Duke University and Law School Non-Discrimination Policy
Duke University is committed to encouraging and sustaining a learning and work community that is free from prohibited discrimination and harassment.
In accordance with federal laws, Duke University does not discriminate on the basis of age, color, disability, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or veteran status. We expand these protections further by also prohibiting discrimination based on gender identity, sexual orientation, and gender expression.
See further: Duke Nondiscrimination Statement
All organizations using the facilities and services of Duke Law School in connection with the recruitment of law students must comply with the University’s Non-Discrimination Policy and Statement. However, under threat of loss of federal funding pursuant to the Solomon Amendment, military recruiters will be permitted to recruit on campus even if certain of their hiring policies or practices may conflict with this nondiscrimination statement. This exception to the policy does not in any way reflect acceptance of, or agreement with, discriminatory hiring practices. Duke Law School will continue to support students, staff and faculty who feel they have been subjected to discriminatory hiring practices and encourage an inclusive, respectful and welcoming community.
Duke University Institutional Statement of Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion Adopted by the Duke University Board of Trustees
Duke aspires to create a community built on collaboration, innovation, creativity, and belonging. Our collective success depends on the robust exchange of ideas- an exchange that is best when the rich diversity of our perspectives, backgrounds, and experiences flourishes. To achieve this exchange, it is essential that all members of the community feel secure and welcome, that the contributions of all individuals are respected, and that all voices are heard. All members of our community have a responsibility to uphold these values.
Duke Law School Policy & Procedures for addressing student complaints of discriminatory behavior during the recruiting process or summer employment 1
As citizens of this community of integrity, responsibility, and honor, Duke Law students who believe they have been subject to, or have witnessed, discriminatory behavior during an interview for employment or summer positions, whether on-campus or elsewhere, during the recruiting process, or during their summer positions, agree that they should not tolerate the actions of those who perpetrate such behavior. The Law School recognizes that such encounters are inherently challenging and personal for the individual involved and that individuals may respond differently to similar situations. At the same time, Duke Law School believes that there is an important interest in the Law School addressing incidents of discriminatory behavior, on behalf of the student(s) involved and the student body in general, attributed to employers that participate in on-campus events or that seek to hire Duke Law School students, or that provide summer positions to Duke Law School students. Thus, this Policy seeks to encourage students to report incidents of discriminatory behavior, while balancing the personal concerns and interests of the individual involved with those of the current and future Duke Law School communities.
- A student who believes that he or she has been subject to, or has witnessed, discriminatory behavior in a situation described above is encouraged to address the situation with the offending person(s) or with a representative of that person’s employer. In an interview context, for example, the student could notify the interviewer or a co-interviewer that the student found certain behavior to be discriminatory. During summer employment, the student could notify the hiring partner/manager or head of recruiting.
- A student who believes that he or she has been subject to, or has witnessed, discriminatory behavior in these situations is also encouraged to complete a Complaint Form and to meet with a member of the Career Center to discuss the incident. In conjunction with such meeting, the student will be asked to complete a Complaint Form, or to otherwise provide the information requested on that Form.
- When meeting with a member of the Career Center and providing the information requested on the Complaint Form, the student may request that no further Law School action be taken, and that the Complaint Form remain on file with the Law School for future reference. However, all Complaint Forms filed with, or completed for a student by, the Career Center will be presented to the Review Committee. Depending on e.g., the nature of the incident and the likelihood of recurrence either to the reporting student or to other students, the Review Committee (the “Committee”) may, despite the student’s request, nonetheless deem further action necessary and would endeavor to act in close coordination with the student. The incident will also be included in a generalized manner in the Annual Report, described below.
- Upon receipt of a Complaint Form, the Career Center and the Committee will review the information provided about the incident and may, depending on the circumstances, initiate further action in collaboration with the student submitting the form. This may include taking interim measures to ensure the student’s safety. Upon receipt of a Complaint Form, the Review Committee will notify the Office for Institutional Equity about the Complaint Form and incident and, in appropriate cases, consult with OIE.
- In order for the Law School to take action in response to a complaint of discriminatory behavior, the student must provide the information requested in the Complaint Form and meet with a member of the Career Center staff to discuss the incident. The Career Center and Committee will work with the student to maintain student confidentiality to the extent possible.
- Students are encouraged to hold such meeting and complete or provide the information requested in the Complaint Form within 48 hours of, but no longer than 14 days from, the incident in order to facilitate the appropriate handling of the matter.2 Upon receipt of a complaint and full information in the Complaint Form, the Career Center and Committee will address the matter as expeditiously as possible.
The Committee will include: The Chair of the Faculty Committee on Student Career & Professional Development; the Director of the Career & Professional Development Center; and designated members of the Career Center. In addition, from time to time, the Committee may include additional community members including students, faculty and others.
Factors to be Evaluated
The Committee, in consultation with the Dean of the Law School as appropriate, is charged with recommending the Law School’s response to the incident. In so doing, the Committee will evaluate factors including:
- The nature of the violation or behavior
- Whether the conduct is isolated or part of a pattern of violations
- The extent of remedial measures initiated by the employer
- Additional factors that may be relevant to the specific case
Possible Committee Recommendations
Based on its findings, the Committee will make a recommendation for the Law School’s response that may include:
- Maintaining a record of the violation but, at the request of the student filing the complaint, not contacting the employer directly.
- Bringing the event to the employer’s attention and asking the employer what measures it has taken or will take to address the situation.
- Requiring that the employer report the violation to the employer’s Executive Committee or Managing Partner.
- Receiving assurances from the employer that additional internal measures have been or will be taken.
- An agreement that the alleged offender will not interview at Duke for a prescribed period of time.
- Additional recommendations that would be undertaken only in consultation with the Dean of the Law School include:
- Publicizing the name of the employer whose interviewer engaged in the behavior, and providing the employer an opportunity to communicate directly with the law school community.
- Barring the employer from interviewing on campus, engaging in on campus activities or using law school services for a proscribed period of time. In most cases, this measure would only be appropriate if there were clear evidence of organizational policies or practices of discrimination.
As used in the context above, the term “employer” refers to the organization, not to the individual alleged offender. If the Committee feels that the employer’s response is inadequate, the Committee may continue to pursue the matter and make subsequent recommendations for Law School action.
The Committee will prepare and distribute a report at least annually to the community describing recent policy violations that have been reported on a Complaint Form pursuant to this policy, along with measures recommended and/or taken by the Law School and the offending employer. Names of students will not be disclosed in such reports. Names of offending employers will also not be disclosed unless the Committee has previously recommended public disclosure.
1 This Policy supplements the Duke University Discrimination Grievance Procedure, https://web.duke.edu/equity/resources/documents/discrimination_grievance_procedure.pdf, and the University’s Harassment Policy & Procedures, https://web.duke.edu/equity/resources/documents/harassment_policy_and_procedures.pdf.
2 Please note that under the University’s Discrimination Grievance Procedure and the Harassment Policy & Procedures, a student has one year to file a complaint.