Planning to apply to UC Berkeley Law School? We’ve listed all the information from A to Z for ya!
UC Berkeley Law: Our Rundown
1. About UC Berkeley School of Law
The University of California, Berkeley school of law is a public research university in Berkeley, California, and is one of 14 schools and colleges at the university.
The University of California’s Department of Jurisprudence, which later became Berkeley Law, was founded in 1894 by Professor William Carey Jones. For the first three years, he personally taught every course there. Jones claims that his experience instructing Berkeley seniors in a Roman law course in 1882 served as the department’s primary source of inspiration. With high post-graduate employment and BAR passage rates, the Berkeley Law School is currently ranked as one of the best in the country.
UC Berkeley School of Law is one of the top-ranked law schools in the country. One of the most reliable sources for law school rankings, U.S. News & World Report, ranked Berkeley as the ninth-best law school in the nation in 2022. Berkeley Law has consistently ranked among the elite top fourteen (T14) schools in U.S. News & World Report’s annual rankings of the best law schools.
UC Berkeley School of Law has produced a number of distinguished lawyers, judges, and politicians. For instance, before becoming the governor of California and later one of the most significant Chief Justices of the Supreme Court, Earl Warren, attended Berkeley. In addition, a large portion of the faculty and staff at the school are regarded as outstanding educators in their fields.
The program options at Berkeley aren’t limited and offer degrees in J.D., LLM, JSD, and Ph.D. Moreover, you can also enroll in specialized programs in fields like Environmental Law and Social Justice. However, it’s, of course, not a piece of cake to enroll in Berkeley’s elite program. Berkeley Law School’s admissions office has a reputation for being extremely selective, only accepting applicants who meet the requirements in terms of their GPA, LSAT scores, and other factors. (so yeah, you gotta work HARDDD!)
2. Centers and Journals At UC Berkeley School of Law
Berkeley Law School has centers devoted to specific legal fields of study, like many other law schools. In addition to providing students with essential resources for their studies, these centers advance legal research and social justice. Although Berkeley Law School has more than a dozen research and legal advocacy centers, the following are a few of the most well-known ones:
- Berkeley Center for Consumer Law & Economic Justice
- Berkeley Center for Criminal Justice
- Center for Law, Energy, & the Environment
- Center for the Study of Law & Society
- Institute for Legal Research
The centers mentioned above fulfill a variety of needs for students, the local area, and American legal research. The California Law Review, an academic journal that has been published by the University of California, Berkeley since 1912, eventually publishes a large portion of the work that faculty and students at these centers complete. Berkeley Law School also publishes the following legal journals:
- Asian American Law Journal
- Berkeley Business Law Journal
- Berkeley Journal of African-American Law & Policy
- Berkeley Journal of Employment & Labor Law
- Berkeley Journal of Entertainment & Sports Law
- Berkeley Journal of Gender, Law, & Justice
- Berkeley Journal of International Law
- Berkeley Journal of Middle Eastern & Islamic Law
- Berkeley Technology Law Journal
- Berkeley Journal of Criminal Law
- Ecology Law Quarterly
Everything pointed out above makes an even stronger case for the UC Berkeley School of Law as one of the most prestigious and relevant law schools in the country.
3. GPA and LSAT Scores
Being one of the top law schools in the country, UC Berkeley School of Law has considerably high standards in terms of GPA and LSAT scores. This comes as no surprise as the other top law schools, such as NYU School of Law or Yale Law, all have high GPA and LSAT score requirements. Let’s take a look at some of the statistics of the GPA and LSAT scores of the UC School of Law.
As per the entering J.D. class of fall 2022 statistics, the GPAs for specific percentiles were as follows:
75th percentile: 3.92
50th percentile: 3.83
25th percentile: 3.74
From this, we can see the GPA requirements are very competitive, with the median GPA of the fall 2022 class being 3.83
As per the entering J.D. class of fall 2022 statistics, the LSAT scores for specific percentiles were as follows:
75th percentile: 171
50th percentile: 169
25th percentile: 165
Just like the GPA, the LSAT scores are also very competitive, and a high score is what seems to be a requirement to gain admission into the UC Berkeley School of Law. The median LSAT score is 169
Let’s compare these numbers to 2019.
As per the entering J.D. class of fall 2019 statistics, the GPAs for specific percentiles were as follows:
75th percentile: 3.90
50th percentile: 3.78
25th percentile: 3.66
As per the entering J.D. class of fall 2019 statistics, the LSAT scores for specific percentiles were as follows:
75th percentile: 168
50th percentile: 166
25th percentile: 162
If we compare the 2022 statistics to the 2019 statistics, we can see that the scores have become more competitive in the past years. The spread of the scores across the percentiles has also decreased, which is yet another indication of the increasing competition in the admission process.
If you want to get admitted to Berkeley Law, you should apply with a GPA of at least 3.74. The 25th and 75th percentiles of GPA needed for admission at Berkeley Law were 3.74 and 3.92, respectively. The median GPA was 3.81, the highest median GPA recorded in the last decade (2011-2021).
You should apply to Berkeley Law with an LSAT score of at least 165. The 25th and 75th percentiles of LSAT scores for admission at UC Berkeley were 165 and 171, respectively. The median LSAT score was 169, the highest recorded median LSAT score in the last decade. Like the GPA requirements, Berkeley Law’s LSAT score requirements have shown minimal variation throughout the past decade. If you did not take the LSAT, you could also apply to Berkeley Law with your GRE scores.
4. Acceptance Rates
The level of competition for prospective students at a particular law school is also determined by law school rankings. Generally speaking, the harder it is to get accepted, the higher a law school ranks. Acceptance rates can also be influenced by a few other factors, including the “prestige” of the institution and the kinds of academic programs it offers.
Admission to the UC Berkeley School of Law is extremely difficult. The acceptance rate for law schools across the country is roughly 45 percent, but Berkeley Law has a much lower acceptance rate. The acceptance rate for the UC Berkeley School of Law in 2019 was 21.18 percent, which is significantly less than the national average. UC Berkeley School of Law is on par with many other top law schools in the United States, which accept students at a collective rate of 21.10 percent.
Annual variations are significant, but they frequently depend on factors that neither a student nor a school can control. For instance, only a certain number of students can enroll each year at Berkeley Law School (or any other law school). Of the 5,117 applicants, Berkeley Law School extended offers to 1,084 of them in 2019. However, if there were fewer applicants in a given year, the acceptance rate (as a percentage of the total) would probably be much higher.
In any case, a number of conventional metrics based on students’ abilities continue to be used to estimate a school’s acceptance rate. Although many other factors of each application are also taken into account, undergraduate GPA and LSAT scores are probably the two most crucial metrics.
5. Class Profile
According to the statistics mentioned on the UC School of Law Website for fall 2022, a total of 6825 students applied for the J.D. program. The class size was 279, and the average age was 24. Out of these, 63 percent were female students, 36 percents were male students, and 1 percent identified as non-binary.
Twenty percent of these students were the first to receive a college degree in their families. Fifty-four percent of the students were students of color, and 32 percent of students identified as LGBTQIA+. Fourteen percent of the students entered with an advanced degree, while 16 percent hold a degree in a STEM field. These students represent 32 states and 11 countries.
6. Employment Outcomes For Graduates
The median salary for UC Berkeley School of Law J.D. graduates who work in the private sector is $190,000. The starting salary for graduates working in the private sector is $66,974.
15.6% of UC Berkeley School of Law graduates work as judicial law clerks, while 63.8% enter law firms directly. 12.7% of graduates pursue careers in public service.
On their first attempt, 96.8% of Uc Berkeley School of Law graduates pass the bar.
Additionally, data from 2020 shows that the median pay for Berkeley Law graduates from the academic years 2016–17 was $160,316. Of the 2018 graduates, about 43.5 percent earned at least $180,000. Of the 327 graduates of the Berkeley Law Class of 2021, 58.1 percent worked for big law firms, 15.3 percent worked for the government, 7.6 percent clerked for the federal government, and 2.8 percent worked for local small firms.