Students from all over the world come to Yale Law School to deepen their understanding of the law. The Law School’s graduate programs are truly global—both in the breadth of resources available through Yale Law School and in the composition of our student body. Students enjoy small class sizes and the camaraderie of graduate and J.D. students, the intimacy of a small program, and a close relationship with the Yale Law School faculty.

The Law School admits a limited number of graduate students each year to pursue studies in law beyond the first professional degree.

Graduate Degrees

  • The Master of Laws (LL.M.) program encompasses one year of full-time study leading to the LL.M. degree. Admission is generally open only to those committed to a career in teaching law.
  • The Doctor of the Science of Law (J.S.D.) program is a select doctoral program open only to graduates of the LL.M. program at Yale Law School.
  • The Law School also offers a Master of Studies in Law (M.S.L.) program for a small number of non-lawyers who wish to obtain a basic familiarity with legal thought and to explore how law relates to their discipline. It is a one-year terminal program designed for those who do not desire a professional law degree. Admission is generally open only to doctoral degree holders and candidates in fields other than law, or working journalists (with at least a bachelor's degree).
  • The Ph.D. in Law is a doctoral program offered in conjunction with Yale University's Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. It is designed to prepare J.D. graduates for careers as legal scholars and teachers through coursework and the production of a substantial body of original academic research and writing. The Ph.D. in Law program is only open to students who have already earned a J.D. from an accredited U.S. law school.

Other Programs

Learn more about the Visiting Researcher Program and Joint Degree Programs at Yale Law School.

Contact the Graduate Programs Office.

 

Watch Gordon Silverstein, Assistant Dean for Graduate Programs, talk about the different graduate programs offered at Yale Law School.

Student Profile Videos


LLM

Rafael Bezerra Nunes

A student perspective on getting an LLM at Yale Law School, constitutional law, and the graduate programs community.

In their first semester, all entering students are required to take four courses, one of which must be taken in a small group of 15 or 16 students. Immediately every student in the class has the opportunity to develop a close relationship with one of their four teachers.”


Anthony Kronman

Class of 1975, Sterling Professor of Law and Former Dean