Applying for JD Degree

Applying to law school is a challenging process, but it is also a path to create a very fulfilling future. Law students must have a bachelor's degree, have taken the LSAT within the past five years, and submit an application by the February 1 deadline.

Application Process Overview

Timeline

Applications for admission to the first year of the J.D. program are accepted during the fall and winter before classes begin.  New students may enter in the fall only; we do not offer spring admission. 

The application process begins when you visit the Law School Admission Council (LSAC) website where you can register for the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) and complete and submit an electronic application to Berkeley.  LSAC is also the clearing house for your personal statement, transcripts, and recommendation letters.

Applications become available online each year on September 1 and the application deadline is the following February 1.  You should apply as early as possible, ideally in October or November.  You may submit supporting documents to LSAC before you take the LSAT, but your application cannot be evaluated until your LSAT score becomes available. 

You may complete undergraduate course work while applying, but you must hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university before you enroll.  It is not necessary to wait until after your fall, senior year grades are posted before you apply.

You are required to take the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) and to provide official transcripts to LSAC's Credentials Assembly Service (CAS).  Transcripts should be submitted from all of the college-level schools you attended including graduate school if applicable.

Your LSAT score and undergraduate grade point average (GPA) are the most important criteria when evaluating your academic potential to study law.  You can use the median LSAT percentile and undergraduate GPA of the previous year's admitted applicant pool to understand the competitive nature of our admissions process.  However, because we take several factors into account in making admission decisions, higher or lower scores and grades neither ensure nor preclude admission.

Parts of the Application

  • Application form to be submitted via Law Services 
  • Supplemental socio-economic questionnaire (optional but recommended)
  • $75 application fee
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Personal statement (2-4 pages)
  • Resume (recommended)
  • Addenda (optional)
  • LSAT score taken between December 2008 and February 2014.
  • CAS report (transcript summary and CAS score report)

Please see Preparing to Apply and Application Forms and Deadlines for more information about how to prepare and submit your application.

If you have questions you may contact the Admissions Office by phone at (510) 642-2274, or by email to admissions@law.berkeley.edu.

Application Fee

A nonrefundable $75.00 application fee must be submitted in order to process your application.  You will be able to use a credit card when you apply through LSAC.  The fee cannot be used for processing applications to other law schools within the University of California System.  

Application Fee Waivers

We offer a need-based application fee waiver program that is administered by LSAC.  We will waive your application fee if you are approved for an LSAC fee waiver.  You may visit their website for information about obtaining one. If you apply electronically your application fee will be waived automatically. 

Application fee waivers are available to applicants who are active or recently-separated (within the last calendar year) participants in public service programs, such as the Peace Corps or Teach for America, members of the military, participants in a PPIA program, or who have special circumstances.  An online fee waiver application form is found here.  The deadline to submit a fee waiver application is January 15. 

We do not provide application fee waivers to transfer applicants.