The Order of the Coif is a national honor society for law school graduates who attended member schools. Each year it extends invitations to the top 10% of Berkeley Law’s graduating J.D. students by grade point average. GPA is determined by multiplying the point value of each grade received in a Berkeley Law course by the units given for that course, and dividing the sum of the products by each student’s total number of graded units. No application is necessary, although students should make sure that their final transcripts are accurate.
Three-year Berkeley Law students must have at least 75% of the total credits needed to graduate in graded courses. At a minimum, graduates must therefore have 64 graded credits by the end of their third year. Only Berkeley Law courses are counted into the GPA. Students who have obtained a substantial number of ungraded credits (through journal work, moot court participation, and the like) and who aspire to Coif membership should pay careful attention to the number of graded units they will have at the completion of their studies. Only graded courses are counted in determining final GPA.
As students consider classes, they should keep in mind that some of our clinics are offered for credit/no credit, while others are offered for a grade. Students who would like to be eligible for Order of the Coif should pay close attention to which clinics they choose to take and any impact that decision might have on the total number of graded units they have.
Students who spend a semester or two studying at an institution other than Berkeley Law (e.g., Harvard Exchange, transfer, or joint degree students) will compete for Coif admission based entirely on their Berkeley Law grades. To be eligible for Coif, transfer students must take a minimum of 36 graded units during their two years at Berkeley Law. Harvard exchange students must take a minimum of 43 graded units at Berkeley Law and receive passing or higher grades in their courses at Harvard. Joint degree students must take a minimum of 56 graded units at Berkeley Law.