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. 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 doctoral 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 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.

Contact the Graduate Programs Office.

 

Gordon Silverstein, Assistant Dean for Graduate Programs, talks about graduate programs offered at Yale Law School.

building against the sky

Take a Virtual Tour of YLS


Explore our campus and learn more about academics, student life, clinics, admissions, financial aid, and more.

Student Profile Videos


JSD

C.J.W. Baaij

A student perspective on the graduate programs and law teaching.

We, as lawyers, can be builders too. We can use our tools to build a society in which every member of the new generation can celebrate her graduation — not only with joy but with well-founded hope for the future.”


Professor Anne L. Alstott

Class of 1987, 2013 Commencement Address