The Law and Entrepreneurship Program integrates rigorous course work, real-world experience, and high-level networking opportunities to position you to advise, create, and lead the innovative ventures that will drive tomorrow’s global economy.
The LLMLE program provides students with a deep understanding of the historical and current perspectives on entrepreneurship and the law; enables students to understand the business, institutional, and strategic considerations applicable to entrepreneurs; fosters an understanding of the public policy and legal frameworks that promote innovation; ensures that students master both the core substantive law and the lawyering skills that are necessary for effective representation of entrepreneurs; and provides students with an opportunity to explore their own potential for entrepreneurship.
JD/LLM in Law and Entrepreneurship students complete requirements for both degrees over six semesters of law study and a startup immersion experience during the summer following their first year. Required courses include Advising the Entrepreneurial Client, Law & Entrepreneurship, Analytical Methods, and Business Strategy. JD/LLM LE students also participate in a non-law firm externship at a local startup company and the Start-up Ventures Clinic.
To apply for the JD/LLM in Law and Entrepreneurship program, candidates complete the regular JD application and indicate their intent to enroll in the JD/LLMLE. No additional application materials or standardized testing are required.LLMLE faculty Why Duke, Why Now?
Candidates for the JD/LLM in Law and Entrepreneurship do not need to apply separately to any school or program at Duke other than the Law School. Complete the regular JD application, but indicate that you wish to be considered for the dual degree. You may apply to only one dual degree program.
Application Review Process
JD/LLMLE applications are reviewed through the regular Law School process. Although there are no specific prerequisites or admission requirements, the admissions committee pays particular attention to applicants with a background in business, finance, and entrepreneurial activity. In rare instances where the applicant is a strong candidate for the JD program but lacks this additional experience, the admissions committee may offer admission to the JD only.
Additional Application Materials
JD/LLMLE candidates are not required to submit a statement of purpose for the LLM; however, we encourage applicants to address their interest in law and entrepreneurship, either in their personal statement or include the JD/LLM Addendum attachment.
The LSAT is required for all Law School dual degree applicants. No additional testing is required for the JD/LLMLE.
Students enrolled in the JD/LLM-LE must earn 108 law credits to graduate. This is 87 JD credits and 21 LLM-LE credits, calculated as follows:
- 87 credits for the JD degree
21 credits the LLM-LE degree
- 7 of these credits may also count toward the 87 JD credits, but must be selected from a menu of core JD/LLM-LE offerings identified by the faculty director of the program.
- The remaining 14 credits are in addition to the 87 credits required for the JD.
- Total coursework: 101 credits
The JD/LLM-LE credits must be comprised of the following
- The eight prescribed first-year courses:
- Three prescribed upper-level courses:
- LE Silicon Valley Experience: Completion of the Law & Entrepreneurship program in Silicon Valley during the summer between 1L and 2L year.
- JD Ethics Requirement: A two-credit course in ethics and professional responsibility.
- JD Upper-Level Writing Requirement: One faculty-supervised research paper for a minimum of two credits. This may be fulfilled by way of a seminar or an independent study. The ULWR paper must be a solo project; group projects may not be used to fulfill the requirement. The student's engagement in a ULWR project must be registered with the Registrar's Office no later than the end of the drop/add period of the student's fifth semester. Courses that satisfy the ULWR are identified in the Course Browser by using the JD Course of Study drop-down menu and searching for "JD - upper level writing."
JD Professional Skills/Experiential Learning Requirement:
- Students who entered law school in 2015 or earlier must earn a minimum two credits in professional skills. Courses that satisfy the Professional Skills Requirement are identified in the Course Browser by using the JD Course of Study drop-down menu and searching for "professional skills."
- Students who entered law school in 2016 or later must earn a minimum six credits in experiential learning. Courses that satisfy the Experiential Learning Requirement are identified in the Course Browser by using the JD Course of Study drop-down menu and searching for "experiential learning."
The following prescribed upper-level courses, noting alternatives where indicated:
- Advising the Entrepreneurial Client or Structuring Venture Capital and Private Equity Transactions
- Analytical Methods
- Business Strategy for Lawyers
- Corporate Finance or Venture Capital Financing
- Law & Entrepreneurship
- LLM-LE Practicum for 3Ls or a transactional clinic (Start-Up Ventures Clinic or Community Enterprise Law Clinic)
- Securities Regulation
- One skills-based course approved by the faculty director of the program
- Innovation Leadership (2L Wintersession)
- Current Issues in Entrepreneurship (3L Wintersession)
- JD/LLM-LE Electives: students are expected to maximize the value of the JD/LLM-LE program by selecting JD courses with a total of at least 16 credits to complement the prescribed program curriculum. LE electives are identified in the course browser.
Regularly-Scheduled Courses: A minimum 64 of the 101 credits must be earned in courses that require attendance in regularly scheduled classroom sessions or direct faculty instruction.
Regularly-scheduled law school courses include
- Law School courses and seminars, including courses cross-listed at the Law School but originating in another school or department at the University.
- Law School clinics
- Regularly-scheduled courses completed at another ABA-accredited law school, including through the inter-institutional agreement with UNC and NCCU and transfer credits for students who completed the first year at another law school or who visited away at another law school.
- Credits from an approved study abroad program.
Regularly-scheduled law school courses do NOT include
- Independent study
- Non-law courses
- Research tutorials
- Ad hoc seminars
- Regularly-scheduled law school courses include
All students are responsible for monitoring their compliance with the graduation requirements.