Welcome to Duke Law School! Our names are Jack Fines and Michael Wajda, and we’re the Co-Presidents of the Duke Law Judge Gerald B. Tjoflat Chapter of the Federalist Society. In addition to welcoming you all to campus, we wanted to provide a brief introduction to “FedSoc” and tell you about some of our events for the year.
The Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies (AKA FedSoc National) was founded in 1982 as a response to the orthodox liberal ideology which is especially common in academic settings. FedSoc is a debate and discussion society which seeks to promote an awareness of three essential principles: that the state exists to preserve freedom; that the separation of governmental powers is central to our Constitution; and that it is emphatically the province and duty of the judiciary to say what the law is, not what it should be.
Throughout the school year, we host debates, lectures, and discussions featuring top scholars from Duke, other universities, and think tanks across the country. Our speakers also include federal judges, public interest litigators, practitioners, and government officials. We bring in the nation’s top experts to share their experiences and opinions with Duke Law students and answer any questions attendees may have about the topic. Plus, like every good student group, we always have free food at our lunchtime events!
This year, we already have 8 events scheduled with experts on topics like immigration, trade, driverless vehicle liability, state constitutions, the Masterpiece Cakeshop decision, and more! Our first event will be on September 10th at 12:30pm in Room 341, and it will feature Ilya Shapiro from the Cato Institute giving us a preview of the upcoming Supreme Court term.
Additionally, be on the lookout for more information about our 1L recruitment meeting in mid-September. We’ll have more information about this meeting at the Activities Fair on September 7th. Joining Duke Law FedSoc makes you part of a nationwide network of over 40,000 lawyers, law students, and academics dedicated to promoting the above principles within the legal community. FedSoc members attend conferences, receive top-notch scholarship published in our journals and magazines, and participate in events with local attorneys in over 105 lawyer’s chapters across the country.
Again, welcome to Duke Law. We hope that you’ll join Duke Law FedSoc in making Duke Law an interesting place where ideas are discussed, issues are debated, and students are able to interact with the top legal minds from across the country.
Michael and Jack