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, the Experiential Education Requirement and the 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.  There are a number of ways to fulfill this graduation requirement.  Students may choose to complete two Option 1 courses, complete one Option 2 course, or enroll in a two-unit 299 satisfying the Option 2 writing requirement. The writing requirement cannot be based on a paper written as a 1L. 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 IF I WANT TO STUDY ABROAD AS A 2L OR 3L?

We limit study abroad to second semester 2L or first semester 3L. If you are interested in study abroad one of those semesters, please make an appointment with either the Dean of Students or the Director of Student Services to ensure you are on track to complete all your degree requirements.

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 spend 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. Students are assigned a unique exam number for every exam. 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 CalCentral. 

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. 

DOES BERKELEY LAW RANK?

Berkeley Law does not rank its students. However, each summer rising 2Ls, rising 3Ls, and recent graduates will be sent an e-mail from the Director of Student Services notifying them that their Academic Distinctions are available. Information about students’ academic honors shall be made available solely for the purpose of aiding students who are applying for judicial clerkships and academic positions. Revealing the distinction in any other context is a violation of the honor code. Academic Distinctions are awarded to the Top 3 students (Boalt Scholars), Top 10% (High Distinction), and Top 25% (Distinction) in each class based upon one academic year of grades. Students must have fourteen graded units in a given academic year to be eligible.

Where can I find information about the New York Bar Skills Competency Requirement?

This document describes the skills and values required for the New York Bar, and identifies the relevant courses where students can learn them. Download here.