Access to Law School

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, racial minorities in the U.S., or members of another group that is underrepresented in the law. The Program invests in a class of up to 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 three years, the program has already achieved significant success; our first two classes of fellows attend a wide range of schools, including Berkeley, Georgetown, Howard, Quinnipiac, UConn, Vermont, Villanova, and Yale. 

Applications for our 2023 cohort have closed.

Law School Access Program

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. 

2020-2021 Fellows

2021-2022 Fellows

Meet our newest class and learn their stories.



Learn more about the program, its goals, and the application process.

Free Resources

Free Resources

A select compilation of free tools and aids to help you get into law school.

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.