Career Development Office

The Career Development Office (CDO) is the home of career advising for students. To support the career journey, CDO provides one-on-one counseling, programs, and resources relating to legal career paths in nonprofits and government, including public interest fellowships, law firms, and judicial clerkships. To facilitate hiring, the office coordinates several interview programs.

CDO counselors, each of whom are former practicing attorneys, are available to discuss relevant resources, facilitate connections with students and alumni, review application materials, provide interview advice, guide students through the offer and acceptance stage, and advise on job and internship success and navigating on the job challenges. Every first-year student is assigned a CDO counselor in September. After 1L summer job plans are finalized, students are able to connect with the counselor best suited to their particular job interests.

The office organizes many career events each year to educate students on legal career paths and particular employment settings, self-assessment, networking, and interviewing skills. Through CDO’s Mentor-in-Residence program, alumni with varied backgrounds and legal experience visit YLS and provide advice to students in one-on-one sessions.

CDO coordinates or co-sponsors numerous interview programs for public and private sector employment. To facilitate 1L summer hiring, CDO coordinates a Winter Interview Program in January and co-sponsors a public interest career fair in February. For upper-class students, CDO coordinates a Virtual Interview Program in August and a Public Interest Interview Program in September. The vast majority of students secure second-summer employment through one of these programs. The office also co-sponsors the Equal Justice Works Career Fair and the Overseas-Trained LLM Student Interview Program.

Through CDO’s website ( students have access to advice and resources on career development topics and legal employment sectors including summer employment evaluations, judicial clerkship comment surveys, an extensive online job posting system, and a multitude of sample application materials.

Yale Law students secure summer and postgraduate positions with law firms, government agencies, domestic and international nonprofit organizations, in business, academia, and as judicial law clerks. Through the Summer Public Interest Fellowship (SPIF) program, the Law School ensures that everyone who needs funding for summer public interest or government work—in the United States or abroad—receives it. Through its robust public interest postgraduate fellowship support, Yale Law School enables many graduates each year to jumpstart their public interest careers and tackle complex and important legal issues facing underserved people in our society. Through Yale Law School’s generous Career Options Assistance Program (COAP), graduates have the ability to obtain loan forgiveness if they choose to work in lower-paying positions, regardless of the employment sector. See Career Options Assistance Program, in the chapter Admissions, Expenses, and Financial Aid, for further details. Although New York, Washington, D.C., and California are the most popular destinations, Yale Law School graduates commence employment in dozens of geographic locations.

CDO is committed to ensuring that all students receive fair treatment from employers who use our career services, including requiring employers to affirm Yale Law School’s nondiscrimination policy, which prohibits discrimination based upon age; handicap or disability; ethnic or national origin; race; color; religion; religious creed; sex and gender (including pregnancy discrimination and sexual harassment); marital, parental, or veteran status; sexual orientation; gender identity; and gender expression.