The Master of Judicial Studies class of 2020 finished their second semester at Duke Law School, marking the completion of the coursework component of the LLM degree. The class of 21 judges spent four weeks in residence at Duke from late May to early June, taking advanced courses on the judiciary and judicial institutions taught by members of Duke Law School’s faculty as well as judges and scholars from around the country.
The master’s program, a flagship program of the Bolch Judicial Institute at Duke Law, offers sitting judges from around the world a unique opportunity to learn from top scholars and experts, including a Supreme Court justice. Under the leadership of Bolch Judicial Institute Director David F. Levi, the program offers a diverse curriculum that includes substantive law courses, such as constitutional and statutory law interpretation, federalism, international law, and analytic methods, as well as courses on topics such as judicial decision making and implicit bias.
The LLM program is 22 credit hours, with the judges attending classes at Duke Law School during two summers. The judges also write a thesis based on their original research. (Select theses from recent graduates were recently published in Duke Law School’s journal Law & Contemporary Problems.) Aside from their full course load, the judges also participate in community engagement activities, including a local Durham Bull’s baseball game and a lunch with students in Duke Law’s Pre-Law Undergraduate Scholars (PLUS) Program.
The class of 2020 judges preside over a wide range of courts – federal and state, district and appellate, as well as the New Wales Supreme Court in Australia and the District Court of New Zealand. More information about the current class and the Masters of Judicial Studies program can be found on our website.