Judicial Studies LLM


At Duke Law’s Master of Judicial Studies Program, judges learn the analytical skills and research approaches necessary for studying judicial institutions and apply those skills to studies of domestic and international judicial institutions, common and emerging legal issues, general judicial practices, and judicial reform efforts.

The master’s program offers an intensive and challenging curriculum that addresses an array of issues relating to judicial institutions, judicial behavior, and decision-making. Top scholars and practitioners teach an array of substantive law courses, such as constitutional and statutory law interpretation, federalism, international law, and analytic methods. The program ends by offering judges the singular opportunity to work on a research thesis of publishable quality that may impact the judiciary.

Only active judges who sit on courts exercising jurisdiction over civil and/or criminal actions are eligible to apply for enrollment. (Note: Executive branch judges, administrative law judges, arbitrators, and special masters are not eligible for this program.) We seek to admit a balance of representatives from each sector of the judiciary to create a diversity of ideas and approaches that will enhance the learning experience. The program requires four weeks of on-site coursework in two consecutive summers (total of eight weeks on campus), plus the writing of a thesis based on original research. Courses are highly interactive and taught by scholars from the Duke Law faculty as well as from institutions around the country.

Duke Law offers a full scholarship to judges accepted to the program for tuition and room and board. 

The application for the class entering in 2025 will open on February 1, 2024. To receive updates regarding the application, join the Bolch Judicial Institute’s email list here.