A successful J.S.D. applicant must have achieved high standing in earning the LL.M. degree at Yale Law School and show promise of producing superior scholarship. Admission to the J.S.D. program is highly selective; it does not follow automatically from the award of the LL.M. degree, but rests entirely on the Graduate Admissions Committee's independent judgment of an applicant's qualifications. The Yale LL.M. degree must ordinarily have been awarded within the five years preceding the student’s J.S.D. application.
Please refer to the Yale Law School Bulletin for complete admissions policies.
The selection of J.S.D. candidates will not be influenced by the need for financial assistance. Financial aid is awarded based on demonstrated financial need, and the extent and conditions of any support will be individually arranged. Upon receiving a letter of admission, admitted students will receive the financial aid application. Financial awards are typically received by the candidate within 2 weeks of the candidate’s submission of the financial aid application documents to the Office of Student Finance.
Need-based support will be provided to all eligible students for a maximum period of two academic years (four terms) in residence. A need-based, summer stipend for up to three summers may be provided to support full-time work on the dissertation in New Haven. Students who have completed two years in residence may apply for an additional two terms of need-based financial aid, which will be awarded annually on a competitive basis.
Required Application Documents
1) Letter of application: Applicants are asked to describe individual goals for entering the program and information pertaining to how and why YLS’s program best fits the applicant's needs. This should be around 3 pages (double-spaced, 12-point font).
2) Dissertation proposal: A succinct, well-written description of your proposed academic research. This should be between 20-30 pages.
3) Upload your YLS LL.M. transcript: Applicants should request an electronic copy of their YLS LL.M. transcript to submit with their application in Sales Force.
4) Upload your writing sample: This ordinarily should be a paper written as an LL.M. student.
5) Upload a current curriculum vitae: This should include publications, work and educational experiences.