J.S.D. Program

The Degree of Doctor of the Science of Law

The Doctor of the Science of Law (J.S.D.) program at Yale Law School is a select doctoral program for graduates of Yale's LL.M. program who aspire to careers in law teaching and scholarship.

The J.S.D. program is a vibrant community of academics from around the world, and many of its graduates have gone on to secure teaching and administrative positions at leading universities in their home and other countries, including in the United States.

Successful candidates for the J.S.D. program must have achieved high standing in earning the LL.M. degree at Yale Law School and demonstrate strong aptitude for performing superior scholarly research. If admitted, J.S.D. candidates at Yale Law School are required to complete a dissertation that makes a substantial, original contribution to legal scholarship. Whether in the form of a book-length manuscript or comprised of three law review articles, the dissertation contributes to a portfolio of writing that is essential for success on the job market.

While at Yale, J.S.D. candidates benefit from Yale Law School’s unrivalled academic resources, including the Law School’s diverse centers, programs, colloquia, and workshops; the Law Teaching Program; and the mentorship of Yale’s faculty and the members of their respective dissertation committees. J.S.D. candidates play an active role within the Yale Law School community and often serve as teaching and research assistants, student organizers, and consultants. Founded by a group of J.S.D. students, Yale Law School’s Annual Doctoral Scholarship Conference brings peers from other doctoral programs in the United States and abroad to New Haven every year.

J.S.D. Class of 2023 with Dean Heather K. Gerken