Visiting other schools

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  1. Verify that the school you hope to attend is ABA/AALS accredited.
  2. Submit a written request to Dean Barnes, 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. The Deans 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 Dean Barnes.
  3. 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.
  4. Please request a law school grade report from the Law School Registrar and forward to Dean Barnes. Upon receipt of the grade report, the Deans 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.)
  5. Financial Matters:
    1. In absentia fee: 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. It may also mean that you will receive a reduced amount while you are still enrolled at Duke. The fact that no scholarship funds are disbursed during a student’s final semester does not mean that the total scholarship will not be reduced by 1/6 if a student visits away that final semester. If you visit away during your last semester, you will be required to refund the Law School the amount by which your scholarship is reduced.
    3. 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. Loan Forgiveness participation: Students who visit away are eligible (as Duke Law graduates) to participate in the Loan Forgiveness Program, BUT the semester(s) spent visiting away will NOT be included in the calculation of Loan Forgiveness benefits.
    5. Health Insurance: If you want health insurance coverage under the student plan through Hill Chesson and Associates while you are visiting away, you will need to contact Hill Chesson directly (489-7426) to continue your enrollment. You also will be responsible for paying the premiums for the plan as the in absentia fee does not include the student insurance fees customarily paid to the university.
  6. Provide course descriptions so the Dean’s Office can approve your classes PRIOR to registration. Courses must be taken on a graded basis and cannot be duplicative of work done at Duke. Credit is not given for clinical externships. You must take at least 12 graded credits per semester, and must earn a grade of C or better for credits to transfer. Final transcripts must be provided to the Law School Registrar as soon as they are available.
  7. All Duke Law School Incompletes and Independent Study work must be completed before the visiting student enrolls at the host school unless special permission is obtained from the Dean’s Office and the faculty member in question.
  8. Continued participation on one of the Duke journals is not guaranteed while you visit at another school. Individual arrangements must be made with that journal’s editorial board.
  9. Graduation:
    1. Graduation with High Honors or Honors may be forfeited. Consult the Senior Associate Dean if you have a question about Honors or Order of the Coif.
    2. Delayed graduation and possible effect on taking the Bar Examination: Please check carefully to learn what the grading deadlines are at the host school before you visit away. Make sure that the other school will be able to certify you for graduation by Duke University’s official deadline or else your degree will not be conferred until the following degree-granting date. (Example: If you visit at a school that cannot certify you for graduation until May 23, and Duke’s deadline is hypothetically May 5, you will not be able to graduate until September.) If you will not graduate in May, you must check with the state in which you plan to take the Bar Examination to determine when you will be permitted to take the exam.
    3. If you will be away at the time of graduation, you must apply through the Law School Registrar for permission to graduate in absentia, and submit an Application for Degree by Duke’s deadline (also through the Law School Registrar’s office).