Celebrating the Class of 2012

May 2, 2012Duke Law News

Duke Law will honor the JD, LLM, and LLMLE classes of 2012 at its annual hooding ceremony at Cameron Indoor Stadium on May 12. The graduates will receive their diplomas during Duke University’s graduation ceremony on Sunday, May 13.

Retired Supreme Court Associate Justice John Paul Stevens will address the graduates at their hooding ceremony after sharing insights with them from his long service as a lawyer and jurist during an afternoon “Lives in the Law” interview with Dean David F. Levi. (View details; this event is open only to graduates.) Joanna Darcus will speak on behalf of the JD class and Frederik Grysolle will serve as LLM class speaker. Visit the graduation website for a full schedule of events.

Members of the graduating classes have demonstrated their high-level command of written and oral advocacy and legal scholarship in briefs filed and arguments made in moot court competitions and in state and federal courts, as well as scholarly articles on topics ranging from health care reform to national security and the parental rights of sex offenders. They have organized scholarly conferences and symposia addressing such matters as criminal justice reform, emerging models of administrative rulemaking, hydrofracking, economic and environmental equity, state indebtedness and insolvency, and patent reform.

The graduates have been generous in sharing their time and their skills with the community at large, contributing 13,955 hours of service to the community through the Pro Bono Project, Duke Clinics, and the Externship Program. Many of them ─ 145 ─ completed 50 or more hours of pro bono during their time in law school, fulfilling the Duke Law Pro Bono Pledge. They initiated and led nine new pro bono projects, such as the Social Entrepreneurship & Innovation pro bono project, Haiti Legal Assistance project, Iraqi Refugees Assistance Project, Justice Matters project, Legal Aid of NC Ambassador Certification Project, Southern Justice Spring Break Project trip to Miami, the N.C. Wills Drafting Project, and the Military Service Records certification project as part of the Veteran’s Disability Assistance Project. They volunteered in record numbers to investigate claims of actual innocence made by North Carolina inmates, and around Duke and Durham they have taught youngsters how to play rugby, helped incarcerated youth learn about rights and ethics, advised startup companies, helped low-income taxpayers with their returns, coached undergraduates to a national moot court championship, and mobilized voters around a proposal to amend the state constitution.

They have participated in a wide range of spring break trips dedicated to legal service and study, both domestically, throughout the Gulf Coast region, in Florida, and in Appalachia, and internationally; they have engaged in field research on indigenous land rights in Brazil, housing rights in East Jerusalem, and spousal property and intestate succession rights in Ghana. Graduates also have helped craft provisions to reform Haitian laws pertaining to domestic violence and violence against women.

The following are some stories about and profiles of members of the Class of 2012:



LLM in Law and Entrepreneurship
Other News
  • Economic Growth and Development in Africa

    Nelly Wamaitha LLM ’17, an attorney from Kenya, describes herself as a skeptic of foreign aid structures and delivery in Africa. “I don’t think Africa’s problems can be solved with some Herculean effort that Africa does on its own, it’s obviously going to be a cooperative effort,” said Wamaitha, who practiced corporate law in Nairobi and London and studied theology at Oxford University before coming to Duke. “That having been said, the world has really botched up Africa in the past.”

  • Keeping a critical eye on enforcement

    Decisions regarding the enforcement of laws are highly discretionary. The choice of a federal or state agency or attorney general to investigate, charge, litigate, or resolve a specific infraction of a statute or regulation or not gets little public, judicial, or scholarly scrutiny.