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To discuss academic accommodations, email Dean Cosgrove

For questions about Financial Aid, email the Financial Aid Office

Learn more about childcare resources

Read about the health insurance options

For access to the lactation room, email Dean Thompson

“Work-life balance was a term not yet coined in the years my children were young; it is aptly descriptive of the time distribution I experienced. My success in law school, I have no doubt, was in large measure because of baby Jane. I attended classes and studied diligently until 4 in the afternoon; the next hours were Jane’s time, spent at the park, playing silly games or singing funny songs, reading picture books and A. A. Milne poems, and bathing and feeding her. After Jane’s bedtime, I returned to the law books with renewed will. Each part of my life provided respite from the other and gave me a sense of proportion that classmates trained only on law studies lacked.”

--Ginsburg, Ruth Bader, “RBG’s Advice for Living.” New York Times,  2 October 2016, p.SR4.

 

The Office of Student Affairs supports new and expectant parents in balancing the responsibilities of academic life and parenthood.  Our office is committed to supporting the special needs of our student parents and assisting in managing the challenges of balancing school and family.  We encourage law students to use our office as a starting point for questions. We are happy to connect you with resources, to other student parents, and to help you navigate YLS as a student parent.  Please stop by to visit or contact us by email or phone (203) 432-7979.

In addition to our office, a number of student organizations support students with families and partners including the Society for Committed and/or Older, Wiser Law Students “SCOWLS,” Yale Law Students for Reproductive Justice "LSRJ", and Yale Law Women “YLW.” Please see the 2014 YLW Guide for Parents & Families for additional information (log-in required).

Resources for Families


While Yale Law School does not offer a part-time J.D. program, we can discuss creative options for maintaining a manageable academic workload in light of your family responsibilities. Please contact Dean Cosgrove to discuss.

For incoming students, Assistant Dean & Registrar Judith Calvert can tell you your first and last class times in advance of the release of first year schedules so that you can arrange childcare accordingly. Try to find a center that opens by 8 am in case you are placed in early-morning classes.

If there is a pregnancy or parenting-related issue that could affect exams, attendance, or classroom participation, please contact Dean Cosgrove to discuss possible accommodations.

A combination of supports and accommodations for an expectant or new parent may include:

  • Deferment of paper deadlines.
  • Exam accommodations, including deferment of exams, breaks during exams and/or separate testing environments
  • Leaves of absence—some new parents opt to take a leave of absence (generally for a semester or year). Students must complete the degree requirements within seven years of matriculation. Some jurisdictions prescribe a shorter period of time. For example, the New York Bar requires that the J.D. degree be completed within five years of matriculation.

Accommodations are considered on a case-by-case basis so students are encouraged to contact Dean Cosgrove as soon as possible to explore options.

Yale Law School's financial aid policies and programs are designed to make it possible for students to pursue their legal education at Yale regardless of their financial circumstances.  Using a combination of loans and scholarship grants, the Law School makes every effort to provide students with the difference between their resources and the cost of attending Yale.

Yale Law School, as required by federal rules, does not have a separate, fixed budget for students (married or single) with dependent children. The standard student budget is adjusted up or down in consideration of a working spouse’s income (less certain allowances) as well as additional expenses including a basic living allowance (expenses such as food, housing, utilities, etc.), allowance for family health insurance, an automobile allowance, and, for single parents and students with a working partner, the Law School provides additional allowances for reasonable childcare expenses based on a survey of childcare costs in the New Haven area.

Whether you are arriving with children or planning to have children during your time at YLS, it is important to contact the Financial Aid Office at (203) 432-1688 or [email protected] to discuss your personal circumstances as they relate to grant, loan, and COAP eligibility.

Student dependents may enroll in Yale’s Health Insurance Plan. Dependents are defined as:

  • a student’s lawfully married spouse,
  • a student’s civil union partner, or
  • a student’s child who is under the age of 26.

Dependents must be enrolled in the Yale Health Plan by September 15 each year and must be renewed annually. In the event that a student marries or has a child during the year, the student may elect to enroll the new dependent in the Yale Health program within 30 days of either marriage or birth (coverage would be for the full term. It is not pro-rated).

For planning purposes, for 2016–2017, Yale Health Plan membership fees are set at $2,264 for single students, $8,422 for two party coverage and $14,130 for family coverage.  

Additional details can be found on-line or by contacting member services at (203) 432-0246 or

Yale Housing strives to provide a safe and supportive residential environment that fosters a sense of community and enhances the educational experience for all graduate and professional students and their families. 

There is a private nursing room located on the third floor (305A) next to the Women’s Room and across from the Library’s administrative Offices. The room has a fridge, a sink, two curtained private spaces, and chairs outside of the private spaces to wait. To get access to the lactation space (based on your keytag), contact Dean Mike.

The bathrooms in the basement of the law school by the Grove Street entrance/dining hall and the bathrooms accessible for people with disabilities on the second floor of the law school (in the Student Commons area) have changing tables.

Childcare

If you have a child who you want to enroll in daycare, full- or part-time, you are better off identifying and committing to a facility as early as possible, rather than waiting until you arrive in New Haven for the start of the school year. Some facilities will fill their spaces for the coming school year by May or June.

Keep in mind that law school, and 1L fall in particular, can be intense, and you will want to make sure you have sufficient childcare coverage not only for class time, but all of the out-of-class activities that enrich your law school experience. It is helpful to start with the assumption that being a law school student is a fulltime job and plan accordingly.

Yale’s childcare resources can help you find the right care for your child. The university maintains a list of childcare providers in the area, along with helpful facts about each facility (fees, hours, teacher/student ratio, etc.). This is a great starting point to find childcare options, especially because you can search by location.

Yale and the New Haven area offer a wide range of child care options: several Yale-affiliated centers, local centers, public pre-schools, independent nursery schools, licensed family care providers, and in-home care. High-quality child care, especially for infants, can be expensive, however, some facilities offer sliding fee scales or scholarships based upon family income. Pre-school programs for children 3 to 5 years old in certain communities may offer subsidized “school readiness” slots. 

Yale has several affiliated childcare centers, although they are often more expensive than non-affiliated facilities. The YLS Early Learning Center, an independently operated childcare center, is located right in the Law School building. It is open all year round, and the children of Yale Law School faculty, staff, and students have priority in the assignment of spaces. The Law School also makes loans available to cover the Center's tuition for students on financial aid. Space is limited.

Yale back-up care provides subsidized in-home care when your regular day care provider is unavailable. It also works as childcare for when you travel to academic conferences with your child. Yale has contracted with Caregivers On Call, an established provider of back-up child care since 1991, to provide eligible members of the Yale community with up to 40 hours of services per household per year at University-subsidized rates. Graduate students pay just $7 an hour. Caregivers On Call selects qualified home care agencies to provide service and evaluates each agency to ensure it meets its strict quality control standards. The care is provided by trained caregivers who work with these home care agencies. Service is available seven days a week, 24 hours a day. Caregivers On Call may require up to four hours notice to meet your request.

Yale Babysitting Service can help you to find a Yale student to care for your child on an occasional basis. Only current Yale faculty, staff and students may use the service.

Outside of Yale, www.care.com and www.sittercity.com are for-profit websites that connect parents with babysitters, and both offer a large supply of caregivers in the New Haven area. Much like on the Yale site, you can post jobs and browse caregiver profiles.

 

Schools

The New Haven Public School (NHPS) system is a national model for school reform involving teachers, administrators, parents and students. NHPS has neighborhood and themed magnet public schools that are free of charge and offer free breakfast and lunch to all students ages 5-18, or grades K-12. See the NHPS website for information on school choice and lottery programs, school ratings and evaluations. Many public schools offer Pre-Kindergarten or Early Childhood education programs for children ages 3-5.

  • NH Public School Registration Street listing shows you what schools are located in your neighborhood and beyond. You can also apply to city-wide magnet schools via lottery.

SchoolHaven, a website developed by a Yale graduate student spouse, allows parents to share reviews and information about local schools.

Greater New Haven area schools info includes public, independent, and religious schools.

 

Family Resources and Fun Things to Do with Kids 

  • Yale Museums and Galleries offer programs for all ages
  • New Haven Youth Map lists after-school, weekend and summer activities
  • Kids Stuff from Info New Haven showcases fun things to do with your kids in the city
  • Kidhaven lists resources and events for parents and kids
  • CT Parent is an online resource guide and monthly printed magazine of family-friendly events and information
  • WELL/A Mother’s Place offers childbirth education classes, pregnancy and nursing supplies and resources, including a free breastfeeding mothers’ support group. Yale Health members receive a 10% discount on WELL childbirth education classes.

 

Further Resources

Yale’s WorkLife page has resources including Adoption Resources, Backup care and babysitting, Breastfeeding and lactation, Caring for Young Children, and Child Care Resources

Note: Yale University recognizes marriages (opposite- and same-sex) as well as civil unions or legal partnerships created by states, regardless of name.

ID cards, gym access, library access and other privileges

Legally married spouses of Yale law students are eligible for a Yale Student Affiliate ID Card, which confers these and other Yale privileges:

To Get a Yale Student Affiliate ID Card

  1. Law School students who would like IDs for their spouses should go to the Law School Registrar’s Office with their spouse and a copy of their marriage license. The Registrar’s Office will issue a temporary ID for the spouse to bring to the ID center to get the photo ID.
  2. Go to the Yale ID Center to have photo ID made.

*Note: the ID Center will not make IDs for newly arrived student spouses until after Sept. 15 each year. Yale Security does not activate affiliate cards for access to any Yale buildings.

Yale offers specific resources, but does not issue Yale Affiliate ID cards, to non-married domestic partners of graduate and professional students. Your partner can contact the offices below to access certain services:

  • Yale Shuttle Bus: Member of the Yale community and their affiliated family members can use the free Yale shuttle system. For nighttime shuttle/safe ride, you need to know the student's Yale NetID when calling for a ride. Download the Transloc App to track shuttles in real time.
  • Athletic Facilities: Unmarried partners can purchase a Yale Gym membership at the same rate as student spouses. Visit the membership office with the student, show the Yale Student IDcard and documentation indicating shared residence.
  • Yale Athletic events: Buy discount student guest tickets for football, hockey and other home games. 
  • Library Borrowing Privileges: Domestic partners of registered graduate and professional students may qualify for library borrowing privileges—please review the Library's guidelines.

 

Classes 

As a spouse or partner of a full-time student, you may, without charge, audit or sit-in on courses in Yale College and the Graduate School.  

Other New Haven area Colleges and Universities have listings for classes or employment.

 

Employment  

  • Yale Human Resources STARS application system is open to spouses and partners of graduate students. Each September, McDougal Graduate Student Life and Yale HR co-host a welcome and information session on Yale job searching for new graduate student spouses/partners. 
  • New Haven Works offers a jobs pipeline program people living in the City of New Haven. Registering with New Haven Works provides special access to area employers.
  • New Haven area job resources

 

LBGTQ Couples

YLS’s Society of Committed and/or Older, Wiser Law Students (SCOWLS) caters to the social, academic, and other needs of those who have serious commitments that fall outside class.

Graduate Student Life Events at the McDougal Center welcome graduate students and their spouses/partners to the social, cultural, sports, family and other events sponsored by the Graduate Student Life Office. Meet others who share your interests.

Examples of events include:

  • Monthly McDougal Family Activities and Outings, planned by McDougal Family Fellows, like farm trips, holiday parties, and arts programs.  
  • Graduate Parents Lunch Workshops covers parenting topics of interest for student parents, spouses/partners. Kids are welcome.

Weekly McDougal GSL E-notes tell you about GSL events and grad services. Yale Graduate and Professional students can subscribe here.

Join the Facebook Group Bulldogs with Pups for graduate and professional students and families.

Graduate Student Organizations often welcome student partners.

Graduate Professional Student Center at Yale (GPSCY)

PULSE Young Professionals Group offers networking, professional development and monthly social events.