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Student Organizations and Governance

Student Governance
Each year, eleven elected Student Representatives participate in faculty meetings. Student Representatives do not vote, but they serve on faculty committees and play an important role in the faculty's deliberations.

Student Organizations
The list of student organizations changes every year, based on the activities and interests of current students. The Law School provides a budget, shared storage space, and administrative resources to approved student organizations.  The Student Organizations and Journal Guidelines can be found here (Yale NetID required). 

Please note that the information contained on the websites of any Law School student organizations do not represent official statements or views of Yale Law School.  

To contact a Law School Student Organization, please consult the student group email list.

The Africa Law and Policy Association (ALPA) serves as a forum at Yale Law School for discussion, advocacy and research focused on legal and policy issues in Africa. ALPA also provides a law school community for students with experience and interest in the region.

The Alliance for Diversity is an umbrella organization for all affinity groups, which focuses on presenting a united coalition on measures of diversity advocacy, such as more diverse faculty hiring, better diversity outcomes with regards to Journal admissions, clerkships and postgraduate career paths, and a stated focus on fostering diversity and inclusion as school values. The Alliance also serves a social function by organizing cross-affinity-group social events, to help build community spirit among students of color.

The Yale Law School Chapter of the American Constitution Society for Law and Policy aims to revitalize and transform the legal debate by restoring the fundamental principles of respect for human dignity, protection of individual rights and liberties, genuine equality, and access to justice, to a central place in American law.

Animal Legal Defense Fund works to reduce animal suffering by fostering a community of concerned students, advocating for anti-cruelty legislation, providing resources on animal law, and reaching out to the wider law school community.

The Asian Pacific American Law Students Association (APALSA, formerly PANA) supports the interests of students of Asian Pacific American and Native American descent and raises awareness of challenges facing minorities in the law. Historically, APALSA has shared strong ties with the Native American Law Students Association (NALSA) and continues to serve as a community for students of Native American descent through the APALSA-NALSA alliance, a coalition that organizes academic, professional, social, cultural, and service activities to build community among its members and to create a more diverse educational environment.  APALSA also collaborates extensively with the South Asian Law Students Association (SALSA), an organization dedicated to promoting awareness of and engagement with South Asian American and South Asian cultural, legal, political, and social justice issues.

The Association of Law Students with Significant Others (ALSSO) works to create a more rewarding law school experience for students with partners and families and to include those partners and families in the law school community.

Barristers' Union (see Thomas Swan Barristers' Union)

The Black Law Students’ Association is a student organization composed of Yale Law School students concerned with issues affecting members of the African Diaspora. The purpose of the YBLSA is to support and advance the interests of its members and the broader Black community.

The Capital Assistance Project (CAP) matches YLS students with public defenders from around the country to provide research support for capital defense work.  CAP also raises public awareness about death penalty and indigent defense related issues.

The Catholic Law Students' Association exists to promote vigorous discussion of and growth in the Catholic faith at Yale Law School. The association meets regularly and sponsors social events, social justice projects, academic speakers, and devotional practices. The association also connects with other Catholic communities at Yale, including St.Thomas More chaplaincy and other Catholic student groups.

The Court Jesters is a theater troupe drawn from the Law School's student body, faculty, and administration. The Court Jesters is proud to showcase the writing, directing, producing and acting talents of YLS by putting on entirely YLS-written and run performances.

First Generation Professionals seeks to provide a safe and welcoming space for Yale Law School students who are the first in their families to pursue a professional degree - primarily serving those who come from low-income, working class, or non-white-collar backgrounds - to discuss and assist each other with their concerns as they navigate the environment of Yale Law School. Additionally, First Generation Professionals advocates for policies that better meet the needs of its members and seeks to foster a broader conversation about class at the Yale Law School.

The Green Haven Prison Project brings law students and inmates together for a seminar on legal and political issues concerning prisons.

Habeas Chorus is Yale Law School’s co-ed a cappella singing group.

The Initiative for Public Interest Law at Yale, Inc. is a non-profit organization that provides start-up money for projects that protect the legal rights or interests of inadequately represented groups. The Initiative funds innovative projects that may have difficulty obtaining money from other sources due to the subject matter of the project or the approach taken by the project. 

The Iraqi Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP) is a student-run organization with chapters at Yale Law School, New York University Law School and Boalt School of Law at Berkeley working to improve the plight of Iraqi refugees. It was founded by students in the summer of 2008. IRAP's mission is to facilitate the resettlement of refugees from abroad, improve U.S. policy toward the refugee crisis, and ease the transition of newly resettled refugees to American life. For more information visit our website: www.iraqirefugee.us.

The Latino Law Students’ Association promotes the academic, professional, and political interests of Latina/o students at Yale Law School.

The J. Reuben Clark Law Society serves members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) and others interested in participating in our discussions and activities.

The Lowenstein Human Rights Project matches small teams of students with human rights organizations, other public interest NGOs, and governments to work on specific research, writing, and advocacy projects concerning human rights issues. The Lowenstein Project regularly works with leading U.S.-based human rights organizations as well as smaller organizations headquartered in Latin America, Asia, Africa, and Europe.

The Marshall-Brennan Constitutional Literacy Project is a collaborative teaching program that sends law students into local public high schools to teach Constitutional Law. Participants in this student-run organization also have the opportunity to coach their students in a national moot court competition in Philadelphia, the first round of which is run by the Yale chapter right here in New Haven.

The Middle Eastern and North African Law Students' Association provides a forum for engaging the Yale Law School community on the legal, political, social and cultural realities of the peoples of North Africa and the Middle East, with particular focus on issues of discrimination, equality, citizenship, and human rights. It also serves as an institutional home and social network for law students of Middle Eastern and North African background or with an interest in the region.

The Morris Tyler Moot Court of Appeals is a competition in which each participant writes an extensive appellate brief and presents an appellate oral argument on a case scheduled to be heard by the Supreme Court.

The Muslim Law Students’ Association serves as a vehicle for gathering Muslims and others interested in learning about Islamic legal issues, and issues of concern to Muslims and other minorities.

The Native American Law Students’ Association (NALSA) supports the interests of students of Native American descent and works to advance and advocate for legal and cultural issues affecting Native Americans, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, and American Indian Nations. NALSA is a member of the APALSA-NALSA alliance, a coalition that organizes academic, professional, social, cultural, and service activities to build community among its members and to create a more diverse educational environment.

YLS OutLaws is an organization of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender members of the Law School community.

The OWLS, or Old Souls, is the organization for Yale Law School's "old" folks (self-defined of course), a.k.a. the YLS "OWLS" (Older  Wiser Law Students). The organization is social in nature and meant  to be a nice outlet for older than average law students, and the  people who love them or feel older than average "in spirit" to come  together over a meal or a fun event.

The Pro Bono Network is a student organization at Yale Law School that matches all types of public interest organizations in need of pro bono assistance with Yale law students who want to work on important issues and build legal experience.

Project for Law and Education at Yale (PLEY) brings together law students (some former teachers, some not) who are passionate about public school reform in the U.S. The organization sponsors a reading group, brings in guest speakers, and organizes other events devoted to education policy and the law.

The Rebellious Lawyering Conference is an annual, student-run conference that brings together practitioners, law students, and community activists to discuss progressive approaches to law and social change.

Six Angry Men is an a cappella singing group comprised of six male law students.

The South Asian Law Students’ Association (SALSA) works to strengthen South Asian American and South Asian identities at Yale Law School by promoting awareness and engagement with South Asian American and South Asian cultural, legal, political, and social justice issues. SALSA also serves as a resource for Yale Law students of South Asian descent by facilitating active mentoring relationships and providing guidance and support to South Asian American and South Asian students.

SPIF - Student Contribution encourages student participation in summer public interest work by raising funds to supplement SPIF.

The Thomas Swan Barristers’ Union organizes an annual intramural mock trial competition and sponsors a national trial advocacy team.

The Temporary Restraining Order Project
In conjunction with the Clerk's Office of the Connecticut Superior Court (New Haven County Family Division) and the Family Division of New Haven Legal Assistance, the Yale Law School Temporary Restraining Order Project (TRO) staffs an office at the courthouse to assist individuals seeking temporary restraining orders (TROs).

Universities Allied for Essential Medicine is a collaboration of students from law, medicine, and other disciplines who work to improve access to medicines in resource-limited countries. This multidisciplinary project involves fields including intellectual property law, health law, and international human rights law.

The Women of Color Collective is a community committed to the academic, professional, and social interests of women of color at Yale Law School. Among other activities, WoCC hosts monthly social dinners, facilitates alumni and professional networking for its members through panels and events, and offers a space to discuss special issues women of color face in the legal profession.

The Yale Civil Rights Project aims to provide a space for students interested in civil rights history and litigation to discuss current events, strategies for organizing and mobilization, and careers in the field. The Civil Rights Project fosters dialogues with legal practitioners in order to bridge the world of theory and practice.

The Yale Entertainment and Sports Law Association is an organization for law students interested in pursuing careers in sports or entertainment law.

The Yale Environmental Law Association
Throughout its history, Yale Law School has served as an important center for groundbreaking environmental thinking.  The Yale Environmental Law Association (YELA) aims to build on this legacy by drawing attention to all aspects of environmental law and related fields, through YLS community events, speakers and reading groups, and opportunities to connect and collaborate with other campus groups, as well as by working to promote sustainability in the use of law school facilities.  YELA places special emphasis on the interdisciplinary, multifaceted character of environmental law and its relevance to a wide range of legal and policy issues. 

The Yale Federalist Society is a group of conservative and libertarian law students dedicated to fostering discussion and debate of issues of law and public policy.

The Yale Food Law Society is a nonpartisan community that promotes the study of and engagement with food and agriculture law and policy.  The Society advocates an approach that is economically, environmental, and socially sustainable. Food work brings together scholars, activists, policy makers, and professionals, and the Society represents students directly interested in the food system as well as those interested in how food law touches and concerns their primary area(s) of interest in the law.

The Yale Graduate Law Students’ Association organizes lectures, discussions, and social events.

Yale Health Law and Policy Society (YHeLPS)
The mission of YHeLPS is to create interdisciplinary opportunities for students to learn about health law and policy. The Society seeks to do this in three ways: 1) hosting speaker events that will increase awareness and discussion of current issues in health law and policy among the Yale Law School community, 2) providing career support to students for summer and post-graduation jobs, and 3) developing experiential learning opportunities that will enable students to actively participate in the field.

The Yale Jewish Law Students’ Association hosts Shabbat and holiday meals, arranges discussions on topics of Jewish and legal interest, and sponsors action in the public interest.

The Yale Law and Business Society is an organization dedicated to promoting the interaction between law, policy, and business. 

The Yale Law Christian Fellowship is a student-led, nondenominational organization formed to encourage spiritual growth in the Law School community.

The Yale Law International Students' Association is an organization dedicated to providing resources for international students at YLS.  The organization creates a space for students to come together to understand the specific challenges and opportunities of being a foreign law student in the U.S.

The Yale Law National Security Group (NSG) helps to foster a non-partisan community of students focused on national security and international affairs. To that end, we host experts and practitioners in the field, and conduct events designed to deepen students’ knowledge and exposure to national security issues.

The Yale Law Democrats connects students with progressive campaigns, politicians, and policy projects. Its mission is to bring exceptional speakers to campus and connect students with government jobs and other Democrats across the country.

The Yale Law Republicans promote conservative values, explore and discuss Republican Party philosophies, and conduct political outreach.

The annual Yale Law Revue is a collection of satirical songs, skits, and vignettes, written, staged, and performed by law students.

Yale Law Social Entrepreneurs encourages students to get involved in the emerging field of social entrepreneurship and to think critically and constructively about how both for-profit and nonprofit initiatives can drive social change and contribute to society.

Yale Law Students for Reproductive Justice educates, organizes, and supports law students to ensure that a new generation of advocates will be prepared to protect and expand reproductive rights as basic civil and human rights. The focus is not on debating the merits of the pro-choice position, but rather the exploration of how to advance women's reproductive rights in the most effective way.

Yale Law Students for Life Yale Law Students for Life is a non-partisan, non-religious organization dedicated to promoting the dignity of human life at every stage. Our goals are (a) to raise awareness of practices that threaten human life; (b) to engage in thoughtful discussion of such practices as embryo-destructive research, abortion, euthanasia and the death penalty; and (c) to advocate for policies that affirm and protect human life. We aim to provide a community in which students can develop pro-life approaches to moral and legal questions, and to advocate for representation of pro-life perspectives in the broader law school community.

The Yale Law Veterans Association is a non-partisan group seeking to promote discussion on military and national security related issues that impact the Yale community.

Yale Law Women The mission of Yale Law Women (YLW) is to advance the status of women at Yale Law School and in the legal profession at large. YLW's programming gives women access to resources, professional development opportunities, mentorship, and a supportive community that will assist them in pursuing their professional and personal goals.

The Yale Project for Civil Rights draws attention to the legal practitioners who craft litigation strategies to overcome discrimination through the courts.

The Yale Society of International Law (YSIL), formerly the Yale Forum on International Law, aims to provide a comprehensive platform for YLS students to pursue their academic and professional interests in international affairs and international law.