About the Career Options Assistance Program


Yale Law School has long encouraged its graduates to pursue public service activities. Rising educational debt burdens and stagnant public sector salaries, however, increasingly deter graduates from choosing public interest careers. Large debt and low salaries also discourage career options in academia and some types of private practice.

To give financial expression to the Law School’s commitment to a full range of career opportunities, Yale established the Career Options Assistance Program (COAP) in 1989 to provide substantial post-graduation assistance with educational loan repayment for graduates who choose lower paying positions.

Since its inception, more than 1,500 Yale Law School graduates have participated in COAP and received over $54 million in benefits. In 2016 alone, COAP disbursed $5.2 million in benefits to 452 graduates. COAP remains the most generous loan repayment program available to law school students and the example after which many other programs are modeled.

Yale Law School is distinguished among American law schools by two things: its small size—that’s a physical fact about the law school—and also the spirit of comradeship and cooperation that exists among all of the members of the community.”


Anthony Kronman

Class of 1975, Sterling Professor of Law and Former Dean