Yale Law School

Law school library

Yale Law School

P.O. Box 208215
New Haven, CT 06520-8215
Admissions: 203-432-4995

Email: admissions.law@yale.edu
Website: http://www.law.yale.edu/default.asp
Apply: http://www.law.yale.edu/admissions/JD.htm

Application Deadline: Feb. 28, 2014
Annual Tuition: $51,350

Class of 2016 Stats:

Acceptance Rate: 8.8%
Total Applicants: 2,684
Accepted: 235
Enrolled: 195

Women: 48%
Students of Color: 39%
Average Age: 24

Total Full-Time Enrollment: 615

Median LSAT: 173
LSAT Scores (25th-75th percentile): 170-176
Median GPA: 3.90
GPA Scores (25th-75th percentile): 3.82-3.97

Employed at Graduation: 90.7%
Employed Nine Months Later: 95.4%
Bar Passage: 96.2%
Average Pay: $$100,188


TipppingTheScales (2013): 2
U.S. News (2013): 1
AboveTheLaw (2013): 1

Yale University’s Law School is the undisputed best school to become a lawyer in the U.S. Ever since U.S. News & World Report began ranking law schools in 1987, Yale has almost always been No. 1.

“As of today, as of this instant, everything will begin to change. Our task, in the next three years, is to take the magnificent kaleidoscope that presently shines in this auditorium, and, turn by turn, to knit you together, each to the other.”

And with those words, Yale Law School Dean Robert C. Post welcomed  the latest Class of 2016 to the world’s No. 1 law school. The 199 J.D. students hail from four different countries, 33 different states, and 72 different undergraduate institutions. Included among the members of the class is a competitive synchronized swimmer, a foreign policy advisor and speechwriter, a sketch writer from 30 Rock, a police drill instructor, a Thai restaurant chef, and a certified bartender. Collectively, the Class of 2016 speaks 31 different languages and holds 42 advanced degrees ranging in subjects from Biochemistry to Poetry.

In short, Yale’s extremely high admissions standards and ultra-low acceptance rate assures that every member of the incoming class will be in the company of an extraordinary group of truly exceptional people. You’ll get to know them well at Yale because the average class size is under 25 students.

With nearly 200 courses taught by more than 60 full-time faculty and dozens of visiting and adjunct professors, the school has no shortage of specialties, from administrative law and public policy to public interest law. Though there are no specific areas of concentration, you can study just about any aspect of the profession over your three-year course of study.

Indeed, YLS has fewer required classes than many other schools. After the first semester, students are free to specialize and have only a few other requirements to complete before graduation. So YLS students can specialize early and dive deeply into a subject area they feel passionate about–whether at the law school or in the wider graduate school community at Yale.

Some quip the hardest part of Yale Law School is simply getting accepted. After all, the school doesn’t have traditional letter or numerical grades and there is no set grading curve. The first-term courses are ungraded, and subsequent classes are graded by honors, pass, and low pass. Even so, YLS is an extremely challenging place and will test you in ways that will stretch you, from a professor’s Socratic questioning in class to the difficult exams you’ll be required to take.

Applicants will especially find useful the school’s (203) Admissions Blog, particularly the P.S. Boot Camp series, which offers smart advice on how to avoid some of the major mistakes in law school applications.

Yale Law School is unusual among law schools because it has historically produced leaders in all walks of life: distinguished deans and faculty members at law schools across the country and the world; industry CEOs and corporate counsels; founders of nongovernmental organizations and other nonprofit entities; entrepreneurs; government servants in federal, state, and local offices and the judiciary. Among the school’s graduates are U.S. Presidents and Supreme Court Justices.

The latest employment stats for the Class of 2012 show that the single largest chunk of the grads–41%– accept judicial clerkships. Some 36%  landed jobs with law firms, while 11% took public interest and public defender jobs. About 4% went directly into business and industry, while another 4% pursued academia.

Average starting pay was $100,188 but varied widely depending on job choice. For YLS grads headed into private practice, the starting pay was $156,320 a year versus $60,432 for those who became judicial clerks.

How Yale Compares Vs. Peer Law Schools

2013 TTS Rank23511112
Acceptance Rate8.3%16.1%18.4%9.7%20.1%27.9%
Median LSAT173173172170172171
Median GPA3.903.883.713.863.903.69
Employed At Grad90.7%90.9%93.2%93.2%90.6%93.1%
Bar Passage96.3%97.5%96.2%88.5%96.4%95.5%

Source: Schools reporting to U.S. News


Academics & Programs:  It’s hard to beat Yale Law School, where the atmosphere is “highly intellectual” and classes are mostly “small” (first-year classes vary in size from fifteen to ninety students). One of the many uniquely cool things about Yale is that “there aren’t very many required courses.” All 1Ls must complete course work in constitutional law, contracts, procedure, and torts. There’s also a small, seminar-style legal research and writing course, and that’s pretty much it. Best of all, there are “no grades.” First semester classes are graded pass/ fail. After first semester, there is some semblance of grades but, since Yale doesn’t keep track of class rank, it’s not a big deal.

Academically, “This is the best place in the world.” “It’s easy to learn about whatever you’re interested in, from medieval European law to helping immigrants in the modernday United States,” says one student. Yale is home to cutting-edge centers and programs galore. Clinical opportunities are vast and available “in your first year,” which is a rarity. You can represent family members in juvenile neglect cases, provide legal services for nonprofit organizations, or participate in complicated federal civil rights cases. It’s also “easy” to obtain joint-degrees or simply “cross-register for other classes” at Yale. A particularly unique program allows students to get a joint-degree at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton.

Student report that the administration is “generally friendly.” Word on the faculty is mixed. “I love all my professors,” beams a 2L. “They will help me with anything.” Nearly all agree that “most professors are delighted to help you.” When jobs and clerkships are on the line, it’s not uncommon for professors to personally make calls on behalf of students “to high-profile firms or government officials.” Other students, however, tell us the faculty isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. “Quality teaching is not valued enough,” gripes a critic. “Professors are hired based on their scholarship rather than their ability to teach or their interest in interacting with students.”

Employment prospects are simply awesome. A degree from Yale virtually guarantees “an easy time finding a good job” and a lifetime of financial security. There is “very solid career support” (including “lots of free wine” at recruiting events). But did you know that Yale prolifically produces public interest attorneys? It’s true. Every one of Yale’s graduates could immediately take the big firm route but, each year, hordes of them don’t. Yale “encourages diverse career paths” and “nontraditional routes” (“especially in academia and public interest”) and annually awards dozens of public interest fellowships to current students and newly minted grads. There’s a “great” loan forgiveness program too.

Campus Life/Facilities: Facilities are phenomenal. Yale boasts wireless Internet access throughout the Law School, wireless common areas, and perhaps the greatest law library in the history of humanity. “The research facilities are spectacular.” Aesthetically, “Everything is beautiful,” especially if you are into “wood paneling, stained glass windows, and hand-carved moldings.” “If you care about architecture and Ivy League ambiance, come to Yale.”

Though the student population “is a bit Ivy heavy,” it doesn’t necessarily follow that everyone is wealthy. Approximately eighty percent of the lucky souls here receive financial assistance of some kind. It does follow, however, that students are pretty conceited about their intelligence and their privileged educational status. “If egos were light, an astronaut on the moon would have to shade his eyes from the glare of New Haven,” analogizes one student. “I’m not sure there’s a cure for that, but it might not be wise to tell us in the first week of torts that many of us will wind up on the federal bench.”<p>“There are parties,” swears a 1L. However, for many students, the social scene at Yale is simply an extension of academic life. Lectures and cultural events of all kinds are, of course, never-ending.

The surrounding city of New Haven is lively in its own way and New York City and Boston are both easily accessible by train. On campus, Yale offers an “encouraging environment” and a “wonderful community.” “Because of the small size of each class and the enormous number of activities, it is incredibly easy to get involved with journals (even the Journal) and any other student group you might want to try.” “Students are very engaged and motivated, but not generally in a way that stresses everyone else out,” explains one student. “The no-grades policy for first semester completely eliminates the competition I expect exists at other schools.” “People ask me what law school is like, and I can honestly say, ‘I work pretty hard, but it’s fun,’” says a satisfied student. “Then those people stare at me oddly, and maybe they’re right that ‘fun’ isn’t exactly the right word. But I’ve found it enriching and enjoyable and the people I’ve met here have been great.”

* The Princeton Review is not affiliated with Princeton University.


  • Robin Hodge

    My name is Robin from
    Ridgeland, MS, and I am writing to warn of the hazardous Freon polluting our
    community. This Freon, PCB’s, many other
    dangerous chemicals from old A.C’s is
    the byproducts of Roger work for Trane Air Conditioning and his home operated
    A.C. business. He has been living in Ridgeland for fourteen
    years, bringing old air conditioners from his job at Trane to scrap for metal,
    copper and refurbish for resale. To
    accomplish this, he has extra electricity sent to his home and keeps two Trane
    trucks with trailers as well as his work truck.
    Aware of the hazards of Freon, Roger can be seen wearing a mask while
    harvesting scrap from the AC units. Within
    a one mile area of his house, residents have suffered various ailments: This is
    from 5 house’s around Roger, and just 20 notes I put into mailboxes. There is
    more I’m sure. This is what I have from that. Two fatality, 11 sick, two brain
    tumors, one lung cancer, five fibromyalgia,
    autonomic nervous system disorder, kidney cancer, prostate cancer, brain lesion
    on his back, multiple chemical sensitivity, tumors on bodies of people, horses,
    cats, dogs, have had tumors and died. Many of these are illness are connected
    to environmental problems. I have been calling EPA for over 11 years, but they
    have not terminated his business. The
    EPA claimed they did not have the equipment to check the air. In addition to this, I called Madison County
    who, after a lengthy time, finally reprimanded him for Hazardous Waste in 2010. Roger has been great for Trane by saving them
    money by disposing of air conditioners for them. There are strict laws on Freon
    dangers of old A.C.’s, it is dangerous for residential areas. The Madison County
    said he could run a business from his home, and the EPA was also reluctant to
    intervene. The dump will not take anything with Freon in it. The KKK mentality
    is still here in all area’s.(This exhibits a negligence to regard an area of
    less resistance, or lower socioeconomic class in Mississippi.) This is old
    plantation land that was given to the blacks after the war. People
    discriminate, but the environment does not. All of us are hard working people
    that loves god. There is the dump, old dump, little dumps everywhere, 2 large power plants, large power lines, towers,
    A.C. hazardous wasteland dump, septic running in the streets. No where around Madison
    Mississippi has the environmental dangers we have. I have seen as many as fifty
    air conditioners behind his house. He has since installed a twenty foot fence
    to hide his work units in his yard, security cameras, 7 no trespassing signs. I
    alerted the nearby residents from the neighborhood of Bridgewater that the
    water runoff from the air conditioners pollutes their area. I told them that
    people were sick and dead. In fact, there
    was an oily substance on the ground at one of the houses. They are torn between
    fear for their health and fear for their property values if they came public.

    On 7-8-14, I contacted Madison County, and a
    planning and zoning representative and told them about the sickness and death. They wrote up a new ordinance in 30 days and
    hand delivered it 14 years late. Roger has retaliated by threatening to, “shoot
    me between the eyes,” exposing himself to me, and facing a 4 X 8 foot wooden
    sign towards my house that said, “It’s a deer stand nosey.” The sign was up for
    8 months. Shot my windshield out. Put a toilet facing my driveway. This is his way to punish me for turning him
    in to authorities. This illegal harassment is more frightening to me because
    his wife told me that her x beat her and went to prison, and Roger beats her. I
    have emailed the sheriff many times but did not receive a response. I have not
    had a Sheriff through all of this, and now someone wants me dead! Roger has also illegally damaged my property
    by moving property lines on three sides, blocking drainage, and rerouting water
    on my land. His indiscretions against
    other residents include moving property lines of another neighbor forty feet and taking neighborhood dogs to his work for removal
    which resulted in a confrontation.

    There has also been a
    troubling development at my own home. In May of 2014, my air conditioning
    stopped working. When the repair man
    came, he replaced a burned wire and checked the Freon which was fine. The repair job, however, did not last and
    second repair man was called in July. He
    replaced a metal cylinder and said that I needed a pound of Freon despite the
    previous man’s assertion. On 8-14-14, a
    second repairman came back, and upon completing his inspection he found a
    massive Freon leak. The timing of this
    is suspicious because I contacted Madison County and the EPA in between these
    repairs when a leak suddenly occurred.
    Someone wanted to make sure I had Freon in my body. This made me dizzy,
    nauseous, sore throat, brain feels tight. Now I can’t even have a A.C..

    I have ask for a petition for assessment from
    Atlanta EPA, it was denied. A environmental attorney told me this is a good
    thing. They would just cover up for the EPA. They told me to get my own testing
    done. The environmental USDOJ is looking into this, but they just sent it to
    Atlanta. The DOJ is in this state all the time, Mississippi comes out smelling
    like a rose. Mississippi has less environmental protection than anywhere in the
    USA. Sierra Club from Mississippi would not even call me back. Mississippi has
    the same environmental protection as Libya, Cambodia. NONE! Every environmental
    groups I call, hears Mississippi and they don’t want to talk anymore. They know
    how corrupt Mississippi is. I have seen things out of Mississippi that makes me
    sick. They have already put me through the Special Education Nightmare. I
    really got a education on how dirty politics works from that experience. This
    is like a Dictatorial Government. The Attorney General controls everyone, everything
    here like a puppet on a string. Mississippi has told sick people to be quiet,
    and they are. This could only happen in Mississippi. I’m sure they will slander
    me to the extreme. I never have been to a psychologist or psychiatrist before moving
    to Madison County. Madison is the
    richest town in Mississippi, and they will do anything to keep this town safe.
    Google: Mississippi most corrupt state in the nation.

    I suspect my decline in
    health is a result of the Freon, chemical pollution from old A.C.’s. In an area
    of less resistance. I have fibromyalgia, multiple chemical sensitivity, tumors,
    autonomic nervous system disorder. I started defecating on myself without brain
    notification and have difficulty breathing. I have suffered constipation for four years
    that has stretched my colon out into my vagina and now need sphincter surgery. The
    doctor cannot do the surgery until I get my colon working again. I have been to
    four gastroenterologist but they do not know what to do. I take thirty pills a day with no pain pills,
    but I am on a pain machine because of the shooting pains in my neck and back. My muscles are so weak that my bones and spine
    are separating. My neural infirmity has resulted in mood swings, and headaches.
    My brain, along with my face, feels burning and numb. I have neuropathy on
    right arm, leg, foot. Energy is a lot less. My blood pressure and heart rate are
    also low and I suffer from chronic insomnia. I have a few years to live. I will
    spend the rest of my life warning the community that the environment is killing
    us. People are thinking about property values, while I am more focused on our
    lives. I went to 3 doctors and they would not tell me what I had, the test were
    in front of them Multiple Chemical Sensitivity. Yes I’m saying Mississippi
    controls what doctors say. Multiple Chemical Sensitivity is a environmental
    illness. Mississippi would not want this out.

    Since I called Madison
    County about the sickness and deaths, the threats have escalated, I was shot at
    in my back yard, 5 feet away from me. This was on 9-15-2014, I have it on my
    security cameras. It took the police a hour to get here. I knew this was a
    threat to be quiet, they are killing me slowly and I will not be quiet. Not
    going to happen! After this I started emailing that they were going to kill me
    or put me in jail. On 10-19-2014 Roger A.C. man called the police on me for
    taking pictures of him and his stuff.
    One police man took my husband to the side and ask him if he thought I
    could be dangerous, insinuating he thought I was. This was the same officer that came out when I was shot at. The other
    officer told me that Roger was going to have me arrested for harassment. He
    also told me that EPA was out Wednesday and all was clear. Strange a police
    officer would know this information. I knew that if they took me to jail, that
    I would not make it out of there alive. They would get away with killing me.
    After this, I dropped my phone, vehicle and took cash. I went to a friends home
    for a couple weeks. I am a sick white woman that need her meds, pain machine,
    ice packs. I got it now, this was all
    just the good ole white boy system. They were all taking care of their buddy
    Terry Trane. They found a place out here where people do not matter to make a
    dump for old A.C.’s. This is why I never
    had a sheriff, supervisor, everyone knew about this and was taking care of
    Roger’s business. It was just a Mississippi dirty politics deal that caused
    lives. If Freon can eat holes in the ozone layer, what can it do to a
    neighborhood? I’m dying, and Trane,
    Madison County, EPA, Mississippi, Roger,
    The Sheriff, The Supervisors, they all killed me. Mississippi is going to just
    let good people keep dying. This a true Mississippi story that movie are made
    from. I have really bad pictures, and emails. PLEASE HELP!!! Robin