The law school faculty has adopted the following Faculty Policy Governing Admissions to Berkeley Law:
As a public institution, Berkeley Law has a responsibility to educate lawyers who will serve the legal needs of all members of society. In light of this responsibility, Berkeley Law seeks to enroll students whose quality of mind and character suggests that they have the capacity to make a contribution to the learning environment of the law school and to distinguish themselves in serving the needs of the public through the practice of law, the formulation of public policy, legal scholarship, and other law-related activities.
In making admissions decisions, the school gives substantial weight to numerical indicators (that is, undergraduate grade point averages and Law School Admission Test [LSAT] scores). Yet numbers alone are not dispositive. The law school considers other factors as well for all applicants. For example, substantial consideration is given to letters of recommendation, graduate training, special academic distinctions or honors, the difficulty of the academic program successfully completed, work experience, and significant achievement in nonacademic activities or public service.
If it appears that an applicant has experienced disadvantages, this will be considered in evaluating his or her past performance and in assessing the applicant’s potential to distinguish himself or herself in the study and practice of law and to contribute to the educational process and the legal profession.
Berkeley Law seeks a student body with a broad set of interests, backgrounds, life experiences, and perspectives. Such diversity is important in a law school, which must train its graduates not only to analyze and interpret the law, but also to reflect on competing viewpoints, advance arguments persuasively in a variety of forums, and develop policies affecting a broad range of people.
Historically, Berkeley Law’s diverse student body has produced graduates who have served all segments of society and who have become leaders in many fields of law, including such varied fields as civil rights and corporate, environmental, criminal, intellectual property and family law. Exposure to a wide array of ideas, outlooks, and experiences is an important part of our students’ educational and professional development. Through its admissions process, the law school seeks to select students who will attain the highest standards of professional excellence and integrity, and who will bring vision, creativity, and commitment to their professional endeavors.