The Work-Study Program is a need-based program that enables eligible students to work and minimize borrowing from student loan programs. Students may be employed through the program during the academic year and summer. A work-study award can be beneficial when students are seeking employment with nonprofit organizations and government agencies because work-study employers are responsible for providing only 50 percent of a work-study employee’s earnings. The remainder is paid with federal or state work-study funds. The savings provides a significant benefit to employers with a limited budget.

Entering students are not provided with work-study awards because the American Bar Association strongly recommends that students not work during the first year of law school. After successfully completing their first semester, first-year students who need to work may request an exception to the policy from the dean of students. Students may request a work-study award for their second and third years of law school. During the spring semester preceding the summer and/or academic year that they want to participate in the work-study program, students should submit the amount of work-study they want to be awarded to the Berkeley Law Financial Aid Office. The amount that is awarded in the offer of financial aid is the full amount that you may earn. (If more than that sum is earned, the employer must pay the additional earnings.) Contact to determine work-study eligibility. Work-study awards are considered financial aid and may therefore reduce loan eligibility.

After accepting their work-study awards, students may go to the website at to seek job referrals. To find out whether a prospective employer has a work-study contract with the university, students should contact the campus Work-Study Office at or Cal Student Central at (510) 664-9181. Students must go to the Work-Study Office for the hiring process. Students may work up to 20 hours per week while school is in session and 40 hours per week during vacation periods.

Learn more information about other Academic Student Employment (ASE) opportunities including being a tutor, graduate student instructor (GSI), research assistant, or reader. These positions do not require a federal work-study offer, but rather you are paid either directly or through a tuition waiver (fee remission).

International students should consult with the Berkeley International Office (BIO) regarding eligibility for employment. Search “employment authorization” on their website for more information.