Main Content

Duke Law's orientation program stays true to the School's message of lawyer education and professional development summarized in the Duke Law Blueprint to Lead, which distinguishes Duke Law for its focus on leadership training and development.

2021 Schedule of Events


Professional Development

Introduction to Professional Development*

1:30 - 2:00 p.m. | Zoom

We will introduce students to the Professional Development Credit requirement for graduation.


Participation and engagement: How to succeed in class*

2:00 - 3:00 p.m. | Zoom

How you engage with and participate in a law school class may be very different from classes you have experience in the past. This session, led by Professor Joseph Blocher, is designed to make your faculty's expectation clear, and to provide instruction on how to meet those expectations so that you can be your most successful from the beginning. Please read Desnick v. American Broadcasting Companies in advance of this session.

·       Assignments: Learn how to brief a case. 

o   You can begin to do this in a couple of ways.  “Open Book: The Inside Track to Law School Success”, Barry Friedman and John C.P. Goldberg, Second Edition, 2016, is helpful text that is often recommended by professors who teach Legal Analysis, Research, and Writing (LARW). If you are able to purchase the book before LEAD Week begins (perhaps through an online bookseller), we recommend that you read “Guide to the Book” (p. xix), and Chapters 5 and 6. We think you will benefit from reading the rest of this book as you move through your first semester, especially when you begin to outline your courses and prepare for exams. 

o   In addition (or in lieu of reading “Open Book”), you should read the introduction to Torts: Doctrine and Process (2016), Donald H. Beskind and Doriane Lambelet Coleman. Professors Coleman and Beskind have given us permission to post their very helpful guide to briefing cases on the LEAD Week website. The password to access this case was emailed to you.

o   Carefully read and brief the case. Professor Blocher will teach Desnick v. American Broadcasting Companies. You should brief the case before class using the tools you have learned from "Open Book” and the materials from Professors Beskind and Coleman.



3:00 - 3:15 p.m. | Offline


Note Taking 101*

3:15 - 4:15 p.m. | Zoom

Professor Casey Thomson will cover best practices for taking effective notes in class, and then discuss recommended strategies for using those notes to study in between classes.  She will also explain some of the neuroscience behind why these strategies work.


*Indicates Professional Development course credit.

EMBODY integrity, BUILD relationships

Registration and Welcome Breakfast

8:00 a.m. | Noble Plaza and Front Lawn

Register at Noble Plaza, then join your LEAD Fellows and classmates for a light breakfast on the Front Lawn.


Welcome to Duke Law

9:00 a.m. | Star Commons

Associate Dean William Hoye and the Office of Student Affairs will welcome you to the Law School.


Dean's Welcome

9:40 a.m. | Star Commons

Dean Kerry Abrams will welcome you to Duke Law and talk with you about success in law school, your career, and beyond.


Meet your LEAD Fellow

10:30 a.m. | Various rooms (see breakout schedule)

Gather with your LEAD Fellows to get answers to questions related to the schedule, parking, university resources, and things to do in Durham. You will participate in activities with this group throughout LEAD Week, and your LEAD Fellow will continue to act as an advisor and social activities planner for your group throughout your first year. You can read more about the 2021-2022 LEAD Fellows here.


Lunch with Classmates

12:15 p.m. | Marcy's Garden/Front Lawn


The Honor Code and University Standards

2:00 p.m. | Cohort A: Room 3041
3:30 p.m. | Cohort B: Simulcast to Room 3043
3:30 p.m. | Cohort C: Room 4047

Assistant Dean Lewis Hutchison will introduce the Law School community’s expectations relating to the Honor Code and university standards.


Introduction to Academic Technologies and the Law Library

2:00 p.m. | Cohort B: Room 3043/Library
2:00 p.m. | Cohort C: Room 4047/Library
3:30 p.m. | Cohort A: Room 3041/Library

Staff from Academic Technologies and the Law Library will introduce you to research and technology services at the Law School; there will also be time available for individual assistance completing the online computing orientation and/or a tour of the Goodson Law Library.


*Indicates Professional Development course credit.

ENGAGE intellectually, BUILD relationships

Diversity and Inclusion and our Community Part I*

10:00 a.m. | LARW Sections 2, 4, 6, 8, 10: Room 3041

11:15 a.m. | LARW Sections 1, 3, 5, 7, 9: Room 3041

Ebony Bryant, Director of Diversity Initiatives will show us how to support a respectful and inclusive learning environment while minimizing road blocks.


Lunch with Classmates

11:30 a.m. | LARW Sections 2, 4, 6, 8,10: Marcy's Garden/Front Lawn

12:30 p.m. | LARW Sections 1, 3, 5, 7, 9: Marcy's Garden/Front Lawn


Legal Analysis, Research, and Writing Classes

1:30 p.m. | LARW sections 2, 4, 6, 8, 10: See breakout schedule

3:15 p.m. | LARW sections 1, 3, 5, 7, 9: See breakout schedule


Sexual Misconduct Prevention/Policies on Prohibited Conduct, Harassment, and Discrimination

3:15 p.m. | LARW Sections 2, 4, 6, 8, & 10: Room 3041

1:30 p.m. | LARW Sections 1, 3, 5, 7, & 9: Room 3041

Ericka Lewis, Deputy Title IX Coordinator for Students/Equity Compliance Investigator for the Office of Institutional Equity will provide a review of the Student Sexual Misconduct Policy to include prohibited conduct, reporting, and confidential support services.


Duke Bar Association BBQ

5:00 p.m. | Marcy's Garden/Front Lawn

Meet upper-level mentors and DBA representatives over delicious North Carolina barbeque.


*Indicates Professional Development course credit.

SERVE the community, LEAD with intention

Continental Breakfast

7:30 a.m. | Marcy's Garden/Front Lawn


Screening of The Trials of Darryl Hunt

8:30 a.m. | Cohort A: Room 3041

8:30 a.m. | Cohort B: Room 3043

8:30 a.m. | Cohort C: Room 4047

Watch the award-winning HBO documentary about Darryl Hunt, who was convicted of a rape and murder he did not commit and served 18 years in prison before being freed in 2003 based on DNA evidence.


Wrongful Convictions Panel

10:30 a.m. | Cohort A: Room 3041

11:30 a.m. | Cohort B: Room 3043

11:30 a.m. | Cohort C: Simulcast to Room 4047

Exoneree, Howard Dudley, Mark Rabil, the attorney for Darryl Hunt, and Professor Jamie Lau, supervising attorney for the Wrongful Convictions Clinic, will answer your questions about wrongful convictions.


Public Interest and Pro Bono Opportunities

11:30 a.m. | Cohort A: Room 3041

10:30 a.m. | Cohort B: Room 3043

10:30 a.m. | Cohort C: Simulcast to Room 4047

Assistant Dean Stella Boswell and Director Bethan Eynon from the Office of Public Interest and Pro Bono will discuss ways to contribute to the community through pro bono and public interest work.


Community Service Kick-off and Lunch

12:30 p.m. | Marcy’s Garden/Front Lawn

Pick up your lunch on the front lawn and your t-shirt under the tent, then join your LEAD group for an afternoon of service.


25th Annual Dedicated to Durham

1:30 p.m. | Various locations around Durham. See handout for meeting locations

Work with fellow students, faculty, and administrators to make a difference in your new community. Please bring closed-toe shoes and clothes that can get dirty.

ENGAGE intellectually, LIVE with purpose

Lunch with Classmates

11:30 a.m. | LARW Sections 2, 4, 6, 8, & 10: Marcy's Garden/Front Lawn

12:30 p.m. | LARW Sections 1, 3, 5, 7, & 9: Marcy's Garden/Front Lawn


Living with Purpose

11:30 a.m. | LARW Sections 1, 3, 5, 7, & 9: Room 3041

12:30 p.m. | LARW Sections 2, 4, 6, 8, & 10: Room 3041

Lindsey Parker, Student Development Coordinator for DuWell, will present concepts helpful during your time in law school and beyond.


Legal Analysis, Research and Writing Classes

1:30 p.m. | LARW Sections 1, 3, 5, 7, & 9: See breakout schedule

3:15 p.m. | LARW Sections 2, 4, 6, 8, & 10: See breakout schedule


Diversity and Inclusion and our Community Part II*

1:30 p.m. | LARW Sections 2, 4, 6, 8, & 10: Room 3041

3:15 p.m. | LARW Sections 1, 3, 5, 7, & 9: Room 3041

A "controversy in the classroom" discussion goes beyond DEI issues to all manner of difficult topics. There will be uncomfortable moments in the classroom and your professors are acting in good faith to plan for and manage the tough topics. We will explore this and the resources for students who need support or want to follow up beyond the classroom. Professor Tim Lovelace will host and the panelist will be, Professors Matthew Adler, Lisa Kern Griffin, and Trina Jones. 


LEAD Week Cookout

5:00 p.m. | Marcy’s Garden/Front Lawn

Celebrate the end of LEAD Week and the beginning of law school with your fellow students, faculty, and administration!


*Indicates Professional Development course credit.