International students are well-integrated into student life at Duke, beginning with a week-long orientation to the Law School and the University. LLM students are represented in organizations such as the Duke Bar Association and the executive board of the International Law Society. Additionally, each year as many as five LLM students are selected to serve on the editorial staff of the Duke Journal of Comparative and International Law. International students may also join any of the School's more than 30 student organizations.
LLM students often form their own sports teams and compete in intramural sports. Some prefer to seek membership in Law School or University organized teams, and most LLM students attend as many Blue Devil basketball games as possible. Students also enjoy the Durham Bulls baseball games, outdoor activities such as hiking or canoeing at the Eno River State Park, the excellent golf course adjacent to the campus, the Broadway at Duke plays, the large number of classical and other concerts, and the abundance of a variety of reasonably priced restaurants. Duke's location, between the ocean and the mountains, makes it an ideal university at which to study and to explore a beautiful area of America.
Duke University's International House is also available year-round to offer a variety of services to all international students.
The LLM program at Duke Law School is designed to introduce international 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. Most LLM students at Duke are professionals with two or more years of experience at well-known law firms. They are also judges, prosecutors, academics, members of government ministries, corporations, or financial institutions. The LLM program usually includes a small number of talented, very recent law graduates as well. Effective as of 2005, graduates of LLM class may receive high honors and honors for academic performance. The program of study is normally completed in one academic year, which begins for all new students in late August.
The SJD program provides an exceptional study environment for students who wish to pursue an academic career in law. 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). Duke graduates hold academic positions in Australia, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Israel, Mexico, New Zealand and Taiwan.
The SJD program normally takes a minimum of two to three years. It involves one to two semesters of course work as recommended by the faculty supervisor, oral and written examinations that precede formal admission to candidacy, submission of a research proposal, and completion and defense of a dissertation.