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Yale Law School by the Numbers

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Yale Law School offers an unmatched intellectual environment with numerous opportunities for students to immerse themselves in the law and make a positive impact on society. Our innovative curriculum trains future lawyers and leaders to tackle the biggest challenges of our time. 

As you consider which law school best fits your goals, we invite you to review this webpage, which highlights information about our impressive student body, world-renowned faculty, academic and extracurricular experiences, wide variety of career paths available to graduates, extensive clinics and programs, excellent financial aid and support, and remarkable alumni community. 

No set of metrics could ever fully capture our exceptional academic community, but we are committed to providing detailed, transparent information so you can make an informed decision about the right law school for you. We believe this data showcases what sets Yale Law School apart as a leader in legal education. 

For a deeper look into life at Yale Law School and the New Haven region, here are a few ways to further explore everything Yale Law School has to offer:

American Bar Association     

All law schools, including Yale Law School, submit information to the American Bar Association, which creates a Standard 509 Information Report for every school annually with information on curricular offerings, financial aid, enrollment, tuition, faculty, and admissions. To view reports by school and year, visit the ABA website. Additional Consumer Information is available here.

J.D. Admissions

Yale Law School students are academically excellent, contribute meaningfully to their communities, and are diverse in many ways. The information below provides only a small window into the Class of 2026. Another important source for class statistics is the ABA 509 report. However, please note that the ABA defines certain terms differently than Yale Law School. We have included our definitions below.

Admissions & Academic Stats

  • 4,471 applicants
  • 201 J.D. students matriculated (this includes students who were admitted in a prior admissions cycle and deferred admission to the fall of 2023)
  • 87% yield on new offers (unlike the ABA 509 report, this includes students who accepted their offer and deferred to a future class) 
  • Median GPA: 3.96 (range: 3.25 to 4.27)
  • Median LSAT: 175 (range: 158 to 180)
  • Median GRE: Verbal Reasoning – 167; Quantitative Reasoning – 163; Analytical Writing – 5.5 (includes 18 students)
  • Students representing 87 undergraduate institutions 

Demographic Stats

  • 51% women
  • 57% students of color (this is based on the race/ethnicity categories defined by the Department of Education and the ABA; unlike the ABA 509 report, it does not distinguish based on citizenship status)
  • 31% first-generation professionals (first generation of their immediate families to attend any graduate or professional school program)
  • 18% first-generation college students (first generation of their immediate families to graduate from a four-year college, university, or its equivalent)
  • 14 veterans and service members (7% of the class) 
Students gathered outside the entrance to the Law School
Students gathered outside the entrance to the Law School

Fun Facts Outside the Numbers

This year’s class includes a film producer, an Osprey pilot, a college professor, and an AI researcher! Learn more about our remarkable 1L class and the admissions process at Yale Law School.

Graduate Programs

Each year, the Law School admits a small number of graduate students from around the world to pursue studies in law beyond the first professional degree. Students enjoy the camaraderie of their fellow J.D. and graduate law students, the intimacy of a small program, and close relationships with the Yale Law School faculty

During the 2023–2024 academic year, the Law School welcomed 27 LL.M. students, 8 J.S.D. students, and 3 M.S.L. student. Graduate students hail from 17 different countries and 6 continents and their interests range from intellectual property law to family law to bioethics to comparative and international law.

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Financial Aid & Hurst Horizon Scholarship

Yale Law School’s Financial Aid Office awards scholarships based on financial need and individual circumstances, and Yale Law is one of only two law schools in the country to award aid based on need alone. For a full breakdown of the cost of attendance, visit the Financial Aid website.

In 2022–2023, Yale Law School launched the Hurst Horizon Scholarship Program, which provides full-tuition scholarships to every student whose family income falls below the federal poverty line. In 2023–2024, this program will expand to include students whose family income falls below 200% of the federal poverty line. 

  • In its inaugural year, the Law School awarded full-tuition scholarships to 51 J.D. students, which provides ~$72,000 per year to every Hurst Horizon Scholar.
  • 75 J.D. students will receive full-tuition scholarships during the 2023–2024 academic year with the expansion of the program.

The Hurst Horizons Scholarship Program bolsters our exceptional financial-aid program. In 2022–2023:

  • 74% of the student body received need-based financial aid, which includes both loans and scholarships.
  • 64% of the student body received a scholarship as part of their financial aid award. 
  • The average scholarship awarded to J.D. students was ~$34K.
  • Students graduated with an average loan amount of ~$130K.
  • Each year, dozens of students are awarded funding from the Safety Net Fund to cover unexpected emergencies, including expenses related to medical and dental care, childcare, stolen property, and emergency travel.
Alphonse Simon
Alphonse Simon

“Entering law school, I grappled with the choice between going into the private sector and helping my family financially or going into the public sector and helping families like mine through policy change. This program has eliminated the distinction between these two choices.”
— Alphonse Simon ’24 on the Hurst Horizon Scholarship Program

Additional Financial Support

Yale Law School’s financial support isn’t limited to financial aid. We also provide robust support for students doing public-interest work over the summer and after graduation, fund students’ academic work, and offer a loan-forgiveness program that supports students in a broad range of careers. 


Career Options Assistance Program

The Career Options Assistance Program (COAP), Yale Law School’s loan repayment program, provides generous assistance with educational loan repayment for graduates who choose lower paying positions. COAP has many key features, including significant flexibility. What makes COAP most distinctive is that, unlike our peers’ loan-forgiveness programs, it supports graduates taking low-paying jobs across sectors and is not confined to a particular type of public interest work.

Since its inception, more than 2,000 Yale Law School graduates have participated in COAP and received more than $58 million in benefits. In 2021:

  • Despite the federal government’s pause on loan repayment, which decreased the number of participants, ~370 graduates participated in COAP and ~$5 million was awarded to pay back graduates’ loans.
  • Graduates worked at a wide array of organizations, including:
    • Law schools and universities in the U.S. and abroad
    • Nonprofits and NGOs
    • Small law firms
    • Churches and religious organizations
    • Media organizations
    • Government
    • IGOs and humanitarian organizations
    • Self-employed


Key Resources

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Academics

With hundreds of courses taught by world-renowned faculty and a thriving network of legal clinics and intellectual centers, Yale Law School provides many ways for students to gain the knowledge and skills necessary to make an impact on the world at large. Yale Law School boasts a remarkable faculty–student ratio and invites a wide range of scholars and practitioners to teach in New Haven. 

Read more about Studying Law at Yale.

  • 192 courses offered last year
  • 153 courses with under 25 people
  • Only 3 classes with more than 100 students
  • 5:1 student ratio
  • More than 30 clinics and dozens of centers, programs, and workshops

Unparalleled Freedom & Flexibility

Students enjoy far more freedom at YLS to choose their classes than they do at peer schools. For the majority of our peers, 1Ls must take required courses for most of their first year. At Yale, students are able to select their courses as soon as they reach their second semester. Yale Law School is also unusual in that students can enroll in a clinic during the second semester of their first year. 

Yale Law School’s strong student–faculty ratio creates truly unparalleled learning experiences, including: 

  • The 1L Small Group
    During their first semester, students are assigned to a “small group” of 16–18 people for one of their four classes and take all of their first semester classes together. This cohort is a formative experience that helps students develop community bonds with their peers and strong connections to faculty. 
  • Numerous opportunities to serve as research or teaching assistants
    In the 2021–2022 academic year, there were ~350 research assistant opportunities and ~50 first-term teaching assistant opportunities. 
  • The chance to do serious intellectual work with faculty in your chosen field
    Students have the opportunity to work with faculty on two major writing projects before they graduate: a substantial paper and a supervised analytic writing (SAW). Read more about academic collaborations between faculty and students.

"After my 1L fall term, I get to choose all of my own classes. And being able to join a clinic this spring and start helping people right away — it’s just incredible.” 
— Margo Darragh ’25

Grading

Yale Law School fosters an environment of collaboration rather than competition. All first-term courses are graded on a credit/fail basis. After that, classes are graded on an honors / pass / low pass / fail basis with the option to take certain classes credit / fail.

Clinics 

Our clinics are known for doing extraordinarily ambitious and wide-ranging work. In addition to serving individuals within the community, Yale Law School’s clinics have won three nationwide injunctions in the last few years, and their work regularly makes national headlines. Yale Law School’s clinical program is unique in that many academic faculty teach clinics as part of their regular teaching commitments. 

  • More than 30 clinics with a variety of topics and areas of focus including criminal law, health law, entrepreneurship, and many more.
  • Unlike most other schools, students can begin taking clinics — and appearing in court — during the spring of their first year and can remain in that clinic for a full 5 semesters.
  • Nearly 90% of our students take advantage of this unique opportunity to combine theory with practice; many students take more than one clinic.

Centers & Programs

The intellectual life at Yale Law School is enriched by dozens of centers, programs, and workshops that serve as hubs for critical scholarly work and make a difference in communities in New Haven, around the country, and globally. This work cuts across many disciplines, giving students abundant opportunities to engage with their interests outside of the classroom. View the full list

Henock Dory
Henock Dory

“The faculty here don’t just teach you the rigid rules of the law. They really push your thinking in terms of understanding why the law exists in its current form, what effects the law has on the broader society, and they also push you to creatively think through how you can change the law for the better.”
— Henock Dory ’24

Faculty

The Yale Law School faculty is as broad ranging in its interests and expertise as it is distinguished. It includes prominent scholars of economics, philosophy, sociology, and history, as well as leading specialists in many areas of law. The scholarship of our faculty elevates innovative ideas, serves as foundational texts in a variety of scholarly fields, and engages with some of the most urgent questions facing the world today. Learn more about faculty activities and scholarship or read the latest clips in the press.

  • 64 tenure and tenure-track faculty 
  • 150+ visiting and non-full-time faculty who teach a diverse array of courses every year
  • Many faculty members direct centers and programs, supervise clinics, and run engaging workshops that enhance the intellectual life of the school.
  • One of the most influential law faculties in the country in terms of scholarly impact and citations 
  • Our faculty includes former prosecutors, public defenders, State Department officials, and Supreme Court advocates, and are frequently recognized with prestigious awards for their scholarship and service.
Professor Monica Bell
Professor Monica Bell

“At Yale Law School, we think hard about law, with freedom to challenge basic assumptions embedded within our legal institutions and to construct new frameworks. The best thing about teaching here is getting to do that alongside such inspiring students, unparalleled in intellectual depth, breadth of experience, flexibility, and humaneness.”
— Monica Bell ’09, Professor of Law 

Career Outcomes

Yale Law School graduates pursue a range of diverse career paths that make an impact across every sector of society. We train lawyers’ lawyers and lawyers writ large. Our graduates are entrepreneurs, nonprofit founders, litigators, CEOs, and public servants. They are Cabinet officials and city council members; environmentalists and inventors; Hollywood agents and U.S. attorneys; poets and coders. Read more about our alumni leaders

The Career Development Office (CDO) provides support and resources to students as they navigate career choices, including one-on-one counseling, career education and job search programming, and interview programs to facilitate hiring. CDO also provides career advising for alumni in all stages of their careers. 

10 years after law school, on average 91% of graduates express job satisfaction, 46% have held public interest jobs, and 50% have clerked for a judge (according to a five-year average collected from CDO’s 10-year employment surveys). 

Post-Grad & Summer Employment

Yale Law students are among the most sought after in the nation by employers of all types. 10 months after graduation, 99% of the Class of 2022 had long-term, full-time employment, including those pursuing fellowships and advanced degrees.

Class reports provide detailed data about the sector, salary, and geographic destinations of our graduates. Law school summers also provide the opportunity for our students to explore employment possibilities and gain insight into different legal practice areas and work settings. Take a closer look at employment data.

Postgraduate Public Interest Fellowships 

Yale Law students secure many highly selective public interest fellowships offered by external funders. In addition, Yale Law School offers significantly more postgraduate public interest fellowships than any other law school in the country, enabling more than 30 graduates each year to work for a public interest organization at no cost to the organization. Both externally and internally funded fellowships enable our graduates to jumpstart their careers while serving the legal needs of underserved members of our society.

  • In the last five years, Yale Law School graduates have received on average 17 prestigious external fellowships per year. This includes:
    • 19 Skadden Fellowships 
    • 16 Equal Justice Works Fellowships 
    • 22 Justice Catalyst Fellowships 
  • In the last five years, Yale Law School has funded an average of 34 fellowships per year.
  • According to CDO’s most recent Post-Fellowship Survey results, these fellowships frequently lead to further public interest employment:
    • 42% of Yale Law School fellowship recipients received offers to remain with the fellowship organization. 
    • 45% of fellows remained with host organization or joined another public sector employer.
    • 29% of fellows clerked for a judge.

Law Teaching

Yale Law School supports students and graduates interested in academic careers with robust programming beginning when they are students and continuing through the time when they are on the job market through the Law Teaching Program.

Yale Law School places more students per capita in teaching jobs than any other school in the country, as reflected in the annual Entry Level Hiring Report, compiled by Professor Sarah Lawsky ’01 of Northwestern Pritzker School of Law.

  • From 2016–2022, ~18% of U.S. law teaching jobs went to Yale Law School graduates. YLS placed more people in teaching jobs than any other law school in the country — significantly more than our closest competitor — despite our small size.
  • In the last five years, ~75% of Yale Law graduates who went on the market were successful at securing a teaching job, and more than 20% of these graduates received positions at leading law schools.

Judicial Clerkships

Yale Law School graduates have an excellent record of securing judicial clerkships at the state and federal level. Students work for state and federal courts as well as outside the United States.

  • 32% of employed graduates clerk immediately after graduation (five-year average for Classes 2017–21).
  • ~50% of graduates from each class clerk at some point after graduation.
  • Since 1988, 302 Yale Law School graduates have clerked or will clerk on the U.S. Supreme Court.
  • 199 Yale Law School graduates currently serve as judges on federal, state, and administrative courts.

Law Firms

Preeminent law firms recruit Yale Law School students for summer and post-graduate positions, from global firms with 1,000+ attorneys to small, cutting-edge litigation boutiques and public interest law firms working for social and economic justice. More than 80% of students who join firms after graduation work for firms of 500+ lawyers. The average starting salary of graduates working for firms in the Class of 2021 was $212,830. Yale Law School alumni work in law firms around the world. 145 Yale Law School alumni serve in leadership positions within their firms, including 14 firm-wide managing partners.

Government

In addition to serving in government through judicial clerkships after graduation, ~50% of YLS students intern during a summer in federal, state, and local government including the Department of Justice and other federal agencies; U.S. Attorneys’ offices; state attorneys’ general offices; and on Capitol Hill. Through the Heyman Federal Public Service Fellowship, numerous graduates each year work closely with high-level leaders in executive offices, agencies, commissions, and legislative committees. YLS alumni serve in leadership positions throughout government, including as Attorneys General; U.S. Attorneys; Senators; Representatives; Mayors; General Counsel to the CIA and Department of Defense; FBI Director; Secretary of Commerce; and Chair of the FTC.

For a full view of the variety of career paths available to Yale Law School graduates, including public service, entrepreneurship, business, and government, visit the Career Development and The Tsai Leadership Program websites.

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An aerial view of New Haven, Connecticut

The Student Experience & Life in New Haven

Yale Law School offers numerous opportunities outside of the classroom to personalize their education and make a positive difference while earning a law degree. 

  • More than 65 student organizations offer students the opportunity to help the community and encourage personal and professional growth.
  • 15 student affinity groups provide strong social networks, forums for community building, and supportive environments for our diverse student body. 
  • 9 student journals offer students the chance to work with scholars from around the world and publish cutting-edge legal scholarship. 

OSA Resources 

The Office of Student Affairs (OSA) supports students through their law school journey, working to build community and providing resources for students facing personal or academic challenges. OSA’s staff includes a full-time clinical counselor to support Yale Law School students. 

Living in New Haven

New Haven is a lively city with 130,000 residents and is conveniently located on the water between New York City and Boston — and only 15 minutes to the beach! The city boasts numerous neighborhoods, each with its own personality, with Yale Law School located in the heart of Yale University and downtown New Haven. Students can explore notable restaurants, casual cafes, and unique coffee shops — all within walking distance of Yale Law School. 

York Street shops and pedestrians
York Street shops and pedestrians

A Vibrant City

In 2023, The New York Times named New Haven in its list of “52 Places for Travelers to Visit” in the world: “Connecticut’s third-largest city is a historic, mostly walkable and bikeable seaside town with distinctive neighborhoods, an encyclopedic collection of great American architecture, a thriving cultural life, and one of the best food scenes in the country for a city of its size.”

The Law School is deeply committed to serving the New Haven community and regularly works with the city, nonprofit groups, community organizations, and residents to support and give back to our home.

Housing

Graduate student housing is available on-campus, including in the recently renovated Baker Hall adjacent to the Sterling Law Building. Students also live off campus in various neighborhoods throughout New Haven, each with its distinctive personality. 

Key Resources

Living in New Haven
Services
More about New Haven

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The reading room of the Lillian Goldman Law Library

The Law Library

The Lillian Goldman Law Library at Yale Law School is one of the largest law libraries in the world, with more than 1 million print volumes. The print collection is complemented by vast online resources. The interdisciplinary emphasis of the Law School is supported by the rich resources of the University Library, with some 16 million print volumes and online sources in virtually every discipline.
 
Our rare book collection includes roughly 50,000 volumes, including a range of items from the earliest English law book (1481) to original comic book art that establishes that Batman is a graduate of Yale Law School.

The Lillian Goldman Law Library maintains a professional staff of ~20 librarians, a significant number of which hold law and library science degrees.

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Members of the Class of 2007 at Alumni Weekend 2022

Alumni Engagement

Yale Law School has a thriving community of more than 13,000 alumni, including many who maintain strong relationships with the School long after they graduate, serving as volunteers and mentors and giving back to support the next generation of students.

  • More than 3,000 alumni have joined The Courtyard online networking platform and ~500 alumni-student pairs participated in mentoring programs from fall 2021–fall 2022.
  • Each year, hundreds of alumni serve as volunteer ambassadors, advisors, and advocates for the school, which includes mentoring students, communicating with classmates, raising funds for key initiatives, and teaching classes.
  • There are dozens of regional events around the country every year where alumni have the chance to reconnect with old friends and network with their peers. Every fall, thousands of alumni return for a reunion in New Haven for a series of engaging discussions, class activities, and lively receptions. 

The Tsai Leadership Program

The Tsai Leadership Program, launched in the fall of 2021, seeks to develop a curriculum for the next century as well as to teach skills critical for future leaders who are ready to tackle a diverse set of challenges in the private and public sectors. The program saturates the Law School with classes, workshops, professional skills training, and immersive experiences around the country to better equip students for any career they choose. As part of the program, students have the opportunity to learn from leaders in every sector of society, participate in a mentor-in-residence program on campus, attend unique mentorship events across the country, and engage in professional networking opportunities.

  • The Leadership Program is centered on two innovative centers: The Chae Initiative in Private Sector Leadership and the Carol and Gene Ludwig Program in Public Sector Leadership
  • 91 students are Chae and Ludwig Fellows for the 2023–2024 academic year.
  • Recent courses include Blockchain and Digital Assets; Networks, Law, and Entrepreneurship Strategy; Public Leadership and Policymaking; and the Media and Technology Industries.
  • Recent professional skills training opportunities include Three Statement Financial Modeling, Public Speaking, and Negotiation.
  • In 2023, students traveled to California to learn about nonprofit and community leadership from prominent graduates. They also went to New York City to explore the financial industry and connect with leaders in the financial sector. Future trips will include an opportunity to learn from policymakers in Washington, D.C., and entrepreneurs in New York.

Last updated September 2023

Jenna Cook
Jenna Cook

“It's so incredible to see the array of things that YLS graduates do after they graduate. And one thing I've loved so much from The Tsai Leadership Program is being able to practice some of these tangible skills that I can apply in my everyday life.”
— Jenna Cook ’24

Lawyers are problem-solvers. They don’t stand jeering on the sidelines; they get things done, which means they must learn how to reach agreement in communities defined in part by difference.