Additional Opportunities

Students at Yale Law School have a number of opportunities to focus on issues of education through clinical work, academic coursework and reading groups (both in and outside the law school), and extracurricular activities.


Ludwig Center for Community and Economic Development (CED)

Course Description: CED is one of the most interdisciplinary law school clinics in the country. It offers law students the chance to do pro bono transactional lawyering and legislative and administrative advocacy, rather than litigation. CED focuses on issues of neighborhood revitalization, education, social entrepreneurship, sustainable development, financial access and financial inclusion as they relate to community and economic development. Students in CED represent and partner with community organizations, nonprofits, banks, local government, and small businesses. They work in regulatory, transactional, business, policy research, development and advocacy and strategic capacities. CED has a commitment to engaging students in local work, which can then be used to inform policy development at the local, state and federal levels. Depending upon the particular project, students will be exposed in grating depth to banking, finance, land use, business, and policy research, design and advocacy. Our five current working groups are: Community Banking, Food Policy, Large Community Organizations, Mortgage Foreclosure, and School Reform.

Education Adequacy Project

Course Description: Clinical course with a focus on a single litigation against the State of Connecticut, representing the Connecticut Coalition for Justice in Education Funding (CCJEF) and fifteen children and parents alleging constitutional deficiencies in state-provided education. This unique litigation is the first-ever clinic-led school finance litigation, and provides a diverse array of litigation, policy and client work. Through litigation and advocacy, CCJEF seeks to reform Connecticut's public school finance system by substantially increasing funding and accountability such that all children are provided an adequate and substantially educational opportunity The Education Adequacy Project serves as lead counsel on the litigation (CCJEF v. Rell) and will meet on a weekly basis to review the progress of the students as well as to discuss the substantive issues involved in CCJEF's case and the theoretical issues involved in the adequacy movement.


Yale College, Political Science 240: Public Schools and Public Policy
Professor: John Bryan Starr, [email protected] 
Course Description: The course will consider eleven of the most salient and controversial public policy issues in America's elementary and secondary schools today. We will concern ourselves with the issues themselves-the problems that require a solution-and with the policy alternatives that present themselves as possible solutions. We will unpack the policy alternatives to analyze the values embedded in them and the relationship of these values to partisan political agendas.

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Yale School of Management 884: Managing Education Reform
Professor: Garth Harries, [email protected]
Course Description: This course is an examination of current topics in public education reform from the perspective of a leader and a manager. It will emphasize a variety of strategies and mechanisms to close the achievement gap in American public schools, ranging from school level design to district and national policy. Students will explore different theories of action and challenges of execution in education reform.

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Yale Law School, Education and the Law (seminar)
Professor: Jon Simon, [email protected]

Yale College, Political Science 260: Public Schools and Politics
Professor: John Bryan Starr, [email protected] 
Course Description: To be successful, an initiative to improve public schooling must necessarily win the support of those whose mandate it is to keep school. And it must survive the gauntlet of politics through which those mandates are bestowed. This course is designed to explore that political gauntlet; it will focus on the politics that surround and shape systems of public schools. It is a course on how the political decisions that shape public schools are made at all levels of our political system, from the school itself to the federal government.

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Education Reform Reading Group
Course Description: This one-credit reading group will focus on six questions confronted by education reformers across the country and will then look to New Haven to see an example of how the question was addressed and resolved in our city. We hope that our focus on the City of New Haven will allow us to ground theoretical discussions with concrete examples and programs, give us the chance to talk to individuals who have implemented relevant initiatives or been affected by them, and help us all become more familiar with the system of public schools in our city.

View an Example Syllabus


The Marshall-Brennan Project
Description: Chapter of a nationwide project to connect students at local high schools to law students so they can learn basic principles of constitutional law--especially those that are relevant to the rights and responsibilities of students. We are seeking interested volunteers at various levels of commitment, from staffing an after-school program we hope to develop, to helping with the students' moot court unit as a coach, or even helping to develop lesson plans and teach classes in local schools New Haven Academy and Cooperative Arts and Humanities High School.

Tutoring Opportunity: Elm City Prep Charter School
Contact: Rebecca Good, Principal, [email protected] 
Description: The school is interested in having law students volunteer in a variety of ways. Two current opportunities include: 

  • Serving as a Reading Buddy: meet once a week for 45 minutes with a student (grades 5-8) to read with and mentor the student. There are a variety of time slots each day, Monday-Thursday, so it is easy to find a weekly time slot that fits with your class schedule. Please note: the school is 2 miles from the law school so a car is helpful; look for e-mails at the beginning of each semester about coordinating rides with other law students.
  • Running an elective program: students take electives in the afternoon, which are often run by volunteers. Electives can range from yoga or knitting to youth leadership.