Visiting Other Schools

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  1. First, review law school Rule 3-30.
  2. Verify that the school you hope to attend is ABA/AALS accredited.
  3. Submit a written request to James Lambert, indicating the reason why you want or need to visit at another law school, whether it will be for one semester or an entire year, and which school you plan to attend. James will forward your request to the Administrative Committee for a decision. You should be aware that only requests based on compelling personal circumstances will be granted. If you would like to discuss your circumstances prior to preparing your written request, please make an appointment with James Lambert.
  4. The Dean’s Office will notify you of the Administrative Committee’s Decision. If permission was granted, the Dean’s Office will issue the required permission letter for you to send to the other law school.
  5. Please request a law school grade report from the Law School Registrar and forward to James Lambert. Upon receipt of the grade report, the Dean’s Office will issue a “good standing letter” for you to submit with your application to the other law school. Official transcripts must be obtained from the University Registrar’s Office in the Allen Building. (IMPORTANT: You must be in good academic standing, not “in or near academic difficulty,” to be permitted to visit away.)

Academic Requirements and Enrollment Restrictions

  1. Graduation requirements for the JD program must be fulfilled here at Duke. This includes the ethics requirement (2 credits), the substantial research and writing project requirement (2 credits), the experiential learning requirement (6 credits), and the professional development requirement.  If you are in a JD-LLM program, the LLM degree requirements must also be fulfilled here at Duke.  JD-Master’s students must additionally obtain permission from their Master’s program to visit away.
  2. All incomplete coursework and independent study projects in progress here at Duke must be completed before you enroll at the host school, absent special permission from the Office of Academic Affairs and the instructor or supervising faculty member. 
  3. You may not enroll in or earn credit via any Duke Law School courses, independent study projects, or externships while at the host school.  This may include Wintersession courses and Duke in DC. 
  4. Prior to registration, you must obtain approval from the Office of Academic Affairs for the courses that you plan to enroll in at the host school. All of your courses during the visit away term must be offered by the law program at the host school and must be offered on a graded basis. You may not enroll in any course that is substantially similar to a course that you have already earned credit for at Duke Law School.  You must enroll in a minimum of 12 credits during the visit away semester.  The maximum number of credits that you may enroll in is 16 per semester. You must earn a grade of C or better to receive credit for each course.
  5. Duke Law School only accepts credit from regularly-scheduled law courses at other institutions. Duke will not accept credit for independent study projects, ad hoc seminars, research tutorials, clinics, or externships, or courses taken in departments other than the law program at the host school. 

Grading Deadlines and Graduation Clearing Deadlines

  1. The Duke Law School grading deadlines are January 15 for fall grades and June 1 for spring grades. If the visit away semester is your final semester, it is important to note the graduation clearing deadlines for fall graduates and for spring graduates, which are indicated on the Duke Law School academic calendar.  By the clearing deadline, your professors at the host school must be able to review your coursework and final examinations or papers and certify that you will pass your courses with a grade of C or better, even if the final grade will not be assigned until closer to the grading deadline.  The Duke Law Registrar’s Office must receive a communication from each professor directly to this effect in order for you to be cleared for graduation; this communication may be best coordinated by you through the registrar’s office at your host school.
  2. Please be aware that the academic calendar at your host school may differ from the academic calendar here at Duke.  It is important that you review the exam schedule at the host school and the Duke Law School academic calendar when making your course selections.  The host school may not be willing to change their exam schedule or ask professors to submit grades earlier than their grading deadline in order to accommodate Duke’s deadlines.  If Duke’s clearing deadline cannot be met by the host school, your graduation date will be changed to the following semester. 
  3. If your graduation date is changed, you are responsible for contacting the Board of Law/Bar Examiners for the state in which you plan to apply for the Bar to determine which sitting of the Bar Examination you will be permitted to take.

Transfer of Credit and Calculation of GPA

  1. Credit earned at the host school will count as ungraded credit here at Duke.  Grades earned at the host school will not appear on your Duke transcript and will not be calculated into your Duke grade point average.  Each course that you take at the host school will be named as a line item on your Duke transcript with the amount of credit that you earned alongside an official grade of “TR” which stands for Transfer Credit.  For employers or other institutions that require a complete academic record, you will need to request an official transcript from the host school as well as from Duke. 
  2. Please be aware that to be eligible for Latin Honors, students must earn graded credit in a minimum 80 percent of law school coursework. For JD students who must earn 87 credits to graduate, this means that up to 17 credits (20 percent of 87 credits) may be ungraded.  In addition to visit away credits, other credits that count as ungraded credit may include but are not limited to Foundations of Law, Wintersession courses, externships, courses taken in other departments of Duke University, fall or spring study abroad, ad hoc seminars, and independent study projects.

Tuition, Fees and Insurance

  1. During the semester(s) that you visit away, you are required to pay Duke an in absentia fee, which is the greater of (1) ten percent of Duke Law School tuition or (2) the amount that Duke Law School tuition exceeds the tuition at the visited school. The fee shall not exceed two-thirds of Duke Law School tuition. Scholarship money cannot be applied to cover this fee.
  2. Duke Law School scholarships will be reduced by 1/6 of the total scholarship for each semester that you visit away. This reduction means that you will not receive any scholarship money during any semester that you visit away.
  3. You may apply for loans, if needed, through the Law School’s Office of Financial Aid. The office will send a “consortium agreement” to the host school.
  4. Students who visit away are eligible (as Duke Law graduates) to participate in the Loan Repayment Assistance Program, however the semester(s) spent visiting away will not be included in the calculation of benefits.
  5. To confirm you are eligible to continue your health insurance coverage under the Duke Student Medical Insurance Plan while you are visiting away, please contact the insurance coordinator at, or leave a message for Calvin Vennie at (919) 684-6434. (Due to high call volumes, please allow for up to two days for a response.) If you are eligible to continue coverage under the Duke Student Medical Insurance Plan, you will be responsible for paying insurance premiums, as the in absentia fee does not include the student insurance fees customarily paid to the University.

Journal Participation

If you are a member of one of the Duke Law School journals, continued participation on the journal is not guaranteed while you visit away.  You are responsible for negotiating a suitable arrangement with your journal’s editorial board.