Preparing to Apply
Advanced planning is an important component of the application process. The study of law should never be a default decision when taking the next step in your development.
Things to Consider Before You Apply
We seek to enroll a student body that demonstrates outstanding academic ability, integrity, problem-solving skills, commitment, leadership potential, and intellectual curiosity. We want to ensure that our students will excel academically and that their experiences and perspectives will augment our learning environment. The only way we can learn about each of our applicants is through what is shared in their application. It is designed to help us learn as much relevant information about the human being behind the numbers as possible.
As you begin to think about your future, take time to reflect on why law school might be your next best step and why Berkeley is where you may want to study. Here are some questions to consider:
What are my goals? What steps do I need to take to accomplish them? Is now the right time to go to law school? Where should I apply? What is important to me during my law school experience? What will I value when I'm not in class? Do I have the energy and resources to be successful in law school?
The median GPA and LSAT for successful Berkeley applicants are usually 3.80 and 170, respectively. Does that mean that you won't be admitted with a lower GPA or LSAT? Not necessarily. We utilize a holistic admissions review process because there is much more to you than your numbers. However because admission is competitive and we receive far more competitive applications each year than we can accommodate, your application must be as strong as possible.
Admission to law school differs from admission to other professional schools because there is no prerequisite undergraduate major. The most popular prelaw majors are political science, philosophy, English, and economics. But many other majors are represented in our student body as well: engineering, journalism, anthropology, Spanish, rhetoric, international development, accounting, and music to name a few. Completing a double major or adding a minor are not required nor even encouraged. You should select these options only if they match your personal interests and not because you hope they will improve your chances of being admitted.
We recommend that you select courses that develop your analytical writing, critical reading and thinking, and logical-reasoning skills. These skills are invaluable during law school because you will be expected to read large quantities of material and to summarize, synthesize, and compare and contrast those materials. Consider taking courses in foundational departments like political science, English, philosophy, and economics. Also, there is no disadvantage if you begin your college career in a community college and then transfer to a four-year institution.
Finally, each state has established character, fitness and other qualifications for admission to the bar. We encourage you to determine what those qualifications are in the state(s) in which you intend to practice.