Frequently Asked Questions & Rule Clarifications

What are the requirements for graduation?

All students must complete at least 85 units to graduate. In addition to the first-year required courses, all students must complete Constitutional Law, Professional Responsibility, a skills course (for the class of 2013 and beyond) and a writing requirement. For further information, please review the J.D. Degree Requirements

How does the writing requirement process work?

All J.D. students must complete their writing requirement under faculty supervision in order to graduate. Writing requirements must be completed and submitted by the end of the fifth semester. Papers are at least 30 pages. There are a number of ways to fulfill this graduation requirement. The writing requirement cannot be based on a paper written as a 1L. Students may choose to enroll in a two-unit 299 or add a unit to a course requiring a paper. Each student should discuss their writing requirement questions with the Dean of Students or Director of Student Services. Please see the Academic Rules for further information.  

What do I have to do if I want to study abroad as a 3L?

Some students take advantage of study abroad programs run through other ABA-approved law schools during the first semester of their 3L year. Students may go away for a semester with permission from the Dean of Students. Students complete all graduation requirements (except for the 85 units) before taking advantage of a study abroad program. It is the responsibility of the student to request that a complete transcript from the program be sent to Berkeley Law in time for bar certification in June. Students interested in a study abroad program should schedule a meeting with either the Dean of Students or the Director of Student Services to discuss options.  

What if I want to pursue a dual degree program?

Students interested in a dual degree program or adding a degree while they are at Berkeley Law will need to discuss their plan with either the Dean of Students or the Director of Student Services. As a general rule, students take their first two years at Berkeley Law and then withdraw for a year of dedicated study in the second degree program. Students also need to be at the Law School for their final semester. Upon returning to Berkeley Law, students complete the remaining J.D. requirements. Please review the Academic Rules for information on what non-law credit may be used toward your J.D.

How do grades and exams work at Berkeley Law?

We have anonymous grading at Berkeley Law. Each semester students are assigned a new exam number. Every student must be present for examinations at the regularly scheduled time and place in each course for which he or she is registered, unless previously excused by the Dean of Students or Director of Student Services. Students are bound by the Honor Code. Please review the Grading Rules and Policies sections of the Academic Rules.  Once faculty enter grades, they appear on BearFacts. 

When will we know the date for commencement?

The university requires all departments and schools to place bids on the dates, times, and locations they prefer for commencement. We do not have the date for commencement until September of each academic year. 

When will I know my class rank?

In February and July of each year, the Director of Student Sevices will send an email to 2Ls and 3Ls alerting them that their updated class rank is available. Class rank may only be disclosed for clerkship purposes or an academic teaching position. Please see the Academic Rules for further details.