Message from the Dean

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At Duke Law School, we like to follow a set of values that we believe set us apart from other law schools, values that we have come to call “The Duke Way.”

Dean Kerry Abrams
Dean Kerry Abrams

The Duke Way is a combination of intellectual engagement at the highest level, extraordinary collaboration and collegiality, and a commitment to serving the common good. We take scholarship, service, professionalism, and teaching seriously, but we try not to take ourselves too seriously.

For our faculty, The Duke Way is a culture that values knowledge in the service of society. Our professors routinely tackle complex, real-world problems in their research and teaching. Our clinical faculty use their knowledge and skills in partnership with our students to serve the community by helping clients who otherwise might not have access to legal services.

For our students, The Duke Way is a commitment to leadership in and out of the classroom, and a call to embody the principles of the Duke Law Blueprint to LEAD. For example, a student in our Civil Justice Clinic used an applied research project to help Durham start an Eviction Diversion program that now serves as a model for addressing the housing crisis facing low-income tenants across the region. Through their commitment to service, Duke Law students not only give back, but develop the skills needed to lead the broader effort to realize the promise of equal justice for all.

For our alumni, The Duke Way is about innovation, professional excellence, and using their education and experience to make the world a better place. It is also about sharing their experience with the students who follow in their footsteps. Duke Law graduates live and work in every state of the United States and in over 40 countries around the world, yet their loyalty and constant engagement with the Law School make this global community feel small and intimate.

In short, those who choose to follow The Duke Way value intellectual curiosity, foster a strong and supportive community, and are committed to the common good. I hope you enjoy your visit to our web site, and I invite you to visit our school to learn more about this extraordinary international family of lawyers.


Kerry Abrams
James B. Duke and Benjamin N. Duke Dean of the School of Law and Professor of Law