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Yale Law School


One of the country's oldest law schools, Yale Law School (YLS) is part of Yale University and one of five Ivy League law schools. It has been ranked the #1 law school in the country by U.S. News and World Report every time the magazine has published law school rankings, and is also consistently the most selective, with a 2007 acceptance rate of 6.9%.

Yale Law School's 3-year full-time Juris Doctor (J.D.) program operates from mid-August to mid-May; no part-time or evening programs are available. Housing information is available through the website's Housing page.

Contact Information

PO Box 208215
New Haven, CT 06520-8215
(203) 432-4995

Email: admissions.law@yale.edu
Website: http://www.law.yale.edu/admissions

Fast Facts (Class of 2011)

  • Enrollment Information

    Applicants: 3,109
    Enrolled: 189

    Women: 49%
    Minorities: 32%

    Student to Faculty Ratio: 1: 7.4

  • GPA/LSAT Scores

    LSAT Median: 173
    LSAT 25/75 Percentile: 169/177

    UGPA Median: 3.9
    UGPA 25/75 Percentile: 3.81/3.97

  • Costs and Fees (2009-2010)

    Tuition: $46,200
    Total estimated budget: $67,240

Application Procedures

Application fee: $75
Application deadline: Apply between September 1 and February 15 for admission the following fall.

Yale Law School accepts applications only through the Law School Admission Council (LSAC), but you can request informational brochures from the school's website.

In addition to the application form and fee, applicants must submit:

  • 250-word Essay
  • Personal Statement
  • Two Letters of Recommendation
For more information on Yale Law School application requirements, download this document.

Transfer Procedures

Competition for transfer admission is high. Transfer applicants must have completed one year at an ABA-accredited law school; according to the school's website, "[a] college degree and an outstanding record at another law school are prerequisites."

Transfer applicants must apply between May 1 and July 1 of the year in which they're seeking admission.

For more information on transferring to Yale Law School, see Apply as a J.D. Transfer Student.

Degrees and Curriculum

In order to earn a Juris Doctor from Yale Law School, a student must complete 83 units of satisfactory work, fulfill the writing requirement, spend six terms or the equivalent in residence, and be recommended for the degree by the faculty. For a fuller explanation of requirements, see Requirements.

The first-year curriculum includes Constitutional Law, Contracts, Procedure, and Torts, and one of these is taken in a seminar format with 15 students and a faculty member. Criminal Law and Professional Responsibility are also required. All first-term classes are graded as Credit/Fail. Students choose all courses during the second and third years of study.

Yale offers several joint degree programs in which students can earn a J.D. along with another professional degree from one of Yale's graduate or professional schools; applications to the programs must be filed separately.

Yale Law School also offers degree programs for Master of Laws (LL.M.), Master of Studies in Law (M.S.L.), and Doctor of the Science of Law (J.S.D.).

Study Abroad

Although Yale does not have a traditional, formal study abroad program, it provides several unique alternatives for students best described in the Yale Admissions Blog.

Law Journals and Other Activities

Yale Law School has nine student journals, including The Yale Law Journal, Yale Journal of Law and Feminism, Yale Journal of International Law, and Yale Journal of Law and Technology.

Along with many student organizations, the law school has specialized Programs and Centers for specific legal interests including The China Law Center, Law and Media Program, Yale Law School Projects in South America, and Yale Center for Law and Philosophy.

Bar Exam Passage Rate

A majority of Yale Law students take the New York State Bar Exam and, in 2007, achieved a 91.2% pass rate. The overall pass rate for the NY Bar Exam was 77%.

Post-Graduation Employment

From the 2006 graduating class, 96.1% were employed at graduation and 99.6% were employed nine months after graduation. Starting salaries in the private sector averaged $145,000, and $52,803 in the public sector.

Forty percent of the Class of 2008 secured work in law firms, 34% accepted judicial clerkships, 13% went to public interest or government positions, 7% entered the business field, 3% percent entered academia, and 2% pursued an advanced degree.

Yale Law School in the News

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