LLM and SJD Programs
The LLM program at Duke Law School is a one-year program designed to introduce foreign 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 are able select courses from the large number of courses represented in the full Law School curriculum.
Students with outstanding academic credentials who intend to pursue an academic career are welcome to apply to the SJD program. SJD candidates must have completed the LLM degree at an accredited American law school. In exceptional cases, consideration will be given to applicants who have completed programs of study in common law countries. The SJD program normally takes a minimum of two to three years.
Global Leaders Scholarship LLM and SJD Application Checklist
The following items are required to complete your application for admission. Your file will not be evaluated until all required items have been received. You will receive an e-mail acknowledging receipt of your material; an additional e-mail will be sent if items are missing from an applicants' file. No e-mail will be sent, however, to indicate files are complete. See separate instructions if you cannot access the LSAC website and need to mail a hard copy of your application to Duke Law School.
- Create an LSAC account (Click on “Sign up now”)
- Download, complete and send the Global Leaders Scholarship form to Duke Law School at least two weeks prior to submission of the full application.
- Complete the LLM or SJD application form in LSAC.
- Submit your $70 non-refundable application processing fee.
- Submit your resume. Use the “electronic attachment” in the LSAC process.
- Submit your personal statement 2-5 pages in length. Use the “electronic attachment” in the LSAC process.
- Submit transcripts for all previously attended academic institutions.
- 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.
- Submit recommendation letters (two for LLM applications; three for SJD applications).
- Submit your TOEFL score report.
- For SJD applicants only: submit a short statement of proposed research focus, a brief (2-5 pages) research proposal describing your research interest.
- For SJD applicants only: submit a writing sample indicative of your scholarship and writing ability.
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.
The deadline for LLM and SJD applications through the Global Leaders Scholarship Program is January 18, 2013. We encourage you to submit your application and supporting material as early as possible.
How to Apply
Send the Global Leaders Scholarship form to Duke Law School. 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.
Our preferred method for submitting application material is electronically via LSAC. Create an LSAC account (click on “Sign up now”).
You must electronically certify your application.
Submit a check (in USD drawn on a U.S. bank), postal or bank money order or travelers checks (signed on both the top and bottom lines) made payable to Duke Law School in the amount of $70. If you apply electronically through LSAC, you have the option to pay by credit card. Please note that the only way to utilize a credit card to pay the application fee is by applying electronically (either with a full Credential Assembly Service Account or a Publication Account) through LSAC. We are unable to offer application fee waivers to LLM and SJD applicants.
Please submit a resume with your application. If you apply via LSAC, use the electronic attachment.
You are required to submit a 2-5 page personal statement. If you apply via LSAC, use the electronic attachment. The personal statement should provide the applicant's professional and educational experience, special areas of interest, previous overseas experience, and any other information that supports the application. Please let us know if there is a special reason for applying to Duke Law School, for example, family members living in North Carolina or a spouse or significant other with admission to a nearby school.
A minimum of two letters of recommendation should be submitted on behalf of the LLM applicant. Such letters should not be from relatives or close family friends. The letters should explain the relationship of the writer to the applicant. At least one letter should be from a faculty member well acquainted with the applicant's academic ability. SJD applicants must include at least three letters of recommendation, with at least one letter from a faculty member familiar with the applicant's LLM experience. Letters can be included in the applicant's materials or sent directly to the school. Recommendation forms are included in both the LSAC application and the application materials available for download at our site. These forms are optional as referees may submit recommendation letters directly to our office without the forms. Your signature on the recommendation form indicates you have waived your right to the material contained in the recommendation letter.
Transcripts for all previously attended academic institutions must be submitted. Applicants can either utilize the Credential Assembly Service or have them sent to the International Studies department directly from the academic institution. Transcripts may also be submitted directly by the applicant with their application materials. Please note: if you are not utilizing the Credential Assembly Service all transcripts must include an English translation and an explanation of the grading system.
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 to submit this letter.
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 student or graduate of any Chinese 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.
Register for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) as soon as possible. Because it may take several weeks for score results to reach Duke, it is advisable to take the test no later than six weeks prior to the application deadline. TOEFL scores must be less than two years old to be considered valid. Candidates who have received prior academic degrees in the United States or from an English-medium institution will be exempt from this requirement; all other applicants must submit test scores in order to complete the admissions process. Duke's TOEFL institution code is 5156 and its department code is 03. TOEFL score results for students utilizing the LSAC Credential Assembly Service will automatically be included in the Law School Report. Students admitted to graduate study normally have scores of at least 600 on the paper-based test, 250 on the computer-based test, and 100 on the Internet-based test.
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.)