Students from all over the world come to Yale Law School to deepen their understanding of the law. The Law School’s graduate programs are truly global—both in the breadth of resources available through Yale Law School and in the composition of its student body. Students enjoy small class sizes and the camaraderie of many international and J.D. students, the intimacy of a small program, and a close relationship with the Yale Law School faculty.

The Law School admits a limited number of graduate students each year to pursue studies in law beyond the first professional degree.

Graduate Degrees

  • The Master of Laws (LL.M.) program encompasses one year of full-time study leading to the LL.M. degree. Admission is generally open only to those committed to a career in teaching law.
  • The Doctor of the Science of Law (J.S.D.) program is a select program open only to graduates of the LL.M. program at Yale Law School.
  • The Law School also offers a Master of Studies in Law (M.S.L.) program for a small number of non-lawyers who want to obtain a basic familiarity with legal thought and to explore the relation of law to their disciplines. It is a one-year terminal program designed for those who do not desire a professional law degree.
  • The Ph.D. in Law program is a three-year program offered in conjunction with Yale University's Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. It is designed to prepare J.D. graduates for careers as legal scholars and teachers through coursework and the production of a substantial body of academic research and writing. The Ph.D. in Law program is for students who have already earned a J.D. from a U.S. law school and who wish to pursue advanced studies in law.

Other Programs

Learn more about the Visiting Researcher Program and Joint Degree Programs at Yale Law School.

Contact the Graduate Programs Office.

The people I was able to spend those three years with and think alongside and work alongside — they put me on a different path and it’s a path that’s allowing me to have a much larger and more meaningful impact on children than I would have had before.”

Samantha Tweedy

Class of 2006