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LLM Certificates

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Duke Law offers certificate programs for LLM students in New Ventures and Entrepreneurship, Environmental and Energy Law, Business Law, and IP, Science and Technology Law.

New Ventures and Entrepreneurship Certificate

Duke Law School has long been known for the breath of its research, scholarship, and teaching on at the intersection of innovation, entrepreneurship, and business law. Lawyers serving clients and companies can be counselors, policy advocates, entrepreneurs, or corporate leaders, or sometimes all at once. Whatever their role, they require a comprehensive understanding of multiple areas of law and policy — business, intellectual property, and privacy law, to name a few — as well as practical legal skills such as contract drafting, corporate counseling and communication, negotiation, and deal skills. The New Ventures and Entrepreneurship Certificate capitalizes on the strengths of the Duke Law Curriculum in all these areas and prepares students for careers in the technology, science, and innovation sectors of the global economy.

Applications:

Applicants for the New Ventures and Entrepreneurship Certificate should have the following qualifications:

  • a strong academic record;
  • strong English language skills; and
  • preference for two years of post-graduate work experience in business law or related fields.

Applicants to the certificate program should submit with their LLM application a statement of interest in the New Ventures and Entrepreneurship Certificate. The statement should describe their background and goals for their career. If applicants’ personal statements include a full description of their interest in the certificate, it would nevertheless be helpful to the committee to have a separate statement containing the portion of the personal statement that describes that interest. A limited number of applicants will be admitted as candidates to the certificate program each year.

Program Requirements

In order to receive the Certificate in New Ventures and Entrepreneurship, candidates must successfully complete the following requirements:

  • 24 credits in law, with a 2.5 minimum grade point average;
  • a substantial research paper on a topic related to the substance of the certificate program
  • a total of 12 academic credits in the following courses:
  1. At least two of the following six core entrepreneurial courses:
    1. Business Associations
    2. Startup Law: Legal Considerations for Entrepreneurs and Counsel
    3. Business Strategy for Lawyers
    4. Intellectual Property
    5. Patent Law and Policy
    6. Corporate Finance
  2. At least one of the following electives:
    1. Bankruptcy and Corporate Reorganization
    2. Corporate Taxation
    3. Venture Capital Financing (3 credits)
    4. Structuring Venture Capital and Private Equity Transactions
    5. Internet and Telecommunications Regulation
    6. Partnership Taxation
    7. Securities Regulation
    8. Sports and the Law
    9. The Law and Policy of Innovation: The Life Sciences
    10. Corporate Governance
    11. Federal Income Tax
    12. Frontier AI & Robotics: Law & Ethics
    13. Introduction to Privacy Law and Policy
    14. Artificial Intelligence Law and Policy
    15. Legal Issues of Cybersecurity and Data Breach Response

Core courses not taken by the student to fulfill the requirements of subsection (a) can count as electives for the purposes of meeting the requirements of subsection (b).

  1. At least one of the following experiential offerings:
    1. An off-campus externship that is thematically connected to the certificate’s subject matter, or
    2. Enroll in either the Start-Up Ventures or Community Enterprise Clinic, or
    3. Enroll in at least one the following experiential courses:
      1. Negotiation for Lawyers
      2. Contract Drafting
      3. Contract Drafting for the Finance Lawyer
      4. Corporate Counseling and Communication
      5. Deal Skills for Transactional Lawyer
      6. Practicing Law with AI and Big Data
  2. Three of the 12 credits may be obtained from courses offered by the Fuqua School of Business or the Sanford School of Public Policy that are thematically connected to the certificate’s subject matter.

Please note that enrollment in the Certificate does not guarantee enrollment in one or more of the foregoing courses; students will have the opportunity to drop the certificate before LLM graduation without penalty in the event they are not able to fulfill the academic requirements of the Certificate.

For more information, please contact Oleg Kobelev, Associate Dean for International Studies.

Environmental and Energy Law Certificate

Duke University is one of the country’s leading research universities in the field of environmental studies, and this certificate provides LLM students an opportunity to study environmental law and policy with outstanding scholars and teachers across the university. Through our partnership with the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions and other interdisciplinary programs, Duke prepares students for careers as lawyers and policy-makers in a world facing increasing pressure on natural resources and the environment.

Applications

Applicants for the Certificate in Environmental and Energy Law should have the following qualifications:

  • a strong academic record;
  • strong English language skills; and
  • preference for two years of post-graduate work experience in environmental law or related fields, or substantial prior study of environmental law.

Applicants to the certificate program should submit with their LLM application a statement of interest in the Certificate in Environmental and Energy Law. The statement should describe their background in environmental law and goals for their career. If applicants’ personal statements include a full description of their interest in environmental law and the certificate, it would nevertheless be helpful to the committee to have a separate statement containing the portion of the personal statement that describes that interest.  A limited number of applicants will be admitted as candidates to the certificate program each year.

Program Requirements

In order to receive the Certificate in Environmental and Energy Law, candidates must successfully complete the following requirements:

  • 24 credits in law, with a 2.5 minimum grade point average;
  • a substantial research paper in environmental law or a related field; and
  • a minimum of 12 credits in courses in environmental law and related fields, including Environmental Law (3 credits) and Readings in Environmental Law (1 credit). Three of the 12 credits may be obtained from courses offered by the Nicholas School of the Environment or the Sanford School of Public Policy.

For more information, please contact Oleg Kobelev, Associate Dean for International Studies.

Business Law Certificate

One of Duke Law School’s key academic strengths is our focus on the intersection of law and business. This certificate provides LLM students an opportunity to study business law and policy by choosing from a deep and varied assortment of courses taught by outstanding scholars and practitioners who are leaders in their fields. Through our partnership with the Fuqua School of Business and other interdisciplinary programs, Duke prepares students for careers as lawyers and policymakers in a world where the relationship between law and business partnerships grows increasingly more complicated and important.

Applications

Applicants for the Certificate in Business Law should have the following qualifications:

  • a strong academic record;
  • strong English language skills; and
  • preference for two years of post-graduate work experience in business law or related fields.

Applicants to the certificate program should submit with their LLM application a statement of interest in the Certificate in Business Law. The statement should describe their background in business law and goals for their career. If applicants’ personal statements include a full description of their interest in business law and the certificate, it would nevertheless be helpful to the committee to have a separate statement containing the portion of the personal statement that describes that interest.  A limited number of applicants will be admitted as candidates to the certificate program each year.

Program Requirements

In order to receive the Certificate in Business Law, candidates must successfully complete the following requirements:

  • 24 credits in law, with a 2.5 minimum grade point average;
  • a substantial research paper in business law or a related field; and
  • a minimum of 12 credits in courses in business law and related fields. Three of the 12 credits may be obtained from courses offered by the Fuqua School of Business.

For more information, please contact Oleg Kobelev, Associate Dean for International Studies.

Intellectual Property, Science and Technology Law Certificate

Duke Law School and Duke University have a deep commitment to the study of intellectual property law as evidenced by the work of our Center for Innovation Policy; the Institute for Genome Sciences & Policy; and the Center for the Study of the Public Domain. This certificate provides LLM students an opportunity to study with renowned scholars and practitioners who are leaders in their fields. The Intellectual Property, Science, and Technology Law Certificate will help prepare students for careers as lawyers and policymakers in a robust and constantly changing field.

Applications

Applicants for the Certificate in Intellectual Property, Science, and Technology Law should have the following qualifications:

  • a strong academic record;
  • strong English language skills; and
  • preference for two years of post-graduate work experience in intellectual property law or related fields.

Applicants to the certificate program should submit with their LLM application a statement of interest in the Certificate in Intellectual Property, Science, and Technology Law. The statement should describe their background in intellectual property law and goals for their career.  If applicants’ personal statements include a full description of their interest in intellectual property law and the certificate, it would nevertheless be helpful to the committee to have a separate statement containing the portion of the personal statement that describes that interest. A limited number of applicants will be admitted as candidates to the certificate program each year.

Program Requirements

In order to receive the Certificate in Intellectual Property, Science, and Technology Law, candidates must successfully complete the following requirements:

  • 24 credits in law, with a 2.5 minimum grade point average;
  • a substantial research paper in intellectual property law or a related field; and
  • a minimum of 12 credits in courses in IP law and related fields, including two courses from the following core list, with remaining courses from an elective list of IP courses designated by the IP faculty.
    • Intellectual Property Law
    • Copyright Law
    • Patent Law and Policy
    • International Intellectual Property
    • Trademark Law and Unfair Competition

For more information, please contact Oleg Kobelev, Associate Dean for International Studies
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