Applying for J.D. Degree

Applying to law school is a challenging but worthy process because it is the first step on a path to a potentially very fulfilling future. Law students must have a bachelor’s degree, have a reportable LSAT score from Law Services (i.e., taken the LSAT within the past five years but no later than the February 2016 test), and submit an application by the February 1 deadline.

Application Process Overview


Applications for admission are accepted during the fall and winter before classes begin. New students enter in the fall only; we do not offer spring admission. We do not offer an early action nor an early decision program.

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

Our application becomes available each year on September 1 and the deadline to apply is the following February 1. You should apply as early as possible, ideally in October or November. Although you may submit supporting documents to LSAC before you take the LSAT, 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

  • An application form submitted online via Law Services
  • Supplemental socio-economic questionnaire (optional but recommended)
  • $75 application fee
  • 2-3 letters of recommendation
  • Personal statement (ideally four pages)
  • Resume
  • Addenda and/or diversity statement (optional)
  • Any reportable LSAT score from Law Services no later than the February 2016 test
  • 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

Application Fee

A nonrefundable $75.00 application fee must be submitted in order to process your application. 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 automatically if you are approved for an LSAC fee waiver. You may visit their website for information about obtaining one. You must also submit a Berkeley Law fee waiver request which may be found online after September 1 here. The deadline to submit a fee waiver application is January 1.

Application fee waivers also are available to applicants who are active participants in or graduates of a public service program (e.g., Peace Corps, AmeriCorps, or Teach for America), veterans of the military, and graduates of a PPIA program. An online fee waiver application form is found here. The deadline to submit a fee waiver application is January 1.

We do not provide application fee waivers to transfer applicants.