Yale Law School 200

Celebrating 200 Years

It’s an incredibly exciting time here at Yale Law School as we embark on our 200th year. This is a place where big ideas thrive and pathbreaking scholarly and clinical work produces positive changes in communities around the world. A small but mighty institution, we are the training ground for the next generation of great lawyers and leaders. Every day, students learn to fuse theory and practice, preparing to confront the impossible problems that keep them up at night. Our world-renowned faculty pursue the biggest questions of our time with novel research and thought leadership that reshapes the world around us. Our alumni become changemakers, making significant contributions across every sector of society and in every corner of the globe.

Although Yale Law School is now regarded as an institution with global impact, that’s not how things started. The School began in 1824 as a small cohort of lawyers who trained apprentices out of their offices in New Haven. Our road to success has often been laden with obstacles, and there were several moments in history when we almost didn’t survive. Despite setbacks, Yale Law School developed into the pioneering force it is today.

One thing has remained constant: our “restless spirit,” a spirit that has moved this institution forward for 200 years. In the words of the great Grant Gilmore ’43, a renowned scholar and longtime faculty member, “The golden age of Yale Law School is never now. It was always in the past and can be again in the future if we only do a few things right. Always trying, always striving, never quite there except in memory and hope.”

As we mark our bicentennial, we are uniquely positioned to shape the next 200 years of legal education by strengthening student financial support, expanding our cutting-edge curriculum, and leveraging our financial and human capital to prepare our graduates for a complex and rapidly changing world.

I hope you will explore our anniversary website and check back often for news and events as we celebrate this remarkable milestone for our community. This is a powerful moment to reflect on our legacy, celebrate how far we’ve come, and, most importantly, push forward new ideas so that we remain a leader in legal education for centuries to come.

Warmly,

Heather K. Gerken
Dean and Sol & Lillian Goldman Professor of Law

Quick View

Law Library on Church Street
History

Delve into our history and explore our archives.

a group of seven alumni smiling in courtyard
Connect

We invite our alumni to celebrate with us at regional events around the country during the bicentennial year.

A close up of Guido Calabresi in conversation with his hands gesturing
Podcast

Dean Heather K. Gerken talks to beloved professor and former dean Guido Calabresi about his decades at the Law School.

Bicentennial Events

Apr
17

YLS Bicentennial Celebration - Philadelphia PA

6:30PM - 8:30PM
YLS Bicentennial Celebration - Philadelphia PA
Apr
19

Yale Law School 200th Anniversary Community Gathering

5:30PM - 7:00PM
Yale Law School 200th Anniversary Community Gathering
Apr
25

YLS Bicentennial Celebration - Chicago IL

6:30PM - 9:30PM
YLS Bicentennial Celebration - Chicago IL

1824

Founded

70

volumes of Yale Law Report

18,738

# of LLB/JD degrees given, 1843–2023