It is a remarkable time to be at Yale Law School, with its renowned faculty, extraordinary alumni, dedicated staff, and wonderful student body.
There are enormous opportunities here to engage with ideas and serve your community. Yale has an unmatched faculty-student ratio, more than three dozen legal clinics, and more than fifty student organizations and journals. Our aim is to train lawyers and leaders. We don’t just read scholarship; we nurture scholars. Our students don’t just volunteer for organizations; they found them. Students here don’t sit on the sidelines; they make headlines.
This is a school where ideas are the coin of the realm, where theory is taught at the highest level and our clinics do work of an unrivaled scope and ambition. Our practical engagement informs our theoretical commitments and our theoretical commitments, in turn, inform our practical engagement. Yale houses the most sophisticated and eclectic academic faculty in the country; this is a time for you to luxuriate in ideas. Yale is just as ambitious about practice. Eighty percent of our students enroll in clinics, and half of our academic faculty either run clinics or do substantial experiential work. And no matter what path our students choose, we prepare them to think imaginatively and deeply about their work and the problems they face.
As the seventeenth dean of Yale Law School, I am privileged to build upon the School’s remarkable legacy as we train the next generation of lawyers to meet the challenges of the twenty-first century.
Heather K. Gerken
Dean and Sol & Lillian Goldman Professor of Law
Yale Law School