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215 Boalt Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720
p. 510-642-2274
f. 510-643-6222
w. <IT>www.law.berkeley.edu<RO>

School of Law

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In addition to the J.D., the law school offers the LL.M., S.J.D., and M.A. and Ph.D. in Jurisprudence and Social Policy (J.S.P.). Students may take relevant courses in other programs and apply credit toward the J.D.; a maximum of varies credits may be applied. The following joint degrees may be earned: J.D./M.A. (Juris Doctor/Master of Arts in Asian studies, jurisprudence, economics, international area studies, and economics), J.D./M.A.L.D. (Juris Doctor/Master of Arts in law and diplomacy), J.D./M.B.A. (Juris Doctor/Master of Business Administration), J.D./M.C.P. (Juris Doctor/Master of City and Regional Planning), J.D./M.J. (Juris Doctor/Master of Journalism), J.D./M.P.P. (Juris Doctor/Master of Public Policy), J.D./M.S.W. (Juris Doctor/Master of Social Work), and J.D./Ph.D. (Juris Doctor/Doctor of Philosophy in legal history, jurisprudence, economics, and history).

The School of Law offers concentrations in corporate law, environmental law, international law, law and technology, social justice/public interest, intellectual property, comparative legal studies, and law and economics. In addition, clinics, mostly open to second-and third-year students, include Death Penalty, International Human Rights Law, and Technology and Public Policy. Field work may be done at the East Bay Community Law Center and in the other clinics. Special lecture series are offered through various centers. Study abroad is available on a case-by-case basis. Special interest group programs include the Center for Social Justice and the Center for Law and Technology. The most widely taken electives are Evidence, Civil Procedures II, and Corporations.

To earn the J.D., candidates must complete 85 total credits, of which 32 are for required courses. The following first-year courses are required of all students: Civil Procedure, Contracts, Criminal Law, Legal Writing, Research, and Advocacy, Property, and Torts. Required upper-level courses consist of Constitutional Law and Professional Responsibility. The required orientation program for first-year students consists of 2 days of basic material for new students including the curriculum and services in August, and 1 day in October for information regarding final exams, grading, and so on.

In order to graduate, candidates must have completed the upper-division writing requirement.


In the fall 2007 first-year class, 6980 applied, 839 were accepted, and 269 enrolled. Sixty transfers enrolled. The median GPA of the most recent first-year class was 3.79. The lowest LSAT percentile accepted was 35; the highest was 100.

Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree and take the LSAT. The most important admission factors include academic achievement, LSAT results, and life experience. No specific undergraduate courses are required. Candidates are not interviewed.

Applicants should submit an application form, LSAT results, transcripts, a nonrefundable application fee of $75, and a personal statement. Although letters of recommendation are not mandatory, they are highly recommended. Notification of the admissions decision is from January to May. The latest acceptable LSAT test date for fall entry is December. The law school uses the LSDAS.

Financial Aid

About 95% of current law students receive some form of aid. The maximum annual amount of aid from all sources combined, including scholarships, loans, and work contracts, is $60,648. Awards are based on need and merit. Required financial statements are the FAFSA and Need Access. The aid application deadline for fall entry is March 2. First-year students are notified about their financial aid application in late spring.


About 55% of the student body are women; 32%, minorities; 6%, African American; 16%, Asian American; 13%, Hispanic; and 3%, Native American. The majority of students come from California (75%). The average age of entering students is 25; age range is 20 to 47. About 40% of students enter directly from undergraduate school, 11% have a graduate degree, and 60% have worked full-time prior to entering law school. About 1% drop out after the first year for academic or personal reasons; 98% remain to receive a law degree.

Students edit The California Law Review, Berkeley Business Law Journal, Ecology Law Quarterly, Berkeley Technology Law Journal, Berkeley Journal of Employment and Labor Law, Berkeley Journal of International Law, Berkeley Women’s Law Journal, African American Law and Policy Report, La Raza Law Journal, California Criminal Law Review, and Asian Law Journal. The Cross-Examiner is the student newspaper. Annual moot court competitions are held at the school and include the McBaine and Jessup competitions. Law student organizations, local chapters of national associations, and campus organizations include the Asian Pacific American Law Students, Law Students of African Descent, La Raza, Federalist Society, National Lawyers Guild, Phi Alpha Delta, and the ABA/Law Student Division.

The law school operates on a traditional semester basis. Courses for full-time students are offered days only and must be completed within 3 years. There is no part-time program. New students are admitted in the fall. There is no summer session. Transferable summer courses are not offered.

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