From the Dean
Duke Law School’s faculty are what makes this school so extraordinary, from the exceptionally high quality of their classroom teaching and the pathbreaking research and scholarship they publish to the challenging training they provide students through clinics and other opportunities for experiential learning. Indeed, many of you tell me about the significant impact your Duke Law professors had on your lives as teachers, mentors, and friends. That’s why I put faculty excellence at the top of my agenda as dean. Maintaining the excellence for which we are known requires supporting the wonderful professors who have built their careers here while also recruiting new faculty who bring fresh expertise, experiences, and perspectives.
As this issue of Duke Law Magazine goes to press, we have just concluded our best recruiting season ever: a record 11 scholars and teachers are set to join us in the upcoming academic year. I think you’ll enjoy reading more about them here.
Our new faculty are an impressive group — innovative thinkers, brilliant writers, seasoned practitioners, and passionate educators. Their interests range widely across corporate, criminal, international, and environmental law, bankruptcy, health care, tax, judicial studies, and intellectual property. They will have a tremendous impact on this law school for many years to come and I couldn’t be more thrilled to welcome them to Durham.
Our new faculty are an impressive group — innovative thinkers, brilliant writers, seasoned practitioners, and passionate educators. They will have a tremendous impact on this law school for many years to come and I couldn’t be more thrilled to welcome them to Durham.
A hiring year like this is a collaborative effort. We could not have done it without the leadership of the faculty, especially our appointments committees, who worked tirelessly to identify and interview impressive candidates from an astonishingly broad array of fields. For each new professor we have hired, our committee considered many, many more, identifying those who they thought would bring something truly special to our community.
We also can’t do it without our alumni. Supporting faculty excellence through philanthropic giving is one of the most important things you can do for Duke Law. There’s no better example than Rick Horvitz ’78 and Erica Hartman-Horvitz, whose recent gift endowing the Richard A. Horvitz Program in Constitutional & Public Law will help us continue to recruit and retain the best scholars in this critical field.
Our community is still grieving the loss of one of those great constitutional law scholars, Walter Dellinger, who died Feb. 16. Walter embodied the excellence of the Duke Law faculty for more than 50 years, and his extraordinary career in the law, legal education, and public service will forever be associated with this institution. But it was Walter’s caring, optimism, and zest for life that left the greatest mark. I miss him dearly, as I know so many of his faculty and staff colleagues and former students do, too.
I was honored in April to be reappointed for a second five-year term as dean, beginning July 1, 2023. I am looking forward to continuing to lead this wonderful community and building on the great momentum that our faculty, staff, students, and alumni are creating every day. Thank you for your continued friendship and support.
James B. Duke and Benjamin N. Duke Dean
of the School of Law and Distinguished Professor of Law