Wondering how to get into Yale law school? You’re not the only one. Every year, students from around the world prepare and submit applications to this Ivy League School’s law program and hope to be admitted. Yale law school is incredibly competitive, so if you want to maximize your chances of getting in, you need to know what they are looking for in candidates and have all the right information at your disposal to create a competitive application. In this blog, our law school admissions consulting experts walk you through the school’s admission, requirements statistics, and give you some tips to help you prepare tricky application components like law school personal statements so that you can put together the application that will get you into Yale law school.
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“Yale is committed to improving the world today and for future generations through outstanding research and scholarship, education, preservation, and practice. Yale educates aspiring leaders worldwide who serve all sectors of society. We carry out this mission through the free exchange of ideas in an ethical, interdependent, and diverse community of faculty, staff, students, and alumni.”
Available Programs & Curriculum
Most students looking to practice law are interested in earning a Juris Doctor (JD) degree, and that will be the focus of this article, but it is worth noting that Yale Law School offers five different degree-granting programs. Most of which are intertwined and conferred by the law school and other Yale graduate programs.
The Juris Doctor Program:
Yale law school’s Juris Doctor(JD) program is a three-year program that teaches a wide array of courses and offers numerous opportunities for independent research, writing, and student-led seminars. Every law student in the program is required to work closely with faculty members to complete two major research projects, and many students even get the opportunity to publish their work. To ease students into the rigorous curriculum of this program, all first-term classes are ungraded, and after that, classes are graded with the option to take courses credit or fail. Yale law school does not grade on a curve, and it does not have class ranks.
The Graduate Degree Programs:
Looking for an overview of some key points? Check out this infographic:
Overall acceptance rate: 8%
There is no minimum GPA or LSAT score for applicants, but the recent statistics show that the lowest GPA and LSAT scores received by a member of Yale Law School’s most recently admitted class were 3.32 and 155 respectively. 50% of successful applicants scored a 173 or higher on the LSAT. In other words, to get into Yale Law School, you will need outstanding grades from your bachelor’s degree and an LSAT score of at least 173. If you’re hoping to get admitted with anything lower than that, then your other application components will need to be truly impressive.
The Application Process
Yale Law School requires applicants to submit their applications through the LSAC electronic application service. Applicants have to subscribe to the Law School Credential Assembly Service (CAS), and the LSAC service will be included in the CAS subscription. Yale Law School typically opens its application on September 1 of the previous year. Applications can be submitted beginning on October 1, and by no later than February 15. Remember that these dates are subject to change so you should always check with the school for the most up-to-date information for your specific application cycle.
It is your responsibility to make certain that all items arrive at Yale on time. It usually takes several weeks for LSAC to process application materials, so you should account for that time. We recommend assuming that LSAC will need at least three weeks for processing. Yale law school maintains that there is applying earlier in the application cycle does not give you any advantage when it comes to admission, and that your chances of admission remain constant regardless of when you submit your application. That said, we do recommend earlier rather than later, so that you can give yourself time to prepare for the admissions interview.
Eligibility & Admissions Requirements
As mentioned earlier, the focus of this article is Yale’s Juris Doctor program. There is no GPA or standardized test score cut-off to get into the program. Instead, the school maintains that they evaluate all application components to get a holistic sense of who you are, and what you can contribute to their program. To apply to Yale law school, you will need to pay the $85 application fee, submit an application form, your transcripts from every undergraduate and graduate institution you’ve attended, at least two letters of recommendation from former professors, your LSAT or GRE scores, the mandatory law school personal statement, a supplemental essay, and you also have the option to include additional documents such as a law school diversity statement.
So, let’s take a look at the application components in detail:
The Undergraduate Degree(s)
To be eligible to apply, you need to have received, or be expecting to receive a bachelor’s degree by the summer of your application year. You will need to submit transcripts from each college or university you have ever attended, including all schools attended for graduate or professional study. If you are still completing your degree, you are encouraged to submit transcripts that reflect all the coursework you have completed through the time of application, and then submit updated transcripts as you complete additional coursework throughout the academic year.
The Standardized Test Scores
Yale Law School accepts results from the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) and, recently started accepting the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) General Test as well, and it does not have a preference among these standardized tests. If you are applying with the LSAT, you need to take the exam by January of your application year to be eligible. LSAC will automatically report all your LSAT scores from the past five years, so you won’t have the option not to report your score to the Law Schools you’re applying to. Your scores will be included in the information that they receive in your CAS report from LSAC. LSAC requires at least one LSAT writing sample, in order to generate your CAS report. If you took the LSAT more than once, you do not need to submit multiple writing samples as Yale will use only one.
If you choose to apply using the GRE General Test, it is your responsibility to make sure Yale receives your GRE scores from the Educational Testing Service (ETS) by the application deadline. Keep in mind that it may take up to 15 calendar days for ETS to transmit your scores once you complete the exam, so you should account for that time when booking your exam. Unlike the LSAT, the GRE scores will not automatically be transmitted to the law schools you’ve applied to. You will need to log into your ETS accounts and select Yale Law School as a recipient of GRE results.
To maintain parity between the evaluation of LSAT and GRE results, those who are applying with GRE scores must select the option to report their entire testing history. Selecting this option will report all their GRE scores for the past five years.
Need help with your law school personal statement? This video is for you:
Yale law school applicants are required to submit two essays. A law school personal statement and a supplemental essay. Your Yale law school personal statement should help the admissions board learn about the personal, professional, and academic qualities that you will bring to their Law School community. Yale advises that your personal statement follow the following format:
The supplemental essay asks students to tell the admission board about an idea or issue from their academic, extracurricular, or professional work that is of particular interest to them, in 250 words or less. The idea or issue you choose to talk about does not have to be law-related, but it does need to be related to your academic or professional background as per the question. You should keep in mind that this is a law school application, so you want your topic to be professional and to tell the admissions board something positive about you. This is an opportunity to share more about your interests with Yale law school and show them how you would engage in the Law School community.
Yale requires at least two letters of recommendation, ideally from professors with whom you have studied, who know you well enough to speak to your academic performance. If you’re unable to get a letter from a professor, Yale also accepts letters from other s who have had the opportunity to assess your academic or professional work That includes, but is not limited to employers, college deans, coaches, colleagues, and research supervisors. These recommendations are accepted by the school, but they are not preferred, so whenever possible, a letter from a professor would be ideal. This doesn’t apply to applicants who have been out of school for some time or who are otherwise unable to obtain two faculty recommendations. If that is your case, you may substitute letters from employers or others who know you well.
Some referees may ask you to write your own letter of recommendation. Should that happen, it’s important that you give yourself at least four weeks to write, edit and polish the letter. It should be detailed and include concrete examples of any claims that you make. Additionally, keep in mind that the letters of recommendation must be transmitted through the LSAC Letter of Recommendation Service, so make sure you give it to your referee in time to make sure it can be processed and submitted by the deadline.
The Activities Section
This section of the Yale law school application consists of a series of questions that basically allow you to tell the admissions board what you were doing during your undergraduate studies and after. It is meant to compliment your law school resume. The college activities section currently has the following three prompts:
- What you did during those terms when you were not in school, including summers and any other terms off (e.g., employment, internships, or study abroad);
- What you did during the terms while you were also taking classes (e.g., extracurricular activities, employment, or internships);
- A catch all question where you may briefly describe any other activities that you consider relevant (e.g., a significant thesis or capstone project, or significant personal or familial responsibilities).
You will need to list your activities in order of importance to you, and for each one that you list, you need to provide the start date, end date, estimated hours of work per week, a brief description of the activity in question, and whether it was paid or unpaid. The admissions board is interested in internships, employment, study abroad programs and other information of this sort. If you graduated from college more than three months ago, you must also describe what you have been doing since graduation in any format you choose. You should include graduate or professional education, paid or unpaid employment, as well as any other activities that you consider relevant.
The Diversity Statement or Addenda
Applicants have the opportunity to include a law school diversity statement and optional addenda to their application if any are necessary for a full representation of their candidacy. While not required, Yale Law School does welcome diversity statements, and we strongly encourage to submit one so that you can tell the admissions board more about what makes you unique and how you can contribute to their community. That said, if you feel that you have already covered key aspects of your background and experiences in your application and will not be adding any new information in your diversity statement, then it would be best not to include one.
Separate from a diversity statement, you may include an optional law school addendum. This is essentially an essay that gives you a chance to explain and provide context for any parts of your application that you are not proud of or that might need additional information. This can include explanations related to test scores or transcripts.
Not sure how law school applications typically work? This video will walk you through the process:
Tuition and Funding Opportunities
Yale law school can cost close $100 000 for a nine-month academic year. The school uses a combination of loans and grants or scholarships to provide students with the difference between their resources and the cost of attending Yale Law School. Last year, 77% of the J.D. student body received some form of financial aid, and 73% of them qualified for Law School institutional scholarships. For students on scholarship, the median amount is approximately $32,108, with 75% of students receiving approximately $20,000 or more.
To help you figure out how far that can go, here is a breakdown of costs using the fees from previous years. This information is subject to change so make sure you verify the Yale law school financial aid page for the most up-to-date cost of attending.
Yale Law School
P.O. Box 208215
New Haven, CT 06520-8215
Yale Law School website
Email: [email protected]
1. How hard is it to get into Yale law school?
For every 100 applicants, Yale law school offers admission to 8 of them. In other words, it is pretty hard to get into Yale law school. That said, if you have good LSAT or GRE scores and create a compelling application, you could be one of the eight that gets an offer.
2. What LSAT score do I need to get into Yale?
Yale does not have a required minimum score for admission, but more than half of the most recent class had a score of 173 or higher. We suggest applying with a similar score or higher.
3. Does Yale law school accept the GRE?
Yes! Yale law school now accepts GRE scores as well.
4. How many essays are required to apply to Yale law school?
Applicants are required to write a personal statement and an additional essay that responds to a specific prompt.
5. Is Yale law school difficult?
Yale law school offers five different programs, and they all have a challenging curriculum that is designed to equip students for their careers. That said, with a good study schedule and high-yield study techniques, many students do well at Yale law.
6. How expensive is Yale law school
The tuition alone costs just under $70 000 per academic year, but the school offers financial aid for students who need it.
7. Is Yale law school worth the money?
Yale is home to one of the most famous law schools in the world. It is a world-class institution with a rigorous curriculum, a great reputation and a large network that would give you a leg up when you get on the job market. Still, that doesn't mean that it is worth the money for you! You should spend time on the school's website to learn about it and ensure that it is the right place for you.
8. How can I improve my chances of getting into Yale law school?
You can increase your chances of admission by giving yourself enough time to research and prepare your application components. Furthermore, you should study hard to get a high LSAT or GRE score, and work with law school admissions consultants to ensure you are submitting a strong application.
Disclaimer: BeMo does not endorse or affiliate with any universities, colleges, or official test administrators. The content has been developed based on the most recent publicly available data provided from the official university website. However, you should always check the statistics/requirements with the official school website for the most up to date information. You are responsible for your own results.
To your success,
Your friends at BeMo
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