Justin Miller Awards

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The Office of Student Affairs is pleased to announce the Justin Miller Awards for graduating Duke Law students.

Justin Miller served as Law School Dean from 1930-34. Among other accomplishments, he is credited with bringing national attention to the Law School and instilling the qualities that continue to make Duke Law an exceptional place to study. As today's Duke Law Blueprint attests, the principles Dean Miller espoused almost a century ago remain a part of the foundation of this Law School.

"Altruism combined with realism; knowledge of fundamental principles and capacity to apply them; courage to insist on the right and patience to achieve it; understanding of the timidity of the weak; fearlessness of the domination of the powerful; sympathy for the mistakes of the indiscreet; caution of the craftiness of the unprincipled; enthusiasm for that which is fine and inspiring; reverence for that which is sacred; these are some of the attributes of great lawyers."

Justin Miller
Dean, 1930-34

In honor of Dean Miller and in the spirit of his words, we present the following awards:

  • Award for Leadership - The recipient is someone who has been especially active in the Law School and/or the greater Durham community, who demonstrates initiative and leads by example. He or she takes responsibility for his or her actions and encourages others to do the same.
  • Award for Integrity - The recipient is a courageous person with strong principles, a solid character, and a true sense of altruism. Demonstrating an appreciation for honesty and justice, he or she instills these same qualities in others.
  • Award for Citizenship - A genuine enthusiasm for the Duke Law School community distinguishes this recipient as someone who brings people together in constructive ways. With a spirit of optimism, he or she looks beyond individual differences to find common ground in mentoring relationships with others.
  • Award for Intellectual Curiosity - Not necessarily the student with the highest grades or the most academic honors, the recipient is a person who truly enjoys learning. He or she has an intellectual hunger and passion for the law and consistently shares this with and encourages it in others.
  • LLM Award for Leadership and Community Participation – The recipient is someone who has demonstrated the following attributes: 1) Engagement with the whole Law School community in addition to showing leadership among the LLM students, 2) Showing a display of concern for the well-being of LLM students at the Law School and at the University, 3) Making effective efforts to promote integration of LLM and JD students, 4) Participating in Law School organizations and activities, 5) Devoting attention to academic performance in Law School Courses.

Eligibility and selection process

Nominees must be 3L/LLM students. Students from any class may offer nomination(s). Nominations will be reviewed by a committee of students, faculty, and administrators. Please submit your nomination by Sunday, April 14 2024.


Each recipient will receive a gift, and a book in the Law Library will be dedicated on his or her behalf. Plaques with the names of the winners will be displayed next to the portrait of Dean Justin Miller or in the International Studies suite.

Past Recipients