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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.

2023 Schedule of Events


EMBODY integrity, BUILD relationships

Registration and Continental Breakfast

8:00 a.m. | Third Floor Loggia and Star Commons 

Register on the Third Floor Loggia then join your LEAD Fellows and classmates in Star Commons for a light breakfast.


Welcome to Duke Law School

9:00 a.m. | Star Commons

Associate Dean William Hoye will welcome you to the Law School.


Dean's Welcome

9:30 a.m. | Star Commons

Dean Kerry Abrams will welcome you to Duke Law and talk 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 2023-2024 LEAD Fellows here.


Professionalism Luncheon 

12:15 p.m. | JB Duke

Dine with members of the Law School community, including featured speaker, Collin Cox ‘01, who will also lead students in the Duke Law School pledge.


Character, Fitness, and Academic Affairs*

2:00 p.m. | Cohort B: Room 3043
3:00 p.m. | Cohort A: Room 3041

Associate Dean William Hoye will review character and fitness requirements. Assistant Dean Amanda Lacoff and James Lambert, Director of Academic Advising, will introduce students to Academic Affairs.


Living with Purpose

2:00 p.m. | Cohort A: Room 3041
3:00 p.m. | Cohort B: Room 3043

Thomas Szigethy, Director of Duke DuWell and Associate Dean of Students, and Michelle Johnson, Assistant Director for Duke DuWell, will present concepts helpful during your time in law school and beyond.



4:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. | Star Commons

Celebrate the beginning of your Duke Law experience! Hosted by the Law School Alumni Association and Duke Law Alumni and Development office.


Campus Tours (optional)

4:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. | Welcome Desk, Third Floor Lobby

LEAD Fellows will take you on a tour to of a few key areas around campus. 



ENGAGE intellectually, BUILD relationships

Coffee Service

8:30 a.m.| Third Floor Loggia


Introduction to Academic Technologies and the Law Library

9:00 a.m. | Cohort B: Room 3043
10:30 a.m. | Cohort A: Room 3041

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.


Sexual Misconduct Prevention

9:00 a.m.. | Cohort A: Room 3041
10:30 a.m. | Cohort B: Room 3043

Victoria Krebs, Associate Dean of Students and Interim Director of Gender Violence Prevention, will provide information on addressing sexual misconduct at Duke. The presentation will cover policies, processes, confidential and non-confidential resources, supportive measures, prevention efforts, reporting, filing a formal complaint, options for resolution, prohibited conduct, consent, and incapacitation. 

Lunch with Classmates

12:00 p.m. | Star Commons


Legal Analysis, Research, and Writing Classes

1:30 p.m. | LARW Sections 2, 4, 5 & 7
3:15 p.m. | LARW Sections 1, 3, 6 & 8


The Honor Code and University Standards

1:30 p.m. | LARW Sections 1, 3, 6 & 8
3:15 p.m. | LARW Sections 2, 4, 5 & 7

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


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

8:00 a.m. | Star Commons


Screening of The Trials of Darryl Hunt

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

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

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 B: Room 3043

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

Exoneree, Dontae Sharpe, Mark Rabil, the attorney for Darryl Hunt, and Professor Jim Coleman, Director of the Wrongful Convictions Clinic, will answer your questions about wrongful convictions.


Public Interest and Pro Bono Opportunities

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

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

Assistant Dean Stella Boswell and Directors Bethan Eynon and D.J. Dore 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. | Star Commons

Pick up your lunch in Star Commons and your t-shirt under the tent, then join your group for an afternoon of service.


28th 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

Class Preparation and Case Briefing*

10:00 a.m. | Cohort A: Room 3041
11:00 a.m. | Cohort B: Room 3043

This session, led by Professor Joseph Blocher, is designed to make your faculty's expectations clear, and to provide instruction on how to meet those expectations so that you can be your most successful from the beginning of the semester.


Note Taking 101*

10:00 a.m. | Cohort B: Room 3043
11:00 a.m. | Cohort A: Room 3041

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.


Lunch with Classmates

12:00 p.m. | Star Commons


Legal Analysis, Research and Writing Classes

1:30 p.m. | LARW Sections 1, 3, 6 & 8
3:15 p.m. | LARW Sections 2, 4, 5 & 7


Thriving in the Classroom*

1:30 p.m. | LARW Sections 2, 4, 5 & 7
3:15 p.m. | LARW Sections1, 3, 6 & 8

The law school classroom invites you to consider diverse perspectives, advocate for a range of positions, take intellectual risks, and grapple with sensitive topics. Your professors will have different teaching styles and emphasize different cases, but they are all trying to guide you through rigorous and professional conversations about the most challenging and important problems. This session will explore classroom pedagogy, productive group discussions, the connection between the classroom and the legal profession, and how to thrive in the semesters ahead. 


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.