January 4, 2013, and LSAC will transmit your score directly to Duke Law School.
International applicants must take the TOEFL if your first language is not English AND English is not the language of instruction at your undergraduate institution. Contact the Education Testing Service (ETS) and request that your TOEFL score be sent to LSAC. LSAC's TOEFL code is 8395. Your score will be included in the Foreign Credential Evaluation document that LSAC will send to Duke after you apply for admission. Because it may take several weeks for score results to reach Duke, please plan to take the test no later than six weeks prior to the application deadline.
As part of your application, LSAC will send Duke (and other law schools to which you may apply) your LSAT score, transcripts, and letters of recommendation. The LSAC fee for this service (known as the Credential Assembly Service, or CAS) is US $155.
CAS information for internationally educated JD applicants
Transcripts of applicants who attended institutions outside the United States and Canada will be authenticated and evaluated by the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers. Applicants from China must submit:
- Official degree certificates (zhuanke, bachelor's, master's, etc.) and graduation diplomas in Chinese for all programs undertaken along with a complete and literal English translation
- Official college or university academic record (transcript) in Chinese showing all courses and grades for all years of study along with a complete and literal English translation. The academic record must be issued by the institution's central administrative office responsible for preparing and verifying official student records. Documents issued by an individual academic department or by a notary public are not considered official.
Letters of Recommendation
You must submit at least two letters of recommendation, preferably from professors or other instructors who can provide a detailed assessment of your academic abilities and potential. You may also wish to submit an additional letter of recommendation from another source such as an employer or internship supervisor. When you have selected your recommenders, enter their names and contact information in your LSAC account, and print a recommender form for each one. The recommender should send their letter directly to LSAC along with the recommender form. It may take up to two weeks to process letters of recommendation.
Please note: Two letters of recommendation are required. You may also submit evaluations through LSAC but these may not substitute for the required two letters of recommendation.
All candidates for the Global Leaders Scholarship must submit a letter nominating them for the scholarship as part of their application to Duke Law School. When you submit your application through LSAC (see below), use the “Miscellaneous Addendum” attachment.
School-nominated: If you are a nominated candidate from one of the participating schools (Tsinghua University School of Law, Peking University School of Law, Renmin University School of Law, China University of Political Science and Law, Jilin University School of Law, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Law, East China University of Political Science and Law, Xiamen University Law School and Wuhan University School of Law), your school should prepare a letter designating you as a nominee for the Global Leaders Scholarship.
Self-nominated: Any Chinese student or graduate of an institution of higher education who meets the high standards required of a scholarship recipient may also apply through a self-nomination process. If you are a self-nominee, you should prepare a statement outlining why you are interested in Duke Law School and why you think you would be a good candidate for the Global Leaders Scholarship.
You will complete the application for Duke’s JD program through your LSAC account. Add Duke University School of Law to your school list and select the Fall 2013 JD application. Detailed instructions for completing the application form are available on the LSAC website and on the Duke Law website. Applicants to the JD program who are also applying for the Global Leaders Scholarship will have their $70 application fee waived automatically when their materials are submitted through LSAC.
The following materials are required for all JD applications:
- JD Application for Admission, submitted electronically from your LSAC.org account. The application must be signed electronically.
- Resume (use the electronic attachment)
- Personal statement and optional essays (use the electronic attachment)
- Two letters of recommendation submitted electronically through LSAC
- Nomination letter (see above, use the “Miscellaneous Addendum” attachment)
- LSAC CAS Report (the LSAC fee for submitting the CAS Report to Duke is US$ 21)
- TOEFL (for international applicants only, if applicable)
In order to be considered for the Global Leaders Scholarship, your application must be completed by January 18, 2013. Please note that LSAC’s processing of transcripts and letters of recommendation may take several weeks, so these materials must be submitted well in advance of January 18.
Applicants who are selected as finalists for the scholarship will be required to participate in an interview with the Global Leaders Scholarship Selection Committee. If you are selected for an interview, you will be contacted in late February or early March. Finalists also will be required to write an additional essay prior to their interview.
Student Visa Information
If you are admitted to Duke Law School and are not a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, you will receive information about applying for a Duke-sponsored F-1 visa when you submit your tuition deposit and admission acceptance form. You will be required to submit copies of your passport, previous visa documents, and proof of financial support. Please note that recipients of the Global Leaders Scholarship must provide financial documents certifying that they have access to funds sufficient to cover the cost of attendance beyond tuition. (For the 2012-2013 academic year, that amount is US$ 21,872, though it may increase from year to year.)