Celebrating the Class of 2014

April 30, 2014Duke Law News

Duke Law will honor its 2014 graduates at a hooding ceremony in Cameron Indoor Stadium on May 10. In addition to students receiving the JD, LLM, and LLM in Law and Entrepreneurship (LLMLE) degrees, 14 judges in the inaugural class of the Master in Judicial Studies program will be honored.  One student will receive the SJD, the highest degree awarded by Duke Law School.

Xiqing Gao ’86, the former president and chief investment officer of China’s sovereign-wealth fund, the China Investment Corporation, will address the graduates at their hooding ceremony.  Gao, who attended the Law School as a Richard Nixon Scholar, has served as a Duke University trustee since 2008 and was recently appointed by President Richard H. Brodhead as a founding member of the Duke Kunshan University Advisory Board.  Gao has regularly taught courses at Duke Law pertaining to Chinese company and securities law.

He will be preceded by JD class speaker Ruben Henriquez, LLM class speaker Tolga Ozek, LLMLE class speaker Andrew Walton, and retired North Carolina Supreme Court Justice Patricia Timmons-Goodson, who will offer remarks on behalf of the Master in Judicial Studies graduates. Dean David F. Levi will preside over the ceremony and offer remarks, and Peter Kahn ’76, a Duke University trustee and former chair of the Law School’s Board of Visitors, will welcome the alumni community.

Visit the graduation website for a full schedule of events.

Members of the JD class of 2014 spent almost 7000 hours devoted to community service over their three years at Duke Law, with 70 percent completing 50 or more hours each. Almost 25 percent of the international LLM class also completed the pro bono pledge of 50 hours of service in their year at Duke. Students fanned out across the South and elsewhere during school breaks to offer legal services to members of underserved populations.  In the Triangle they completed federal tax returns for hundreds of low-wealth taxpayers, advocated for children, investigated claims of wrongful conviction, fixed meals for families uprooted by illness, and took on a wealth of other projects.  The joint Duke/UNC Cancer Pro Bono Project – launched by members of the Class of 2014 – has been selected as the 2014 recipient of the North Carolina Bar Association's Law Student Group Pro Bono Service Award.

In legal clinics and in externships locally, in the nation’s capital, and across the country, the graduates distinguished themselves as advocates and counselors, representing clients before tribunals and courts, including the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.  They have offered legal advice and assistance to early-stage start-ups and social ventures, facilitated access to education and health services for children and adults, worked on behalf of Guantanamo detainees, and helped the United Nations craft principles for redress for the victims of human trafficking worldwide. Three graduates have interned in the White House during their third year of law school.

They have published insightful, incisive, and well-written scholarship that has gained notice and won awards, and organized conferences, symposia, and lunchtime lectures on myriad topics. They have also brought a strong commitment to community to every endeavor, from their work on journals, to the commitment to community service, and to their softball games and Tricky Dick revues.

The jurists receiving the Master of Laws in Judicial Studies degree serve on federal, state, and foreign courts. Their hooding ceremony follows two summers of intensive study at Duke Law and the completion of a thesis. 

Duke Law’s SJD graduate, Feroz Ali Khader, will not be attending the ceremony.  Khader, the Ministry of Human Resource Development Intellectual Property Rights Chair at the Indian Institute of Technology in Madras, wrote a dissertation titled “The Access Regime: How Reorganization of Local Patent Laws can Promote Global Access to Affordable Medicines.”

Duke Law School’s hooding ceremony will get underway at 5:30 p.m.