The joint J.D./LL.M. degree at Duke University School of Law

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The joint J.D./LL.M. degree at Duke University School of Law

Marcella Harshbarger, former student of Duke Law School and today legal expert for Orange, Law Direction of Innovation, Technology, Networks and Wholesale, kindly shares with us her J.D./ LL.M. degree feedback.

Where can you get a joint degree – JD/LLM, where you will graduate in 3.5 years with a specialization in International and Comparative Law, an international study abroad, a foreign language component, and friends from all 5 continents?  

At Duke University School of Law, LLMs are not just for international students or tax specialists.  


The joint degree Duke Law JD/LLM program was a fabulous idea!  It gives you the chance to get a jump on the incoming class by starting in the summer, with small classes for some core graduation requirements.  By the time the fall 1L year starts, you already know how to brief cases and you have already taken your first semester of exams.  By the end of that memorable summer, I had a fabulous group of what would become lifelong friends.  Then it was time to plan a study abroad for the next summer – either in Hong Kong or Geneva, hotspots for international finance and diplomacy. 


But there’s so much more to the Duke Law experience!  My classmates and I had many opportunities to choose from – an internship at the Environmental Protection Agency, supporting a local lawyer in her crusade against aggressive lenders targeting the low income community, death penalty appeals, working at law firm offices in Paris, Brussels, internships at the International Court of Justice in the Hague, a prestigious judicial clerkship – thanks to the Duke network!  By graduation, I had spent a semester at the United States Trade Representative’s office, working on international trade cases, including attending the international arguments at the World Trade Organization’s office in Geneva.  I had also researched and drafted language for war crimes trials in an international humanitarian crisis, and spent a semester in a Duke Spanish literature course to refine my Spanish. 


The Duke JD/LLM program offered a strong foundation for a career in international law.  The credentials helped start the conversation, first with law international law firms in New York and Washington DC, and then for an in-house position with an global company with offices in over 30 countries.  I still refer to my Duke network regularly, finding alumni in every country.  


Academically, Dukes Law’s program was rigorous – professors and your classmates challenge you to think outside the box, to find outside research and actively contribute to the discussion.  They inspire curiosity and analysis from a real-world perspective.  Most impressive was the frequent alumni talks – Duke Law is a hub if activity for returning alumni.  The alumni help put the academic world in perspective with career experience and insights for our future.  I felt supported in my education from the Duke community– the professors and administration (always willing to encourage our student initiatives), my fellow classmates, the alumni, and the local and international community.


Living in Durham helped with the stresses of law school.  Who can resist a beautiful sunny day, the easy-going southern atmosphere?  Although Duke is located in the southern United States, it still close to major cities.  Duke’s location was convenient for frequent trips to New York or Washington DC – our international group regularly attended the International Law conferences in Washington DC and New York. 


In conclusion, Duke Law is an excellent choice – it is highly ranked, has stellar programs and opportunities, and is well-known in the US and internationally.  What sets Duke apart is its small school atmosphere, and its strong alumni network.  Wherever I travel, I find Duke Law clubs, fellow classmates and alumni willing to share a coffee. 


Marcella Harshbarger JD/LLM Class of 2002

For further details about this J.D./LL.M. program, please click on this link.

Plus d'informations sur les LLM sur FindyourLLM.