Meet the JD class of 2021
First-year students talk about the diverse paths that led them to Duke Law School.
Duke Law welcomes LLM class of 2019
Students from 35 countries will learn about the U.S. legal system and specialized areas of law.
Read about the Law School’s 15th dean, an innovative scholar and teacher and a decisive leader who listens, in Duke Law Magazine.
2018 Alumni Award Winners
Michael R. Dreeben ’81
Established in 1985, the Charles S. Murphy Award honors a graduate's commitment to the common good through his or her service to the community or dedication to education. The award is named for the late Charles S. Murphy T'31, L'34, who held positions in the administrations of Presidents Truman, Kennedy, and Johnson and served on the Board of Visitors of Duke Law School and as a Duke University Trustee.
Michael R. Dreeben is a career deputy solicitor general in the U.S. Justice Department, a position he has held since 1995. During his nearly 30 years in the U.S. Department of Justice, he has argued 105 cases for the government in the U.S. Supreme Court. He’s also presented arguments in all of the regional circuits, including ten en banc courts, and has appeared in the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, the Montana Supreme Court, and the D.C. Court of Appeals. His specialty area is criminal law, where he’s argued landmark cases on technology and the Fourth Amendment, insider trading, habeas corpus law, public corruption, and the First Amendment. He was inspired to seek out a position in the Solicitor General’s office by the example of his criminal procedure professor at Duke, Sara Sun Beale.
Dreeben earned his undergraduate degree at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and a master’s in history at the University of Chicago before turning to law and graduating from Duke in 1981. He started his legal career by clerking for Judge Jerre S. Williams on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and had a brief stint in private practice before entering public service, like his sister, brother-in-law, and other family members who have served as lawyers for the government. He’s had brief experience as a prosecutor, on detail to a U.S. Attorney’s Office, and spent a rewarding semester on sabbatical at Duke Law School, teaching appellate advocacy and a constitutional litigation seminar. He is currently serving as counselor to Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller, III in the Russia investigation. His professional activities include membership in the American Law Institute and the Edward Bennett Williams Inn of Court.
Theresa A. Newman ’88
The A. Kenneth Pye Award honors a member of the Duke Law community whose work in education reflects former Dean A. Kenneth Pye’s life and ideals. Pye is remembered for his personal integrity and vigorous intellect as well as his sensitivity to the needs of individual students and the great compassion with which he assisted those who might have otherwise faltered.
Theresa Newman is a clinical professor of law, co-director of the Wrongful Convictions Clinic, associate director of the Duke Law School Center for Criminal Justice and Professional Responsibility, and faculty adviser to the student-led Innocence Project. She has been at Duke since 1990 and served as the associate dean for academic affairs from 1999-2008. Newman is a member of the board of the international Innocence Network, an affiliation of more than 65 organizations dedicated to providing pro bono legal and investigative services to individuals seeking to prove their innocence and working to redress the causes of wrongful convictions. Until several years ago, she served as Network president. She has also served as president of the North Carolina Center on Actual Innocence, a nonprofit organization she helped found, which is dedicated to assisting wrongly convicted North Carolina inmates obtain relief, and a member of the North Carolina Chief Justice's Criminal Justice Study Commission (formerly the Commission on Actual Innocence), the North Carolina Chief Justice’s Commission on Professionalism, and the North Carolina Bar Association Administration of Justice Committee.
Newman received her JD from Duke in 1988. She clerked for the late Honorable J. Dickson Phillips, Jr., on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit after graduation and then practiced in the civil litigation group of Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice in Raleigh, N.C., before returning to Duke.
James E. Coleman, Jr.
Jim Coleman is the John S. Bradway Professor of the Practice of Law, director of the Center for Criminal Justice and Professional Responsibility, and co-director of the Wrongful Convictions Clinic at Duke Law School. He is a graduate of Columbia University (JD 1974), and Harvard University (AB 1970).
A native of Charlotte, Coleman’s experience includes a judicial clerkship for the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, a year in private practice in New York, and 15 years in private practice in Washington, D.C., the last 12 as a partner at Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering. In private practice, Coleman specialized in federal court and administrative litigation; he also represented criminal defendants in capital collateral proceedings, including Ted Bundy through Bundy’s execution in 1989.
Coleman has also had a range of government experience, including two years as an assistant general counsel for the Legal Services Corporation, a stint as chief counsel for the U.S. House of Representatives' Committee on Standards of Official Conduct, and a year as deputy general counsel for the U.S. Department of Education.
Coleman joined the Duke faculty full-time in 1996, where his teaching responsibilities include criminal law, wrongful convictions, and appellate litigation. His academic work, conducted through the Center for Criminal Justice and Professional Responsibility, centers on the legal, political, and scientific causes of wrongful convictions and how they can be prevented. His administrative work for the University has included chairing the Lacrosse ad hoc Review Committee in 2006, and chairing the Athletic Council (2010-present). Coleman also periodically serves as a mediator and monitor in major employment discrimination cases. He is married to Doriane Lambelet Coleman and has three children.
Mark Alan Fishman ’78
The Charles S. Rhyne award was established in 1994 to recognize graduates whose careers exemplify the highest standards of professionalism, personal integrity, and commitment to education or community service. The award commemorates the life and career of the late Charles S. Rhyne, T'34, L'35, who championed equality, justice, and peace in his roles as a lawyer before the U.S. Supreme Court, special counsel to the President of the United States, President of the American Bar Association, a professor of government and law, and a Duke University trustee.
Mark Fishman is the executive director of Global Brands Group USA. He was formerly CEO and chairman of Fishman & Tobin, Inc., a Philadelphia-based clothing manufacturing company. Fishman & Tobin was a family owned business started in 1914 and was sold at the end of 2011 to Li and Fung. In 2014, it was spun off as part of Global Brands Group. Today, the company sells to every major retailer in the United States, including Wal-Mart, Sears, Macys, JCPenney, Amazon, and Dillard’s. Fishman came to the firm in 1978 directly after law school. He held a variety of positions and became president in 1985. He assumed the role of chairman in 2005.
Fishman has served on the board of The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) for over 30 years, the last 10 as its vice chairman. He is currently on the Foundation Board of Overseers at CHOP and is co-chairing a new billion-dollar campaign. Fishman also served on the Board of Visitors of Duke Law School for 10 years and is now a lifetime member. Fishman serves on the boards of the Brodsky Research Institute at Johns Hopkins, the Center for Leadership and Learning (CLAL) in New York, and Atidim, an Israeli charity that educates the poor. He is also a lifetime trustee at Federation of Jewish Agencies of Greater Philadelphia and current vice president of that organization.
Kathleen M. Hamm ’88
Kathleen Hamm is a board member of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, and was sworn in by the Securities and Exchange Commission on January 2, 2018. She joined the PCAOB from Promontory Financial Group, where she was the global leader of securities and fintech services and senior strategic adviser to the chief executive officer on cyber solutions. Among other matters, she helped companies develop strategies to build into their systems and operations regulatory requirements and cybersecurity. Earlier, Hamm served at the U.S. Treasury Department from 2014 to early 2017 as counselor to the deputy secretary on cybersecurity and governance, regulatory, compliance, and risk management issues facing the financial services sector.
Hamm previously led Promontory Financial Group's Securities Practice Group, providing strategic advice and practical solutions to guide global and domestic financial regulators and companies through complex regulatory, compliance, risk management, and enforcement issues during the financial crisis and its aftermath. Among her other positions, she was a director, member of the executive committee, and chair of the regulatory oversight committee of a national securities exchange, having earlier served as the chief regulatory and compliance officer for another exchange. Hamm was also an adjunct professor at the Georgetown University Law Center, teaching Corporate Controls, Compliance, and Governance. She also served for nearly a decade in the SEC Division of Enforcement where, as an assistant director, she managed and coordinated all aspects of three enforcement branches that investigated potential violations of the federal securities laws. She received a BS, summa cum laude, in business administration and concentrating in the Registered Accounting Program from the University at Buffalo, SUNY; she holds a JD, with honors, from the Duke Law School; and an LLM in securities regulation, with distinction, from the Georgetown University Law Center, graduating first in her class.
Yibing Mao ’89
The International Alumni Award recognizes and honors an international graduate of the Duke University School of Law who has exemplified the highest standards of professional excellence, personal integrity, and concern for the common welfare in his or her own profession and home country.
Yibing Mao the general counsel and senior vice president of asset management and owner relations for Marriott International. With more than 20 years of Asia Pacific hospitality industry experience, Mao brings invaluable legal and business expertise to Marriott International’s fastest growing region.
She leads a multinational legal team across Asia Pacific that supports development and lodging operations, including asset management, brand, marketing, sales, consumer services, human resources, and information technology. Her team is also responsible for overseeing the implementation of legal compliance for the Asia Pacific continent. Prior to the merger with Starwood, she assumed the dual role of heading senior vice president of asset management. Before joining Marriott, Mao was an associate of the Hong Kong office of Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy, a New York based law firm. She is a graduate of Duke Law School and Beijing University.
Libby Magee Coles ’08
The Law Alumni Association established the Young Alumni Award in 2000 to honor an individual who has graduated within the past 15 years and has made significant leadership and service contributions to Duke Law School and the legal profession.
Libby Coles serves as executive director and managing attorney for JusticeMatters, which she founded in 2009 to provide trauma-informed legal services that protect children and help survivors of human trafficking and other traumas rebuild their lives. In addition to providing direct legal services, JusticeMatters promotes just policies and practices at the systemic level through advocacy, training, and leadership. By appointment of the Governor, Coles has chaired the North Carolina Human Trafficking Commission since 2014. She is recognized as an expert on human trafficking, speaking and training across North Carolina and nationally. Coles is a 2016 recipient of the Triangle Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 Leadership Award. Previously, Coles worked as a civil litigator with Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein in Raleigh and on the legislative staff of a U.S. Senator in Washington, D.C.
Coles received her JD from Duke Law School and lives in Durham with her husband Jeff Coles (PhD, Pratt School of Engineering ‘10) and three children, who all cheer for the Blue Devils.
Senator Daniel Terry Blue, Jr. ’73
Dan Blue is a member of the North Carolina Senate, where he has represented the state’s 14th district in Wake County since 2002. Born in Lumberton, Blue earned a bachelor’s degree from North Carolina Central University before graduating from Duke Law School in 1973. He was hired by one of North Carolina’s leading law firms, Sanford, Cannon, Adams & McCullough, and was one of the first blacks to integrate the state’s major law firms. Today, he serves as managing partner of Blue, LLP (formerly Blue, Stephens and Fellers) in Raleigh, where his two sons and daughter-in-law practice with him.
Blue served for 22 years in the N.C. House of Representatives where he held several leadership positions, including chairman of the judiciary and appropriations committees. He was twice elected speaker of the house for the N.C. General Assembly and is considered a leader among his peers and mentor to those who desire to become public servants. He recently completed his second term as president of the National Conference of State Legislatures. Blue was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives before returning to the state legislature. During his tenure in the N.C. General Assembly, Blue has championed issues related to education policy, the environment, work place safety, job development, criminal justice, health care, and ballot access.
He is a 2013 recipient of the Duke University Medal for Distinguished Meritorious Service and has been a visiting instructor at Duke’s Sanford Institute of Public Policy and a faculty member of the National Institute for Trial Advocacy.
Susanne I. Haas ‘85, ’87
Susanne Haas has most recently been general counsel for the Americas for Honeywell International’s Environmental and Energy Solutions division. In 2018, the business she supports will be spun off from Honeywell International into another publicly traded company, where she will continue to work. Her main areas of focus, apart from general business law, are antitrust, advertising law, privacy and product liability. Haas received a law degree from Johann-Wolfgang-Goethe University in Frankfurt, Germany before coming to Duke Law School. She is currently the chair of Duke Law School’s Board of Visitors. She lives in Minneapolis with her husband Ross Formell JD’87, and they have two sons: Max, a junior at Duke, and Benjamin T’17, a first-year law student at the University of Iowa.