Yale Law Revises Academic Calendar

Yale Law School remains the most selective in the country

Yale Law School remains the most selective in the country

It isn’t easy being a Yale Law student. The workload and expectations are brutal enough. Unlike many law schools, Yale Law holds their exam period in January. As a result, students spend their holidays studying, instead of re-connecting and re-charging before the spring semester.

That’s going to change, beginning in the 2015-2016 academic year. The Yale Daily News reports that the Yale Law faculty has approved a proposal that moves final exams to late in December. In addition, the fall term will start before Labor Day, be reduced to 13 weeks, and conclude with a one-week reading period before exams are held. The spring term will also start a week earlier.

Better Integrates the Yale Community

The measure, which was favored by two-thirds of the student body in one poll, will better align the Yale Law’s calendar with other Yale schools. With schedules synced, it will be easier for law students to pursue interdisciplinary degrees (and for non-law students to participate in Yale Law’s M.S.L. program).

Despite the obvious benefits, the change has its critics. Rebecca Wexler, class of 2016, would prefer to use her break to study. And Professor Peter Schuck noted that the original law calendar was designed to accommodate restraints such as job recruitment timelines.

Democracy Works

Still, many students view the change as democracy in action. Although students had previously proposed a revised schedule, Aurelia Chaudhury ’16 noticed that faculty members were discussing the idea with students more this fall. Despite preferring the previous schedule, Wexler is pleased with the process: “This decision shows that the administration does not want a community that just [observes] ideals of democracy, but one that acts and lives according to those ideals.”