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Clinics and Externships
Duke Law's clinical program, which includes 12 clinical courses and a robust and rigorous externship offering, offers students a carefully structured opportunity to build their own experiential bridge between the classroom and practice. Operating collectively as a public interest law firm in multiple distinct practice areas and housed in its own wing at Duke Law School, the clinical program provides students with challenging opportunities designed to deepen their substantive legal knowledge, strengthen their lawyering skills, and forge distinct professional identities.
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Appellate Litigation Clinic
The Appellate Litigation Clinic enables students to develop litigation skills by preparing and presenting appeals in federal appellate court in cases filed by parties not represented by counsel.
Children's Law Clinic
The Children’s Law Clinic provides free legal advice, advocacy, and legal representation to low-income, at-risk children in cases involving special education, school discipline, and children’s disability benefits.
Civil Justice Clinic
The Civil Justice Clinic represents a unique partnership between Duke Law and Legal Aid of North Carolina in which students work on cases relating to housing, benefits, and protection from domestic violence, among others.
Community Enterprise Clinic
The Community Enterprise Clinic helps nonprofit organizations and social entrepreneurs plan and implement community development projects that improve the quality of life in economically disadvantaged areas.
Criminal Defense Clinic
The Criminal Defense Clinic empowers students to defend clients facing criminal charges in court and fight systemic disparity and injustice in the criminal system.
Environmental Law & Policy Clinic
The Environmental Law and Policy Clinic is training the next generation of leaders to solve environmental problems by providing access to justice in underserved communities.
First Amendment Clinic
The First Amendment Clinic provides students the opportunity to work directly with clients facing free expression concerns, including defamation, content-discrimination, and reporter’s privilege.
Health Justice Clinic
The Health Justice Clinic trains students to serve the unmet needs of low income people facing serious illness.
Immigrant Rights Clinic
The Immigrant Rights Clinic offers students the opportunity to develop critical professional skills and deepen their knowledge while providing free legal services to immigrants who could not otherwise afford a lawyer.
International Human Rights Clinic
The International Human Rights Clinic enables students to critically engage with cutting-edge human rights issues, strategies, tactics, institutions, and law in both domestic and international settings.
Start-Up Ventures Clinic
The Start-Up Ventures Clinic offers students an experience that combines the Law School’s commitment to entrepreneurial education with a chance to gain valuable practical training.
Wrongful Convictions Clinic
The Wrongful Convictions Clinic investigates plausible claims of innocence made by North Carolina inmates convicted of felonies.
Duke Law's Externship Program enables students to receive academic credit for gaining legal experience beyond that available in the classroom setting, by working under the supervision of a licensed attorney in a governmental or non-profit setting.
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Faculty and Students
As they represent clients from the Durham community and beyond, student-attorneys in Duke Law's clinical program benefit from the close guidance provided by our outstanding clinical faculty. Building on traditions established in the 1930s, when Dean Justin Miller established the first law school clinic in the nation, the clinical program combines the development of skills and knowledge with service to the community in ways that strengthen our students' legal education and prepare them for leadership in the law and beyond.
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Duke's clinical faculty are committed to providing high-quality supervision and innovative teaching.
Duke students often describe their clinic experience as the most rewarding work they did in law school.
The First Clinic
Duke was the first law school with an in-house legal aid clinic, in 1931, led by pioneering Prof. John S. Bradway.
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Clinic Enrollment Policy
In accordance with the North Carolina State Bar rules governing the practical training of students, a student may enroll in any of the Law school's clinics as early as the fall semester of their second year.
Clinical and Experiential Learning
Duke Law School offers students an array of opportunities for clinical and experiential learning.
Public Interest and Public Service Certificate
The Certificate in Public Interest and Public Service Law is a JD certificate program for students committed to a legal career in public service.