Duke Law Blueprint to LEAD

Main Content

The Duke Law Blueprint provides students with a framework for ethical growth, engagement, and professional development, in a strong, collaborative community of faculty, students and staff.

The Blueprint sets the expectation that the student experience at Duke Law will be transformative of the whole person, and not merely a means to obtain a formal credential. It recognizes that, in addition to intellectual discipline, problem-solving, and the ability to think critically, great lawyers require a strong ethical compass, leadership skills, and a positive outlook. The Blueprint also underlines the value to lawyers in being able to adapt to unanticipated circumstances, work with others who are not like themselves, and bring out the best in others.

Toward these goals, the Duke Law Blueprint comprises the following principles:

Engage Intellectually 

  • Take advantage of opportunities to interact with your professors and classmates both in class and in out-of-class settings such as conferences, workshops, lunch, and pro bono activities
  • Dig deeply into a subject matter in collaboration with a professor or other students, through advanced seminars and clinics, independent studies, or a capstone project
  • Extend yourself through intellectual activities such as moot court, journals, symposia, and other outside speaker presentations
  • In your intellectual interactions with others, be respectful, responsible, honest and open to the views of others
  • Seek opportunities to engage with people with whom you might disagree

Embody Integrity

  • Be truthful, candid, and fair, even when your actions go unnoticed
  • Use ambiguous situations as occasions to cultivate sound judgment and exhibit ethical responsibility
  • Call out wrongs when you see them with an effort to be both honest and constructive

Lead with Intention

  • Assess and develop your own leadership style, building on its strengths and addressing its limitations
  • Find opportunities to use disagreements and conflict to work constructively with others for the benefit of the community
  • Cultivate leadership in others bearing in mind the benefits of a broadly diverse and  inclusive community and a variety of leadership styles

Build Relationships

  • Find a mentor; be a mentor
  • Seek out and get to know students, faculty, alumni, and staff with diverse backgrounds and points of view
  • Invest in personal relationships
  • Act as if the reputation you develop in law school will follow you throughout your career

Serve the Community

  • Volunteer for service activities that benefit Durham citizens and the surrounding community
  • Identify public issues that are important to you, form connections with others involved with these issues, and work to make a difference

Live with Purpose

  • Take steps regularly to strengthen your physical and emotional well-being; strive for balance in your personal and professional lives
  • Make deliberate personal and career choices based on your own values, needs, and goals
  • Stand up and be counted