The Yale Law School opened its doors to hundreds of admitted students on Thursday, kicking off a weekend of events designed to give them a glimpse of life at the school.
“There are just so many resources here,” said Zachary Turgeon, a student admitted to the Juris Doctor program who has been doing manual labor with septic tanks for the past three years. “I’m not from this culture. It’s kind of a culture shock, but it’s also inspirational how much there is to do and how much [the Law School] seems to care about its students.”
The events on Thursday began with breakfast in a dining hall, where admitted students met with representatives from various student groups including the Black Law Student Association and Yale Law Women. After the breakfast came an information session with two associate deans for career development focused on the many opportunities available to law students.
Throughout the day, admitted students attended classes and various talks held at the Law School. In the afternoon, they had the opportunity to tour the Law School, the Lillian Goldman Law Library, local New Haven and the newly constructed Robert C. and Christina Baker Hall, which is set to open in the fall of 2018. The facility includes classrooms, student residences and a student center.
One of the major events of the day was an address by Law School Dean Heather Gerken, who called each admitted student personally to welcome them to the school and discuss any reservations they may have.
Speaking before a full room of over 200 admitted students, Gerken spoke of the unique opportunity a Yale law education provides.
“There is no better proof of what an extraordinary place this is than to see the generations that have proceeded you,” she said. “This school is just unparalleled in its ability to train leaders and advocates and public servants and thinkers — people who were just like you when they started out.”
Gerken then turned her attention to those who were still uncertain about attending Yale or about whether they would end up studying law. She argued that there is no better place to study law than at Yale and that, as far as she remembers, there has never been a better time to study law. In particular, she noted the importance of the rule of law in the modern day.
The admissions office at the Law School declined to comment or to release exact numbers regarding the incoming class size and its demographics. A spokesman for the Law School did not respond to request for comment.
Kami Choi, a graduate of Harvard College who is deciding between the law schools at Yale, Harvard and Stanford, said she appreciates the small class size at Yale. As an undergraduate at Harvard, she said, large class sizes often made it difficult for her to get to know her professors.
“The small class size here seems like something I haven’t been used to,” she said. “It seems like the faculty is super open to students.”
Brian Chen, another student admitted to the Class of 2021, said that he was struck by the sense of community at Yale.
“[I have] been talking to current students and other admitted students, and, I have to say, this seems like a great community and a place that I would like to spend three years,” he said.
The Law School was founded in 1824.
ki Anderson | firstname.lastname@example.org .