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Yale University (Yale Law School)

Yale Law School is an extraordinary community in which to study law. Our unmatched faculty-to-student ratio allows us to offer a vast array of courses, with an average class size of under 20 students. Easy student-faculty interaction is a hallmark of the school; students enjoy countless opportunities for research and writing with professors. Law students have access to scholars in all of Yale's departments, to the University's nine-million-volume library system, and to its cultural, social, intellectual, and athletic activities. At the same time, Yale Law School has ties to the city of New Haven, a small, lively urban center with several first-rate museums and the best pizza in America.

During the year that you will be applying to Yale Law School, I will be looking back at my first year as its fifteenth dean. My assignment remains unchanged: making sure that the greatest law school of the 20th century becomes an even greater law school in the 21st century. To do so, we must stay true to our values and traditions, while at the same time changing to meet three key challenges:

First, globalization: Many law schools have waved the “globalization” banner, but no law school has truly asked and answered the question: “What does it mean to have a genuinely global curriculum, faculty, student body and program in the 21st century?” At Yale Law School, we have already integrated an international perspective into many of our core courses. We also have a huge array of internationally focused programs, including the Schell Center on International Human Rights, the Corporate Law Center, the Middle East Legal Studies Seminar, the China Law Center, and our Global Constitutionalism conference. But what is the best way for us to build upon these strengths to create a modern law school that is explicitly global in its focus?

Second, speaking to the profession: Our graduates change the world every day. They rank among the leaders of the judiciary, academia, private practice, and public service. Yet the myth lingers that Yale is primarily a school of theory. Our students will face the challenges and demands of a global private and public practice. How can we best train our students to meet the professional responsibilities and regulatory frameworks of a transnational legal profession? What are the best ways for us to bring our unparalleled academic and clinical faculty together with our alumni to do so?

Third, calling our students to public service: Yale Law School has uniquely served the public interest and created the lawyers who have most shaped the public interest. My deanship will reaffirm our long-standing commitment to public service. Don’t we, the most privileged in our educational fortunes, have a duty to serve the least privileged? How can we ensure that each of our students devotes significant energy toward serving some conception of the public interest as he or she sees it?

Globalization, the profession, public service: these have been my own life’s commitments. I see my job as simple: keeping Yale Law School a community of commitment to world-class scholarship, professional excellence, and service for the greater good. In law, there are many committed individuals; there are all too many unfocused communities. But Yale Law School has always been—and under my deanship must always be—a community that is committed to both humanity and excellence, both theory and practice, both talent and passion.

It moves me deeply to think that America’s greatest law school has chosen its dean based not on the color of his skin, but on the content of his commitments. It was more than forty years ago that my parents first came to Yale Law School as visiting lecturers. When I walked into the Law School for the first time, I thought—as I thought this morning and as I think every morning—that Yale Law School is the most impressive and humane institution of which I have ever been a part. I promise you that I will do everything in my power to keep it that way. I am hugely excited about the future, and I hope that you will join me in building this community of commitment together.

The vitality of Yale Law School depends as much on the knowledge, experience, and expertise of the students as it does on the faculty, the library, the University, or the alumni. The School selects its students from applicants with the highest academic qualifications in the country; within this group, it seeks a diversity of backgrounds and experiences. The Law School welcomes older students and students with disabilities.

Yale Law students are very active outside the classroom, participating in a vast array of extracurricular activities ranging from moot court to community activism to intramural softball. In any given year, 40-60 student organizations thrive within the Law School. Included in that group are nine student-run journals.

School name:Yale UniversityYale Law School
Address:127 Wall Street
Zip & city:CT 06511 Connecticut

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