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J.D. Program

Yale Law School’s three-year J.D. program provides students with a legal education of outstanding breadth and depth.  Our graduates go on to successful careers in academia, public and private practice, the judiciary, government, education, and business and industry.

First-year students take four required courses—all of which are ungraded.  For the next 2 ½ years, the curriculum is almost entirely elective, except for a few requirements. Some students choose to focus on traditional “black letter” law classes, while others explore cutting-edge legal theory or interdisciplinary pursuits.

At Yale Law School, students can receive credit for participating in journals, enter a joint-degree program, develop a reading group or individual research program, devise an intensive semester research project, or take advantage of hundreds of lectures, conferences, and special events held each year.

Learning takes place outside the classroom, too, with participation in clinical programs and student organizations experienced as a central part of the academic life of the School.

I am often asked some form of the following: “I know Yale doesn’t have grades. But do you really not have grades? And doesn’t that just mean that you are more competitive in other aspects?”
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