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LAWnet aliases coming for students on March 1

LAWnet aliases coming for students on March 1

We will be enabling LAWnet aliases for all students on March 1. Here’s what it means for our students:

  1. We are creating all LAWnet aliases to look just like your Duke email aliases. For example, because I have wayne.miller@duke.edu as my Duke email alias, I would get wayne.miller@lawnet.duke.edu .
  2. All your Duke addresses, including the LAWnet alias, will go to the same Exchange mailbox. You do not need to set up forwarding just for this alias.
  3. At this time, there is no change in your Exchange account or your Duke online directory entry.
  4. However, early in the summer we will have Duke’s Office of Information Technology change all law students’ primary email addresses to their LAWnet aliases. What does that mean? When someone looks you up in the online directory, they will see your LAWnet address. When you send a message from Outlook or Outlook Web App, your From: address will be your LAWnet address.
  5. On March 1 or shortly thereafter, we will provide a web page where you can do the following:
    1. Change your LAWnet alias. (There will be rules about what you can change it to.)
    2. Opt out of the operation to make your LAWnet address your primary. That means that your primary address will remain the same as it is today, even after our general change this summer.


Please let me know if you have questions. Below is a short series of frequently asked questions that will hopefully address most of your concerns.


Q: Why are you doing this?!

A: The LAWnet alias will be a “lifetime” alias. After your graduation, you will be able to set a forwarding address to receive email sent to the LAWnet alias. You can give out this address confident that it will not go away and will allow your contacts to reach you well past your graduation.

Q: Do we get to keep our Duke.edu addresses after graduation?

A: You keep your NetID and Duke email account for only one year after graduation. After that time, your email account is deactivated and your Duke.edu addresses go away. In addition to using your LAWnet alias, you can (and should) set up a lifetime forwarding address with the Duke alumni association as well. That address will be in the alumni.duke.edu domain.

Q: Why should I let you change my primary Duke email address this summer?

A: The main value of the LAWnet alias is continuity; it will be available for your correspondents for a “lifetime.” It also indicates your relationship with the law school, which can be valuable in initiating communication.

Q: Are you guaranteeing me email for life?!

A: “Lifetime” is in quotes because no one knows how long we’ll all be using email. But we intend to offer the service as long as email is a universal form of communication. Note that this is an alias to your Exchange account until graduation, and thereafter it is a forwarding address only. It is not an email account in the way Gmail or Hotmail offers email accounts.

Q: Why do you keep saying both “alias” and “address”? It’s confusing.

A: Email aliases are a particular kind of email address. Email sent to an alias is forwarded to a corresponding email account that may have a very different, or unfriendly looking, email address. Aliases let you create an email address you want to use, rather than one dictated by the design of a mail system.

Q: Are you offering this to all alumni?

A: We will be. The first phase is for current students.

Q: I want to make my LAWnet alias “superlawyer.” Any problems with that?

A: These aliases are for names and appropriate variations of names only.

Q: Can I make my LAWnet alias my primary address on March 1?

A: You can make it your “primary” address in the sense that you should be able to set it as your primary email address for the Duke online directory. You can provide it on forms and in letters, and you can use it with any email client that lets you set your From: address. At the time of this writing, we’re not sure if you will be able to designate it as your From: address in Outlook and Outlook Web App until the general change this summer. If that capability emerges, we will let you know.

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