After the first semester, Yale Law's curriculum is entirely up to the students. Classes are very small (the school has the lowest student-to-teach ratio in the country), and the school has no formal concentrations or core courses. Nor does it have any formal rankings, curve systems or grades. That's right: in order to dissuade students from worrying over their GPA, Yale Law operates on a credit/no credit system the first semester, and a pass/fail one after that. The school has recently focused on human rights in the war on terror, spearheading the defense of Guantanamo detainees through its post-9/11 civil liberties clinic.
About Yale Law School
Originating as an apprenticeship program in the 19th century law office of Seth Staples, Yale Law School has shaped itself into an intentionally unconventional institution. Eschewing the widespread focus on private law, Yale Law is known as an advocate of public interest law, as well as a hub of legal theory. To emphasize its commitment, the school allows its students to participate in clinical programs during their first year rather than waiting for them to complete a year of course work. Yale Law also operates the career options assistance program, which issues grants for repaying student loans to graduates who take relatively low-paying public service jobs.