Berkeley Law supports many opportunities for student engagement within and beyond Boalt Hall. While organizations may be added or changed according to student interest, the currently active student groups are listed below.
Boalt Hall Student Association (BHSA)
The Boalt Hall Student Association (BHSA), the law school's student government organization, is composed of all registered law students. BHSA organizes activities of general law school interest and helps new students adjust to life at Berkeley Law by sponsoring social, athletic, and law-related events. The BHSA council represents student interests in curriculum planning, admissions policy, faculty hiring, administration of the library, professional placement, and many other areas; the council also appoints student representatives to faculty-student committees. In addition, BHSA allocates funds to each of the student groups at Berkeley Law. You can contact the BHSA at:
Boalt Hall Student Association Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Advocates for Youth Justice
Advocates for Youth Justice (AYJ) provides law students with training and opportunities to serve Bay Area youth through three student-run initiatives: the Expulsion Representation Clinic, providing advocacy for Bay Area youth facing school expulsion; the Education Advocacy Program where law students are certified as educational surrogates for foster youth; and the Berkeley High School Student Court, a restorative justice court at Berkeley High School. AYJ seeks to engage the broader law school community in discussion of issues involving youth and the law by hosting a speaker series called Learning from Leaders. Finally, AYJ provides opportunities for career guidance and networking, with the aim of fostering a spirit of service within our school and profession.
American Constitution Society
The American Constitution Society for Law and Policy (ACS) promotes the vitality of the U.S. Constitution and the fundamental values it expresses: individual rights and liberties, genuine equality, access to justice, democracy and the rule of law. ACS believes that law can and should be a force for improving the lives of all people. We are revitalizing and transforming legal and policy debates in classrooms, courtrooms, legislature and the media, and we are building a diverse and dynamic network of progressives committed to justice. Through these efforts, ACS will ensure that the institutions of American law reflect the highest values of our nation and serve the needs of its people.
Asian Pacific American Law Students Association
The Asian Pacific American Law Students Association (APALSA) strives to meet the political, cultural, social, academic, and career needs of Berkeley Law students interested in Asian Pacific Islander issues. In addition, the group's mission includes recruitment of under-represented students, particularly Southeast Asian and Filipino students.
Berkeley Consumer Advocacy and Protection Society (CAPS)
The Berkeley Consumer Advocacy and Protection Society (CAPS) is dedicated to fostering research, discussion, and advocacy in the field of Consumer Protection Law. We are committed to strengthening ties between consumer law groups and the Berkeley Law community. We work to: create networks between consumer law attorneys, advocacy organizations, and the Berkeley Law student body in order to promote the field of consumer protection law and provide training opportunities for students; foster community among student advocates whose interests intersect with consumer protection; and encourage and maintain consumer protection curriculum and clinic opportunities at Berkeley Law. Please visit caps.boalt.org for more information.
Berkeley Energy Resources Collaborative
The Berkeley Energy & Resources Collaborative (BERC) is a student-led organization whose mission is to connect and develop the UC Berkeley energy and resources community. The group acts as a bridge between the university's many schools, programs, and labs, and forges connections with the larger energy and clean-tech cluster within the Bay Area and beyond. BERC @ Boalt is the law school's connection to BERC. We hope to make UC Berkeley the number one school at which to study energy law in the nation through continued curriculum development, an expanding alumni and professional network, and the promotion of energy-related events and discussions.
Berkeley Law Critical Race Scholars' Society
The Berkeley Law Critical Race Scholars Society (CRS) is a student-run organization dedicated to exploring perspectives of race and its intersection with other modes of oppression including, but not limited to, gender, class, and sexual orientation. The CRS Society strives to bridge critical race theory (CRT) scholarship and activism by analyzing historical and contemporary legal issues affecting communities of color and developing skills to bring this knowledge into the professional world through "praxis." As a group of emerging academics and activists, we aim to provide students with a setting in which to develop and advance CRT scholarship as well as provide opportunities to network with leading CRT scholars and with legal professionals working to promote racial justice.
Berkeley Law Foundation
The Berkeley Law Foundation (BLF) is an income-sharing organization comprised of Berkeley Law students and alumni who are dedicated to providing legal services to historically underserved communities. Started in 1976 by Berkeley Law students, BLF was the first organization of its kind in the nation. BLF's primary goal is funding public interest law through summer grants for current Berkeley Law students and yearlong grants for new attorneys around the country. Our grants enable the recipients to work on innovative and critical projects that provide desperately needed legal services to communities all around the nation and the world. Besides providing crucial funding for legal services, BLF works to ensure diversity in legal education and the profession. To this end, BLF created the Phoenix Fellowship, which provides funding for several outstanding Berkeley Law students of color to do public interest legal work.
Berkeley Law Mindfulness Group (BLMG)
The Berkeley Law Mindfulness Group (formerly Boalt Hall Meditation Group) was created in 2002 to provide a space where members of the law school community can experience mindfulness practice and explore its benefits for law study and practice, including wellness, balance, and focus. In conjunction with the Berkeley Initiative for Mindfulness in Law (BIML), the Berkeley Law Mindfulness Group organizes meditation sessions throughout the week, and hosts retreats, speaker events and other programming designed to weave mindfulness into the fabric of the law school.
Berkeley Law Students for Sensible Drug Policy
Berkeley Law Students for Sensible Drug Policy's aim is to nurture a community of drug law reform minded law students and advocate for drug policies that are science based, humane, and effective.
Berkeley Student Animal Legal Defense Fund
Berkeley Student Animal Legal Defense Fund (SALDF) is a student chapter of the Animal Legal Defense Fund. We are dedicated to educating the law school community about forms of institutionalized animal abuse and fostering awareness about means of combating this abuse through litigation. We provide opportunities, education, and assistance to Berkeley Law students using the law to promote animal welfare. Our current projects include promoting the animal law class, funding a team for the annual animal law moot court competition at Harvard, outreach and awareness activities on campus, inviting animal law practitioners to speak, and ongoing work to introduce animal law pro bono opportunities and courses and an animal law journal.
Boalt Association of Military Veterans
As an organization of current military members and veterans, we first and foremost strive to continue to set the highest standards of professionalism and performance in our chosen career paths. In accordance with those high standards, the Boalt Association of Military Veterans aims to establish a strong network amongst current and future law students as well as Berkeley Law alumni who served in the United States Armed Forces. We hope to primarily focus on the exchange of information regarding military/veterans issues; establishing a different perspective and providing a forum for substantive military law and national security law conversations at Berkeley Law; formulating employment opportunities that may not currently be offered or developed through the Career Development Office that are of interest to veterans; and forming a cohesive bond of camaraderie amongst all members. We hope to demystify the Armed Forces and counter the military stereotypes and generalizations by providing a recognized organization of open-minded veterans and military members willing to respectfully discuss and debate any and all issues that may be of interest to the rest of the Berkeley Law community.
Boalt Disability Law Society
The Boalt Disability Law Society was formed with two primary purposes: first, to provide support for law students with and without disabilities; and second, to provide a forum for discussion of new and pressing issues in disability law. Originally called the Coalition for Access and Disability Rights Everywhere (CADRE), the group changed its name in 1999 to reflect its commitment to scholarship and community involvement as well as advocacy.Boalt Hall Federalist Society
The Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies is a nationwide, nonpartisan organization of law students and legal professionals dedicated to limited government, separation of governmental powers, and a judiciary whose province is to say what the law is, not what it should be. The Boalt Hall chapter of the Federalist Society's goals include: promoting thoughtful and challenging discussion of legal and public policy issues; academically and intellectually sponsoring conservative and libertarian law students; and ensuring that all Berkeley Law students-future leaders of the legal profession-are thoughtfully exposed to conservative and libertarian perspectives, and consider these perspectives in their analysis of legal issues.
Boalt Hall Healthcare and Biotechnology Law Society (BHHBLS)
The Boalt Hall Healthcare Law Society provides a forum for discussion of some of the most compelling issues of our day, including: HMO reform, access to health care for lower-income individuals, national and local HIV/AIDS policy, Medicare fraud, interpretation of the Americans with Disabilities Act, medical ethics, and advances in biotechnology. The society aims to keep the campus community abreast of recent developments in the field of health care, inform students of employment and volunteer opportunities in the area, and advocate for expanded faculty and student resources in the field.
Boalt Hall Human Rights Committee
The Boalt Hall Committee for Human Rights promotes human rights education and advocacy at the law school, throughout the UC Berkeley campus, and within the greater community. It accomplishes this by increasing the organization, capacity, and unity of Berkeley Law's international human rights community; increasing general awareness; and fostering dialogue and student participation toward general international human rights issues.Boalt Hall Older & Wiser Law Students (OWLS)
Boalt Hall Older & Wiser Students (OWLS) is a social organization for students whose life experiences before law school set them apart. These experiences include, but certainly are not limited to, being chronologically gifted or a parent. The OWLS make members feel welcome at Berkeley Law through social activities, career forums, and other events. There are no officers other than concerned members who are willing to organize social events in an ad hoc fashion.
Boalt Hall Patent Law Society
The Boalt Hall Patent Law Society is organized to serve as a focus group for students interested in practicing patent law; to provide a forum for students to have in-depth discussions regarding patent law; to engage patent law practitioners to share their experiences with students; and to provide opportunities for students to interact, network, and exchange ideas.
Boalt Hall Queer Caucus
Since its founding in 1978, the Boalt Hall Queer Caucus has served a dual mission. First, the caucus works to address and eradicate the legal, political, and social oppression of their rights, and second, the caucus provides an affirming, supportive base for students of diverse sexual orientations. While our membership has risen to over 50 students, our work has been increasingly instrumental, effective, and visible in the hallways of Berkeley Law and beyond.
Boalt Hall Women's Association
The Boalt Hall Women's Association (BHWA) provides a physical and figurative space at Berkeley Law for the dynamic and diverse women's community. Its aim is to create an environment where an informed dialogue on issues of women, law, and society is encouraged and analyzed; educate the community about gender issues by encouraging a broad-based exchange of ideas; develop and nurture an interface between Berkeley Law students and the greater women's community at the university and beyond; and support, inspire, and encourage legal work affecting, advancing, or impacting women.
Boalt Immigration Group (BIG)
BIG aims to unite a community of students excited about immigration law. To that end, we hope to connect students with immigration experts, advocate for advanced immigration courses, organize speaker panels, and support local efforts to help students and low-wage workers regularize their immigration status. In sum, we’re looking to do BIG things, and we need your engagement. To sign up for our weekly bulletins, or for more information about BIG, please email us at the address below.
Boalt Muslim Student Association
The Boalt Muslim Students Association (Boalt MSA) is a part of the larger campus MSA and aims to provide for the needs and interests of Muslim students at Berkeley Law. The Boalt MSA arranges for a prayer room during the day, maintains relationships with the administration to apprise them of Muslim students' needs, and hopes to welcome admitted Muslim law students. The Boalt MSA works closely with BAML (Bay Area Muslim Lawyers), an informal group of local lawyers and law students that gets together for professional, activist, networking, and social ends.
Boalt Social Enterprise Group
Boalt Social Enterprise Group (BSEG) seeks to advance the practice of social enterprise law by connecting Berkeley Law Students to the central players and issues in the emerging field. The law is evolving quickly as entrepreneurs find innovative ways to combine the market's power with the creation of social and environmental good. BSEG capitalizes on the Bay Area's role as a hub for this development and provides a platform for research, educational, and advising opportunities for Berkeley Law Students interested in social entrepreneurship.
Boalt.org works to secure additional computing resources for Berkeley Law students. Improved-and smart-instructional technology is our goal, and Boalt.org's executive board lobbies and advises the law school administration to this end. As a Web page, Boalt.org seeks to become the resource for student publishing at Berkeley Law. To this end, we include links to Berkeley Law student organizations and journals in their various spots on the Web.
Our content is student run and student developed. The Boalt.org Web master is appointed by the Boalt Hall Student Association and is charged with administering the site and setting applicable publishing guidelines.
Board of Advocates
The Board of Advocates (formerly the Moot Court Board) assists in organizing and provides student advisers to the Appellate Advocacy class; oversees the McBaine Moot Court Honors Competition; and provides opportunities for students to compete in off-campus moot court and mock trial competitions.
Catholic Community at Boalt
The Boalt Catholic Community provides a forum of support and fellowship for those students interested in integrating their respective paths in the law with the Catholic faith tradition. The group is open to all Catholic students at Berkeley Law, and to anyone who is interested in being part of the community. We offer the opportunity for celebrations of Mass together off-campus, followed by a casual meal, and other opportunities for socializing, community service, networking, and the occasional speaker or discussion.
Christians at Boalt
Christians at Boalt provides a safe community for students to come together for bi-monthly fellowship to talk about the Christian faith and deepen our commitment to God and one another. We also hold occasional social activities, including dinners and networking events with other graduate student groups.
Coalition for Diversity
The Coalition for Diversity advocates for diversity through nonviolent action. We promote changes in current policies so that the student body and faculty of Boalt Hall reflect the current demographics of California. Diversity within our community requires greater inclusion of people of color,women, people with disabilities, gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people, as well as people from disadvantaged socio-economic background.
Environmental Law Society
The Environmental Law Society (ELS) takes an active role in promoting environmental justice and public interest environmental law, as well as in engaging students in hands-on environmental projects designed to benefit Berkeley Law specifically and the greater campus and Berkeley community generally. ELS runs both internal advocacy projects (such as a campaign to increase student composting at the law school), external advocacy projects (such as comment letters for agency hearings), and lectures by guest speakers on a variety of environmental issues. ELS also organized hikes and outdoor activities for Berkeley Law students. As part of a larger organization, the National Association of Environmental Law Societies (NAELS), ELS has the opportunity to participate in both regional and national environmental advocacy projects and to send students to attend a national conference
GradFood brings UC Berkeley graduate students from diverse disciplines together to learn and teach about something that affects everyone: FOOD. Food is more than meets the eye, and we delve into issues that make food both an intellectually stimulating field and central to our daily lives. Our monthly dinners are a forum to discuss food and agriculture issues from a variety of perspectives, and topics include everything from food regulation and policy to health to agroecology to economic development and social justice and beyond. The group provides opportunities to meet students from other departments, collaborate on and present research, and network with the sustainable food systems community and the new Berkeley Food Institute. We emphasize education that can inform both public policy and grassroots food systems change.
Email: gradfoodUCB@gmail.comInternational Law Society
The International Law Society (ILS) provides a forum for students and faculty with an interest in international law to meet and exchange ideas. ILS seeks to generate interest in the field of international law by inviting debate, encouraging research, and sponsoring periodic symposia and speakers.
Email: email@example.comLa Raza Law Students Association
The La Raza Law Students Association was founded in the 1960s to meet the needs of Chicano and Latino students at Berkeley Law. The association provides academic, social, and emotional support to Latino students. In addition, the group conducts community outreach and participates in political campaigns and events affecting the Latino community.
Law & Society Student Forum
LSSF's purpose is to further the study of law and society at UC Berkeley and to assist in the professional development of law students interested in work in law and society as well as those seeking to produce scholarly work for publication.
Law Students for Reproductive Justice
Law Students for Reproductive Justice (LSRJ) is a national nonprofit network of law students and lawyers. Our organization educates, organizes, and supports law students to ensure that a new generation of advocates will be prepared to protect and expand reproductive rights as basic civil and human rights.
Law Students for Justice in Palestine
Law Students for Justice in Palestine (LSJP) is dedicated to peace and justice in Palestine and Israel. The group believes that without justice and recognition of the human rights of Palestinians, peace in the region will remain forever illusory. LSJP was formed in the fall of 2002 to accomplish three goals: to generate more discussion and awareness about the Palestinian struggle for liberation; to infuse the current discourse with a legal analysis of the Palestinian struggle for liberation and the illegality of the state of Israel and its policies in their current form; and to provide legal support to her sister organization on the main UC Berkeley campus, Students for Justice in Palestine, which has been participating in an ongoing campaign to demand that the UC system to divest from Israel since February 6, 2001.
Law Students of African Descent
Finding its roots in the African American Association of the early 1960s, Law Students of African Descent (LSAD) is now at the heart of the Black community at Berkeley Law. The purpose of the organization is to articulate and promote the needs of Black law students in the law school. An active member of the National Black Law Students Association, LSAD seeks to foster a unique sense of community among its members and to serve as an academic, political, and social resource for Black law students. In the wake of Proposition 209, LSAD actively participates in the recruitment and retention of Black law students. LSAD promotes academic and professional excellence among its members and is committed to forming lasting relationships with its Black alumni, members of the Black legal community, and the Black community as a whole.
Men of Color Alliance
MOCA is open to all, but primarily targeted at serving the needs of those who identify as men of color by recruiting and retaining men of color (students and faculty). This is done by means of participating in Admitted Students Weekend, creating a social/professional networking space, mentoring/advising, as well as educating the community about issues that particularly pertain to men of color.
Middle Eastern Law Students Association
The Middle Eastern Law Students Association (MELSA) is composed of students who are either of Middle Eastern heritage or have an interest in Middle Eastern culture and legal developments affecting people from the Middle East. Every semester, MELSA puts on a number of events to inform the Berkeley Law community about legal issues affecting Middle Easterners abroad, as well as those in the United States. Past events have included documentaries about Palestinian-Israeli relations, human rights abuses of Guantanamo detainees, and U.S. foreign policy implications in Afghanistan. MELSA also hosts cultural celebration events, has a strong mentorship program, and cultivates leadership within its membership.
National Lawyers Guild - Boalt Chapter
The National Lawyers Guild is an organization dedicated to uniting lawyers and legal workers in the fight for civil rights and social justice. Guild attorneys, law students, legal workers, and jailhouse lawyers share a progressive social and political perspective that is reflected in the preamble to the Guild's constitution, which holds that human rights are more sacred than property rights.
Native American Law Students Association
Native American Law Students Association (NALSA) seeks to increase the number of Native American law professors, attorneys, judges, and public service entrepreneurs participating in the legal community, which includes both urban and rural Native American communities. In pursuit of this goal, NALSA is committed to the recruitment of Native American students to Berkeley Law. Although NALSA is committed to serving the American Indian community whenever possible, our first priority is to provide the academic and social support necessary to successfully complete three years at Berkeley Law. In meeting this necessity, NALSA also functions as a peer-support organization.
Pilipino American Law Society
Pilipino American Law Society (PALS) was started to address Pilipino American community-specific legal and social issues, as well as to help recruit more Pilipino Americans into the legal profession. We welcome all individuals, regardless of ethnic background, who are interested in Pilipino American issues.
Restorative Justice Committee
The Restorative Justice Committee (RJC) was founded in 2010 by a group of Berkeley Law students, faculty and staff. Our mission is to ignite local interest in restorative justice (RJ)--and, in doing so, to foster a vibrant RJ community in and around Berkeley. Our objectives are to: make local RJ activities visible and sustainable; build a strong network of people who care about RJ; promote awareness and development of RJ programs; and be a hub of information about RJ resources and organizations. We are a student-run, open-membership group.
Slavic Union at Berkeley Law
The Slavic Union at Berkeley Law endeavors to unite Berkeley law students and alumni interested in recognizing, discussing, and bonding over the historical, legislative, and cultural traditions of the Slavic Nations. Together we participate in social activities for current JDs, LL.Ms, J.S.D.s, and J.S.P.s; organize events for Slavic students at Berkeley Law; build alumni bridge connections among former, current and future Berkeley law students; and promote Berkeley Law within the Slavic countries by organizing speaker events, alumni reunions, and prospective student meetings. We are also developing a platform for web posting of Slavic law reviews, briefings on current important legal and political developments in the region.
South Asian Law Student Association
The South Asian Law Student Association (SALSA) is a cultural, social, and political space for students of South Asian descent. We especially focus on serving the South Asian community by using our legal skills to solve problems. We also focus on the recruitment of underrepresented minorities to law school.
Sports and Entertainment Law Society
Berkeley Law's Sports and Entertainment Law Society (SELS) provides students with opportunities to learn more about these exciting areas of law and network with other interested students and industry professionals. SELS sponsors guest speakers and panels, with social events thrown in for good measure. Additionally, SELS seeks to develop as a resource that our members can use to connect with alumni and seek employment opportunities in the sports and entertainment industries. Because we hope to make SELS bigger and better than ever before, new members are particularly welcome with their ideas, efforts, and enthusiasm.
Students for Environmental and Economic Justice
Law Students for Environmental & Economic Justice is dedicated to the just distribution of environmental benefits to, and the amelioration of environmental harms concentrated in, communities of color and low-income communities. We are committed to the strategic use of legal tools to strengthen grassroots organizing and to build community power.
Student Organization for Advanced Legal Studies
The Student Organization for Advanced Legal Studies (SOALS) is an independently run student organization for LL.M., J.S.D., and JSP candidates, international exchange students, and visiting scholars attending Berkeley Law. SOALS facilitates the social and professional needs of the members of our community who share similar interests and needs while studying at Berkeley Law. Through our social, professional, career, and academic activities, we build relationships among our members and our U.S.-based and international alumni, and share insights on practitioner and academic job placement, scholarly research, international public service, and business opportunities.
Students Opposed to Domestic Violence (STOP DV)
The mission of Students Opposed to Domestic Violence (STOP DV) is to raise awareness and foster education about the cycles of domestic violence and the legal contexts that surround intimate partner abuse. STOP DV is committed to working within and beyond our legal community in order to challenge current conceptions and to define domestic violence as unacceptable in our society.
Teachers at San Quentin (TaSQ)
Every week, Teachers at San Quentin (TaSQ) provides instruction, support, and study materials for students who are incarcerated at San Quentin State Prison and preparing to take the GED. We work with skilled coordinators and tutors, also incarcerated at San Quentin, who run the GED program from inside.
Vietnamese American Law Society
The Vietnamese American Law Society (VALS) provides academic, professional, cultural, and political support to Vietnamese and Southeast Asian American students at Berkeley Law by linking its members with alumni and professionals in the Vietnamese and Asian American legal community. The Organization is committed to the recruitment of Vietnamese and Southeast Asian Americans to Berkeley Law through its undergraduate mentorship program. VALS also provides opportunities for members to work and address the legal issues facing the Vietnamese community. Finally, the Organization seeks to highlight Southeast Asian academia and advocate for the qualification of Southeast Asian in law firm diversity programs.
Women of Color Collective
The Women of Color Collective (WOCC) provides a supportive space for African American, Asian American, Latina, Native American, and other women and trans people of color at Berkeley Law. Through cultural, social, professional, educational, and community service programs, the WOCC advances the needs of women and trans people of color, thereby enriching the educational experience at Berkeley Law.
The organization informs members, and the law school community, about issues facing women and trans people of color in law school, the legal profession, and society at large. The WOCC also serves as a support and mentorship network, linking current students to each other and to Berkeley Law alumni.
Student Participation in Berkeley Law Administration
While the faculty and administration govern the Law School, student ideas are always welcome and are actively sought on many issues. Formal student participation consists of student representation on selected standing committees, including such committees as Academic Rules, Admissions, Career Services, Computer Policy, Curriculum Policy, and Library Services.