Giving to Duke

Your impact: hands-on learning at Duke Law

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Conor Reardon, a Duke Law student, shares his story:

As a middle school teacher, I was used to rolling up my sleeves and getting my hands dirty. I knew I wanted a similar experience in law school. Duke caught my attention because it not only offered an excellent academic experience, but also hands-on clinical and community outreach work.

Since my first day here, Duke has lived up to my expectations. My professors have pushed me to work harder than I ever have before and also encouraged me to really engage in the content I was learning. I quickly got involved with the Innocence Project and the student-run Duke Law Journal to make the most of my experience.

As part of the Innocence Project’s Outreach Team, I’ve talked to middle school and high school students about wrongful convictions and the importance of increasing awareness around the issue. Many of these students have a grim view of law enforcement, and I’m hopeful I’m making an impact by giving them knowledge and information they may not otherwise get.

The Law Journal was a different type of experience and taught me skills I will use throughout my career. I worked closely with other students as we drafted and edited articles. I learned a great deal about a range of law topics, but I also learned how to work in a team. Other people were relying on me, and I was relying on them. This is not something you gain from reading a textbook.

My student experience has been enriched beyond measure because of my work on the Law Journal and with the Innocence Project. Both are hands-on learning opportunities that would not be possible without Annual Fund support. I feel a great deal of gratitude for people like you who made this possible. I know I will excel as I start my career this fall because of my experience at Duke.