In the law, de novo is the standard of review that a court applies when it wants to evaluate a case on appeal without accepting the findings of a lower court. The direct Latin translation of this phrase is “starting over.”

Law school is, in many ways, a starting over. It is a big step filled with both known unknowns (like figuring out a place to live) and unknown unknowns (like figuring out how the unborn widow hypothetical affects the rule against perpetuities). 

It is impossible for us to answer all of the questions that you will confront in your law school career. However, it is our sincere hope that this student-written compendium of information and opinions will give you a solid introduction to Duke, Durham, and everything else that comes with being a student at Duke Law.

We’ve packed this website with as much information as we could think of.  We hope that you will find De Novo helpful and wish you the best of luck as you head to law school.


The Duke Bar Association

Orientation, Class of 2024