Mission Statement

The mission of the Duke Law Center for Judicial Studies is to advance the study of the judiciary through interdisciplinary scholarship and cooperative thinking from multiple perspectives. By bringing together judges, researchers, teachers, and theorists, the Center for Judicial Studies fosters an interdisciplinary exploration of the judicial process in order to help both judges and scholars better understand the judicial process and to generate ideas for how it might be improved.

The Center accomplishes its mission through two primary means:

Scholarship and Research: The Center sponsors, supports, collects and publishes new research on judicial institutions and judging and serves as an important resource for scholars studying the judiciary. The Center also hosts major research conferences on specific topics within the field of Judicial Studies. Future conferences will be modeled after Duke Law’s two 2009 conferences on the judiciary, “Measuring Judges and Justice” and “Evaluating Judging, Judges, and Judicial Institutions.”

Educational Programs for Judges: The Center hosts a Master of Laws (LL.M.) in Judicial Studies for sitting judges. The program takes place over two summers, with state, federal, and international judges studying together for four weeks each summer and publishing theses based on original research at the end of the program. For judges who cannot commit to the master’s program, the Center hosts short, specifically targeted seminars related to emerging and novel legal issues during the fall and spring of each year.