Clinton received the Yale Law School Association Award of Merit, which is presented annually to those who have made a substantial contribution to public service or the legal profession.
Her husband, former President Bill Clinton, received the award in 1993.
The former secretary of state, a potential 2016 presidential candidate, also delivered a speech at her 40th Yale Law school reunion at the university's Woolsey Hall in New Haven.
"We have so many blessings right now in our country even in these difficult times. It's so surprise that students from 118 countries, more than I've visited, are represented here. That's because people the world over know that Yale and America is center for excellence and creativity."
Clinton graduated from Yale Law School in 1973.