Financial Aid for JD students
A degree from Duke Law is an investment with many benefits - career options, earning potential, leadership development, and the chance to join an active and extensive alumni network. However, we realize that many applicants cannot fund a legal education on their own. For that reason, Duke Law devotes significant resources to scholarship funding in order to support applicants who demonstrate exceptional merit as well as financial need. These awards help to offset the cost of your legal education while making a wide array of legal jobs possible.
In conjunction with scholarships, federal loans, and our Loan Repayment Program (LRAP), the Research Triangle's low cost of living make it possible to minimize the cost of your legal education. This is important to consider when comparing law schools. While others may also offer aid, few can offer the combination of scholarship funding and low costs available at Duke Law.
Duke Law offers three-year scholarships to approximately 75% of applicants who demonstrate exceptional merit as well as financial need. There is no GPA requirement, other than ensuring one remains in good academic standing. In addition, some scholarships are offered based on merit alone, including our full-tuition Mordecai Scholarship.
Educational loans are offered by both the federal government and private lenders. Applicants who have good credit and are U.S. citizens or permanent residents will be able to fully finance the cost of a legal education. Students who borrow through the federal program can make use of programs such as the Income-Driven Repayment Plans, the federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program, and Duke’s Loan Repayment Assistance Program (LRAP). Additional information about loan options can be found in the Financial Aid Handbook.
Loan Repayment Assistance Program
Duke Law has a long-standing tradition of supporting students and graduates who commit to public service careers. The Loan Repayment Assistance Program (LRAP) program greatly reduces the degree to which financing the cost of a legal education limits career options and opens the door to public service careers by providing a path for total loan forgiveness.
Under the plan, graduates who earn $60,000 or less could have all loan payments covered by LRAP during the entire 10-year period necessary to qualify for the federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program, which forgives remaining loan debt after 10 years in a qualifying public service position. This means that a participant whose salary remains under $60,000 for 10 years could achieve total loan forgiveness with zero out-of-pocket cost. Graduates making between $60,000 and $75,000 are also invited to participate in LRAP, and receive generous assistance on a sliding scale.
LRAP is the sole reason I can practice public interest law. Duke Law's commitment to public service is at the back of my mind whenever I am working in a community, whether it is in Alaska, Bermuda, or California. Any good I may be able to accomplish for communities or the environment, I owe to Duke Law and the Financial Aid office!
— David Roche '13
Financial Aid for Dual Degree Students
Students pursuing dual professional degrees through the Law School and another professional school (Fuqua School of Business, Nicholas School of the Environment, etc.) may qualify for financial aid. During terms in which students are enrolled at the Law School only or are taking classes at both schools, all financial aid will be administered through the Law School. When not enrolled at the Law School, students may quality for aid at the partnering professional school. Contact the Office of Financial Aid for more information.
Financial Aid for LLM Students
LLM for International Law Graduates
Duke Law has limited financial assistance to offer international students. A small amount of scholarship assistance based on merit is awarded to outstanding applicants. For information on financial assistance for international students, visit the International Studies website.
Law and Entrepreneurship LLM Students
Most students who are eligible for federal student loans will be able to borrow an amount sufficient to cover the cost of attendance, including tuition and living expenses, but the type of federal loan available will depend on the borrowing history of the applicant. Limited scholarship assistance may be available to some applicants; students will be invited to complete a scholarship application upon admission to the program. Contact the Office of Financial Aid for more information.