Duke Blueprint to LEAD

The Duke Law Blueprint is a powerful set of principles for leadership growth that is integrated into every aspect of our community. The Blueprint maps a collaborative commitment by students and faculty to work together toward knowledge, application, and improvement of the law. It also underlines the expectation that your experience here will be transformative of the whole person, and not merely a means to obtain a formal credential.

Great lawyers must be intellectually disciplined, creative at problem-solving, and able to think critically. None of that is compromised here. But great lawyers also require a strong ethical compass, leadership skills, and the ability to adapt to unanticipated circumstances. They need to work well in teams and know how to bring out the best in others. They must be able to create a positive vision.


ENGAGE Intellectually

  • Interact thoughtfully with your professors and classmates both in and out of class
  • Dig deeply into a subject matter in collaboration with a professor or other students, through advanced seminars and clinics, independent studies, or a capstone project
  • Extend yourself through intellectual activities such as moot court, journals, symposia, and other outside speaker presentations

EMBODY integrity

  • Be truthful, candid, and fair, even if your actions go unnoticed
  • Use ambiguous situations as occasions to cultivate sound judgment and exhibit ethical responsibility
  • Avoid even the appearance of impropriety

LEAD Effectively

  • Assess your own leadership style, building on its strengths and addressing its limitations
  • Learn from your disappointments, and share credit for your successes
  • Transform controversies at the Law School into opportunities to work constructively with others for the benefit of the community
  • Train others as leaders; plan for your successors

BUILD Relationships

  • Find a mentor; be a mentor
  • Seek out and get to know students, faculty, and staff with different backgrounds, nationalities, and points of view
  • Involve yourself in the alumni network, both during school and after graduation
  • Invest in personal relationships, knowing that they might last a lifetime

SERVE the Community

  • Volunteer each semester for at least one service activity that benefits Durham citizens and the surrounding community
  • Provide at least 50 hours of pro bono legal work before you graduate
  • Identify public issues that are important to you, form connections with others involved with these issues, and work to make a difference

PRACTICE Professionalism

  • Treat everyone with respect, even in the midst of disagreement
  • Collaborate with others to achieve common goals; be mindful of the appropriate time and place for competition
  • Take pride in your work and responsibility for your actions

LIVE with a Purpose

  • Measure your success by more than your grades
  • Take steps regularly to strengthen your physical and emotional well-being; strive for balance in your personal and professional lives
  • Build activities into your schedule that require you to try new things
  • Make deliberate personal and career choices based on your own values, needs, and goals
  • Serve as a positive ambassador for the Law School and the legal profession