Frequently Asked Questions

If you have a question that you don't see here, visit the Office of Student Affairs.

Academic

Should I contact the Admissions Office or Student Affairs with my questions?

Typically, any question that you have prior to matriculation, you should direct to the Office of Admissions, although we are always happy to be of assistance. Upon matriculation, you may direct any question to the Office of Student Affairs and we will either answer the question or direct you to the appropriate resource.

How do I study more effectively? Write better briefs? Practice oral arguments?

Make an appointment with Jason Belk, Assistant Dean for Student Affairs, or Anne Sherman, Assistant Dean for Academic Advising. They can give you some pointers and review your technique on a sample exam for you.

Who can help me figure out dual-degree requirements?

Make an appointment with Dean Sherman. She can help you with academic planning.

How can I take an independent study/non-law course/ad hoc seminar?

First read the Law School rules and look for the appropriate forms on our wonderful new academic/curriculum web site. If you still have questions, come visit Deans Belk or Sherman.

How do I change an exam time or date?

Pick up an Exam Rescheduling Request Form from the Registrar or the Dean's Office, or download it from the Web. Turn it in to Suze Bear in the Registrar's Office. If you have two exams at the same time or three or more exams within 36 hours, your request will be granted. If neither of these conditions are met, you may not be able to postpone an exam. To present your request, please make an appointment with Dean Belk to discuss your unusual or compelling reasons. Exams are postponed to the next non-conflicting exam slot after the originally scheduled time.

How do I request accommodations for a physical or learning disability?

Make an appointment with Dean Belk, the Law School's Disability Services Liaison. He will explain your options and discuss with you the policies and procedures implemented by the Office of Services for Students with Disabilities. For more information about requests for accommodations, see the web site for the Office of Services for Students with Disabilities.

What can I do if a family issue or medical problem interferes with my schoolwork?

Notify Dean Sherman as soon as you become aware of the problem. If you need to leave town suddenly because of a family emergency, she can act as a liaison with your professors. If you have a short-term illness that causes you to miss a deadline or exam, either can advise how to make up the work.

Does the Law School provide funding for students to attend conferences?

While the school encourages students to participate in worldwide conferences to enhance their legal knowledge, funding for such travels is limited. Students who are interested in a particular conference should first petition the DBA for funding and then speak with the Office of Student Affairs to inquire about other funding possibilities.

Extracurricular

What is the “DBA”?

The “DBA” or Duke Bar Association is the law school’s student government. The DBA and its elected officers represent the needs of the student body to the administration. They are also the governing body for all of the 40+ DBA recognized-student organizations. For example, clubs such as the Business Law Society or the Health Law Society use DBA funding and resources to host speakers, hold symposia, and sponsor social events. The DBA is responsible for looking after the needs of individual students as well as student clubs.

How do I plan an event for my group?

Everything you need to know about event planning at Duke Law School can be found on the Event Planning Website. If you have additional questions, please see Jason Belk, Assistant Dean for Student Affairs.

How can I make changes to my group's web page?

Each group should select a Webmaster along with its other officers. If you have little or no experience with web editing, please contact the Office of Student Affairs.

I have an idea for a new group. What should I do to get official status?

See Jason Belk, Assistant Dean for Student Affairs. He will give you information on the requirements for approval by the DBA.

Beyond the Classroom

Who do I tell if I have a complaint about a student, employee, or faculty member?

If you are unsure about the most appropriate contact for a complaint, you may discuss it with someone in the Office of Student Affairs.

How much am I allowed to work while I'm in law school?

First-year students are not permitted to work unless written permission is obtained from a dean or the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs in OSA. According to American Bar Association Standard 304(C), upper-class students may work a maximum of 20 hours per week.

How can I avoid getting a parking ticket?

Don't park in a lot for which you don't have a permit. For example, if you have a Chemistry permit, you shouldn't park in a Law spot. Although a generous person may let you into the gated lot, you will probably get a ticket if you park there. Know that there are steep fines for parking in handicapped or unmarked spots (such as yellow- or red-curb areas).

What can I do to get rid of a parking ticket or wheel boot?

Usually you will have to pay the fee and follow the instructions as indicated on the ticket or boot. You may download a parking ticket appeal form from Duke Traffic Enforcement. However, the Traffic Appeals Committee rarely grants appeals. If you have a pass but it wasn't properly displayed, your appeal may be granted.

What is there to do in Durham?

Lots. Check out our new site all about things to do in Durham. You can also go to the Citysearch Web site to find out about arts, recreation, movies, bars, restaurants, shopping, and lots of other fun things in the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill area.