Student Organizations

The clubs and organizations at Duke Law run the gamut, from the Innocence Project to the Off the Record A Capella Group to the Intellectual Property and Cyberlaw Society. If your particular interests aren’t represented by the many groups listed below, you are welcome and encouraged to start your own. Contact Sarah Battersby, Student Affairs Coordinator, if you are interested in starting a new organization.

The Duke Bar Association (DBA) coordinates the professional, social, and other extracurricular activities of the student body. The DBA serves as both a student government and a professional bar association. It addresses student grievances and serves as a liaison between students, faculty, and the administration. The DBA oversees all of the law school student organizations, publicizes Law School activities, sponsors athletic and social programs, and disburses its dues funds among the school's organizations. Please visit the DBA link below for more details.

 

In addition to all of these, there are many Duke-wide organizations that welcome Duke Law students, including the Graduate and Professional Student Council (GPSC), Duke Chorale, the Graduate and Professional Women's Network (GPWN), the Graduate Student Dance Club, and Triangle Girls.

American Bar Association's Law Student Division

The ABA/LSD allows law students contact with the nation's largest professional association for lawyers, the American Bar Association. Each year the student body elects ABA/LSD representatives who serve as liaisons between students and the ABA. For a small enrollment fee, any law student may join the Law Student Division and receive product discounts, a subscription to the ABA magazine, Student Lawyer, and information about the ABA's programs and publications on specialized areas of the law. The ABA/LSD also promotes various advocacy and essay contests throughout the school year.

The ABA-LSD shall be responsible for furthering the purposes and goals of the American Bar Association (ABA), particularly to promote the full and equal participation in the profession by minorities and women; to represent law students in the ABA and to represent the ABA to law students; to help shape the policies and priorities that affect legal education; and to create a deliberative forum for the exchange and expression of law student views and a voice with which to advocate those views.

Duke Law Representative

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Admiralty and Maritime Law Society

The Duke University School of Law Admiralty and Maritime Law Society is established to raise awareness and explore various aspects of admiralty and maritime law for those who intend to enter the field or have a general interest. The Admiralty and Maritime Law Society seeks to provide a series of speakers, to discuss a range of both contemporary and historical issues in maritime law, as well as to connect members with current practitioners and other in the field.

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American Civil Liberties Union

Since its founding in 1920, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has been the nation's guardian of liberty, working in our courts, legislatures, and communities to defend and preserve individual working rights and liberties guaranteed by the Constitution and the laws of the United States.

The Duke Law ACLU seeks to contribute to the academic dialogue of the Duke community by fostering intelligent and meaningful discussion of civil and individual liberties.

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American Constitution Society

The American Constitution Society for Law and Policy (ACS) is one of the nation's leading progressive legal organizations. Founded in 2001, ACS is a rapidly growing network of lawyers, law students, scholars, judges, policymakers and other concerned individuals. Our mission is to ensure that fundamental principles of human dignity, individual rights and liberties, genuine equality, and access to justice enjoy their rightful, central place in American law.

ACS aims to revitalize and transform the legal and policy debates occurring in law school classrooms, federal and state courtrooms, legislative hearing rooms and the media. Through student and lawyer chapters all across the country, and programs and projects at both the national and local level, ACS:

  • promotes a progressive vision of the Constitution, law and public policy;
  • educates lawyers, law students, decision-makers and the public about the historic basis and vitality of such a vision and its importance for the lives of real people;
  • strengthens the intellectual underpinnings for progressive law and policy in the United States; and
  • continues to build a diverse and dynamic national network.

Duke's ACS Chapter

Recently named the Student Chapter of the Week by the National ACS, the Duke Law chapter hosts exciting events on emerging and evolving constitutional issues from a progressive perspective.  Some ACS events from the previous academic year included screening a film on the implications of U.S. drug policies, hosting a panel on gun control, organizing presentations on current cases in front of the Supreme Court such as Fisher v. University of Texas (affirmative action) and Shelby County v. Holder (Section 5 of the Voter Rights Act), and hosting Robert Bauer (former White House counsel to President Obama) for a talk about the constitutional protections for practicing politics.  Additionally, ACS organizes small group lunches with Duke professors to discuss their scholarship and perspective on constitutional issues.

The National Organization

For more information about the American Constitution Society, visit the ACS homepage or the ACS Blog for current commentary on important court rulings, political developments, and other events.

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Duke Law Student Animal Legal Defense Fund Chapter

The Duke Law chapter of the Student Animal Legal Defense Fund (SALDF) is dedicated to providing a forum for education, discussion, and scholarship in the field of animal law for students at the law school. Furthermore, the SALDF is dedicated to helping Duke Law School students explore ways of incorporating the practice of animal law into their legal careers after law school.

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Asian Law Students Association

The purpose of the Asian Law Students Association is two-fold. First, it provides an organization where the members of the Law School community may explore issues and engage in activities that are of particular benefit and concern to American students of Asian descent, foreign students from Asia, and other students and alumni interested in Asia and law. Second, it can enhance the quality and accessibility of Asian law resources of Duke University. Membership is open to the entire student body.

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Alumni Outreach

The friendships that one develops and the memories that one builds throughout the years in law school should not be forgotten at graduation. The Alumni Committee actively strives to maintain a dialogue among the ALSA alumni to facilitate ongoing interaction with the law school community and to foster new friendships with current students.

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Association for Social Entrepreneurship & Innovation

The Duke Law Association for Social Entrepreneurship & Innovation (ASEI) promotes entrepreneurial legal leadership in the service of society by:

  • Supporting students interested in applying legal expertise to advance positive social change
  • Developing social entrepreneurship-related career resources and networking opportunities
  • Increasing awareness of social entrepreneurship and innovation at Duke Law
  • Collaborating with social entrepreneurship organizations throughout the Duke community
  • Facilitating opportunities for student involvement in community projects at the intersection of law and social enterprise

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Black Graduate and Professional Student Association

The Black Graduate and Professional Student Association (BGPSA) is an organization designed to represent all minority graduate and professional students on the Duke University campus. BGPSA’s primary mission is to enhance the Duke experience for our members through community service, social, and academically-based programming events. As an umbrella organization, we welcome students from the following groups: Black & Latino MBA Organization, Black Law Students Association, Black Seminarians Union, Bouchet Society, Hurston-James Society, and Student National Medical Association. Through our academic forums, luncheons, community service initiatives, social events, and recognition ceremony we hope to assist in the development of future minority leadership in the Duke community and in the world at large.

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Black Law Students Association

The Black Law Students Association ("BLSA") exists to address the unique needs and concerns of the black law students at Duke University School of Law, and to promote diversity within the Duke Law community and within the legal profession. Through consistent social interaction and programming geared largely towards scholarship, career development, and community assistance, BLSA fosters academic achievement, community involvement, and, ultimately, the development of future black leadership in the legal profession.

Duke Black Law Students Association website

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Business Law Society

The Business Law Society promotes social and academic interaction among Duke Law students interested in the various aspects of business, corporate, and financial law. The BLS sponsors social activities, speakers, and symposia that encourage cultural exchange and academic discussion, and generally provides a forum through which members may pursue their interests in developing a career in business law. Our goal is to enhance the legal education of our members and to promote an inter-disciplinary curriculum in business, corporate, and financial law that builds upon the resources of Duke University.

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Christian Legal Society

Our goal is to follow Jesus Christ at Duke Law School, learning to serve God and others as future lawyers, scholars, social servants, family members, and friends. We do so through speakers, fellowship, and outreach events. We invite you to join us for our weekly meetings as we explore what it means to be a Christian and a lawyer.

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What does the LORD require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God.
(Micah 6:8)

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Coalition Against Gendered Violence

Our mission is threefold: 1) to raise awareness in the Duke Law community about domestic violence and sexual assault; 2) to foster student advocacy on behalf of domestic violence and sexual assault survivors; and 3) to identify gaps in services available to domestic violence and sexual assault victims in the Triangle area and develop projects to fill those gaps.

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Court Jesters

The Court Jesters, Duke Law's improv comedy group, aims to create a supportive and creative community of Duke Law students wishing to develop their oratory, improvisational, and interpersonal skills in a comedic and safe setting. Trust and confidence developed through improv can allow students to try new things and grow as people and advocates.

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Duke Bar Association

The Duke Bar Association coordinates the professional, social, and other extracurricular activities of the student body. The association resembles in its composition and purpose both a university student government and a professional bar association. It addresses student grievances and serves as a liaison between students, faculty, and the administration. The association oversees all student organizations, publicizes Law School activities, sponsors athletic and social programs, and disburses its dues funds among the school's organizations.

DBA Executive Board 2014-2015

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Duke Education Law and Policy Society

The Duke Education Law and Policy Society is an interdisciplinary organization of students and faculty from Duke Law School and the Terry Sanford Institute of Public Policy. The Society promotes dialogue, research, and professional development in the area of education law and policy by (1) creating a community of individuals engaged in education issues; (2) engaging in education-oriented service activities; and (3) sponsoring symposia and lectures from local and national scholars and practitioners, research presentations, and other events for the social and academic enrichment of our members and the broader University community. The Society will address all issues dealing with education, including rural and urban education, higher education, judicial remedies, racial, ethnic, and gender equality, administration-labor relations, and the achievement gap.Officers

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Duke Environmental Law Society

Founded in 1988, ELS strives to promote student discussion and awareness of environmental issues. This is achieved by hosting individual speakers and panels to facilitate student discussions, participating in national competitions and conferences, and coordinating social and community service events. Our goals are to enhance legal education through the creation of a vital environmental law program at the Law School and to promote career opportunities in environmental law in both the public and private sectors. Membership is open to all interested students.

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Duke JD/MBA Club

The mission of the Duke JD/MBA Club is to bring together JD/MBA students to discuss topics of mutual interest, explore career options, and discuss and resolve the unique issues encountered by JD/MBA students during matriculation through the program. Specifically, the Club seeks to:

  1. Serve as an advocate and organizational voice to both the Fuqua School of Business and Duke Law School for JD/MBA's on curricular and other issues.
  2. Develop recommendations to the faculty and administrations of both schools for curriculum innovation and improvement.
  3. Work with admissions offices from both schools to recruit for and expand the dual-degree program at both schools.

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Duke Law Democrats

The Duke Law Democrats is an organization of law students interested in democratic issues. We promote progressive ideals by participating in the political process, exploring democratic issues in the legal profession, and providing a forum for political discussion.

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Federalist Society

The Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies is a group of conservatives and libertarians interested in the current state of the legal order. It is founded on the principles that the state exists to preserve freedom, that the separation of governmental powers is central to our Constitution, and that it is emphatically the province and duty of the judiciary to say what the law is, not what it should be. The Society seeks both to promote an awareness of these principles and to further their application through its activities.

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Government and Public Service Society

The GPS Society is a support group for students interested in pursuing a public interest career. We hold social events for like-minded law students, help organize the annual GPS Symposium, and schedule speakers from the public interest field to talk to students.

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Graduate and Professional Student Council (GPSC)

The Duke University GPSC advocates for students pursuing advanced degrees in all of the graduate and professional schools, serving as an umbrella organization for local student governments and student groups. GPSC programming aims to foster social cohesiveness and to promote increased interaction across departments and schools. In addition, GPSC oversees election of the Graduate and Professional Young Trustee, appointment to the BOT standing committees, and selection of representatives to many university committees. The General Assembly's bimonthly meetings are open to all. For more information about how to get involved, visit the Website http://gpsc.duke.edu or e-mail gpsc@duke.edu.

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Health Law Society

From bioethics to bioterrorism and everything in between— the Health Law Society is tackling issues at the forefront of American legal and political discourse.

The Health Law Society is an interdisciplinary organization of students and faculty with interests in exploring professional and academic aspects of health care. The Society focuses on the following general areas: curricular expansion and integration, public service and education, and professional development. HLS draws on the surrounding academic community to bring educational events to the law school, and raises awareness of diverse resources available within our membership that can build the understanding of health care law issues within the Law School.

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Hispanic Law Students Association

The goal of HLSA is to unite Hispanic law students and to provide a support network to connect students with alumni around the world. The organization was created to aid new students in making the transition into law school, and to encourage prospective Hispanic students to come to Duke. HLSA brings together a variety of individuals to discuss the issues they will face as Hispanic lawyers in the future, such as the responsibilities of a Hispanic lawyer in society, the need for positive role models in Hispanic communities, and the availability of inexpensive/free legal aid. These discussions are usually intermingled with social activities where Hispanic and other law students can experience the richness of Hispanic culture. HLSA is also very active in the university Hispanic group MI GENTE, which sponsors salsa parties and other social events. We endeavor to enhance Duke Law School's environment by sharing the richness of Hispanic culture with the school.

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For other organizations and programs highlighting Latin American culture, please see the following websites:

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Human Rights Law Society

The International Human Rights Law Society works to achieve three major objectives. First, we provide a forum for students interested in human rights to share their ideas and work together to put on events and initiatives. Second, we serve the Law School and the larger Duke community by providing information and discussion about human rights. Lastly, we work to make careers in human rights law a feasible option for more law students by developing connections with human rights organizations and building networks among Duke graduates.

Please contact either of the co-chairs for more information about ways to get involved.

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Immigrant Education Project:

The Immigrant Education Project strives to provide immigrants in the Triangle area a sense of security and control over their lives by educating immigrant teenagers and adults about their legal rights and responsibilities in accordance with immigration law, and informing them of where they can go for low-cost immigration legal help and other services.

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Innocence Project

The Duke Law Innocence Project® is a volunteer student organization that works to exonerate victims of wrongful convictions by investigating claims of actual innocence. After completing a careful review according to set criteria and guidelines, the various student teams present their conclusions to the Project leadership and faculty advisers.

The Duke Law Innocence Project looks at wrongful convictions not only on an individual case-by-case basis, but also engages in policy reforms, and outreach to the community in education.  The organization also helps its exonerees in their reintegration to society.

For more information, please email dukelawinnocenceproject@gmail.com.  Also, please follow us on Twitter @dukeinnocence and like us on Facebook.

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Intellectual Property and Cyberlaw Society

The Intellectual Property and Cyberlaw Society aims to provide Duke Law students with guidance, information, and opportunities related to all aspects of Intellectual Property and Cyberlaw.

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The International Law Society

The International Law Society promotes social and academic interaction among Duke Law students who are interested in the various aspects of public and private international law. The ILS sponsors social activities, speakers, and symposia that encourage cultural exchange and academic discussion, and generally provides a forum through which members may pursue their interests in developing a career in international law.

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J. Reuben Clark Society

We affirm the strength brought to the law by a lawyer's personal religious conviction.  We strive through public service and professional excellence to promote fairness and virtue founded upon the rule of law.

The JRCLS represents Latter-day Saint (Mormon) law students at Duke Law, but all are welcome to join with us.

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Jewish Law Students Association

JLSA is an organization of students and faculty, primarily from Duke Law School but including many other nonlaw students, who share an interest in Judaism and Judaism-related issues. JLSA offers a variety of social events, such as a Hanukkah party, wine tastings, and bagel brunches. JLSA also offers educational events, such as “lunch and learns” with local rabbis, and lectures, seminars, and religious programming, such as the Graduate Student Shabbat, Break-fast, and Passover Seder.

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Law & Economics Society

The  Duke Law and Economics Society provides a forum for Duke Law students interested in the academic field of law and economics. We aim to further the Duke Law community experience by exposing students to emerging research in the field and by fostering discussion and thought about the interesting ways in which the fields of law and economics interact.

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Law & Entrepreneurship Society

The Law & Entrepreneurship Society brings together Duke Law students hoping to start and manage their own businesses upon graduation, those aiming to provide legal advice to entrepreneurs in their future careers, and those interested in the topics of emerging growth companies and venture capital more generally.  The group sponsors speaker events and networking opportunities throughout the school year, connects current students with Duke alumni working in start-ups and venture capital, and last year pioneered a Transactional Law Competition–a mock trial type competition for aspiring transactional lawyers.

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Law & History Society:

The Law & History Society is an interdisciplinary organization that seeks to provide a forum for law students who are interested in the study of history. Throughout the year, the Society invites scholars of history to the law school with the aim of providing engaging discourse that bridges the gap between the two disciplines

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Mock Trial Board

The Mock Trial Board is a student-run organization that seeks to promote the engagement of students in mock trial competitions at both the intra- and inter-scholastic levels. In doing so, we promote the practical development of aspiring lawyers at Duke Law. The Mock Trial Board hosts the intra-scholastic Duke Law Mock Trial Tournament (Twiggs Beskind Cup), and sends teams to compete in inter-scholastic competitions such as the ATLA National Trial Advocacy Tournament, the TYLA National Trial Competition, the Georgetown National White Collar Crime Tournament, and the National Animal Law Closing Argument Competition.

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Moot Court Board

The Moot Court Board is composed of second- and third-year law students who are chosen on the basis of their performances in intramural moot court competition. The Board organizes and conducts the Law School's annual Hardt Cup and Dean's Cup intramural competitions, and selects Duke Law's representatives to the Phillip C. Jessup International Law competition. Members of the Board regularly compete in national inter-scholastic moot court competitions.

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National Security Law Society

A non-partisan organization with three chief goals:

  1. Exploring careers and opportunities in national security law;
  2. Discussing matters in the field in forums led by professional experts and by fellow students; and
  3. Promoting the involvement of Duke Law students in national security law, chiefly by facilitating summer internships and building an alumni network of graduates working in the field.

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Off the Record A Capella

Off the Record, the premier co-ed a cappella group at Duke University School of Law, strives to provide a musical outlet for talented Duke Law students, promote a cheerful school environment with entertaining performances, and embody the ideals of Duke Law beyond the school’s academic excellence.  Our members share great pride in our commitment to each other, in every harmony we create, and in the community for which we sing.

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OutLaw

OutLaw is the student group dedicated to serving the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered, Queer and Ally student community at Duke University School of Law.  Our goal is to both educate and become involved with the law school and surrounding community regarding legal and social issues relevant to LGBT/Q people, as well as to provide a fun and comfortable social network for LGBT/Q students at Duke.  We feature over 25 different programs annually, making us one of the most active groups on campus, and work with other Duke LGBT/Q student groups to increase visibility on campus.

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Public Interest Law Foundation

The Public Interest Law Foundation (PILF) is a student-run, non-profit organization whose goal is to enable students at the Duke University School of Law to pursue careers in public interest. PILF accomplishes this goal by raising funds and distributing grant money to students who have public interest jobs and who contribute a certain amount of time to PILF's fundraising efforts.

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Refugee Asylum Support Project

RASP is dedicated to helping refugees and asylum seekers with their legal efforts in the United States. In pursuit of our mission, we offer research assistance on human rights issues and prepare legal memoranda for representatives of asylum seekers. RASP also endeavors to further awareness in the Duke Law community by engaging in education and advocacy, sponsoring speakers on campus, and tracking and organizing political initiatives.

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South Asian Law Students Association

SALSA is committed to being a forum for interaction through social and cultural events relating to South Asian Americans. SALSA works closely with Duke Diya, one of the university’s largest student organizations, composed of hundreds of undergraduate and graduate students. SALSA also serves as a network and resource for its members to advance their academic and career goals. SALSA accomplishes this by offering advice and resources on classes and exams, sharing knowledge about summer positions, and providing practicing attorneys and law clerks as mentors. SALSA is open to all law students and encourages anyone interested in South Asian culture to join.

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The SJD Association

The SJD Association aims to represent the interests of the Doctor of Juridical Science (SJD) students and candidates at Duke Law School. We also welcome participation from students who are interested in pursuing careers in academia.

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Southern Justice Spring Break

Each year, Duke Law students have the opportunity to travel to a variety of communities around the nation, including New Orleans, Atlanta, Miami,and rural North Carolina, and partner with local organizations to assist in providing legal services to underserved and underrepresented individuals.

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Sports and Entertainment Law Society

The Duke Sports & Entertainment Law Society is an entirely student run organization dedicated to exploring the legal issues and career opportunities available in the area of sports and entertainment law.

By expanding access to sports and entertainment law, our goal is to give interested students the opportunity to pursue this exciting, but also extremely competitive, area of legal practice. The organization is devoted to providing students the necessary resources, guidance, and contacts that will fully prepare them to engage in contemporary legal topics and further pursue these interests in a future professional career. In pursuit of these goals, the society hosts speakers and symposia on hot topics in the field, organizes trips and social events focused on sports and entertainment, and provides academic and professional guidance to students. In addition to hosting events, SELS also partners with organizations such as the Intellectual Property Society, Fuqua's Sports and Entertainment Business Association, and the Duke Law and Technology Review to further expand the possibilities to engage in activities relevant to sports and entertainment.

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Street Law:

Duke Law School's Street Law program is part of a nationwide Street Law program through which law students provide practical, participatory education about law, democracy, and human rights by teaching secondary school students about the US Constitution and Bill of Rights. Duke has two Street Law projects: Middle School Mock Trial, and the Durham Youth Home. Through the Middle School Mock Trial project, Duke Law students work with groups of middle schoolers to help them choose and play out roles in a simulated criminal or civil trial that is held at the law school, where law students serve as "jury" and a local judge presides Through the Durham Youth Home Street Law Project, Duke law students work with kids in juvenile detention, to teach them about the criminal justice system, children's rights, the political system and democracy. Through the Street Law Mock Trial Teen Court Collaborative Duke Law students assist middle school students in preparing arguments for juvenile cases in the Durham County Teen Court system.  The goal of this program is to establish satellite courts to assist in alleviating the overcrowding of the current Durham County Teen Court system.

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Students for Sensible Drug Policy

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Student Organization for Legal Issues in the Middle East and North Africa (SOLIMENA)

The Student Organization for Legal Issues in the Middle East and North Africa (SOLIMENA) is dedicated to providing educational, research and professional development opportunities for students with an interest in the region and its peoples. We strive to stimulate dialogue and integrate discussion about the Middle East and North Africa into the law school curriculum and programming. SOLIMENA functions as a forum in which people can feel comfortable expressing all kinds of ideas and viewpoints. We promote the values of openness, tolerance, and respect. SOLIMENA aims to create a network of students, faculty and administrators devoted to analyzing the legal, political, economic and cultural complexities of the region through sustainable initiatives that will make a permanent mark on the law school community.

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Transfer Students Association

We are a student-run organization that is committed to making the integration to Duke Law an easier process for incoming transfer students. Our efforts benefits both the individual transfer student and the overall Duke Law community. Prospective transfer students benefit from the opportunity to ask current transfer students about their experience at Duke, and about transferring in general. Once they have made the decision to attend, transfer students also benefit from an immediate formal support group upon arrival which allows for quicker integration into the greater Duke Law community. The Transfer Student Association not only helps transfer students become actively involved in the Duke Law community but the Duke Law community also benefits from the assurance that high qualified transfer applicants will continue to enroll at Duke Law School. Additionally, we organize social events that are designed to help transfers and other students integrate and meet one another early in the semester.

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Veterans Disability Assistance Project

Started in 2006 by Duke Law students and veterans Jade Totman and Chris Dodrill, the Veterans Disability Assistance Project helps local veterans receive the benefits they deserve. Students undergo extensive training, meet and screen prospective clients during intake sessions, and prepare initial disabilities claims and appeals under the supervision of volunteer attorneys accredited by the Veterans' Administration. The Project also participates in community veteran events and holds fundraisers for groups that assist injured veterans. This group allows students to both hone their legal skills and help those who have served our country.

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Volunteer Income Tax Assistance

VITA’s mission is to give back to the Durham community by filing tax returns for low-income and minority taxpayers so that they may receive the largest refund available to them without undergoing the cost of using a paid preparer.

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Video Game Law Society

The Video Game Law Society is a student-run organization dedicated to exploring the emerging legal issues in the worldwide gaming industry.  We also focus on the social and competitive aspects of gaming by creating opportunities for students to connect outside of the classroom

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Women Law Students Association

The mission of the Women Law Students Association is to help women thrive in our law school and to ease the transition between the academic and the work environments. WLSA strives to create a community that will raise awareness of women's issues and move toward the betterment of women in the legal profession. We also seek to provide a forum for students to enhance their Duke University School of Law experience.

All law students, male and female, may join WLSA. Additionally, our events are open to the entire Duke community. If you would like more information about WLSA or have suggestions about how we can better achieve our goals, do not hesitate to contact any of our officers.

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