Law Firm and Corporate Giving

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Duke Law School's Alumni & Development Office coordinates the efforts of our faculty, staff and student organizations when seeking law firm sponsorships through our Blueprint Benefactors Program.  

Each of the featured events and programs provide opportunities for students to build relationships, engage intellectually, and practice professionalism. These goals, among others, are highlighted in the Duke Law Blueprint to LEAD – a powerful set of principles for leadership growth that is integrated into every aspect of our community.

The Blueprint Benefactors Program offers Law Firms access to our sponsorship opportunities and provides the Law School the opportunity to consistently and visibly thank sponsors. Law firms participating in the program receive institutional and event recognition, and meaningful interaction with our students, which raises firm profiles and deepens their engagement with the Duke Law community.

For more information about Duke Law sponsorship opportunities contact Kate Shivar, Assistant Director of Annual Giving, Young Alumni, by email or phone 919-613-7010.

Sponsorships provided firms directly support all or a portion of the event(s). Should there be money left over from your contribution at the end of the fiscal year, the extra funds will be used to generally support the students at Duke Law School.

Sponsorship Opportunities

Asian Pacific American Law Students Association

Sponsored by: 

APALSA is one of Duke Law’s most active organizations. APALSA has over 100 students participating in various professional development and community building programs throughout the year.  This year, they have many events planned, including but not limited to:

• Mentor & Mentee Kickoff & Chuseok Festival Dinner
• APALSA Conferences at University of Pennsylvania Law School and Harvard Law School
• Big Law in a Bite Panels (for New York, DC, and CA markets)
• Annual Legacy Gala
• 3L Sendoff Dinner

Multiple sponsorships are needed to support APALSA for the 2019-2020 academic year.  Sponsor levels are Gold ($2,000), Silver ($1,500), and Bronze ($1,000).  If you have any questions, visit our website:

Black Law Students Association

Sponsored by:

Paving Pathways Program - As part of the BLSA Professional Development Leadership Program, eight distinguished BLSA graduates have committed to coming to Duke twice a year to meet with BLSA students in an informal setting designed to foster organic, meaningful cross-generational relationships that students and graduates will grow between and after meetings. The hope is for students to get to know personally over a sustained period of time a core group of our BLSA graduates who are committed to supporting students’ professional development. Each set of BLSA student leaders will collaborate with the graduate members to lead the Program and to make it self-perpetuating. The event will feature programming relevant to law students at all stages of law school.

Blueprint for Professional Success

Sponsored by: 

Join the Career Center and law firms from around the country for this interactive and educational night with Duke Law School's Class of 2022 as they look ahead to their 1L summer work and interviewing for their 2L summer. During the three hour evening educational and networking event, you'll have the chance to provide informal advice to students in multiple settings while establishing personal relationships for the future. Students will also have the opportunity to learn about your organization as they start planning for interviewing as a 2L. Multiple sponsorships up to $2,500 are needed.  Please contact Erin Biggerstaff at erin.biggerstaff@law.duke.edufor further details.

Duke Law Journal

Sponsored by: 

1.) The Duke Law Journal (DLJ) seeks sponsorships to assist with its editing and programming responsibilities.

The Duke Law Journal will publish its sixty-eighth volume in 2019-2020. In addition to publishing eight issues consisting of both student notes and articles and essays by new and established professors, the DLJ has several exciting programs and activities planned for the school year. Sponsorships will support the following programs and activities: Note Writing Panels and Workshops for 2Ls; DLJ Editorial Meetings; New Editing Manuals, Style Guides, and Grammar References for the DLJ Office; Author Presentations; Lunchtime Student Presentations; and DLJ’s Spring End-of-Volume Dinner.

Sponsorship Opportunities:

$3,000 – Sponsorship and recognition at three individual events

$3,000 - Sponsorship and recognition at the Alumni Gathering event

Duke Law Texas Club

Sponsored by:

The group intends to serve as an additional channel to connect 1Ls considering beginning their legal careers in Texas and the firms that recruit here at Duke. We hope to increase 1Ls’ exposure to the Texas legal market and explain why it is a fantastic place to live and practice law. Additionally, the group will provide a social and professional network within the Duke Law School community for Texans and future Texans.

Proposed events and programs include,

but are not limited to:

1. Texas Lawyer Roundup – An event dedicated to connecting Texas firms with students interested in learning more about the Texas market. The half day event will feature panels, lunch and a cocktail hour.

2. Duke Law in Texas Guide – Booklet containing general information on each of the sponsoring firms, contact information for the firm’s Duke alumni, and firm recruiting contact info.

3. Lunch Panels – The club will sponsor monthly lunch panels featuring Texas attorneys on topics such as “Why Texas?” and “A Deep Dive into Energy Law.”

4. Club Bonding Activities – Enabling students to socialize with peers heading to the same market. Possible events include a dinner and a 3L send-off before graduation.

Sponsor levels are Silver Spur ($1,000) and Maverick ($500) 

The Duke Law Variety Show

Sponsored by: 

One of the best-known law student-produced theatre productions in the nation, The Duke Law Variety Show is an annual event based loosely on the exploits of one of Duke Law’s most (in)famous alumni—Richard Nixon. Featured in The New York Times and local papers, it has received rave reviews and become a vital and beloved tradition to the student body. Eagerly anticipated by students and faculty alike, it never fails to fill the performance venue to capacity, usually selling out days in advance. With attendance at this year’s event anticipated to reach over 400 students and faculty, sponsorship of can provide your firm significant exposure with the Duke Law student body and make the continuation of this great tradition possible.  Sponsor levels are Gerald Ford ($3,000), Gold ($1,500), Silver ($750), and Pardoned (any contribution).  

ESQ Career Symposium: Organized by the Business Law Society

Lead Sponsors: 

Additional sponsorships by: 

ESQ is an annual event at which Duke Law students meet alumni to discuss career opportunities in business and transactional law. This event is the largest annual conference at Duke Law and is focused on bringing together students and distinguished alumni to discuss a broad range of career-related topics. For many first year students, this event will serve as their initial exposure to the variety of firms in the legal marketplace. This event also provides firms with an opportunity to introduce themselves and their representatives to students. Alumni speak on panels organized by themes relevant to student interests (for example: business litigation; mergers & acquisitions, fund formation). Afterwards, the alumni network with students.  Last year, over 200 students and 60 alumni participated. Multiple sponsorships are needed for this event that will take place January 31st and February 1st 2020.

Health Law Society

Sponsored by:

Interested in working in one of the fastest growing and most radically changing industries? Join attorneys for a panel discussion on the various career avenues available to those interested in the healthcare and life sciences industries. Sponsorshp of $250 is needed for this event.

Sports & Entertainment Law Society: Tenth Annual Symposium

Sponsored by: 

Now in its 10th year, the Duke Sports and Entertainment Law Symposium has become one of the most recognized student-run sports and entertainment events annually. As the Sports and Entertainment Law Society’s marquee event of the year, this day-long symposium is focused on bringing together students, faculty, the local community, and industry professionals to discuss and debate current topics in sports and entertainment. Panelists in prior years have included sports law academics such as Marc Edelman, Gabe Feldman, and Paul Haagen, sports and entertainment financial planners such as Robert Raiola, as well as representatives from NASCAR, the Atlanta Hawks, AOL, Sony Music, Netflix, and MTV. A sponsorship of $2,000 is needed for this event.

Transactional Law Competition

Sponsored by: 

The Transactional Law Competition Board will be hosting the seventh annual Duke Transactional Law Competition on January 11, 2020 at Duke Law School. Designed to be the transactional equivalent to Moot Court and Mock Trial, the competition gives students hands-on experience with drafting for and negotiating a deal. Competitors will be asked to help a hypothetical merger target or its potential acquirer to prepare an agreement, mark up the opposing side's proposal, and then negotiate its terms with the other side. In the past, the competition’s judges (typically corporate attorneys) have come from large firms in New York, Washington DC, and the Charlotte, NC area. The competition will be followed by a brief awards ceremony and a reception with refreshments where participants can network with the attorney-judges.

The Transactional Law Competition Board will also host the Interscholastic Transactional Law Competition on February 22, 2020 at Duke Law School.  The format will be similar to the intramural competition on January 12, with students from several law schools in the southeast competing, and attorneys attending to serve as judges of the competition.  There will be a reception following the competition.

Sponsorship for both events is $4,000.  The sponsorship will include the opportunity for the sponsoring firm/company to send three judges to the intramural and two judges for the interscholastic. Sponsorship for intramural only is $1,000 and allows opportunity to send one judge.

Womxn Of Color Collective

Sponsored by:

The Womxn of Color Collective (WOCC) is a newly chartered group to support women and trans people of color at Duke Law. Our mission is to promote the advancement and retention of womxn of color in the legal profession by facilitating conversations about race, gender, and the law and establishing a mentorship network with Duke Law alumnae. We currently have 30 members and plan on recruiting an additional 20 1L students at the beginning of the year.

This year we have many events planned, including but not limited to:

  • Mentor & Mentee Kickoff Dinner
  • Duke Law Women of Color Alumane Dinner
  • Professional Development Talk on Networking & Self-Promotion
  • Fall & Spring Lecture on Race, Gender, & Law
  • Social Events - Duke Women’s Basketball Game & Movie Night
  • Service Project

Multiple sponsorships are needed to support WOCC for the 2019-2020 academic year.  Sponsor levels are Gold ($1,000), Silver ($750), and Bronze ($500).  

Women Law Students Association 

Sponsored by: 

WLSA is Duke Law's largest organization. WLSA is an essential resource and community for female-identifying students. Each year, over 400 students participate in WLSA's professional development and community building programs. 

This year is exceptional, because the incoming Class of 2022 is an unprecedented 59% women! We hope you are interested in celebrating this milestone. 

Multiple sponsorships are needed to support WLSA for the 2019-2020 academic year.  Sponsor levels are Gold ($2,000), Silver ($1,500), and Bronze ($750).  This year, we have many events planned, including: 

  • Kickoff Picnic 
  • Coffee & Conversation series with scholars, faculty, and practitioners
  • Law Women Nationwide Conference 
  • Diversity Training for Duke Law's student groups 
  • Lunch panel talks, including topics like:
    • Court of Arbitration for Sport ruling on Caster Semenya 
    • Debate dynamics between men and women 
  • Open House at Duke Law for young women in the Durham community 
  • Spring Professional Development series. For reference, last year's events were: 
  • Bridging the Gender Gap Panel 
  • Communication Panel and Workshop 
  • Women in Leadership Panel 
  • Women for Women Panel 
  • Golf for Professional Success clinic 
  • International Women's Day Breakfast 
  • End-of-Year Celebration 
  • WLSA Executive Board Transition Dinner 
  • Social and celebratory events, including: 


Sponsorships Secured

Black Law Students Association

Sponsored by: Baker Botts L.L.P

1.) The Black Law Students Association (BLSA) are hosting their annual Welcome Reception at The Pit in Durham for all new BLSA students.  This event is an opportunity to get to your fellow BLSA students and network with BLSA alumni.

Business Law Society

Sponsored by: Foley & Lardner LLP; K&L Gates LLP; Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP; Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP; Winston & Strawn LLP

1) Introduction to Litigation - This event will discuss the life of a litigation attorney, with lunch provided while discussing Civil Procedure.  This event will be held on Wednesday, October 16.  Multiple sponsorships of $250 are needed for this event.

2) Introduction to Corporate and Transactional Law - We will discuss the life of a corporate attorney - learn just what it means to work on mergers & acquisitions, private equity deals, and transactional law generally. Our lunch event on October 23 will feature a panel of transactional attorneys excited to share their experiences in corporate law.  Multiple sponsorships of $250 are needed for this event.

3) Introduction to Private Equity - Curious about private equity? On October 28, the Business Law Society are excited to host top dealmakers, Partners Kyle Krpata (Silicon Valley), Ramona Nee (Boston) and Chris Machera '05 (New York) from Weil Gotshal who are here to give us a crash course in everything from fund formation to dealmaking. 

Dedicated to Durham

Sponsored by: King & Spalding

"Dedicated to Durham," a project encouraging students, faculty, and staff to volunteer to work with local non-profit organizations, begins as part of the dedication events for the law School addition; designed to strengthen ties with the Durham community, it becomes an ongoing law school service program.  


Sponsored by: Glenn Sarno '92, Caroline B. Gottschalk '90, Mario A. Ponce '88, Linton Mann III '07, and Brian Rosenzweig L’08 of Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP.

LEAD Week is a week-long orientation for 210 JDs and 100 LLM students to Duke Law School. The programming each day is designed to highlight a different principle of the Duke Law Blueprint. For example, in the beginning of the week, we host a student-alumni professionalism luncheon (Practice Professionalism), and mid-week, we collaborate with the Duke Bar Association to coordinate an all-school community service event throughout Durham (Serve the Community). Support of LEAD Week links the sponsor to Duke Law's core values and provides the sponsor with exposure to all incoming students, upper-class student leaders and many alumni of Duke Law School. 

OutLaw: Lavender Law Conference

Sponsored by: Baker McKenzie; McGuireWoods; Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP; 

Lavender Law is the only annual event that is specifically catered toward the professional concerns of LGBT law students. The three-day event is held in Washington, DC this year and OutLaw needs sponsors to help cover the cost of four nights of hotels, registration, and airfare. This is a truly unique experience for a students to engage with future employers, attend events that specifically affect LGBT attorneys, and gain exposure to cutting-edge areas of practice that are developing in areas of family law and policies impacting transgendered communities. Sponsorship will help cover the costs of attendance for members of OutLaw, one of the fastest growing student groups at Duke Law.

Benefits of Becoming a Blueprint Benefactor

  • Opportunity to send representatives from your firm to select sponsored events
  • Recognition as a sponsor in printed, marketing, and online materials pertaining to event and Blueprint Benefactors program
  • Recognition on a wall dedicated to sponsors at the Law School
  • Recognition on plasma screen televisions around the Law School
  • Firm name in annual Honor Roll of Donors included in Duke Law Magazine

Sponsorship Levels:

  • Diamond Member - $25,000+
  • Platinum Member - $15,000
  • Gold Member - $10,000
  • Silver Member - $5,000
  • Bronze Member - $2,500

Student Process for Finding Firm Sponsorship

Duke Law Blueprint Benefactors provides student groups a way to effectively develop and maintain productive and lasting partnerships with law firms. We want to ensure that each firm's experience is positive and that donors understand the value of their contributions and are recognized appropriately for their support of your Duke Law event(s). In order to streamline this process, it is important that you coordinate any fundraising efforts with the Alumni and Development Office (ADO). We are here to assist you and have experience and knowledge to share.

Possible Ways to Contact firms

There are several ways to obtain firm sponsorship; however the starting point should always be an electronic inquiry through our online form or directly to Kate Shivar at

  • If your summer employer or other contact has already agreed to sponsor an event, congratulations! Please submit all sources of funding - law firm or otherwise - to ADO, so we may appropriately recognize your sponsor(s) through our correspondence and publications. Please still complete the online form or email Kate Shivar at with firm name, contact, event date, sponsorship amount.
  • If you have not yet developed a firm relationship and would like to reach out for funding, ADO can provide the resources to make your solicitation efforts more targeted and ultimately more effective. We are happy to identify interested firms and provide contacts. Though we never guarantee firm sponsorship, we do understand what firms are seeking from these partnerships and can help you showcase the aspects of your event that are most relevant to sponsors.

Blueprint Student Process

  1. Meet with ADO to discuss needs; we can direct you to events for planning assistance if needed.
  2. Before inviting speakers, get approval and, if needed, recommendations from ADO.
  3. Once budget and date are approved, draft a letter making the case for sponsorship. Why is your event important? Why should a firm sponsor it? How will their money be used? NOTE: Firm sponsorships are NOT for travel fees of speakers or honorariums.
  4. Get letter approval by ADO.
  5. Begin solicitations with approved contacts from ADO. DO NOT SOLICIT ANY FIRM WITHOUT ADO APPROVAL
  6. Let ADO know of any confirmed sponsorships, and we will provide an invoice for the firm.
  7. Include the firm on any marketing and promotional materials related to the event.
  8. THANK the firm with a letter!

Proposal Form

If you would like to be featured on the Blueprint Benefactors Menu of Sponsorship Opportunities, please submit the online proposal form. Please complete this form as soon as possible. Many firms have preferred times of year for making contributions, and we want you to have many opportunities available to you. It is never too early to start thinking about this year's or next year's event(s). Please also include as many details as possible in your online submission, including approximate date of event, organization contact, budget and agenda or program.

Once your completed proposal form is in our hands, we will work to match your needs through a personalized solicitation plan. We are available to help you prepare individual proposals as well as to answer any questions you may have. Again, unfortunately, we cannot guarantee funding at this time. Please contact us early and in detail. Please also make use of the Office of Student Affairs (OSA) to help identify alternate or additional funding sources.

If your event does not have funding one month prior to your event, we may remove the event from the menu and contact your organization to make other arrangements.