LLM in Law & Entrepreneurship

Main Content

The LLM in Law and Entrepreneurship program is not accepting applications for the 2022-2023 academic year.

The LLM in Law and Entrepreneurship is a two-semester, 24-credit program.

Admission is limited to applicants who hold a JD or an LLM from an ABA-approved U.S. law school, or who are admitted to practice in a U.S. jurisdiction. 



The LLMLE program is providing me the opportunity to not only explore my interests further in the classroom, but to apply those interests during the practicum in a real working environment. When I graduate, instead of a set of interests, I will have acquired a set of skills which I will use for the rest of my career.

Megan Pirooz LLMLE'14

The Law & Entrepreneurship 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.


The Coursework

Fall Semester Core Courses

During the first semester all students will be required to complete a three-course core curriculum. This core includes the following:

  • Law and Entrepreneurship: Develop a deep understanding of the relationship between entrepreneurship and law. Course features regular visits and discussions with entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial lawyers.
  • Advising the Entrepreneurial Client: Learn how to handle the legal issues inherent in the life cycle of a typical startup, from inception and incorporation through the liquidity event.
  • Business Strategy for Lawyers: Develop skills with analytical frameworks drawn from MBA curriculums at leading business schools. (Students may place out of this requirement and instead take an additional elective.)

Spring Semester Core Courses

  • Venture Capital Financing: Focus on the legal and economic structure of venture capital transactions and become familiar with the legal agreements used to document these transactions.
  • Entrepreneurship and the Law Practicum: Work in a venture capital firm, government agency, trade association, private law firm, general counsel's office, or similar setting.


Selected Electives

Students will have access to a wide variety of elective courses at the Law School.

The Law and Entrepreneurship LLM Program is a two-semester, 24-credit program that builds on Duke Law's existing strengths in the fields of business law, intellectual property law, and innovation policy. It also takes advantage of strategic ties to entrepreneurial companies located in Durham and the surrounding Research Triangle Park region. The program provides a rigorous academic and experiential foundation for lawyers who plan to be involved with innovative businesses, either as advisers, or as CEOs or other executives. You must have received either a JD or an LLM from an accredited U.S. law school OR be a currently active member of a bar in at least one U.S. jurisdiction in order to be eligible to apply.

The program includes five required courses for a total of 16 credits; eight remaining credits must be taken as electives, and other electives may be taken if core course requirements have been met during the JD program.


First Semester

During the first semester all students will be required to complete a rigorous three-course core curriculum. This core includes the following: Law and Entrepreneurship (2 credits); Advising the Entrepreneurial Client (3 credits); and Business Strategy for Lawyers (3 credits). Students must also take at least one elective from a menu of courses available through the program (see below). If students have already taken Business Strategy for Lawyers, or if they have an MBA, they can select additional electives from the courses available through the program.


Second Semester

During the second semester, all students will be required to take the following: Venture Capital Financing (3 credits) and the Entrepreneurship and the Law Practicum (5 credits). Students may then fulfill their remaining credit requirements via the electives listed below.

Sample Electives

You must have received either a JD or an LLM from an accredited U.S. law school OR be a currently active member of a bar in at least one U.S. jurisdiction in order to be eligible to apply. 

Please review the detailed application instructions as you complete the application.  For any questions not answered in these instructions, please refer to the FAQ.

Duke University is committed to encouraging and sustaining a learning and work community that is free from prohibited discrimination and harassment. The university prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, sex, genetic information, or age in the administration of its educational policies, admission policies, financial aid, employment, or any other university program or activity. The university also makes good faith efforts to recruit, employ and promote qualified minorities, women, individuals with disabilities, and veterans. It admits qualified students to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students. The university also does not tolerate harassment of any kind. Sexual harassment and sexual misconduct are forms of sex discrimination and prohibited by the university. Additional information, including the complete text of the harassment policy and appropriate complaint procedures, may be found by contacting the Office for Institutional Equity by phone (919) 684-8222 or visiting their website at

For further information on notice of nondiscrimination, you can contact the appropriate federal office by visiting the website: for the address and phone number of the office that serves your area, or call 1 (800) 421-3481.


Application Checklist

The following items are required. You will be notified by email once your application has been received. The email notification will also include instructions on how to check your file status online. Required items should be submitted as soon as possible. Applications that are missing required material will be reviewed at an appropriate time and final decisions will be rendered based on the information that exists in the file at that time.

Create an LLM LSAC Account

You are required to create an online account with LSAC. You must create an LLM LSAC account even if you have previously created an LSAC account as a JD applicant. More information about creating an LLM LSAC account is available online at

Application Processing Fee

The application fee is $80. A credit or debit card payment submitted with the electronic application is required. The application processing fee is non-refundable.


You must submit a current resume with your application. Please include your significant work experience, educational history, college and community activities, and honors and awards you have received. Include dates for all items listed on your resume. Please provide complete information on one page if possible, no more than two (2) pages total. 

Personal Statement

You are required to submit a personal statement. The statement is your opportunity to introduce yourself to the admissions committee and may include (1) your significant personal experiences beyond what may be reflected in your academic transcripts and on your resume, (2) what you expect to do in the years after graduation from the Law and Entrepreneurship program to make an impact within the entrepreneurial community, (3) how the program will help you to achieve your entrepreneurial and personal ambitions, and/or (4) the role you envision the practicum playing during your year in the program.

The personal statement and all other writing samples must be your own work. This means that the ideas and expressions originated with you, and you wrote all drafts and the final product. It does not preclude asking family members, friends, pre-law advisors, and others for proofreading assistance or general feedback.

Letters of Recommendation

Two recommendation letters will be required; at least one should be an academic reference. References from friends, family friends, and relatives are discouraged. If you have been out of school for some time, you may substitute letters from employers or others who are well acquainted with your personal traits and entrepreneurial potential. The LSAC Letter of Recommendation Service is included in your CAS registration. A signature is required on all recommendation letters, preferably on letterhead.

Academic Transcripts

All applicants must register with LSAC's Credential Assembly Service (CAS). CAS information is available online at You will be required to submit the following through CAS: (1) official transcripts from an accredited U.S. law school verifying that you received a JD and/or LLM degree, and (2) official transcripts for all undergraduate and graduate schools attended. NOTE: LSAC will not release your CAS Report until they have received and processed your undergraduate and law transcripts.

Foreign Transcripts

Duke Law School requires that foreign transcripts be submitted through the CAS if you received a degree from an institution outside the U.S. or Canada, or if you completed the equivalent of more than one year of undergraduate study outside the U.S. (including its territories) or Canada. This service is included in the CAS registration fee. A Foreign Credential Evaluation will be completed by the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO), which will be incorporated into your LSAC CAS report. Log in to your online account and follow the instructions for registering for the service. Be sure to print out a Transcript Request Form for each institution and send it promptly to them. More time is usually required to receive foreign transcripts. Questions about foreign transcripts can be directed to LSAC at 215.968.1001 or

Class Rank

If class rank is not indicated on your law school transcript, the information should be submitted directly from the law school to the Office of Admissions. If the law school does not rank students, we must receive documentation directly from the law school indicating so.

Supplemental Material

If you wish to send additional material after submitting your electronic application, forward it to the LLM in Law and Entrepreneurship program by postal mail or email Include your full name and LSAC account number.

Please follow these guidelines for scans so that your message can be successfully received at Duke Law:

  • Black and white, or grayscale
  • 200 dpi
  • If saving as an image, use JPEG format

If your email attachment is lengthy, it may be more beneficial to submit a 1-2 page summary by email or submit the material by postal mail.

International Students and Visa Applications

Applicants who are not U.S. citizens should indicate their country of citizenship in Section 2 of the application ("Demographic Information"), but do not need to take additional action at the time they apply. When admitted students who are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents submit their tuition deposit and admission acceptance form, they will receive information about applying for a Duke-sponsored F-1 visa. They will be required to submit copies of their passports, previous visa documents, and proof of financial support. Duke University policy states that graduate and professional students who are not in lawful immigration status will not be enrolled. For more information, please contact the admissions office.


Completing the Application

Please read the following instructions carefully before completing the application.

1: Biographical

Complete this section in full.

2: Demographic Information

Complete this section in full.

3: Contact Information

Complete this section in full. Submit updates to your contact information directly to the LLM Program in Law and Entrepreneurship office by email (

4: Prior Application

Complete this section in full. If you applied previously to Duke's LLM Program in Law and Entrepreneurship, please indicate the year(s) for which you applied for admission.

5: Standardized Tests

LSAT: Indicate the dates you took the Law School Admission Test (LSAT). Fill in the score(s) on the application and include a copy of your report in your supplemental material. Applicant files that are missing the LSAT score will be reviewed but may be disadvantaged and applications must address the fact that they have not supplied this information in a statement in the supplemental materials. There is no expiration date for your LSAT score for admission to the Law and Entrepreneurship program. The LSAC will not provide your score to Duke for the LLMLE program.

TOEFL: If applicable, indicate the dates you took or will take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). International applicants must take the TOEFL if your first language is not English AND English is not the language of instruction at your undergraduate institution. Contact the Education Testing Service (ETS) and request that your TOEFL score be sent to LSAC. LSAC's TOEFL code for the CAS is 8395. Your score will be included in the Foreign Credential Evaluation document that will be included in your LSAC CAS report. Applicant files that are missing the TOEFL score will be reviewed but may be disadvantaged. Foreign applicants with graduate degrees in the U.S. are not eligible for TOEFL waivers.

6: Educational History

You are required to provide information on all post secondary schools attended. Under Educational History, list your law school, the most recent graduate or professional school and undergraduate degree granting institution. Use the Additional Schools Attended addendum to list all other graduate, professional, and undergraduate schools attended.

7: Bar Admission

Complete this section in full.

For international applications, please note that you must have received either a JD or an LLM from an accredited U.S. law school OR be a currently active member of a bar in at least one U.S. jurisdiction in order to be eligible to apply.

8: Family

Complete this section in full.

9: Character and Fitness

Duke Law requires that you reveal knowledge of all disciplinary charges, and any arrests, criminal charges, or criminal convictions (except arrests, criminal charges or criminal convictions that have been expunged from your record). When in doubt, you should err on the side of full disclosure as subsequent discovery of a failure to fully and accurately answer these questions may have serious consequences. You have an ongoing obligation to report any conduct that would require you to answer "yes" to any of the questions in this section during the pendency of your application. If you are admitted, the obligation to report conduct applicable to the questions in this section continues until your first day of class at Duke Law School.

If you answer "yes" to any of these questions, you will be required to provide an explanation. Include details, the current status of any disciplinary action or judicial sanctions, and the final resolution of the issues involved.

In addition, if you answer "yes" to Question 1 (disciplinary action) in this section, you will be required to have the dean, registrar, department supervisor, judicial officer, or academic officer with access to official records from your institution submit a letter directly to the Office of Admissions providing complete information about the incident.

10: Certification

Applications will not be processed without an electronic signature agreeing to the conditions and certifying that the information is true and complete. You are obligated to notify the Office of Admissions immediately of any change in the information provided.