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Diversity & Inclusion

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Diversity at Duke Law is more than a statement or a goal: it is part of our educational mission. Duke Law values diversity, in the broadest sense, because the law is a field and profession that must serve and protect all members of society.

The educational experience of our students is demonstrably enriched by an exchange of ideas and experiences among students, faculty, staff, and alumni who contribute diverse perspectives. The age, ethnicity, gender, religion, sexual orientation, cultural backgrounds, educational experience, political perspectives, work experience, and physical ability or disability of each member of our community offer opportunities for us to deepen our understanding of our society and our roles as lawyers, leaders, and public servants.

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For Current Students and Alumni

Ebony BryantEbony Bryant, Director of Diversity Initiatives, works with students, student organizations, administrators, and faculty on efforts to enhance inclusivity and diversity at the Law School. She maintains connections with minority alumni to promote opportunities for engagement with Duke Law and facilitates connections that benefit current and prospective students.

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For Prospective Students

Patrice BarleyPatrice Barley, Assistant Director of Admissions and Coordinator of Diversity Recruitment, helps in the outreach and recruit of talented candidates from diverse backgrounds in support of Duke Law's educational mission. She participates in recruitment tours around the country and facilitates the Law School's Admitted Students Weekend.

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Audio: 'Preparing Black students to be Black lawyers'

Recorded prior to the murder of George Floyd, this two-part edition of the Duke Law Roundtable features students and faculty sharing their insights on what it means to prepare Black law students to succeed as Black lawyers in America.

Conversation with Faculty: Ebony Bryant, Director of Diversity Initiatives at Duke Law, moderates this discussion with Jerome M. Culp Professor of Law Trina Jones, former judge of North Carolina Supreme Court and longtime litigator Charles Becton ’69, and Jesse McCoy, the James Scott Farrin Lecturing Fellow and supervising attorney for the Civil Justice Clinic.

 

Conversation with Students: Bryant moderates this discussion with Jessica Mason '20, a twice summer associate at Vinson & Elkins and member of the Black Law Students Association (Duke BLSA); Chavis Jones '20, a graduate of Morehouse College and Harvard University, who served as president of the Black Graduate and Professional Students Association at Duke; and Stephanie Turner '20, who took part in the Duke Law Center for Race, Law, and Politics, Duke BLSA, and The Innocence Project.

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Preliminary Strategic Plan for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
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On September 1, the Law School submitted its Preliminary Strategic Plan for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion to Duke University President Vincent Price.

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Duke Law Women
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Duke Law Women is an initiative designed to provide an integrated admissions-to-alumnae experience that recognizes both women’s essential role in the profession and their still-salient challenges. Managed by committed faculty and administrators, Duke Law Women provides a forum for professional and social programming for women students and graduates.

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First Generation Professionals (1GP)
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1GP is an enhancement program for Duke Law students who are the first in their families to graduate from college. 1GP develops a welcoming community for our members and offer academic, professional, and social support to navigate law school and future careers.

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Anti-racism & Allyship
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Duke Law faculty, students, and staff are committed to providing a truly welcome space for everyone to learn, work, and grow. The Duke Law Anti-Racism Project and Ebony Bryant, Director of Diversity Initiatives at Duke Law, have curated tools to help the Law School community to be better advocates for anti-racism and allyship.

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Race and the 1L Curriculum: Criminal Law
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In the past year, movements to address deep racial inequities embedded in the criminal system gained greater prominence and popular support. At the forefront of these movements are leaders in North Carolina fighting the cash bail system that incarcerates people based on poverty, the racially disparate disenfranchisement of individuals for unpaid fines and fees, and the dangerous conditions facing largely black and brown people in local jails. At an Oct. 5 online event, lawyers and activists talked about their innovative racial justice related work here in Durham and in North Carolina. A recording of the event is available for Duke Law faculty, staff, and students.

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Race and the 1L Curriculum: Civil Procedure
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On Nov. 9, Professor Darrell Miller hosted a panel discussion with Suja Thomas, Peer & Sarah Pedersen Professor of Law at the University of Illinois College of Law, and Brooke Coleman, Associate Dean of Research & Faculty Development and Professor of Law at Seattle University School of Law. Professors Thomas and Coleman discussed racial representation on the Civil Rules Advisory Committee (the drafters of the rules of civil procedure) as well as the ways in which the rules of civil procedure, such as summary judgment, limit the effectiveness of civil rights litigation as a remedy for discrimination. A recording of the event is available for Duke Law faculty, staff, and students.