The Duke Law LLM experience

Duke Law's LLM, SJD, and Overseas Exchange programs attract top lawyers and students from around the world. The LLM Class of 2018 includes 99 students from 37 countries and territories.


LLM Degree

The LLM program at Duke Law School is designed to introduce graduates of foreign law schools to the legal system of the United States and to provide the opportunity to take advanced courses in specialized areas of the law. LLM students are welcome to make selections from the large number of courses represented in the curriculum. With the exception of two required courses, all classes are taken with JD students. Students may also take courses in other parts of the university, such as the Fuqua School of Business or the Sanford School of Public Policy.

Duke Law's LLM students speaking at a Graduation ceremonyMost LLM students at Duke are professionals with two or more years of experience at well-known law firms. They are also judges, prosecutors, academics, members of government ministries, corporations, or financial institutions. The LLM program usually includes a small number of talented, very recent law graduates as well.

Meet our Students View the Class profile



Why Duke Law?

your interests

Prof. James Cox teaching at Duke Law Duke Law offers more than 200 courses to LLM students in areas such as business law, human rights, and criminal law.

Connect to a
Global Network

Illustration of number 80 that includes flags from countries around the worldThe vibrant community of more than 11,000 Duke Law alumni can be found in 80 countries around the world.

Join the

Photo of Duke University's West Union building Duke is a research university with interdisciplinary programs that foster collaboration across academic programs.



Student Life in Durham, N.C.

If you are looking for an eclectic, comfortable, American city with great restaurants, abundant entertainment, and easy access to the beach, mountains, and parks, Durham is the place for you.

monthly rent

Manhattan: $3,850
Durham: $833

pizza cost

Chicago: $10.99
Durham: $8.99

The city and surrounding areas have a high concentration of researchers from around the world who work for one of the area’s many universities or high-tech companies. You’ll experience the famous “southern charm” and hospitality that is unique to this region of the United States. And Durham is ranked as one of the best and most affordable places to live in America.

Learn about Durham   Cost of Living comparison

Apply Now

Applicants to Duke Law's LLM, SJD and exchange programs may begin submitting applications for the 2020-2021 academic year on September 1, 2019. The application deadline for the LLM program is January 20, 2020. The application deadline for the SJD program is February 20, 2020.

Application information

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Please wait to receive the welcome email with your User Name and Password. This service is for international LLM/SJD candidates only.

"The LLM program taught me the basic structure and interesting dynamics of the U.S. legal frame-work and inspired and cultivated my intellectual curiosity to learn more about it. Even with a few years under my belt as a practitioner, the program solidified my expertise in international business law and greatly enhanced my legal career."

Shinichi Yoshiya, Vice President,
Morgan Stanley





Career Outcomes

LLM 2018 graduates are headed to 24 countries and 6 states to work or continue their education.


New York Bar Exam

Duke's curriculum is specifically designed to allow you to sit for the New York Bar, assuming your previous legal education meets some basic requirements such as the appropriate length of time of study.  Please note that the New York Bar is implementing additional qualification rules in order to be admitted to the Bar following passing the Bar exam, beginning with students entering LLM programs in 2018. Please see here for more information.

Career and professional development resources

The Career & Professional Development Center has outstanding resources for international students. In addition to individualized counseling, Duke Law provides a series of programs explicitly for LLM students.

Learn about Career counseling