Getting Started

Starting at a new school is always scary, whether you’re five, fifty-five, or any number in between. This section provides the answers to some frequent questions that new students have, and will serve as a crash course in the resources and tools available to you. Perhaps most importantly, we’ll talk about the best places to go on campus for lunch and coffee—the gravitational centers of the law school experience.

When will I receive my financial assistance?

The Financial Aid Office is in Suite 2023 of the law school. You can also reach the office with questions or problems at (919) 613-7025 or While you should be receiving detailed financial aid information, here are a few important details.

  • Fill out all forms given to you as soon as possible—you will get your aid faster. You must complete the entrance loan counseling before your federal loans can be disbursed. Pay attention to deadlines!
  • If you are covering your tuition with financial aid or loans, the Bursar will not expect payment directly from you, but remember to complete all steps to obtain financial aid. You can check your financial aid status by logging into DukeHub.
  • If you are relying on loans to cover your living expenses, make sure that your rent doesn’t exceed the allocation in the student expense budget before signing a lease.

Who do I speak with about tuition?

The University Bursar’s Office is the main point of contact for all inquiries regarding the processing of tuition and refunds. They can be reached at, by phone at (919) 684-3531, or in person at Suite 1000 of the Washington Building at the American Tobacco Campus.

Tuition and Refunds

Tuition is usually paid through financial aid, in which case it will be automatically applied to your account. If you are not paying through financial aid, payment can be sent online or through the mail.

If the amount of aid received exceeds the outstanding balance of your account, you will receive a refund check about one week after classes begin. Speak with the Financial Aid Office to set up direct deposit, which will allow you to receive your refund much faster.

Tuition Insurance

Duke Law has arranged with a private insurance company to offer a tuition refund plan to minimize your financial losses if you suffer a serious illness or accident and have to leave school before the semester is over.

Who do I speak with about my laptop?

Though there are a number of desktop computers available for limited use in the Goodson Law Library, all Duke Law students are heavily encouraged to have their own laptop. The Academic Technologies office has a list of recommended specifications for purchasing a computer.

Computers and supplies are sold in the Duke Computer Store, which is on the bottom floor of the bookstore in the Bryan Center. The bookstore runs special deals on PC and Macintosh packages that may be more affordable than going to an off-campus retailer.

The Academic Technologies Help Desk is located in Room 2209 on the second floor of the library. They are able to provide assistance during business hours if you experience a malfunction or are having difficulties with a program. The Office of Information Technology is located in the Perkins Library for more serious issues.

If your machine requires new parts or hardware, Duke Computer Repair is able to provide equipment for Apple, Dell, HP, and Lenovo laptops.

What does my Student ID do?

Duke no longer issues physical ID cards—instead, your phone serves as your pass to buildings, vending machines, printers, and cash registers. This requires downloading the eAccounts app and logging in with your Duke ID, which will then allow you to turn your phone into a contact-free DukeCard. The DukeCard will allow you after hours access to the law school as late as 9:00 PM.

Using the eAccounts app, you can add funds to your FLEX account, which you can use at restaurants and vending machines across campus. Additionally, law students automatically receive $100 that can be used towards printing costs. If your printing account gets low, you can request more funds.

Can I park on campus?

While you can park on campus, pay close attention to the relevant signs. Many visitor lots charge $2.00 per hour—a bargain compared to the tickets that are issued by Parking Services, which can range from $40 to $250 dollars.

Visitor Parking

Parking enforcement is more lax during the summer months, and may simply consist of a warning. However, park at your own risk—it’s best to get your permits straightened out as soon as possible to avoid a fine.

Most visitor lots charge $2.00 an hour, with a list of locations available online. The most convenient lot for law school visitors is located across Science Drive from the Fuqua School of Business.

Lots and Garages

As a law student, you are eligible to park in the Science Drive Garage, a seven-minute walk away from the law school. You are able to purchase an annual window pass from Parking Services for several hundred dollars, which will be charged to your Bursar account. Though there are 2,000 spots in the garage, register early to ensure that you get one. Special accommodations may be made for people with temporary or permanent disabilities.

Additionally, your Science Drive Garage pass will give you access to the parking lot behind the law school on weekends, and on weekdays from 6 PM to 6 AM.

Parking Tip: If your windshield pass is malfunctioning, press the button on the terminal to speak to someone at the Parking Office. They will ask for the identification number listed on your parking pass, which they will check against their database. If you’re on the list, they’ll open the gate for you.

However, if you’re not on the list, they will force you to back up into the road to turn around, even if dozens of cars are lined up behind you during rush hour. This is exceptionally stupid and dangerous, and should be illegal.


If you have the unfortunate experience of receiving a ticket, you are able to pay it via the Parking Account Portal. It is also possible to appeal your ticket online or through the mail—if you’ve learned anything about arguing persuasively in law school, now is the time to use it!

What restaurants and dining options are on campus?

The lunch hour at Duke Law runs from 12:20 PM to 2:00 PM. No classes are scheduled during that time. However, there are usually a wide variety of events sponsored by different organizations, most of which have food. If you don’t mind learning while you eat, you can easily get through a week without having to pack or purchase lunch. The list of events is published in the Duke Law Daily, and some require registration ahead of time.

If you want to get out of the building, however, there are plenty of other eateries to check out on campus! You can order ahead by using the Transact Mobile Ordering app, and nutrition and allergen information is available at the Duke Dining NetNutrition site.

Legal Grounds

Out of all the restaurants on campus, you’ll probably be going to this one the most! Located on the second floor of the law school in between Star Commons and the Blue Lounge, Legal Grounds serves Counter Culture coffee every weekday until 3 PM. They also offer a wide assortment of soups, sandwiches, custom bowls, and a rotating array of weekly specials. Additionally, they are a preferred catering partner if you’re hosting an event at the law school!


Located across the street from the law school in the Sanford School of Public Policy, the Saladelia Cafe specializes in Mediterranean and Lebanese cuisine. They offer a delicious selection of hot and cold sandwiches, wraps, salads, mezze, coffee, and desserts.

The Fox Center

The Fuqua School of Business, located next to the law school, has a large cafeteria at the back of the building. It is easily accessible by a small trail that connects the two schools at the back corner of the law school parking lot. They offer pizza, a deli, a made-to-order grill, a rotating weekly selection of hot dishes, and a phenomenal salad bar.

Bryan Center

The Bryan Center sits on a plaza next to the Chapel, and contains the bookstore, the Beyu Blue Coffee Shop, a McDonald’s, It’s Thyme, and the Gothic Grill. The inside of the student union is a bit labyrinthine, but it’s a convenient stop if you’re already in the area to pick up textbooks, souvenirs, or game day gear.

Brodhead Center

The Brodhead Center is the culinary capital of campus, with no fewer than ten different options covering three floors. Global flavors include sushi, stir-fry, Indian, Latin American, and the local cuisine of the American South. One restaurant of particular note is The Devil’s Krafthouse, the only place on campus you can (legally) purchase alcohol!

Vegetarian and vegan options are always available, with made-to-order options to satisfy other dietary restrictions.

… and more!

There are coffee shops and snack bars hidden in many libraries and classroom buildings across both East and West Campus—it just takes some exploring to find them. Three places of note include Pitchfork’s, a diner in McClendon Tower; Twinnie’s, an Irish pub hidden in the CIEMAS engineering school; and Zweli’s, a Zimbabwean restaurant tucked inside the Duke Divinity School.