Duke Law School Acceptance Rate and Admission Requirements


Duke Law School is deeply committed to advancing knowledge and the rule of law. With a focus on rigorous education, collaborative scholarly inquiry, and a dedication to equal justice and ethical leadership, getting accepted is quite competitive. 

Gaining admission requires careful consideration of various critical factors such as Duke Law School acceptance rate, rankings, and admission requirements. This article aims to provide a holistic understanding of these aspects to help you navigate the application process successfully and increase your chances of getting accepted into Duke Law School.

View of Duke University Campus

About Duke Law School

Duke Law School is known for its expert faculty and cutting-edge scholarship. The school offers a unique curriculum that blends professional skills development with a cross-disciplinary approach to education. What sets Duke Law apart is its nurturing, collaborative environment. The school’s size allows for a tight-knit community where students can easily interact with faculty and peers, creating a setting ripe for academic and personal growth.

The faculty at Duke Law are leading experts in various law specializations ranging from environmental and health law to intellectual property and international business law. What’s more, they are profoundly committed to their students’ success. The faculty’s open-door policy creates an inclusive educational atmosphere where students are encouraged to seek advice, explore research opportunities, and work on committees alongside their instructors.  

Faculty and students collaborate on research, pro bono work, career counseling, and mentorship beyond the classroom. The school values diversity and encourages well-rounded individuals to contribute their unique perspectives.

2023-2024 Duke Law School Rankings

Ranking Law School Specialty
5 Best Law Schools (tie)
15 Business/Corporate Law (tie)
25 Clinical Training (tie)
12 Constitutional Law (tie)
14 Contracts/Commercial Law (tie)
4 Criminal Law (tie)
34 Dispute Resolution (tie)
15 Environmental Law (tie)
29 Health Care Law (tie)
9 Intellectual Property Law (tie)
18 International Law (tie)
84 Legal Writing (tie)
10 Tax Law (tie)
80 Trial Advocacy (tie)

Duke Law School is ranked No. 5 in Best Law Schools overall. It also excels in specific areas, ranking No. 4 in Criminal Law and No. 9 in Intellectual Property Law. These specialized rankings indicate the overall quality of Duke’s legal education, making it an attractive choice for prospective students with focused career goals.

Programs Offered

Duke Law School offers a diverse array of programs to cater to varying career aspirations in the legal field.

  1. Juris Doctor (JD): A traditional law degree aimed at providing a comprehensive understanding of the legal system.
  2. International LLM: Designed for students interested in gaining expertise in international law.
  3. Master of Judicial Studies: A program focused on advanced studies for judges, providing in-depth academic insight into judicial processes.
  4. Dual Degrees: Allows students to blend law with other disciplines for a multi-faceted educational experience.
  5. SJD (Doctor of Juridical Science): Geared toward advanced research and academic scholarship in law.

Duke Law School Acceptance Rate

Knowing the Duke University School of Law acceptance rate is crucial for prospective students aiming to enter this prestigious institution. At 10.7%, the acceptance rate is highly competitive, highlighting the school’s rigorous academic standards and selective admission process. 

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A woman studying in a cafe.

Bar Passage and Career Opportunities for Graduates

The success of a law school in preparing its students for the legal field can be measured by high bar passage and career outcome rates. Duke Law School distinguishes itself by achieving a remarkable first-time bar passage rate of 97.2%, surpassing the state average of 80.7%. Moreover, the 2019 graduating class boasts an impressive ultimate bar passage rate of 99.5%. 

Within just 10 months after graduation, the school attains a remarkable full-credit outcome rate of 99.2%, showcasing its exceptional ability to equip graduates for prosperous professional journeys.

Duke Law School Class Profile

Class of 2026 Demographics Percentage
Women 56.1%
Men 43.5%
Nonbinary 0.4%
Average age 24
Total students of color 49%
LGBTQ+ 22%
Have post-college experience 72%
1st generation college 12%
Median GPA 3.87
GPA 25/75 percentile 3.79 / 3.95
Median LSAT 170
LSAT 25/75 percentile 168 / 172
Hold a graduate degree 6%
Geographic Distribution
Northeast 24%
Mid-Atlantic 21%
West 20%
South 15%
Midwest 7%
International 13%

The JD class of 2026 comprises 244 students selected from a pool of 6,205 applicants. These students hail from 35 US states and territories and eight other countries. The Duke Law School profile offers a snapshot of the diverse and highly competitive student body at Duke Law School.

The Duke School of Law Admission Requirements

This section breaks down the essential law school requirements so you know exactly what to prepare.

A. Submitted through the LSAC electronic application:

  • JD Application Form: The primary document outlining your interest and qualifications.
  • $80 Non-Refundable Application Fee: This covers the cost of processing your application.
  • Resume: Your professional and academic background.
  • Law School Personal Statement: A written piece showcasing your passion for law and reasons for applying.
  • Short Answer Essay(s): Additional essay questions to further evaluate your suitability.
  • Optional Essay: You may choose to submit this to offer more insight into your application.

B. Submitted through the LSAC Credential Assembly Service (CAS) Report:

  • Academic Transcripts: Records of your academic performance.
  • Law School Letter of Recommendation: At least two are required, though you can submit up to four.
  • Standardized Test: Either the LSAT, as part of the CAS report, or the GRE sent directly to Duke.

C. Additional Material that May Be Required:

  • Character and Fitness Information: Additional data if you answer “yes” to any character and fitness questions.
  • Letter from Previous Law School: If applicable.
  • InitialView Interview or TOEFL: Required if English is not your native language and your undergraduate degree wasn’t taught in English.

What LSAT score do I need for Duke Law?

Aiming for a competitive LSAT score is crucial to increase your chances of admission to Duke Law School. The Duke LSAT score range for admitted students typically falls between the 25th and 75th percentiles, which are 168-171. The Duke median LSAT score for incoming students stands at 170. So, targeting a score around or above the median would strengthen your application.

To help you prepare for a competitive Duke LSAT score, our LSAT Tutoring services offer customized lessons and invaluable test-taking strategies. Work one-on-one with experienced tutors to maximize your performance and increase your chances of admission.

What GPA do you need for Duke Law School?

To increase your odds of getting into Duke Law School, targeting a GPA that meets or exceeds the school’s median undergraduate GPA of 3.85 is advisable. The Duke Law School GPA range for admitted students is between 3.73 and 3.94, so aiming for a GPA within or above this range can strengthen your application.

To help you with your admission journey, you can utilize our Law School Data tool. This invaluable resource estimates your chances of being accepted into various law schools, including Duke, based on your LSAT score and GPA.

Duke Law School Application Timeline

When applying to Duke Law, keep these important dates in mind:

  • November 3, 2023: Complete your application for Round I Early Decision.
  • January 5, 2024: Deadline for Round II Early Decision applications.
  • February 15, 2024: Regular Decision application deadline. Applications may still be considered after this date if space is available.

Duke Law School Cost and Financial Aid

Duke Law School requires a large financial investment, with tuition fees of $74,100 and overall expenses totaling around $105,330. The school provides various financial aid options like scholarships, federal loans, and a Loan Repayment Assistance Program (LRAP) to help students with their expenses. Additionally, students can save money by living in the affordable Research Triangle area. Thus, when evaluating the cost of Duke Law School, the school offers a compelling combination of financial assistance and cost-effective living.

How to Get Into Duke Law School

The Duke Law School acceptance rate is low, so you’ll need both a well-rounded application and strong academics. Here are some tips to consider:


Know what each school is looking for in applicants. This will help you tailor your application.

A Good LSAT Score

Improving your LSAT score not only increases your chances of getting into top-tier schools like Duke Law, but also opens up scholarship and financial aid opportunities. Consider these services to achieve a good score:

A Solid GPA

Keep your grades up. A high GPA is often as crucial as a strong LSAT score. Aim for a high GPA, ideally around the median GPA for Duke Law, which is 3.85.

Extracurricular Activities

Participate in meaningful extracurriculars that show leadership, teamwork, and other qualities law schools value.

Work Experience

Work experience before applying to law school shows maturity and readiness for the demands of legal education. It provides practical skills and knowledge that can enhance academic performance. Work experience also helps develop important qualities valued in the legal profession.

Strong Recommendations

Strong recommendations are important for applications. Seek letters from people who know your abilities and qualities, like professors or employers.

Personal Statement

The personal statement allows you to highlight any challenges or obstacles you have overcome, demonstrating resilience and character. It also enables you to express your passion for law and how it aligns with your future goals. 

Law School Admission Consulting

Unlock the doors to Duke Law with our tried-and-true Law School Admission guidance. With a seasoned consultant, you can fine-tune your law school personal statement, secure compelling letters of recommendation, and develop a strategy highlighting your unique qualities. This targeted advice can improve your chances of getting accepted into top programs like Duke Law and help you secure scholarships and other financial aid.


Considering the low Duke Law School acceptance rate, securing a spot requires a strong application and excellent academics. For those looking to optimize their chances, our LSAT Free Consultation can provide invaluable insights into the test-taking process, further enhancing your application.

As you consider your options and prepare your application, remember that every element counts in setting you apart from the competition.

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