Applying for the J.D. Degree

The Application Process To Be A First-Year Student

Applying to Berkeley Law School is the initial step on a path to a potentially fulfilling future. The application process begins when you visit the LSAC website, where you establish an account, register for the LSAT, and submit our application. You also will be able to upload your personal statement, resume, transcripts, and recommendations.

To be considered for admission, you must:

  1. Hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university before you enroll in law school. Note that you may complete undergraduate course work while applying.  If you are a current senior, it is not advisable to wait until after your fall grades are posted before you apply.
  2. Take the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT).  The test must have been taken within the past five years. The last test that will be considered is the December administration. We will not accept February nor June 2017 scores.
  3. Submit  an application and $75 fee. The form is available online from the Law School Admission Council (LSAC).  It becomes available each year on September 1. The deadline to apply is the following February 1. You should apply as early as possible, ideally in October or November. New students enter in the fall only. We do not offer spring admission, early action, nor an early decision program.
  4. Submit transcripts from all of the college-level schools you attended, including graduate school if applicable, to LSAC.
  5. Supply 2-3 recommendations to LSAC, ideally from academic sources.

You may submit documents before you take the LSAT, but your application cannot be evaluated until your LSAT score becomes available.

Your LSAT score and undergraduate grade point average (GPA) are the most important criteria when evaluating your academic potential to study law. The median LSAT and undergraduate GPA of recently admitted applicant pools are good measures of the competitive nature of our admissions process.  These numbers generally hover around the high 160s and 3.8o, respectively.  However, because we take several factors into account in making admission decisions, higher or lower scores and grades neither ensure nor preclude admission. Note that a median represents the mid-point or center of the admitted cohort.

Parts of the Application Checklist

  • An application form submitted online via the LSAC website
  • Supplemental socio-economic questionnaire (part of the application – optional but recommended)
  • $75 non-refundable application fee. The fee cannot be used for processing applications to other law schools within the University of California System.
  • 2-3 letters of recommendation
  • A personal statement (ideally four, double-spaced pages)
  • A resume (no page limit)
  • Optional addenda and/or diversity statement
  • An LSAT score taken within the last five years and no later than the December 2016 test
  • A Credential Assembly Service (CAS) report (i.e., your transcript summary) from LSAC

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

Application Fee Waivers

We offer a need-based application fee waiver program that is administered by the LSAC. We will waive your application fee automatically if you are approved for an LSAC fee waiver. Visit their website for information about obtaining one. 

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), current members and veterans of the military, and graduates of a PPIA program. An online fee waiver application form is found here

You must also submit a Berkeley Law fee waiver request form which may be found online after September 1 here. The deadline to submit a fee waiver application is January 1.