Although the Duke Law LLM is not a research degree, students can produce a substantial research paper under faculty supervision either by conducting an independent research project or by enrolling in a seminar.
Duke places special emphasis on building writing skills in English. In addition to a fall semester writing course, an un-graded elective course, the Legal Writing Workshop, is available to LLM students during the spring semester. The workshop is designed to provide additional instruction in U.S. legal correspondence and drafting, and to assist students in writing research papers and preparing for seminar presentations.
The main reason I chose Duke was the environmental certificate. Going to Duke is an excellent choice for students interested in environmental law, not only because Duke has high-level professors and students, but also because the classes analyze deeply controversial subjects and give students the opportunity to participate in discussions.