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University of California Hastings College of the Law

published March 03, 2009

By CEO and Founder - BCG Attorney Search left
Published By
( 369 votes, average: 4 out of 5)
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University of California—Hastings College of the Law was founded in 1878 as the first law department of the University of California by Serranus Clinton Hastings, the first Chief Justice of California. Since then, Hastings College of the Law has been at the center of the West Coast’s legal community, with renowned scholars serving as faculty.

Legal education at Hastings is a window to the breadth and diversity of the law. It provides both a focus on the fundamentals and a wider view to explore special areas of study through clinical training, seminars, opportunities to work on scholarly publications, and a moot court training program that regularly produces national championship teams for appellate advocacy competitions throughout the United States. Students can choose from noteworthy course offerings to specialize in tax, civil litigation, public interest, or international and comparative law. The upper-class curriculum has seven concentrated-studies certificates.

The law school also offers practical training through its skills courses and allows students to build legal experience through its clinical internships and judicial externships.

The Hastings Law Library offers more than 600,000 volumes as well as access to numerous online databases, services, and resources for students. The law library is a significant resource for the entire legal community and the public in the Bay Area. It serves as a designated repository for California legislative and statutory material, and is home to legislative journals, selected state agency annual reports, and federal government documents.

Student-Faculty Ratio 15.0:1

Admission Criteria




25th-75th Percentile






The above LSAT and GPA data pertain to the fall 2011 entering class.
Medians have been calculated by averaging the 25th- and 75th-percentile values released by the law schools and have been rounded up to the nearest whole number for LSAT scores and to the nearest one-hundredth for GPAs.

Admission Statistics

Approximate number of applications


Number accepted


Percentage accepted


The above admission details are based on fall 2011 data.

Class Ranking and Grades

The Records Office provides students who are ranked in the top 15% of the class with their actual rank in the class but it does not provide to students below the top 15% of their class with their individual rank in the class. Instead, the Records Office shall provide these students with their percentage group standing in the following categories: top 20%, top 25, top 30%, top 35%, top 40%, top 45%, top half, and top 75% of the class. Students below the top 75% shall not be ranked.

At Hastings College of the Law, the grading scale depends on four categories: GPA courses, non-GPA courses, seminars, and independent studies. Student performance in all courses, seminars, and independent studies offered by the college shall be graded in accordance with the grading curve and counted in a student’s cumulative grade point average except for those offerings specifically designated.

Grades earned by first-year students in Legal Writing and Research and the Pass/Fail designation earned in First-Year Moot Court and Legal Analysis shall not be counted in the student’s cumulative grade point average.

The letter grades set out below shall be used in grading independent studies, even though grades given for independent studies do not count in a student’s grade point average.























Pass/Fail Courses
First-Year Moot Court shall be graded on a Pass/Fail basis. Independent studies that are not being used by a student to satisfy the writing requirement may be graded on a Pass/Fail basis if both the student and the instructor agree to do so at the beginning of the semester. Credits are also awarded to teaching assistants and research assistants on a Pass/Fail basis.

The Academic Dean may authorize a student to receive an Incomplete when the student is unable to take or complete an examination during the regularly scheduled examination period because of illness, accident, or other extraordinary circumstances. An Incomplete must be removed from the student’s record by the last day of the semester that follows the semester in which the student received the Incomplete. Otherwise it shall be converted to a grade of administrative F and the student shall receive no credit for the course.

Grade normalization (Curve)

Grades in classes with 30 or more students enrolled at the time of grading: In all classes with 30 or more students the following normalization requirements shall apply: 15 to 25% of grades shall be in the A range (A-, A, or A+); 12 to 17% of grades shall be below B-. The Academic Dean may not waive the normalization requirements of any first-year course. The Academic Dean has the authority to waive normalization requirements for upper-division courses only under exceptional circumstances. It is expected that these waivers will be rarely granted.

The Academic Dean may not waive the normalization requirements of any first-year course. The Academic Dean has the authority to waive normalization requirements for upper-division courses only under exceptional circumstances.

Grades in classes with fewer than 30 students enrolled at the time of grading: There are no specific normalization requirements for classes with fewer than 30 students, including legal research and writing, first-year moot court, and legal analysis. The Academic Dean may reject the grade sheet of a class with fewer than 30 students that do not have a range of grades. Furthermore, if there are multiple sections of a class with fewer than 30 students in a given semester, the Academic Dean shall use her authority to reject grade sheets to ensure a reasonable degree of uniformity across sections.

After satisfaction of the grade normalization requirements set forth above, the distribution of grades of C+, C, C-, D and F is at the instructor’s discretion. Student performance that is unsatisfactory must be assigned a grade of C- or lower. Unsatisfactory and substantially below the performance of other students in the class must be assigned a grade of D or F.

At the discretion of the instructor, the grade of A+ may be granted to reward superlative performance. An instructor need not award the grade of A+ in any given class. Only in unusual cases may two such grades be awarded in a given class. No more than two such grades may be awarded in a given class.




Order of the Coif

A student whose cumulative grade point average places him or her in the top 10% of all graduating students and who has completed at least 75% of his or her units at Hastings in graded courses is considered eligible for this award

summa cum laude

A student whose cumulative grade point average places the student in the top 1% of students who have achieved a grade point average of 3.75 or higher after completion of all 6 semesters of academic work at Hastings

magna cum laude

Awarded to students whose cumulative grade point averages place them in the top 10% of their graduating class after six semesters of academic work at Hastings and who has achieved a grade point average of 3.5 or higher, excluding recipients of the summa cum laude award

cum laude

Awarded to students whose cumulative grade point averages place them below the top 30% of their graduating class after six semesters of academic work at Hastings and who has achieved a grade point average of 3.25 or higher, excluding recipients of the summa cum laude and magna cum laude awards


Name of Award


Milton D. Green Citations

Awarded to the students who earn the 10 highest cumulative GPAs in first-year courses

Section Scholarships

Awarded to the students who earn the highest cumulative GPAs in first-year courses and return to Hastings for the second year of law study

Thurston Society

Awarded to those in the top 5% of the first-year class and in the top 10% of either the second-year class or the third-year class


Awarded to the student who earns the highest cumulative GPA after the completion of five semesters


The Hastings Law Journal is the school’s oldest law review, and it has contributed immensely to the advancement of knowledge in legal thinking through scholarly articles written by experts in the legal community. One issue per year is devoted to a symposium. Governed by an editorial board and run by student members, the journal is printed in six issues each year and reaches a large domestic and international audience.

The Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly is devoted exclusively to constitutional law. It aims to produce an innovative and scholarly review of current domestic and foreign constitutional issues. In addition to publishing four issues per year, the quarterly hosts an annual symposium featuring discussion panels, question and answer periods, and a keynote speaker address on a topical constitutional law issue.

The Hastings International and Comparative Law Review is devoted exclusively to the discussion of contemporary and original issues pertaining to international and comparative law. It is published two times per year and serves as an important forum for the exchange of ideas about public and private international law.

The Hastings Race and Poverty Law Journal encourages and motivates commentary and discourse on topics such as race, poverty, social justice, and applicable law. It examines the legal system and highlights its shortcomings while aiming to generate meaningful dialogue. It specifically seeks to discuss the growing isolation of minority communities from the mainstream culture. At the same time, it aims to tackle the growing concerns of the economically underprivileged segments of contemporary society. Publishes two issues per yearly volume: winter and summer.

The Hastings Communications and entertainment Law Journal publishes scholarly articles and student notes on communications, entertainment, and intellectual property law. It is a vital channel providing legal scholarships to eligible individuals in fields of law that will significantly shape society and the economy in the coming decades. It publishes three issues per yearly volume, fall, winter, and spring,

The West-northwest Journal of environmental Law and Policy is the foremost regional-level law publication that covers California and the Pacific Northwest. It concentrates on environmental policy and issues that specifically affect this geographical area. Additionally, it features articles by prominent researchers and policy analysts from complementary fields. Publishes two issues per yearly volume: winter and summer.

The Hastings Women’s Law Journal aims to provide a forum for voices outside the traditional scope of legal academic scholarship. It is published twice per year and includes articles on feminism, race theory, multiculturalism, animal rights, disability rights, language rights, international human rights, criminal defendants’ rights, and prisoners’ rights, among other topics. It publishes twice a year.

The Hastings Business Law Journal is a scholarly publication. It contains submissions written by academics, professionals, and law students. The journal explores and critically analyzes international and domestic events as they shape the dynamic interplay between law and business. It illuminates the current state of the law and provides insight for the future. It is a biannual journal.

The Hastings Science & Technology Law Journal (STLJ) is a multidisciplinary journal created to enrich the discourse at the nexus of science, scientific methodology, technology, biotechnology, bioethics, health, public policy, and the law. STLJ is designed to serve both the legal and scientific communities through prompt publication of scholarly works on the basis of originality, insight, timeliness, and elegance, and by providing an open forum for the discussion and interpretation of significant developments in science and law. Publishes two issues per yearly volume: winter and summer.

Moot Court

First-year students participate in Hastings College of the Law’s moot court program in their spring semester to learn the fundamentals of complex legal research, persuasive legal writing, and effective oral argument. Topics for the program are chosen from real cases pending before an appellate court or a supreme court. The students do research and write an appellate brief on behalf of a client; they then carry out a formal oral argument before a three-judge panel.

Hastings students are encouraged to participate in moot court proceedings. For this purpose, they select their chosen topics from a master list of preferences provided by the Moot Court Board. 2L and 3L students who have successfully completed their appellate advocacy classes are eligible to join the Moot Court Board.
Board members serve as teaching assistants for first-year moot court classes and for appellate advocacy classes. They attend organizational and informational meetings and hold office hours. Students provide personal assistance to students enrolled in Moot Court and Appellate Advocacy. They also serve as coaches for oral arguments.

Hastings College of the Law participates in a variety of inter-college moot court contests. These competitions cover a wide variety of current legal issues. Team members are selected from open tryouts held in the spring on the basis of their resumes, writing samples, five minute oral arguments, and short interviews, receiving two units of credit for their participation.

Clinical Programs

Each year the law school offers approximately 150 places for students in the in-house and out-placement clinics.

In-House Clinics

Students at Hastings College of the Law represent real clients under the supervision of faculty members through the school’s clinical programs. Students participating in clinical programs attend accompanying seminars where the discussions feature examples from and brainstorming about client cases.

The law school’s Civil Justice Clinic (CJC) is the curricular umbrella for three separate courses and a number of subject-matter clinics. The CJC Individual Representation Clinic handles cases in employment law, housing law, and disability law. The school’s clinical offerings also include the CJC Community Economic Development Clinic, the CJC Group Advocacy and Systemic Reform Clinic, the CJC Mediation Clinic, and the Refugee and Human Rights Clinic.

Out-Placement Clinics

Under direct supervision of practicing attorneys, students work primarily in governmental and non-profit law offices. Faculty members conduct an accompanying seminar that focuses on relevant substantive law and legal skills.

Out-Placement Clinics at Hastings are:
  • Criminal Practice Clinic
  • Environmental Law Clinic
  • Immigrants’ Rights Clinic
  • Legislation Clinic
  • Local Government Law Clinic
  • Workers’ Rights Clinic
Placement Facts

Starting Salaries (2010 Graduates employed Full-Time)

Private sector (25th-75th percentile)


Median in the private sector


Median in public service


Employment Details

Graduates known to be employed at graduation


Graduates known to be employed nine months after graduation


Areas of Legal Practice

Graduates employed In


Law Firms


Business and Industry




Public Interest Organizations


Judicial Clerkships







  • Through the Legal externship Program students get the opportunity to assume professional roles under the close supervision of practicing attorneys at approved governmental or nonprofit legal services organizations. Students articulate learning objectives that are substantive and skills based and also focus on professionalism. Students learn substantive law, lawyering skills, and professional responsibility in context but also learn to observe, analyze and critique their own abilities and the roles lawyers and institutions play in legal system.
  • Through the school’s Judicial externships, students work in state and federal judicial chambers on legal research memos and judicial opinions under the direction of judges. The Hastings judicial externship program helps students improve their analytical, research, and writing skills in a real-life, real-time context that requires them to exercise professional judgment on a daily basis. Judicial externs work full-time or part-time in federal district and appellate courts and in state trial and appellate courts, including the California Supreme Court. While most judicial externships are within two blocks of the Hastings campus, students may extern anywhere in California and with permission may extern out of state.

The law school offers an international summer internship stipend for Hastings JD candidates.

Student organizations
  • American Constitution Society (ACS)
  • Armenian Law Students’ Association (ALSA)
  • Asian Pacific American Law Student Association (APALSA)
  • Associated Students UC Hastings (ASUCH)
  • Association of Communications, Sports & Entertainment Law (ACSEL)
  • Black Law Students Association (BLSA)
  • Business Law Association of Hastings (BLAH)
  • Consumer Law Association (CLASS)
  • Criminal Law Society
  • Employment and Labor Law Students Association (ELLSA)
  • Federalist Society UC Hastings Chapter
  • General Assistance Advocacy Project (GAAP)
  • Gleeks at Hastings
  • Hastings Animal Law Society (HALS)
  • Hastings Business Law Journal (HBLJ)
  • Hastings Chinese Law & Culture Society (HCLCS)
  • Hastings Communications & Entertainment Law Journal (COMM/ENT)
  • Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly (CLQ)
  • Hastings Democrats
  • Hastings Disaster Relief (HDR)
  • Hastings Entrepreneurs
  • Hastings Environmental Law Association(HELA)
  • Hastings Intellectual Property Association (IPA)
  • Hastings International and Comparative Law Review (HICLR)
  • Hastings International and Comparative Law Society (HICLS)
  • Hastings Intramural Basketball League (HIBL)
  • Hastings Irish Law Society (HILS)
  • Hastings Jewish Law Students Association (HJLSA)
  • Hastings Law Journal (HLJ)
  • Hastings Leadership Organization (HLO)
  • Hastings Legal Notes (HLN)
  • Hastings OUTLAW
  • Hastings Prisoner Outreach (HPO)
  • Hastings Public Interest Law Foundation (HPILF)
  • Hastings Race Poverty Law Journal (HRPLJ)
  • Hastings Race Poverty Law Organization (HRPL)
  • Hastings Science & Technology Law Journal
  • Hastings Soccer Club
  • Hastings Squash Club
  • Hastings Tax Law Students Association (HTLSA)
  • Hastings to Haiti Partnership
  • Hastings Trial Law Association (HTLA)
  • Hastings Women’s Law Journal (HWLJ)
  • Hmong American Legal Scholars Society (HALSS)
  • Homeless Legal Services (HLS)
  • J. Reuben Clark Law Society, UC Hastings Chapter
  • Korean-American Law Students Association (KALSA)
  • La Raza Law Students Association
  • Law Students’ Christian Fellowship (LSCF)
  • Law Students for Participatory Economics (LSPE)
  • Law Students for Reproductive Justice (LSRJ)
  • Legal Eagles - Hastings Running Club
  • Middle Eastern Law Students Association (MELSA)
  • National Lawyers Guild - Hastings Chapter
  • Native American Law Students Association (NALSA)
  • Phi Alpha Delta, Law Fraternity
  • Pilipino American Law Society (PALS)
  • South Asian Law Students Association (SALSA)
  • Third Year Class Council
  • Vietnamese American Law Society (VALS)

Alternative Summary

Harrison is the founder of BCG Attorney Search and several companies in the legal employment space that collectively gets thousands of attorneys jobs each year. Harrison’s writings about attorney careers and placement attract millions of reads each year. Harrison is widely considered the most successful recruiter in the United States and personally places multiple attorneys most weeks. His articles on legal search and placement are read by attorneys, law students and others millions of times per year.

More about Harrison

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published March 03, 2009

By CEO and Founder - BCG Attorney Search left
( 369 votes, average: 4 out of 5)
What do you think about this article? Rate it using the stars above and let us know what you think in the comments below.