Office of the Dean
Welcome to Yale Law School and to our website.
With its rich history, vibrant academic community, accomplished students and distinguished alumni, Yale Law School offers an extraordinary environment in which to study law.
Yale Law School is a community dedicated to scholarly excellence and to the education of our students. We strive to offer our students the skills, the confidence, and the courage to find fulfillment in the law. At Yale Law School, faculty and students join together to create a unique community of intense intellectual exchange.
Our faculty includes prominent scholars of economics, history, and philosophy, as well as leading specialists in diverse areas of law. More than sixty-five full-time professors are joined each year by visiting lecturers, adjunct professors from other parts of Yale University, and practicing lawyers. Dozens of guest lecturers from many fields contribute to Yale Law School’s exceptionally vigorous intellectual community. Conferences and events throughout the year create an atmosphere in which the role of law in society is continuously interrogated.
Our academic offerings are diverse. Those fascinated by corporate law and those dedicated to public interest law are equally at home in our classrooms. Our faculty-student ratio is unmatched; the average Yale Law School class is fewer than twenty students. Our students receive the finest clinical education as well as the most sophisticated legal scholarship. Our faculty combine scholarly passion with pedagogical dedication. We study traditional “black-letter law” as well as cutting-edge, interdisciplinary theory. Students are encouraged to undertake independent projects of faculty-supervised research that will develop their own individual interests.
Yale Law School is a place where law happens. Starting in the spring of the first year, students represent real clients in clinics in a dozen different areas of law. They draft briefs, negotiate with opposing counsel, and argue cases in court; they learn how to think about the law by actually practicing it. Students also participate in public service programs, legal journals, moot court programs, and social activities through the School’s many thriving student organizations.
Our graduates are the true measure of Yale Law School. We have produced an immensely talented, accomplished, and diverse family of alumni. They work throughout the world in private practice and in the public interest, in academia, business, and government. Past Presidents Gerald Ford ’41 and William J. Clinton ’73 received their legal education at Yale, as did current Supreme Court Justices Clarence Thomas ’74, Samuel Alito ’75, and Sonia Sotomayor ’79. Although we are a small school, we have educated some of the world’s finest teachers, lawyers, and public servants. Yale Law School is also the country’s leading institution for producing legal academics. Our graduates serve as deans at more than 30 of the nation’s law schools, and comprise almost 20 percent of the nation’s recently appointed law professors, a remarkable accomplishment, given our small size.
As the sixteenth dean of Yale Law School, I am deeply committed to maintaining and expanding our tradition of world-class scholarship and education, to nurturing and sustaining our unique community of outstanding faculty, students, alumni, and staff. I invite you to explore our website and to visit our School so that you can experience for yourself the remarkable environment that is Yale Law School.