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P.O. Box 208329
New Haven, CT 06520-8329
p. 203-432-4995
w. <IT>www.law.yale.edu<RO>

Yale Law School

Yale Law School Rating: 4.3/5 (3 votes)


In addition to the J.D., the law school offers the LL.M., S.J.D., and M.S.L., Master of Studies in Law, including fellowships in law. Students may take relevant courses in other programs and apply credit toward the J.D.; a maximum of 12 credits may be applied. The following joint degrees may be earned: J.D./M.A. (Juris Doctor/Master of Arts), J.D./M.A.R. (Juris Doctor/Master of Arts in religion), J.D./M.B.A. (Juris Doctor/Master of Business Administration), J.D./M.D. (Juris Doctor/Doctor of Medicine), J.D./M.Div. (Juris Doctor/Master of Divinity), J.D./M.E.S. (Juris Doctor/Master of Environmental Studies), and J.D./Ph.D. (Juris Doctor/Doctor of Philosophy).

The Yale Law School offers concentrations in corporate law, criminal law, entertainment law, environmental law, family law, international law, juvenile law, labor law, litigation, media law, securities law, sports law, tax law, torts and insurance, administrative law, constitutional law, comparative law, legal history, torts, criminal procedure, bankruptcy, law and economics, employment discrimination, property, health, antitrust, evidence, and international business. In addition, clinical opportunities are offered through many clinics, including Community and Economic Development, Complex Federal Litigation, and the Allard K. Lowenstein International Human Rights Law Clinic. In addition to the many seminars offered during the fall and spring terms, students may submit proposals for research and legislative drafting seminars. Research programs and independent reading may be undertaken after the first term with faculty permissions. Numerous special lecture series are held annually, including the Timothy B. Atkeson Environmental Practitioner in Residence, the Cover Lecture in Law and Religion, the Ralph Gregory Elliot First Amendment Lecture, the Preiskel/Silverman Program on the Practicing Lawyer and the Public Interest, and the Robert L. Bernstein Lecture in International Human Rights. In the second term, students may begin participation in programs managed primarily by students under the supervision of a faculty adviser. These include the Capital Defense Project, the Domestic Violence Temporary Restraining Order Project, the Greenhaven Prison Project, Street Law, Thomas Swan Barristers’ Union, Morris Tyler Moot Court of Appeals, and numerous reviews and journals.

To earn the J.D., candidates must complete 83 total credits, of which 21 are for required courses. The following first-year courses are required of all students: Constitutional Law, Contracts, Procedure, and Torts. Required upper-level courses consist of a supervised analytic writing paper and a substantial paper, Criminal Law and Administration, and a course of at least 2 units devoted substantially to issues of professional responsibility or legal ethics. The optional orientation program for first-year students consists of a weekend prior to registration at which life at the law school and in New Haven is discussed.

To graduate, candidates must have completed the upper-division writing requirement.


In the fall 2007 first-year class, 3677 applied, 249 were accepted, and 189 enrolled. Twelve transfers enrolled. The median LSAT percentile of the most recent first-year class was 99; the median GPA was 3.91 on a scale of 4.0. The lowest LSAT percentile accepted was 80; the highest was 99.

Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree and take the LSAT. No specific undergraduate courses are required. Candidates are not interviewed.

The application deadline for fall entry is February 15. Applicants should submit an application form, LSAT results, transcripts, a nonrefundable application fee of $75, 2 letters of recommendation, and a 250-word essay. Notification of the admissions decision is on a rolling basis; most are notified by mid-to-late April. The latest acceptable LSAT test date for fall entry is December. The law school uses the LSDAS.

Financial Aid

About 80% of current law students receive some form of aid. The average annual amount of aid from all sources combined, including scholarships, loans, and work contracts, is $27,000; maximum, $52,175. Awards are based on need. Required financial statements are the FAFSA and Need Access. The aid application deadline for fall entry is March 15. First-year students are notified about their financial aid application at time of acceptance.


About 48% of the student body are women; 35%, minorities; 8%, African American; 18%, Asian American; 8%, Hispanic; and 5%, unknown/unreported. The average age of entering students is 25.

Student-edited publications include the Yale Law Journal, Yale Journal of International Law, Yale Journal of Law and Feminism, Yale Journal of Law and Humanities, Yale Journal on Regulation, Yale Human Rights and Development Law Journal, Yale Law and Policy Review, and Yale Journal of Health Policy, Law, and Ethics . Moot court competitions include the Thurman Arnold Appellate Competition Prize, the Benjamin N. Cardozo Prize, and the John Fletcher Caskey prize. Other competitions or prizes include the Albom, Brody, Burkan Memorial, Cohen, Connecticut Attorneys’ Title Insurance Company, Cullen, Egger, Emerson, Gherini, Gruter, Jewell, Khosla, Lemkin, Massey, Miller, Munson, Olin, Parker, Peres, Porter, Robbins Memorial, Scharps, Townsend, Wang, and Wayland. Law student organizations include the Asia Law Forum, the Initiative for Public Interest Law at Yale, and the Yale Law and Technology Society. There are local chapters of the Black Law Students Association, the Federalist Society, and the American Constitution Society.

The law school operates on a traditional semester basis. Courses for full-time students are offered days only and must be completed within 6 terms. There is no part-time program. New students are admitted in the fall. There is no summer session. Transferable summer courses are not offered.

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