About the Access to Law School Program

The Access to Law School Program at Yale Law School is an innovative law school pipeline program designed for people from the New Haven area who are first generation, low-income, formerly incarcerated, or members of an under-represented racial group who are considering attending law school. The Program invests in a class of twenty Fellows who are passionate about uplifting their local communities in New Haven and Connecticut. In weekly Academies and one-on-one mentorship sessions, Fellows work with Yale Law School students and legal professionals to develop an individualized approach to their law school application process and to prepare for careers in leadership and the law. Ultimately, the Program aims to empower each cohort of Fellows to thrive in their legal studies, make a difference in their communities of New Haven and Connecticut, and pave the way for other individuals like themselves who seek a career in the law.

In its first two years, the program has already achieved significant success; our first class of fellows was accepted to a wide range of schools, including Villanova, Quinnipiac, UConn, Columbia, Berkeley, and Yale. 

Our next application cycle will begin in April 2023.  

Law School Access

From left to right, Professor James Forman Jr. and Access to Law School Program Fellows Alexis Willoughby-Robinson, Tai Walker, and Addys Castillo during a Saturday  Academy session. Photo by Nina Oishi ’22.

The Law and Racial Justice Center is grateful to the Oscar M. Ruebhausen Fund for its generous support of the Access to Law School Program. 

Media Coverage

Julia Brown, “YLS program helps New Haven residents become lawyers,” Yale Daily News (May 7, 2021)

Yale Law School, “Lighting Up the Path to Law School” (Sep. 21, 2020)

Political Gabfest Podcast, “Find Something New,” Slate (July 16, 2020)

Maya McFadden, “They Got Into Law School,” The New Haven Independent (May 20, 2020)

Other Pipeline Programs

The Access to Law School Program is primarily for New Haven-area residents. Here you can explore a list of other pipeline programs, many of which accept applicants from all over the country. If you know of a program that isn’t listed, tell us about it at lawaccess@yale.edu and we will add it to our page.


Founding Sponsor: DLA Piper

Sponsor: Oscar M. Ruebhausen Fund; Susman Godfrey LLP

If you have questions about the program or becoming a sponsor, please e-mail us at lawaccess@yale.edu.