Judicial Studies LLM

Application and Instructions

The application for the Judicial Studies LLM graduating class of 2027 (entering in 2025) is now open!

The application is available at this link: https://duke.is/r/52sx.

If you have questions, require special accommodations, or would like to request a change to your application, please email Ann Yandian at ann.yandian@law.duke.edu. We accept applications on a rolling basis, but the review process begins around mid-May so we strongly encourage you to have your application submitted no later than April 30, 2024. Note: this is not a hard deadline. Final decisions will be made by Dec. 15, 2024.

Application Requirements

Eligible candidates for the LLM in Judicial Studies must have a JD or an LLM from an accredited U.S. law school or an equivalent degree from another country and be a current judge. Please review the detailed application instructions as you complete the application. For any questions not answered in these instructions, please refer to the FAQ.

Non-Discrimination Policy

Duke University is committed to encouraging and sustaining a learning and work community that is free from prohibited discrimination and harassment. Review the full policy to learn more.

ABA Recognition

The ABA approved Duke’s application for “acquiescence” for this program.

Duke University School of Law is approved by the Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar of the American Bar Association, 321 North Clark Street, Chicago, IL 60654, 312-988-6738.

Application Checklist ✔️

You will need the following items in order to complete the online application:

  • Personal statement. Document upload; 500-1,000 words.
  • Resume/CV. Document upload.
  • A brief explanation of jurisdiction. Only if applicable; 500 words max.
  • The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score and date. Only if applicable.
  • Contact information for two professional references OR two reference letters. Included in Resume/CV or uploaded as documents.
  • OPTIONAL: Up to three published writing samples, other than judicial opinions. Uploaded as documents or provided as URLs.
  • A check or money order to pay the $85 nonrefundable application fee. Instructions to submit this fee are included in the confirmation email. Please note that this fee is waived for international applicants.

Application Deadline

The next class will convene on campus from mid-May to mid-June in 2025 and in 2026. Applications will be considered starting in 2024 for 2025-2026.

Supplemental Material

If you wish to forward additional material or make any updates to your application after you have submitted, please email it to ann.yandian@law.duke.edu.

Application Instructions

The application and supporting materials will be submitted electronically (please do not mail a hard copy). We accept applications on a rolling basis, but the review process may begin as soon as May so we strongly encourage you to have your application submitted no later than April 30, 2024. Note: this is not a hard deadline.

Section 1: Personal Information

Complete this section. Please submit subsequent updates to your contact information directly by email to ann.yandian@law.duke.edu.

Section 2: Eligibility and Jurisdiction

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.)

Section 3: TOEFL (International Applicants Only)

For candidates whose first language is not English, the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or other proof of English proficiency is required in order to be considered for this degree program. This requirement will be waived for applicants who have studied at an English-speaking university for three or more years. Please email Ann Yandian at ann.yandian@law.duke.edu for additional information.

Section 4: Personal Statement

The personal statement is your opportunity to introduce yourself to the admissions committee. You may wish to include any of the following: (1) why you want to enroll in the Judicial Studies program, (2) what you expect to gain from the program, and (3) how the program will support future professional endeavors. (500-1,000 words max.)

Section 5: Resume/CV and Professional References

The resume or CV should include your education, educational programs, professional experience, awards, and distinctions. In your resume, please also include the names, titles, and contact information of two professional references OR attach two reference letters below. If you want to submit reference letters, they can be emailed after the application has been submitted. Reference letters can be submitted either from the applicant or directly from the reference, and should be emailed to ann.yandian@law.duke.edu.

Section 6: Scholarships and Publications (Optional)

You may attach up to three published writing samples, other than judicial opinions, which the admissions committee should consider along with your application. (If your writing sample is published and publicly available online, you may include a URL instead of an attachment.)

Section 7: Conditions of Application and Signature

Applications will not be processed without an electronic signature agreeing to the conditions and certifying that the information is true and complete. You are obligated to notify the Bolch Judicial Institute immediately of any change in the information provided.

After Submission

Following completion of the application, you must submit an $85 nonrefundable application fee, payable by check or money order. Instructions to pay this fee are included in the confirmation email. Note: The application fee is waived for international applicants.