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Duke Law School attracts many of the most qualified applicants from across the country and around the world, and admission is highly selective. Most successful applicants graduated near the top of their undergraduate classes, have high test scores, and possess a clear record of achievement in other areas such as community service, business, graduate study, or extracurricular activities.

The application review process includes a thorough evaluation of each candidate’s academic record, including the rigor and breadth of the curriculum, overall grade trends, and any graduate level work. Detailed letters of recommendation from faculty members and employers provide further insight into a candidate’s intellectual ability, work ethic, and personal skills.

Duke also seeks to identify applicants who demonstrate leadership and engagement. Most successful candidates show sustained and meaningful commitment to one or more fields of interest to them. Although many applicants have had some exposure to the legal profession, this is not in itself a requirement. The Duke Law School community benefits from a student body that represents a broad range of experiences and interests. The required résumé should provide a concise summary of an applicant’s activities and employment; it may include more detail than a traditional one-page employment résumé. The personal statement and optional additional essays allow candidates to highlight specific aspects of their background that may not be apparent from the other application materials. It is often helpful to indicate reasons for interest in law school in general and Duke in particular, especially when they relate to an applicant’s specific experiences. Special care is taken when evaluating applications to achieve diversity in interests, perspectives, and backgrounds.

Bar Admission

In addition to a bar examination, there are character, fitness, and other qualifications for admission to the bar in every US jurisdiction. Applicants are encouraged to determine the requirements for any jurisdiction in which they intend to seek admission by contacting the jurisdiction. Addresses for all relevant agencies are available through the National Conference of Bar Examiners. For additional information, visit