The Office of Student Affairs supports expectant, new and "seasoned" parents balance the responsibilities of academic life and parenthood. We encourage law students to use our office as a starting point for questions. We are happy to connect you with resources and other student parents. Please stop by to visit or contact us by email or phone (203) 432-7979.
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 Maldonado to discuss.
For incoming students, Registrar Heather Abbott 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 Maldonado to discuss possible accommodations.
A combination of support 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 Maldonado 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 dependent(s), allowance for family health insurance, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your personal circumstances as they relate to grant, loan, and COAP eligibility. For more information on the financial aid policies please visit the Financial Aid website.
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.
Information about coverage for dependents can be found in the Yale Health Student Handbook.
Please contact Member Services at (203) 432-0246 with additional questions.
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 (with your ID card), 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.
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 full-time 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 preschools, 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 Yale Law School 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 backup 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 backup 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, care.com and 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.
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.
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
- Family Fun from the Connecticut Office of Tourism showcases places to visit with your kids in the state
- CT Parent is an online resource guide and monthly printed magazine of family-friendly events and information
- A Mother’s Place offers childbirth education classes, pregnancy and nursing supplies, and resources
- Childbirth, Breastfeeding and Parenting Resources lists classes and other resources at Yale New Haven Hospital
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:
- Yale Gym membership for a fee and access to athletic facilities and fitness classes
- Yale library privileges
- Peabody Museum free admission
- Yale Repertory Theatre discount student tickets/passes
To Get a Yale Student Affiliate ID Card
- 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.
- 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 ID card 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.
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.
- Audit Yale College classes
- Audit Graduate School classes. Ask permission from the instructor and the relevant academic department.
- To receive a transcript for any courses audited you must complete an application for non-degree study and, if admitted, pay tuition fees per course.
- 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 to people living in the City of New Haven. Registering with New Haven Works provides special access to area employers.
OSA maintains a mailing list of current and expecting parents to communicate events and announcements for YLS students with families. Please email email@example.com to be added to the list.
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.
The Grad School’s McDougal Center has a Facebook group for parents for graduate and professional school students
Graduate Student Organizations often welcome student partners.
PULSE Young Professionals Group offers networking, professional development, and monthly social events.