Endless Opportunity for Study

At Yale Law School, a broad range of opportunities enables you to craft the legal education you want. Students choose from among hundreds of courses, clinics, and special study options—all the while working closely with our renowned faculty.

Will you take a First Amendment law course with a renowned legal theorist or travel abroad on a self-directed human rights project or delve into research on a crucial issue? The choices—including some rare opportunities—are exceptional.

Opportunities for Study

Changing standards and responsibilities in the appointment of Supreme Court Justices, the nature and limits of property law in areas of intellectual products and information, the intersection of disabilities law and the treatment of incarcerated individuals—at YLS students can delve into important issues for credit under two programs:

  • individual reading and/or research with a faculty member
  • reading groups

After the first term and with the approval of a faculty member, students may undertake reading or research programs for credit. There are two types of programs: supervised reading or research with a faculty member, and reading groups. No more than 10 units of credit for reading or research programs may be counted toward the 83 units required for graduation. No more than 4 of these 10 units may be for participation in reading groups.

In the case of supervised reading and/or research, the program must be arranged with the faculty member and filed with the registrar’s office within the first two weeks of the term. In the case of an approved reading group, each participating student may receive no more than 1 unit of credit, which must be ungraded.

Some past reading projects include:

  • Topics in Latin American Law
  • Introduction to Partnership Taxation
  • Education Policy
  • Global Health and Human Rights
  • Animal Law

Through the Intensive Semester Research Program, students in their fourth or fifth term immerse themselves intensively in a major research project leading to a significant academic project, either at or away from the Law School. Approval of a proposal for an intensive research semester is restricted to those special situations where devotion of one-sixth of a student’s law school career to a single intensive research program has clear academic justification.

A wide range of projects and programs—from the Green Haven Prison Project to the Yale Journal on Regulation—reflect the interests and energies of Yale Law School’s exceptional student body. In the second term, students may begin participation in these programs, which are run by students under the general supervision of a faculty adviser.

The student-directed programs for which ungraded credit is awarded are:

Domestic Violence Temporary Restraining Order Project

Allard K. Lowenstein International Human Rights Law Project

Thomas Swan Barristers’ Union

Morris Tyler Moot Court of Appeals

Yale Human Rights & Development Law Journal

Yale Journal of Health Policy, Law, and Ethics

Yale Journal of International Law

Yale Journal of Law & Feminism

Yale Journal of Law & the Humanities

The Yale Journal on Regulation

Yale Journal of Law and Technology

Yale Law & Policy Review

The Yale Law Journal

In general, one unit of ungraded credit per term is awarded for participation in these programs. Credit is awarded for work on the student-edited journals listed above only for substantial editorial work. No more than a total of 5 credits in student-directed programs may be counted toward the degree, and no work for which compensation is received may earn credit toward the degree.