Visiting Scholars Program

Visiting ScholarsDuke Law School hosts approximately 15-20 international visitors annually. In recent years we have had visitors from Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, Israel, Italy, Japan, South Korea, and Switzerland. They include academics, judges, prosecutors, PhD candidates, and attorneys. Their academic interests range from intellectual property law to international commercial arbitration, from environmental law to securities law and more.

Members of the Visiting Scholar Program are welcome to use the facilities and resources of the Law School in order to pursue their individual research projects. They may audit one course per semester, as long as space is available in the course selected and the professor gives permission for an auditor. Visiting Scholar applicants are NOT to write directly to faculty members. Appropriate faculty members will be contacted if and when an invitation is issued to the applicant.

All visitors will have access to the Law Library and the Internet and will receive training in the resources of the library and the School’s technology. Most visitors bring their own laptops. Please visit the Library & Technology portion of the Duke Law School website for computer specifications; this will insure that your laptop will function within the Law School computing community during your visit. Secretarial support cannot be offered to visitors.

The Office of International Studies will assist with the visa process and will refer visitors to International House, which can offer assistance with housing, information about the Duke community, local schools, travel information, and similar matters.


The U.S. Department of State has promulgated new regulations for participants in programs that require a J-1 visa.  These regulations require Duke Law School to receive a verifiable assessment of an applicant's English language proficiency.  For this reason, applicants to the Visiting Scholar program will be expected to provide an acceptable score from a standardized English language test such as TOEFL or IELTS.

To apply for our Visiting Scholar Program, please send the following application documents in one package to (omit the box number if utilizing an express courier):

Visiting Scholar Program Coordinator
Office of International Studies
Duke University School of Law
Box 90365
210 Science Drive
Durham, NC 27708-0365

  1. The approximate dates of your arrival and departure;
  2. Resume which describes your professional accomplishments, educational background, employment history, publications, and awards;
  3. A 2-3 page statement of your research project;
  4. Two references from persons familiar with your credentials.  Recommendation letters must be on the recommenders professional letterhead and include the author's signature;
  5. Description of your anticipated source of funding for your stay at Duke Law School; and
  6. A copy of your TOEFL or IELTS score report.  (Minimum required scores are a TOEFL score of at least 90 or an IELTS score of at least 7.0.)

The application deadline for the 2016-17 academic year is February 15, 2016. Since we have a limited number of available seats for Visiting Scholars, late applications are unlikely to be considered. To send application materials via e-mail, or if there are additional questions about the process, please contact the International Studies office at Admission decisions are normally sent to applicants within four weeks.

  • Visitors will be very welcome at Duke Law School for a maximum stay of one year. They are entitled to a Duke ID card, which allows them to use the facilities of the Law School and the University. 
  • Visitors may use up to 500 pages of copying, after which they will be charged for professional and personal copying.
  • Visitors are encouraged to bring their own laptop computers if they wish to use a particular foreign language software. Please visit the Library & Technology portion of the Duke Law School website for computer specifications; this will insure that your laptop will function within the Law School computing community during your visit. The Law School has several computers that can be used in the library by visitors; however, running foreign language software on them is not recommended and limits support in the event of problems with the machine.
  • Visitors are required to secure health insurance for themselves and their families.  Health insurance should be arranged in the visitor’s home country. Proof of insurance will be required on arrival at Duke University.
  • Visitors should not plan to work. They are expected to spend their time pursuing their research project and auditing classes. In very exceptional cases, visitors may be allowed to work.  Permission is required from the Associate Dean for International Studies and must comply with the requirements of the Duke University International Office, which oversees the visa process.
  • Visitors will be asked to submit a brief 2-3 page report before their departure date that includes information on the research topic, progress made on the topic during the visit, how the research will benefit the visiting scholar's professional life (and sponsor, if applicable), and any administrative suggestions for the Administrative Director.

2016-2017 Academic Year  $5,000 per semester

Payment is expected soon after the visitor’s arrival.