Alumni & Development Office

Over 13,000 Duke Law School alumni can be found across the country and around the world, yet their relationship with the law school remains close. Every graduate of Duke Law is a member of the Law Alumni Association. The Alumni and Development Office, working with the Duke Law Alumni Association, connects the school’s alumni with the law school and with each other. Information about alumni programs sponsored by Duke Law School is available online at law.duke.edu/alumni/engage.

Law School Leadership Boards

Duke Law School has two leadership boards: the Board of Visitors and the Law Alumni Association Board of Directors, including the New Lawyers’ Division.

Board of Visitors

The Board of Visitors serves as the advisory board for the dean and the law school administration, the university administration, and the university Board of Trustees. A slate of nominees is reviewed and appointed annually by the president of Duke University with the advice and counsel of the dean of the law school and the current chair of the Board of Visitors. Members serve three year terms. More information about the Board of Visitors is available at law.duke.edu/alumni/bov.

Law Alumni Association Board of Directors

Every alumnus/a of the Law School is a member of the Law Alumni Association (LAA). The LAA Board of Directors, its governing body, consists of approximately sixty-five members representing diverse geographic concentrations, a wide variety of practice areas and business interests, and different decades of graduation. The group includes forty Experienced Alumni Members and twenty-five New Lawyers Division Members who represent the five most recent graduating classes. The board is working to build a worldwide Duke Law network for alumni and students. More information about the LAA Board of Directors is available at law.duke.edu/alumni/laa.

Local Alumni Regional Boards

The Alumni and Development Office coordinates and supports the activities of local Duke Law regional boards in the United States and abroad to foster a sense of community and to apprise alumni and friends on the dynamic ongoing work of the law school. These boards organize social and educational events which are often attended by a Duke Law administrator or faculty member. Besides serving a social and networking function and encouraging involvement with all things Duke Law, regional boards also provide practical assistance to such school offices as admissions and career services. To learn more about regional alumni activities, visit law.duke.edu/alumni/regional.

Duke Law School also pursues a strong alumni relations program with our growing international alumni body. The Alumni and Development Office, in conjunction with the Office of International Studies, sponsors programs to cultivate relationships with current international students and international alumni. There are several active Duke Law alumni groups outside the United States. To learn more about international alumni engagement, visit law.duke.edu/alumni/engage/international-alumni-activities.

Reunions and Alumni Weekend

The Alumni and Development Office organizes alumni reunions by class at five-year intervals. Reunions are held in the spring of each year, and offer a full weekend of activities designed to encourage alumni to reconnect with Duke Law School, former professors, and classmates. Class committees are formed to help plan reunion activities, encourage attendance, and assist in raising class gifts to benefit Duke Law. At the fiftieth reunion, alumni are inducted into the Half-Century Club. For more information, visit law.duke.edu/alumni/reunion.

Alumni Awards

The Law Alumni Association Board of Directors presents six awards to outstanding graduates and friends. More information is available at law.duke.edu/alumni/engage/alumniawards.

  • The Charles S. Murphy Award for Achievement in Civic Service is presented to an alumnus or alumna whose devotion to the common welfare is manifested in public service or in dedication to education. Charles S. Murphy T’31, L’34 devoted himself to public service, serving in the administrations of presidents Truman, Kennedy, and Johnson as well as serving as a trustee of Duke University.

  • The Charles S. Rhyne Award for Professional Achievement honors alumni who exemplify the highest standards of professional ability and personal integrity. Charles Rhyne T’34, L’37 served on the Boards of Trustees at Duke and George Washington universities, and was president of the American Bar Association.

  • The A. Kenneth Pye Award for Excellence in Education honors the life and work of former law school dean and Duke University chancellor A. Kenneth Pye. The Pye Award is designed to recognize contributions made to the field of legal education by Duke Law alumni or other members of the Duke Law School community.

  • The International Alumni Award honors an international alumnus or alumna who has given distinguished service to his or her own profession and home country and has maintained strong ties with Duke Law School.

  • The Young Alumni Award recognizes a graduate of fifteen years or less who has made significant contributions of leadership and service both professionally and to Duke Law School.

  • The Outstanding Volunteer Service Award honors individuals for their excellent volunteer service to Duke Law School. In their roles as volunteers, these individuals have distinguished themselves through their exceptional dedication and sustained commitment to the Duke Law community. 

Alumni Programs for Students

Alumni frequently visit Duke Law School for a variety of reasons: to recruit for their firms, to participate in panels for the Career and Professional Development Center, to speak about their practice specialty or pro bono activities, or to guest lecture in particular classes.

In addition to coordinating these activities, the staff of the Alumni and Development Office is eager to get to know students throughout their law school careers. The staff is available to individual students and student organizations who wish to contact alumni. The Alumni and Development Office helps to usher students into alumni status by coordinating, along with the Office of Student Affairs, the law school’s convocation ceremony.

Fundraising

Financial strength is critical for Duke Law School to retain and build on its reputation as a global leader in legal education, to support faculty excellence, to attract the best students, and to foster innovative programs and clinics for teaching and legal research. Our success is based on the dedication of our alumni and friends who recognize the value of a world-class education. Duke continues to seek funds for the school’s most critical priorities, including the annual fund, which provides unrestricted support for the school’s operational needs and emerging priorities, financial aid, professorships, and clinical programs. More information is available at law.duke.edu/alumni.

Alumni Publications

The Duke Law Magazine, published twice annually, provides news and features about Duke Law programs, faculty research, student life, and alumni achievements. Duke Law E-news, a free monthly email newsletter distributed by the Communications Office, allows alumni to stay current with news and events at Duke Law School, with notifications of speakers, conferences, alumni activities, and more. The Office of Alumni and Development publishes other newsletters and materials reflecting school and program updates supported by philanthropic commitments and gifts on an ad-hoc basis.