If you have researched your law school options thoroughly and have determined that Berkeley Law School is your first choice law school, then you may wish to apply through the early decision program.
Overview of the Process
Berkeley Law School’s early decision program is binding. If you are admitted, this means that you must commit to enrolling at Berkeley Law the following fall and that you must submit a Statement of Intent to Register (SIR) by the date indicated in your admission notification. No deposit will be required, but you must withdraw all other law school applications and not initiate any new applications.
To apply, complete the separate early decision application form available beginning September 1 on the LSAC website.
You may not be an early decision applicant at another law school with a binding contract. If you elect to apply to Berkeley’s binding early decision program, then ours can be the only such application you submit.
Your application will be reviewed under the same admissions criteria we use in our regular decision process. Your particular interest in Berkeley Law as evidenced by your early decision application may be considered. Your application will not be advantaged otherwise in the admission process.
Early Decision Program Scholarship and Other Financial Aid
If you are admitted, you automatically will receive a $60,000 merit scholarship, split evenly over the three years (six semesters) while at Berkeley Law. The only requirement to renew this scholarship is to maintain good academic standing and to make satisfactory academic progress. If admitted, you should presume that the $60,000 associated scholarship will comprise your total gift aid.
You may apply for other named or programmatic scholarships, such as the Berkeley Law Opportunity Scholarship. However, decisions for these programs, which are competitive, are not typically released until mid-March or later. If you anticipate that financial aid will be a significant factor in determining where you will attend law school, then you should consider carefully whether or not to apply to a binding early decision program. You will not have the time convenience to compare financial aid awards from other law schools.
You may apply for need-based aid by submitting a FAFSA and CSS Profile by March 2, which is the priority deadline. Need-based aid is limited. Because submission of the FAFSA is required to determine federal student loan eligibility we advise that you submit this form and any other financial aid applications well before January 1, 2018.
Early decision admission offers may not be deferred. You must be completely certain that you will begin your legal studies at Berkeley in the fall of 2018.
There is no application fee for the early decision program. If you are not admitted, then your application will be included in the applicant pool for the regular decision process. No application fee will be required in these cases.
Your application must be completed and submitted by the end of business on November 12, 2017 to be considered for the program. To ensure that your application is complete by that deadline, we strongly recommend that you submit an application before November 1, 2017. The September LSAT is the last test score that we will consider for early decision. You will receive an admissions decision by December 4, 2017. If you are admitted, you will be required to submit a Statement of Intent to Register by December 15 and to withdraw all of your other law school applications immediately.
When you apply you also must complete and submit the Early Decision Certification form to confirm that you wish to be considered for early decision and that you understand the rules that govern the program. The certification is one of the forms available on the LSAC website (lsac.org). You must sign and submit it with your application and supporting materials through the Credential Assembly Service (CAS), ideally by November 1, and no later than November 12. Your early decision application will not be considered complete until we receive the certification form.
If the certification form is not received by November 12, 2017, then we will assume that you have decided to withdraw from early decision consideration. Your application will not be held for regular decision. To be considered subsequently for regular decision, you will be required to submit a separate regular application and pay the $75 application fee.
September 1, 2017
Application filing period begins
Last LSAT score accepted for early decision applicants
November 1, 2017
Recommended early decision application submission date
November 12, 2017
Deadline to submit early decision applications
December 4, 2017
Early decision notifications sent to applicants