PUBLISHED:August 31, 2012

Welcoming new students and a new year

Duke Law welcomed more than 325 new JD, LLM, LLMLE, SJD, and exchange students from 43 countries for the launch of the 2012-13 academic year. In addition to participating in their first law school courses and discussions about ethics and leadership in the legal profession, students heard from students, faculty and an exonerated client of the Wrongful Convictions Clinic; participated in Dedicated to Durham, which involved community service projects throughout Durham; and enjoyed some North Carolina barbecue.

LLM Class of 2013

The International LLM Class of 2013 includes 92 students from 37 countries, including, for the first time, students from Sri Lanka, Guatemala, Qatar and Jordan. The majority of the students have professional experience in legal settings; many have worked as in-house counsel, judges, prosecutors, government ministers, academics, or public servants. See the class profile to learn more.

LLMLE Class of 2013

The LLM in Law and Entrepreneurship Program welcomed 15 new students. They represent 14 law schools, and many have years of experience in legal practice. They got a quick introduction to the entrepreneurial life during orientation activities, which included an entrepreneurship ‘boot camp’ that required them to work in teams to create and pitch a company to classmates and faculty. Read more about the program in the LLMLE blog, written this year by Josh Lawson ’13

International SJD, visiting scholars, exchange students

Four new SJD students launched their studies in banking, entrepreneurship, environmental law and social science evidence. Two are from Saudi Arabia, one is from Spain, and one is from Taiwan. They bring the total number of students in the Duke Law SJD program to 19.

Duke Law also welcomed 21 visiting scholars from 12 countries; among them are professors, judges, prosecutors, PhD students, in-house or NGO counsel, and a Fulbright Scholar. And, while six Duke Law JD students study abroad during the fall 2012 semester, nine international students are studying at Duke Law through international exchange programs.

JD Class of 2015

The JD Class of 2015 welcomed 208 students during orientation activities in mid-August. For the more than 30 members of the class who arrived in May as summer starters, orientation was more of a refresher: Summer starters are participants in a dual-degree program, either Duke Law’s JD/LLM or a JD/MA or JD/MS program, and had already taken two substantive law classes by the time orientation arrived.

The entering JD class is diverse: Its members represent 100 undergraduate institutions, 42 states and eight foreign countries, including India, China, South Korea, the Netherlands, Singapore, and Canada. They range in age from 21 to 37; 31 percent are minority students. The largest cohorts are from New York and California, represented by 25 and 24 students, respectively.

The class is also diverse in terms of experiences and accomplishments. In his welcoming remarks to students during orientation week, Bill Hoye, dean of admissions and student affairs, shared an inventory of facts about the class:

  • 25 students were elected to Phi Beta Kappa as undergraduates.
  • One was honored with a NASA Harriet G. Jenkins Pre-Doctoral Fellowship; another received a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship.
  • Many are athletes and have participated in collegiate and other organized sports. One played for Notre Dame in the NCAA women’s basketball national championship; another was named to the Big East Conference All-Academic Team.
  • Many served in the military: One earned the rank of second lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps; another is currently enlisted in the U.S. Army Reserves as an intelligence collector; and another served for three years in the South Korean military.  One served as a Marine Corps officer assigned to a Legal Services Support Section and has already prosecuted over 50 federal criminal trials and over 70 involuntary administrative separation hearings.
  • The class includes a number of entrepreneurs, including the CEO of an online tutoring company and a program manager for “Invent Ed,” a five-day venture capital planning boot camp for high school and college students. Two members of the class hold patents on inventions.
  • Of the many musicians in the class, one is a recording artist who produced (and played all the instruments for) a musical concept album; one is a former co-soloist for a regional symphony; and several performed and traveled with college a capella or choral groups. One holds the title of World’s Fastest Drummer as determined by the 2012 World’s Fastest Drummer-Extreme Sport Drumming competition.
  • Many students bring considerable political and public policy experience. Several worked in state and federal government positions, including internships at the White House and on Capitol Hill. Several worked on recent political campaigns, including the 2008 presidential election. One served as an alternative delegate to the Democratic National Convention at the age of 18. One member of the class started a program in Kazakhstan through the Carnegie Endowment; one cofounded a youth voter education project in Pakistan; and another established a nonprofit to support families, women and children in Zambia.
  • Many students have considerable experience in community and public service. One student used her own money to bring an engineer to a small village in Senegal to help construct a well that could provide safe drinking water to the community.