Transfer Students Degree Requirements

Transfers from other law schools

International LLM transfers into the JD program

Transfers from other law schools

Students who transfer from another law school to Duke in the summer between their 1L and 2L year must earn 87 law credits to graduate.  Transfer students may count up to 32 credits (the number of credits in the Duke Law 1L curriculum) toward the Duke Law degree requirements. 

The following courses will be accepted for transfer credit:

  • Seven of the prescribed first-year law courses:
  • Transfer students who completed an upper-level course at their 1L institution may transfer the credits to Duke with the following stipulations:
    • The student may not take the equivalent course here at Duke for credit or a grade.
    • A course taken at the 1L institution may not be used to fulfill of the professional skills requirement or substantial research and writing project at Duke
    • Students who took a two-credit ethics course with attention to the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct may be permitted to transfer credit and count the course toward the ethics requirement at the discretion of the Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs
    • The upper-level course credits will be included in the 32 1L credits that the student may transfer.

Students who did not take one of the first-year doctrinal courses at their 1L institution will be enrolled in the equivalent course here at Duke during the fall or spring semester of their 2L year, depending on when the course is offered.

Students who have fewer than the maximum allotment of transfer credits may opt to enroll in LAW 101 Foundations of Law in their 2L year.

In addition to the above-mentioned courses, the 87 credits must also include the following:

  • Ethics Requirement:  a two-credit course in ethics and professional responsibility.
  • Substantial Research and Writing Project:  One faculty-supervised research paper for a minimum of two credits.  This may be fulfilled by way of a seminar or independent study.  The SRWP paper must be a solo project; group projects may not be used to fulfill the requirement.  The student's engagement in a substantial research and writing project must be registered with the Registrar's Office not later than the end of the drop/add period of the student's fifth semester.  Courses that satisfy the SRWP requirement are identified in the Course Browser by using the JD Course of Stduy drop-down menu and searching for "JD - substantial research and writing project."
  • Experiential Learning Requirement:  A minimum six credits in simulation coruses, clinics and/or externships.  Courses that satisfy the Experiential Learning Requirement are identified in the Course Browser by using the JD Course of Study  drop-down menu and searching for "experiential learning."
  • Regularly-Scheduled Courses:  A minimum 64 of the 87 credits must be earned in courses that require attendance in regularly scheduled classroom sessions or direct faculty instruction.
    • Regularly-scheduled law school courses include
      • Law School courses and seminars, including courses cross-listed at the Law School but originating in another school or department at the University.
      • Law School clinics
      • Regularly-scheduled courses completed at another ABA-accredited law school, including through the inter-institutional agreement with UNC and NCCU and transfer credits for students who completed the first year at another law school or who visited away at another law school.
      • Credits from an approved study abroad program.
    • Regularly-scheduled law school courses do NOT include
      • Independent study
      • Non-law courses
      • Externships
      • Research tutorials
      • Ad hoc seminars

All students are responsible for monitoring their compliance with the graduation requirements.

International LLM transfers into the JD program

International LLM students who are interested in transferring into the JD program must apply through Admissions. Degree requirements for international LLM students transferring into the JD program are under revision for the summer 2017 admission cycle.

Interested in taking a course outside the Law School?

The Registrar’s Office publishes a list on the Registration Portal of classes available at Fuqua, along with links and resources for other Duke courses and offerings at nearby law schools UNC and NCCU.

View courses outside Duke Law