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UC Berkeley School of Law

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UC Berkeley School of Law

Michigan-Ann Arbor Logo
Established 1894
Mailing address 215 Boalt Hall, | Berkeley | CA 94720
Phone 510-642-1741
Student-faculty ratio 10.9:1
Number of students enrolled 869
Acceptance rate 12.7%
Bar passage rate (first-time test takers) 92%
Law school cost (tuition and fees) $50,163 per year



The University of California, Berkeley, School of Law is also referred to as Boalt Hall and as Berkeley School of Law. The Department of Jurisprudence at Berkeley was founded in 1894 and thereafter the department was renamed School of Jurisprudence in 1912 and School of Law in 1950. Even though UC Berkeley School of Law is one of the best law schools in U.S. its environment is considered to be less stressful than most.

The law school has an acceptance rate that is lower than every other U.S. law school except Yale and Stanford. But Berkeley Law emphasizes more on GPAs and personal statements than on LSAT scores, and the school does not have a letter-grading system but has a pass/fail system designed to reduce the rat race.

The UC Berkeley School of Law offers interdisciplinary or dual degrees to interested students in combination with other schools in the university and also in combination with other universities across the nation. In the Berkeley-Harvard program, students in third year study at Harvard.


Rankings and reputation

In the U.S. News Law School Rankings published in 2012, Berkeley Law was placed seventh in its list of best law schools in the country. This also makes it the highest ranked public law school.

The intellectual property law department has been considered No. 1 in the nation for the past 11 years by the U.S. News & World Report. The school is also well-known for its social justice, environmental law and international law programs.

Prospects of placement and employment are as expected from one of the best schools of law in the U.S. Berkeley law graduates have a success rate of more than 88% at the bar and more than 98% are employed nine months after graduation. The ABA report on the employment prospects of the graduating class of 2011 shows that 80 percent of them were employed in jobs requiring bar passage within nine months of graduation.

Berkeley Law also was featured in a list of top law schools analyzed and ranked by LawCrossing CEO Harrison Barnes. This list can be found here: Top Law Schools Analyzed and Ranked by America's Top Legal Recruiter.



Berkeley Law received 7,253 applications in 2011, out of which 920 were accepted. That's an acceptance rate of 12.7%. Average undergraduate GPA is between 3.64 and 3.89, while average LSAT score is between 163 and 170.

Personal statements are extremely important in gaining admission to Berkeley and usual personal statements submitted at Berkeley are known to be twice the length of that required by other law schools. The personal statement makes few specific requirements but is an opportunity for candidates to express themselves and their journey through life. Of course, the personal statement also provides a sample of the candidate's intelligence, expressions, and writing skills. Though personal statements are allowed to be up to four pages in length, resumes are expected to be in singe-page formats. Letters of recommendation are also given much weight in the admission process.

Like other top-tier law schools, Berkeley expects candidates to apply early though there is no early-decision program. Applications are usually opened from late October and offers start being sent then.

Berkeley Law's in-state resident tuition fees are lower than that in most universities though the law school is among the top ten in the world.

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About Harrison Barnes
Harrison Barnes is the founder of LawCrossing and an internationally recognized expert in attorney search and placement. Harrison is extremely committed to and passionate about the profession of legal placement. Harrison’s writings about attorney careers and placement attract millions of reads each year. LawCrossing has been ranked on the Inc. 500 twice. For more information, please visit Harrison Barnes’ bio.

About LawCrossing
LawCrossing has received tens of thousands of attorneys jobs and has been the leading legal job board in the United States for almost two decades. LawCrossing helps attorneys dramatically improve their careers by locating every legal job opening in the market. Unlike other job sites, LawCrossing consolidates every job in the legal market and posts jobs regardless of whether or not an employer is paying. LawCrossing takes your legal career seriously and understands the legal profession. For more information, please visit


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Harrison Barnes does a weekly free webinar with live Q&A for attorneys and law students each Wednesday at 10:00 am PST. You can attend anonymously and ask questions about your career, this article, or any other legal career-related topics. You can sign up for the weekly webinar here: Register on Zoom

Harrison also does a weekly free webinar with live Q&A for law firms, companies, and others who hire attorneys each Wednesday at 10:00 am PST. You can sign up for the weekly webinar here: Register on Zoom

You can browse a list of past webinars here: Webinar Replays

You can also listen to Harrison Barnes Podcasts here: Attorney Career Advice Podcasts

You can also read Harrison Barnes' articles and books here: Harrison's Perspectives

Harrison Barnes is the legal profession's mentor and may be the only person in your legal career who will tell you why you are not reaching your full potential and what you really need to do to grow as an attorney--regardless of how much it hurts. If you prefer truth to stagnation, growth to comfort, and actionable ideas instead of fluffy concepts, you and Harrison will get along just fine. If, however, you want to stay where you are, talk about your past successes, and feel comfortable, Harrison is not for you.

Truly great mentors are like parents, doctors, therapists, spiritual figures, and others because in order to help you they need to expose you to pain and expose your weaknesses. But suppose you act on the advice and pain created by a mentor. In that case, you will become better: a better attorney, better employees, a better boss, know where you are going, and appreciate where you have been--you will hopefully also become a happier and better person. As you learn from Harrison, he hopes he will become your mentor.

To read more career and life advice articles visit Harrison's personal blog.

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