Applicants to Duke Law's LLM, SJD and exchange programs may begin submitting applications for the 2019-2020 academic year on September 1, 2018. The application deadline for the LLM program is January 20, 2019. The application deadline for the SJD program is March 20, 2019.
The application review process includes a thorough evaluation of a candidate's performance in previous law studies. Also of special significance are the applicant's professional experience, areas of special interest and expertise, professional and personal goals, strong letters of recommendation and English proficiency. To be eligible for admission to the LLM or SJD program, an applicant must hold a first degree in law - the JD, LLB, or the equivalent - from an accredited or comparably recognized law school or law faculty in their home countries. SJD candidates must additionally hold an LLM degree from an American law school or from a common law program.
Although the application deadline is January 20 for the LLM program and March 20 for the SJD program, candidates are encouraged to apply as early as possible. Admission decisions are made on a rolling basis beginning in January. A rolling basis means that applications are considered until the class is full. Admission to the LLM and SJD program is for fall semester only.
2019 LLM & SJD Application Procedures
Our preferred method for submitting application materials is electronically via LSAC (Law School Admission Council). Please visit the LSAC website for account access or to create a new account. Complete application instructions are available on the electronic application for the Duke Law LLM program.
You may also submit your application materials directly to our office. The application checklist allows you to investigate the options available for both application types. Please note that you must omit the box number from the address if you plan to send application materials via courier (DHL, FedEx, etc.) to the International Admissions office. Please note that we do not accept applications materials submitted via e-mail.
It is important to review the detailed application procedures.
2019 Exchange Application Procedures
Applicants to the exchange program must submit their application materials directly to our office. Please note that you must omit the box number from our address if you plan to send application materials via courier (DHL, FedEx, etc.) to the International Admissions office.
It is important to review the detailed application procedures.
|Checklist||Mail-in Application||Applying Online Through LSAC|
|Application & Signed Certification Letter||Download the application form and certification letter, complete and sign||You must electronically certify your application|
|$70 Application Fee||Your name must be noted on the check or money order payable to Duke Law School - you may also use traveler's checks||You may submit payment via credit card or mail payment to International Admissions|
|Resume||Include with application||Use electronic attachment|
|Personal Statement||Include with application||Use electronic attachment|
|Recommendation Letters||Download the recommendation letter form||Utilize LSAC's LOR service or submit directly to International Admissions|
|Short Statement of Proposed Research Focus (SJD applicants ONLY)||Include with application||Use electronic attachment|
|Writing Sample (SJD applicants ONLY)||Include with application||Use electronic attachment|
|Transcripts||May be submitted with application materials or institutions may send directly to International Admissions||Included in Credential Assembly Service (CAS) report|
|TOEFL Score Report||Have TOEFL submit your score report to Duke - institution code 5156, department code 03||Included in CAS report|
|Scholarship Request Letter||Include with application||Use electronic attachment|
- Application Checklist
- Application Deadline
- How to Apply
- Application Processing Fee
- Personal Statement
- Recommendation Letters
- Academic Transcripts
- TOEFL Score Report
- Application Review
- Contact Us
The following items are required to complete your application for admission. Application files will not be evaluated until all required items have been received. Applicants will receive an e-mail acknowledging receipt of materials which contains login and password information to check the status of their application. Please note that e-mails are not sent indicating completion of application files.
- Application form completed. If applying via LSAC, certification must be signed electronically. If not, you must also complete and sign the Certification Letter and submit the hard copy to International Admissions.
- $70 non-refundable application processing fee. If applying electronically via LSAC, you may submit payment via credit card. You may also submit payment (see following acceptable forms) directly to the International Admissions office. Acceptable forms of payment are 1) checks in USD drawn on a U.S. bank, 2) postal or bank money order in USD, or 3) travelers checks (please sign on both the top and bottom lines if using travelers checks). Non-credit card payment methods should be made payable to Duke Law School. Please contact the International Studies office directly for wire transfer instructions. This fee is not required from exchange applicants. Duke University School of Law does not waive application fees.
- Resume. If you are applying electronically, use electronic attachment.
- Personal statement 2-5 pages in length. If you are applying electronically, use electronic attachment.
- Transcripts for all previously attended academic institutions. You may utilize the LSAC Credential Assembly Service (CAS) or have transcripts mailed directly to the International Admissions office. If still enrolled in courses when application package is submitted, include transcripts for all completed work and indicate when final transcript will be available.
- Recommendation letters. LLM applicants should include at least two recommendation letters, one of which should be from a person identified as best suited to judge applicant's academic ability. SJD applicants must include a minimum of three recommendation letters, one of which should be from an individual familiar with the applicant's academic performance during the LLM program. Exchange student applicants are required to submit one recommendation letter. You may utilize the LSAC LOR service or submit letters directly to International Admissions office.
- Short Statement of Proposed Research Focus. ONLY SJD applicants should include a brief (2-5 pages) research proposal describing the applicant's research interest.
- Writing sample. ONLY SJD applicants should include a sample indicative of their scholarship and writing ability.
- TOEFL score report. If applying electronically, score is included in CAS report. If not, have ETS submit your score to Duke, institution code 5156, department code 03.
The recommended application deadline for the LLM program is January 20, 2019. The recommended application deadline for the SJD program is March 20, 2019. We encourage you to submit your application and supporting material as early as possible.
How to Apply
Our preferred method for submitting application materials for the LLM or SJD program is electronically via LSAC (Law School Admission Council). Please visit the LSAC website for account access or to create a new account. Complete application instructions are available on the electronic application for the Duke Law LLM program.
You may also submit your application materials in hard copy form directly to the International Admissions office (address below). Please note that you must omit the box number from our mailing address if you plan to send application materials via courier (DHL, FedEx, etc.). Please note that we do not accept application materials subimitted electronically via e-mail.
Exchange applications must be submitted directly to the International Admissions Office. LSAC is not available for exchange applicants.
Application Processing Fee
If you apply electronically through LSAC, you have the option to pay by credit card. Please note that the only way to utilize a credit card to pay the application fee is by applying electronically through LSAC. You may also submit a check (in USD drawn on a U.S. bank), postal or bank money order or travelers checks (signed on both the top and bottom lines) made payable to Duke Law School in the amount of $70. Please contact the International Studies office directly for wire transfer instructions. We are unable to offer application fee waivers to LLM and SJD applicants. This fee is not required from exchange applicants. Duke University School of Law does not waive application fees.
Please submit a resume with your application. If you apply via LSAC, use the electronic attachment.
You are required to submit a 2-5 page personal statement. If you apply via LSAC, use the electronic attachment. The personal statement should include your professional and educational experience, special areas of interest, previous overseas experience, and any other information that supports your application. Please let us know if there is a special reason for applying to Duke Law School such as family members who are alumni or who are living in North Carolina, or a spouse or significant other with admission to a nearby school or who is also applying to the LLM program.
A minimum of two letters of recommendation should be submitted on behalf of the LLM applicant. Such letters should not be from relatives or close family friends. The letters should explain the relationship of the writer to the applicant. At least one letter should be from a faculty member well acquainted with the applicant's academic ability. SJD applicants must include at least three letters of recommendation, including at least one letter from a faculty member familiar with the applicant's LLM experience. Exchange program applicants need only submit one recommendation letter.
If applying electronically, LSAC offers an LOR service for letters of recommendations. Please follow the instructions on the LSAC site.
If application materials are being submitted in hard copy format directly to the International Studies office, recommendation letter forms must be included and are available for download at our site. Your signature on the recommendation form indicates you have waived your right to the material contained in the recommendation letter and should be included with all letters submitted on your behalf. Referees may also submit recommendation letters directly to the International Studies office. We prefer recommendation letters in hard copy format but will accept electronic letters if a referee is unable to submit the letters prior to the application deadline.
Transcripts for all previously attended academic institutions must be submitted. Applicants can either utilize the Credential Assembly Service (CAS) with LSAC or have them sent to the International Admissions office directly from the academic institution. Purchase of the Transcript Authentication and Evaluation Service offered by LSAC is optional. Transcripts may also be submitted directly by the applicant with their application materials. Please note that if you are not utilizing the Credential Assembly Service all transcripts must include an English translation, containing the seal or signature of a professional translator, and an explanation of the grading system.
TOEFL Score Report
Register for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) at least two months before the examination is given. Because it may take more than one month for score results to reach Duke, it is advisable to take the test as soon as possible. TOEFL scores must be less than two years old to be considered valid. Candidates who are native English speakers or who have received degrees of at least three years in length from a university where English was the medium of instruction will be exempt from this requirement. All other applicants must submit test scores in order to complete the admissions process. Duke's TOEFL institution code is 5156 and its department code is 03. TOEFL score results for students utilizing the LSAC Credential Assembly Service will automatically be included in the report. Students admitted to graduate study normally have scores of at least 600 on the paper-based test, 250 on the computer-based test, and 100 on the Internet-based test.
Admission to Duke's graduate law programs is highly competitive and depends to a great extent on the demonstration of outstanding performance in previous law studies. Also of special significance are the applicant's professional experience, areas of special interest and expertise, professional and personal goals, strong letters of recommendation, and English proficiency. The Law School benefits from a student body that represents a broad range of experiences and interests. It is often helpful to indicate reasons for interest in an LLM degree in general and Duke Law School in particular, especially as they relate to an applicant's specific experience. The application review process generally begins in December, and decisions are made throughout the following months.