PUBLISHED:November 16, 2022

Blue Globe Newsletter, 2022

Dear International Alumni,

Greetings from the International Studies Office. I think it is safe to say that Duke Law School has emerged from the Covid-19 pandemic stronger than it has ever been.

LLM Class of 2022
Congratulations LLM Class of 2022!

In May, we were back in Cameron Indoor Stadium, the famed home of the Duke Blue Devils basketball team, to celebrate the graduation of our JD and LLM classes. It was a wonderful, warm ceremony featuring remarks from LLMand JD speakers, along with our distinguished class speaker, Hon. Judge J. Michelle Childs of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

During the summer and into the fall, we welcomed 13 new scholars and teachers to Duke Law School – one of the largest new faculty cohorts ever. They are a diverse group who bring a wealth of experiences, backgrounds, teaching, and research strengths to the Law School.

In the past year, we have also celebrated the renaming of the LLM Scholarship fund to honor Associate Dean Jennifer Maher’s legacy, the launch of a new Criminal Defense clinic, and the life and legacy of Professor Walter Dellinger, a legendary Supreme Court advocate and scholar, whose passing at the age of 80 was felt acutely by generations of law students whom he had taught and mentored since joining Duke Law faculty in 1969.

In August, we welcomed two of the most diverse JD and LLM classes in the Law School history, with 225 JD students joining 88 LLM students from 37 countries. In early October, we returned to New York City after a 2-year absence, hosting an LLM student and alumni reception with the generous support of the International Advisory Board. Also, in October and early November, members of the International Studies staff set out to personally visit many of our alumni around the world, from Germany and Mexico to Brazil, Colombia, Argentina, and Chile. (Read on for more on our international alumni gatherings.)

As always, please keep in touch with us! We want to know about your professional lives, personal milestones, career changes, weddings, children, and pets. Connect with us on LinkedIn, follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, and—most importantly—come to visit. Just in the past two months, we enjoyed visits from Ralf Weisser ’91 and family, Jeremie Vuillquez ’06, Frank Schäfer ‘03, Gitanjali Workman ’02, Einat Levy ’12, James Bergin ’93, Ma Jun ’00, Andres Osornio ’11, Ramon Lafee ‘01, and Max Larrain '10. We look forward to seeing many more of you both at Duke and in your home countries this year and next!

As we begin another recruiting cycle, I ask that you consider making a gift to Duke Law. You will “pay it forward” by giving talented international students the same opportunity you benefited from. Financial support from LLM alumni is critical in ensuring that Duke Law School’s LLM program continues to attract the best and the brightest candidates from around the world. In many countries the economic and political realities make it impossible for promising young lawyers to afford a high-quality legal education in the U.S. Your support can make all the difference in the lives of these students.

In the meantime, we hope you will enjoy reading the 2022 edition of the Blue Globe Newsletter.

Class Update

The LLM class of 2023 comprises 88 students from 37 countries. It includes our highest number of students from Africa. We also welcomed our first students from Albania and Kuwait. Click here to get to know some of the remarkable students from the current class. In addition to LLMs, we welcomed 8 exchange students from 7 countries and a new SJD student from China.

LLM class of 2023
Welcome LLM Class of 2023!


We were delighted to finally return to an almost “normal” Orientation this fall. Though masks were still required in classrooms at that time, we were able to mingle more with the incoming JD students. Check out some great images at the Law School’s Facebook page.

LLM Lead Fellows
We started the LLM Lead Fellows pilot program in August 2022. The first LLM Lead Fellow program featured 16 JD students (2Ls and 3Ls) and 1 returning LLM. The primary goal of this program was to connect the incoming LLM class with their JD peers. Each Lead Fellow leads a group of 6-8 LLMs and advises their LEAD groups on both academic and social aspects of life as a Duke Law student. During the fall semester, each group leader planned outings such as baseball games at Durham Bulls Park, climbing the Duke Chapel, visiting the Lemur Center, and having a picnic lunch at Duke Gardens.

Faculty News

In a record hiring year, 13 scholars and teachers are joining the faculty of Duke Law School in 2022-23. They include well-established professors who are experts in their fields and noted for their teaching, promising young scholars with experience in cutting-edge methods of conducting research, seasoned practitioners with a wealth of insights from varied areas of practice, and a veteran jurist joining Duke Law from the federal bench. They are also a diverse group who bring an array of identities and backgrounds to their work and amplify many of the Law School’s existing faculty strengths, including corporate law, international law, intellectual property, and empirical research.

Among the Law School’s new recruits are Veronica Root Martinez, an expert on corporate compliance and monitorships; Christopher Buccafusco, a scholar of intellectual property law and innovation policy; and Timothy Meyer, an international public law scholar who specializes in international trade, investment, and economic law. Jedediah Purdy, a renowned public intellectual and a prolific scholar of environmental, property, and constitutional law who is returning to Duke from Columbia Law School. Purdy was on the Duke Law faculty from 2004 to 2019 and was a perennially popular teacher who won the Duke Bar Association’s Distinguished Teaching Award in 2008.

Shu-Yi Oei, who teaches and writes in the areas of tax policy and economic regulation, will join the faculty in January after serving as a professor and the Dean’s Distinguished Scholar at the Boston College Law School.

Other new additions to the faculty are Allison Korn, who is directing the Health Justice Clinic; Elana Fogel, who will direct the new Criminal Defense Clinic; Amanda Martin, new supervising attorney in the First Amendment Clinic; Michael Murphy, new supervising attorney in the Startup Ventures Clinic; and Judge Paul Grimm, who will become director of the Bolch Judicial Institute in January, succeeding David F. Levi. Emerging scholars Jonathan Petkun, Mara Revkin, and Jonathan Seymour, a former visiting assistant professor at the Law School, round out the new research faculty.

Read more about our new faculty in the Summer 2022 issue of Duke Law Magazine.

Career & Professional Development Highlights

We celebrated the graduation of 50 LLMs in December 2021. Students pursuing new opportunities were highly successful globally in a variety of practice areas, including capital markets, intellectual property, M&A, banking, real estate, international arbitration, litigation, and renewable energy. As the legal market continued to flourish, the Class of 2022 was also effective in the highly competitive legal market. Students secured positions with law firms, international tribunals, government agencies, courts, and academic institutions throughout the U.S., Europe, Central America, South America, and Asia. Quite a few of our students pursued niche practice areas such as fintech, human rights, wind energy, employment litigation, real estate, data protection, and health care.

This fall, we launched a one-on-one professional career coaching program with Mila Trezza ’03, founder of Coaching Lawyers. These sessions supplement our professional development programming throughout the year, including resume and networking workshops, practice interviews with alumni volunteers, off-site alumni/student receptions, career discussions with visiting alumni, and one-on-one counseling by our team.

The Class of 2023 comes to Duke Law with an array of experience and expertise in private equity, criminal law, public policy, labor law, in-house corporate matters, media and telecommunications law, international commercial and investor-state arbitration, human rights and child protection law, cross-border investments, startups, and more. Current students are eager to speak with Duke Law LLM alums to learn about their experiences navigating the legal market and seek advice on how to best position themselves as candidates for legal opportunities.

Summer Programs

The Duke-Leiden Institute in Global & Transnational Law

The Duke-Leiden Institute in Global and Transnational Law, a collaboration between Duke Law School and the University of Leiden, took place in The Hague, Netherlands, June 20-July 20. We were delighted to be back in The Hague after holding the Institute in Durham for the last two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The courses offered were Taxation of Cross-Border Transactions, Realizing Rights: Strategic Human Rights Litigation and Advocacy, New Challenges in International Trade Law, Authority and Legitimacy in International Adjudication, and Comparative Perspectives on Criminal Justice.

In addition to 23 Duke Law students, two students from other U.S. law schools and three students from Canada and Australia joined the Institute. The participants were able to attend several exciting events, including a visit to the International Criminal Court, a visit to the U.S. Embassy in the Hague and meeting with Legal Advisor Emily Kimball, a lecture by Judge Hillary Charlesworth (Australia) of the International Court of Justice, a dinner with Iran-US Claims Tribunal Judge Rosemary Barkett, and the International Criminal Court’s conference celebrating the twentieth anniversary of its founding treaty, the Rome Statute, which was held at the World Forum in The Hague.

We plan to hold the Institute in The Hague again next summer. It is open to students who have completed at least one year of law study, students preparing to study for an LLM degree, and judges, academics, practitioners, and other professionals seeking knowledge of American, international, and comparative law. If you or your colleagues are aware of students or practicing attorneys who may be interested in participating in the Institute, please encourage them to review our website and contact Bonnie Blundell with any questions.

SILLC 2022 students
SILLC 2022

Summer Institute on Law, Language, & Culture

The 2022 Summer Institute on Law, Language, & Culture (SILLC) saw a return to normal, with a cohort of 24 students from eight countries sharpening their knowledge of U.S. law and legal culture during this intensive and supportive program. In 2022, participants included prosecutors and other government attorneys, attorneys in private practice with both large and smaller firms, in-house counsel, a sitting judge, and a human rights scholar.

The 2022 cohort spent their time at Duke Law engaged in active learning. Lectures by Duke Law faculty introduced Institute participants to the key topics JD students cover in the first year of law school. At the conclusion of the program, each participant delivered a capstone presentation comparing a specific aspect of U.S. law to the law of their country. The group also went off campus to witness the U.S. legal system in action. As special guests of the Durham County courts, they were able to observe trials and meet with judges and other court staff to discuss the state of the criminal and civil justice system in the U.S. The group also enjoyed outings and activities aimed at helping them to feel at home in local and American culture.

As we complete our plans for 2023, we need your help to spread the word about the SILLC program – one that we have been told by participants is challenging, inspiring, and a lot of fun. Would your students, interns, or associates benefit from a dynamic, four-week primer on the U.S. legal system at Duke Law along with new colleagues from around the globe? Please let them know about SILLC, and let us know if we can reach out to any of your contacts.

Dean Kobelev with alumni
Dean Kobelev with alumni in Sao Paolo

Staff Travel & Recruitment

After a long travel hiatus, members of the International Studies staff were excited to get on the road again to meet prospective LLM students and reconnect with alumni. Oleg Kobelev visited Brazil, Argentina, Chile, and Columbia as part of the Fulbright/Education USA LLM tour. Jabrina Robinson went to Germany to speak to students at the DAJV 2022 LLM Fair. And Leslie Allen visited Mexico to speak to law firms and universities in Mexico City and Monterrey.

In addition to in-person travel, we continued virtually engaging prospective student audiences, hosting virtual seminars at universities in Ireland and Belgium in October. We plan to host additional virtual events in France, Germany, India, Australia, Canada, and Spain.

Visiting Scholars

A total of 15 scholars from nations including Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, Brazil, and Switzerland participated in the Visiting Scholar program at Duke Law this year. Their research interests include online dispute resolution, discrimination and human rights, financial technology, criminal law, and other topics.

SJD Program

Two students joined the SJD program in the 2022-23 academic year as provisional candidates from Israel, working with Professor Madeline Morris, and China, working with Professor Shitong Qiao. These two students join three current SJD candidates from Argentina, India, and Brazil, respectively, who are making steady progress toward the completion of their SJD degree. In May 2022, Assaf Harpaz, originally from Israel and supervised by Professor Larry Zelenak, graduated with an SJD degree. Dr. Harpaz is currently serving as a Visiting Assistant Professor at Drexler University Kline School of Law.

In other SJD news, Ana Santos Rutschman LLM '08, SJD ’16 has recently become full professor at Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law.

Alumni in the News & Giving

Our alumni continue to dazzle in ways big and small. Among the most recent accomplishments, Fatima Hassan ’02 received a prestigious Calgary Peace Prize, the Hon. Mandisa M. Maya ’90 was appointed by President Cyril Ramaphosa as Deputy Chief Justice of the Constitutional Court, the first woman to do so in the history of South Africa. And Thomas George William Telfer ’92, a Professor at Western University in London, ON Canada was recently interviewed by the Canadian Lawyer magazine about his work on mindfulness and the legal profession.

Our more recent graduates have also been busy. Ilit Ostrovitch-Levi ’10 was appointed Director General of Israel Money Laundering & Terror Financing Prohibition Authority. Max Larrain '10 was awarded a prestigious Eisenhower Global Fellowship. Luis Ceballos ’09 was recently profiled in Vanguard for his work supporting Puerto Rican operations of Bristol Myers Squibb. Finally, French- and German-speaking alumni may enjoy recent interviews with Karim M'ziani ’20 by Radio France and Jeanette Kersten ’22 by LLM Essentials.

We continue to be grateful to alumna Mengyu Lu ’08 for her generous endowment of a scholarship for international LLM students. Please take a moment to read more about Mengyu’s inspiration for this gift here. Currently, 50% of LLM students receive financial assistance. Our goal is to increase that figure so that more aspiring international students can realize their dream of attending Duke Law. For more information about ways you can give back to Duke Law international students, please visit this link, and feel free to contact us with any questions.


Oleg Kobelev

Associate Dean for International Studies