Binding Early Decision Information and Certification Form

If you are certain that Berkeley Law is your first choice law school, and if you would definitely attend if admitted, then we encourage you to apply for our binding early decision (BED) program. Although there is no advantage in the admission process, we will take into account your particular interest in Berkeley Law as evidenced by your binding early decision application. 

Applying through BED comes with several important requirements and things to consider. You are required to carefully review and electronically complete this BED Information and Certification Information and Form via DocuSign. Failure to do so  will result in your application being held as incomplete and ineligible for review.


You understand that:

  • There is no application fee for binding early decision applications. 
  • You must apply no later than November 15, 2023. We recommend you submit your application on or around November 1, 2023 to ensure it is complete in time for review. Decisions are released December 4, 2023.
  • You must take and receive a valid LSAT, GRE or GMAT score on or prior to October 31, 2023. 
  • If applying with the GRE or GMAT, you must complete the appropriate supplemental forms. All valid scores must be sent to Berkeley Law by November 15, 2023.
  • If you are applying with the LSAT, you must have a LSAT writing sample on file by November 15, 2023. 
  • The application requirements for BED are the same as those for regular decision with the exception that a signed copy of the last page of this BED Information and Certification Form (submitted via DocuSign) is required in order for your BED application to be considered complete.
  • We recommend you consider submitting at least the Interest in Berkeley Law optional statement to help us understand your commitment to our law school.
  • Incomplete BED applications will not be transferred to the regular decision pool. If your early decision application remains incomplete as of the stated deadline, but you wish to be considered for regular decision, then you must contact the admissions office via email at to change your application type, and you may be required to pay the $75.00 application fee. Incomplete BED applications do not automatically become regular decision applications. If we do not hear from you, you may simply be denied based on the incomplete application. 
  • Under this program, you may not apply to any other binding early decision program during the same admissions cycle. You may only apply to other law schools on a regular decision basis unless you are “rolled over” to the regular admission pool after December 4, 2023. 
  • You may not apply to the Berkeley Law BED program while simultaneously holding a deferment with another law school from a previous cycle without express written permission from  the Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid at Berkeley Law. We also reserve the right to also require you to secure express written permission to apply elsewhere from the law school where you are holding the deferment.
  • You understand that information about all non-BED financial aid (e.g., gift aid, federal loan or other aid eligibility and awards, etc.) will not be available until well after you are required to commit to Berkeley Law and that you are explicitly prohibited from applying for formal “reconsideration.” You should assume you will only receive the $90,000 BED award.
  • Berkeley Law and U.C. Berkeley law tuition and fees are set by the U.C. Regents. Fees are subject to change without notice, and may at any time. You will be responsible for all required law school, campus, and other fees once registered and enrolled.
  • Failure to honor any of these commitments may result in the revocation of your admission and/or gift aid offer. Such a revocation would be final for the 2023-24 cycle (i.e., you could not then be reconsidered in the regular admission program) but you would be permitted to reapply in a future year.  


You understand that:

  • You will be notified of your admission (either in writing via email, through the ASO, or over the phone) by the end of the day on December 4, 2023. It is your responsibility to take steps to ensure that you receive communication from our offices in a timely manner.
  • Upon admission through BED, you will be required to immediately withdraw all of your other law school applications regardless of whether or not you received a final admission decision from that school.
  • Upon admission through BED, you may not initiate any new applications (binding or otherwise).
  • Upon admission, you must commit to matriculating at Berkeley Law in the upcoming fall by emailing your Statement of Intent to Register by December 8, 2023. Further instructions will be sent upon admission.
  • If you will not have access to your email or an internet-connected device at this time, you must designate (in writing) an authorized signatory or person with whom we may communicate about your decision and related requirements. You may do so by emailing
  • You may not request to defer an early decision offer except in extraordinary and unforeseeable personal circumstances and only with prior written approval from the Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid. The deadline for such requests is usually in June of each year. 
  • You will receive gift aid in the form of a $90,000 scholarship (distributed equally over a maximum of six (6) semesters while you are enrolled in the Berkeley Law J.D. program, meeting other requirements such as maintenance of Satisfactory Academic Progress, paying Berkeley Law PDST, etc.) This amount of gift aid is comparable to the average gift aid award made to the class that began their J.D. program in fall 2023.
  • Your eligibility for enrollment and for the gift aid associated with BED is contingent upon receipt of your timely commitment to attend, signed Gift Aid Acceptance Agreement, and fulfillment of  all other terms and conditions for admission and financial aid (e.g., submission of a final transcript showing degree conferred, maintenance of similar academic performance if still in school, an ongoing duty to inform us of changes to your responses in the Character and Fitness section of the application, eligibility to receive California state aid, etc.).
  • You will be invited to submit the Supplemental Gift Aid Application after admission and may be considered for need-based aid. If awarded, need-based aid will be provided in addition to the $90,000 BED award. However, eligibility for need-based aid is not guaranteed, regardless of anticipated level of need.
  • You can be considered for the programmatic scholarships such as BLOS and PI Scholars so long as you meet all other eligibility requirements. If you are selected for one of these awards, the award will replace your BED award so long as the new award exceeds $30,000/year. If this is a one-year award (e.g. the Graduate Diversity Program award) then it would replace the BED award only in year one; in years two and three your BED award would appear in its place. 
  • You cannot receive a Berkeley Law programmatic scholarship in addition to the BED award (only instead of the BED award). However,  this should leave you in a better financial position than if you received a BED award only in that academic year.
  • You are eligible to be considered for any other aid program that all the other members of the class are eligible for. For example, you can apply for Continuing Student Scholarships as a rising 2L or 3L year, and if selected these would be awarded in addition to the BED award; if we award the entire class PIOAs you would likewise be eligible to receive those awards in addition to your BED award. You are also eligible to apply for summer Edley Grants, LRAP, etc.
  • If you receive an outside scholarship or grant, that aid will be posted to your financial aid account in addition to your BED award so long as the total of the two combined does not exceed your total Cost of Attendance for that academic year. If, together, your awards exceed COA and you are not eligible for a Cost of Attendance Adjustment, your BED award may be reduced to accommodate the other (non-Berkeley Law) award.
  • As a committed student, you may be able to apply for on-campus housing earlier than many other admitted students once the application opens in February. However, on-campus housing is not guaranteed.
  • You are eligible to participate in all recruitment activities such as alumni receptions and Admitted Students Weekend (ASW), and are eligible for a travel stipend for ASW. 
  • You can plan ahead and rest assured that a seat is reserved for you in the next fall’s class.

Part Three: IN GENERAL

You understand that:

  • By submitting a BED application, you are giving us permission to share your application, decision, and commitment status with other law schools if we suspect you committed to more than one school, including in a situation where another school contacts us to suggest that they believe you are double-committed. This does not necessarily mean we would revoke your offer of admission, and we are under no obligation to revoke your application based on another school’s preference or request that we do so. However, we may contact you for clarification, and we reserve the right to revoke your offer of admission if we determine that you violated the terms of  this Certification Form or those of the certification included with the application itself (including by omitting relevant information). We do not share information about who has applied for admission to Berkeley Law – BED or otherwise – with any other law school. Nor will we ask you where else you have applied.
  • In general, this BED Information and Certification Form supplements the certification statement you sign with the application for admission itself, rather than replacing it. 
  • Failure to honor any of these commitments may result in the revocation of your admission and/or gift aid offer. Such a revocation would be final for the 2023-24 cycle (i.e., you could not then be reconsidered in the regular admission program) but you would be permitted to reapply in a future year.  


You understand that:

  • Your application will be “rolled over” to regular decision and will be evaluated again as part of the regular applicant pool without prejudice.  
  • You are, at that point only, released from your commitment to enroll at Berkeley Law if admitted.
  • You may apply and be considered for all types of gift aid other than the BED award.
  • You may apply to another binding program after December 4, 2023, if your application is “rolled over” to the regular decision pool. 

Click through here to eSign the BED Certification Form in Docusign.

Please note that your status checker will reflect whether we have received your certification form 3-5 business days after you submit your application on