Berkeley Law School
Offering a world-class education in a picture-perfect atmosphere, the Berkeley Law School not only offers one of the lowest tuition rates out of all the top law schools, they offer an education atmosphere that is second to none. Trying to rebrand itself from the past, Berkeley Law has slowly crept up to becoming a top ten law school in all the United States.
Berkeley Law School Admissions
Considered to be one of the hardest law schools to get into, Berkeley doesn’t accept just anyone that applies. In order to even be considered, a successful applicant must meet the following criteria:
GPA: The average student that gets accepted to Berkeley Law School will have a GPA that is between 3.6 and 3.9.
LSAT: The average LSAT for successful students is in the range of 163 and 170. It has been known that even if students aren’t within this exact range, but the school may still consider the applicant.
Personal Statements: Like most of the top law schools in the nation, many do put a large emphasis on numbers, but one of the key components of getting accepted is the personal statement. Students that write a personal statement must know that the school is looking for a unique voice. They don’t really want something that is generic and boring. Instead, students are encouraged to write about life changing stories or events.
Letter of Recommendation: Aside from the personal statement, Berkeley will also look deeply into an applicant’s letter of recommendation. This letter should be from an academic professional such as a teacher in the past or even a college professor. The school states that a successful applicant should submit no more than four letters.
Out of the 8,000 applications that Berkeley Law School receives on an annual basis, the school will only admit around 700. Since the enrolling class size will be less than 300 students, a majority of the students that will be accepted will be placed on a waiting list.
Berkeley Law School Cost
Being one of the cheapest top ten law schools, Berkeley Law School offers an in-state tuition of $45,000 a year. Full-time students that don’t live in California will have to pay around $55,000. Students that want to declare residency in the state will find that it will usually take a little over a year to do so. Those who want to stay on campus should plan on budgeting around $18,000 a year for room and board. As a conservative estimate, full-time students who live on campus should budget $73,000 a year. In-state residents should budget $63,000 a year.
Berkeley Law School Culture
Located in the San Francisco area, Berkeley Law School offers a variety of things for students to do outside of the classroom. Students can find themselves less than an hour away from San Francisco and many of Northern California’s beaches and shopping districts. Students that want to escape the hot California sun can venture to Tahoe where they can ski in the colder months.
While Berkeley Law School does offer on campus housing, a majority of the students that go to school here live in the surrounding San Francisco area. One of the main reasons that students choose to live outside of the campus is due to the fact that there are more things to do. Many students also find that the shopping and restaurants in downtown San Francisco are second to none compared to those that are around the campus.
Since the campus is far away from places such as San Francisco and the local beaches, students find that having a car can be a life saver. While a car isn’t necessary, students can find local public transportation options that can take them directly downtown as well.
Berkeley Law School Education
Berkeley Law School offers a variety of classes for first-year law students. These classes include Civil Procedure, Property Law, and Legal Research. In a student’s first year, they will be required to take two elective courses outside of their core curriculum. With a lot of flexibility, students find that they will have access to many courses, seminars and hands-on training.
Berkeley Law is known for a variety of specialties known throughout the world. Noted below are just a few students can expect:
Environmental Law: Offering a rich curriculum, Berkeley offers this program to students that have completed coursework related to environment law. In order to successfully graduate from this program, students are also required to write a research paper.
Intellectual Property Law: Being known as one of the best programs in all the United States, their IP Law courses have been named number one for over six years. With a variety of reputable faculty, their new technologies and heavy donations have made it easy to keep Berkeley in that number one spot.
Other Known Specialties: Berkeley also falls in the top ten for Business Law, Criminal Law, Law and Social Sciences and Legal History.
The class sizes are going to range depending on the type of class taken. A simple seminar class can have as little as 10 people, while a lecture hall can have up to more than 150 people. On special occurrences, students can also arrange projects with professors.
Berkeley Law School’s unique grading system is a lot different from other top law schools in the nation. The top 10 percent of the class will receive a high honors grade. The next 30 percent will receive honors, while the rest of the class will receive a pass. While a student can fail a class, this is a rare occurrence. While some students have argued this practice unfair, many employers like it as they have seen great success with the graduates that they have hired in the past.
Berkeley Law School Graduates
Before a law student even graduates, more than 250 law firms find themselves on campus each year recruiting students before they even graduate. With many interviews available, students often find themselves with more than three job offers before they even get their papers.
Where They Go
A majority of Berkeley Law School students find themselves staying in the state of California upon graduation. In fact, more than 70 percent don’t even move outside of the state. Over 75 percent of students that do graduate will eventually work with a private law firm. Less than 15 percent of the graduating class will work in the public sector.
The average Berkeley Law School graduate that works in the private sector such as a law firm can expect to make upwards of $150,000 to start. Students that choose to work in the public sector or government can expect starting salaries in the $55,000 to $65,000 range.
Over 85 percent of students that take the California Bar Exam will find themselves passing on their first try. This above average number is very impressive seeing that the California Bar is one of the hardest exams in all the nation. Within nine months of employment, 98 percent of students found themselves with a job in the law field.
Berkeley Law School has hundreds of notable alumni that have graduated in the past 100 years. Some names you may have heard of include Howard Lincoln, the chairman of the Seattle Mariners and David Estrada, YouTube managing counsel at Google.
With an awesome location, amazing weather and top-notch programs, it’s no wonder why many students from around the globe want to attend Berkeley. Students finding themselves becoming an in-state resident within the year can not only capitalize on the in-state tuition rate, but also call themselves a resident to one of the best states in the United States.