The University of California, Berkeley, School of Law (commonly known as Boalt Hall, Berkeley Law, or UC Berkeley School of Law) is one of 14 schools and colleges at the University of California, Berkeley. Berkeley Law is consistently ranked as one of the top public law schools in the United States and one of the top law schools in the world. The law school has produced leaders in law, government, and society, including Chief Justice of the United States Earl Warren, United States Secretary of State Dean Rusk, United States Attorney General Edwin Meese, United States Secretary of the Treasury and Chairman of the Federal Reserve G. William Miller, Solicitor General of the United States Theodore Olson, and lead litigator of the Korematsu v. United States civil rights case, Dale Minami.
|University of California, Berkeley School of Law|
|Motto||Fiat lux (Latin); Let there be light (English)|
|Parent school||University of California, Berkeley|
|Parent endowment||$4.3 billion (2017)|
|Location||Berkeley, California, U.S.|
|Faculty||119 (Full- and part-time)|
|Bar pass rate||92% (ABA profile)|
The Department of Jurisprudence was founded at Berkeley in 1894. In 1912, the department was renamed the School of Jurisprudence, it was again renamed as the School of Law in 1950.
The School was originally located in the center of the main UC Berkeley campus in Boalt Memorial Hall of Law, which was built in 1911 partially with funds from Elizabeth Josselyn Boalt donated in memory of her late husband, John Henry Boalt, an attorney who had resided in Oakland, California until his death in 1901. In 1951, the School moved to its current location in the new law building, the instructional portion of which was named Boalt Hall, at the southeast corner of the campus, and the old Boalt Hall was renamed Durant Hall.
In April 2008, the law school rebranded itself through a change of name from "Boalt Hall" to "Berkeley Law" to tie the law school's name more closely with the campus upon which it resides. The administration hoped that this would improve the law school's national and international name recognition since people already know of UC Berkeley and that it has a law school but are often confused by the use of 'Boalt Hall'.
Berkeley Law has approximately 850 J.D. students, 200 students in the LL.M. and J.S.D. programs, and 45 students in the Ph.D. program in Jurisprudence and Social Policy. The School also features specialized curricular programs in Business, Law and Economics, Comparative Legal Studies, Environmental Law, International Legal Studies, Law and Technology, and Social Justice.
The J.D. program's admissions process is highly selective. Berkeley Law is known to value high undergraduate GPAs. Consequently, Berkeley has the 9th highest 75th percentile GPA. According to U.S. News and World Report, Berkeley has the 12th lowest acceptance rate among U.S. law schools, with about 25% of applicants admitted. For the class entering in the fall of 2017, 1,266 out of 5,466 applicants (23.1%) were offered admission, with 303 matriculating. The 25th and 75th Law School Admission Test (LSAT) percentiles for the 2017 entering class were 164 and 168, respectively, with a median of 166. The 25th and 75th undergraduate GPA percentiles were 3.66 and 3.88, respectively, with a median of 3.79.
Berkeley Law's grading system for the J.D. program is unusual among law schools but similar to the grading system used at Yale Law School. Students are graded on a High Honors (HH), Honors (H), and Pass (P) scale. Approximately 60% of the students in each class receive a grade of Pass, 30% receive a grade of Honors, and the highest 10% receive a grade of High Honors; lower grades of Substandard Pass (or Pass Conditional, abbreviated PC) and No Credit (NC) may be awarded at the discretion of professors. The top student in each class or section receives the Jurisprudence Award, while the second-place student receives the Prosser Prize.
For a typical class in the J.D. program, the average age of admitted students is 24 years old, over a range of ages from 20 to 48 years old. Berkeley Law's tuition has increased in recent years. Currently, tuition and fees are $49,364 per year (in-state) and $53,315 per year (out-of-state). Most out-of-state students may claim in-state status in their second year of study.
The faculty of Berkeley Law also provide academic direction and the bulk of the instruction for the undergraduate program in Legal Studies, which is organized as a major in Letters and Science. The Legal Studies program is not intended as a pre-law program, but rather as a liberal arts program "that can encourage sustained reflection on fundamental values."
Berkeley Law has a chapter of the Order of the Coif, a national law school honorary society founded for the purposes of encouraging legal scholarship and advancing the ethical standards of the legal profession.
In 2019, U.S. News & World Report ranked Berkeley Law as the 10th best law school in the United States, tied with Duke and Northwestern. US News & World Report also ranked Berkeley Law as the best law school in the U.S. for intellectual property, the 3rd best for environmental law, and the 10th best for international law. Moreover, US News & World Report ranked Berkeley Law's clinical training program as 10th best in the U.S.
Berkeley Law's flagship law review, the California Law Review, is ranked 7th in the U.S.
According to Brian Leiter's 2012 scholarly impact study, Berkeley Law ranks 7th in terms of scholarly impact as measured by the percentage of tenured faculty represented in specific specialty areas.
In 2010, Law and Politics "Super Lawyers" magazine ranked Berkeley as 9th in the country, just above Yale Law based on the number of Super Lawyers it produces. 890 alumni are in their list of the top 5% of peer rated attorneys for 2009.
In July 2018, Berkeley Law's bar passage rate was 86 percent, the second-best in California.
According to Berkeley's official ABA-required disclosures, 95.76 percent of 2016 graduates obtained full-time, long-term, bar admission-required employment nine months after graduation, and 1.21 percent were enrolled in a full-time degree program.
The total cost of attendance (indicating the cost of tuition, fees, and living expenses) at Berkeley Law for the 2018-2019 academic year is $85,315 for California residents and $89,266 for non-residents. The Law School Transparency estimated debt-financed cost of attendance for three years is $282,442 for residents and $296,694 for non-residents.
(Listed by year of graduation)
Andrew T. Guzman is the dean of USC Gould School of Law. Formerly, he was the Jackson H. Ralston Professor of Law and Associate Dean at UC Berkeley School of Law, where he is also the Director of the Advanced Law Degree Programs, and Associate Dean for International and Advanced Degree Programs.He holds a B.Sc. from the University of Toronto (1990), a J.D. from Harvard Law School (1996), a Ph.D. in economics, also from Harvard, also in 1996. He is a member of the Academic Council of the Institute for Transnational Arbitration. Among other publications, he is the author of Overheated, How International Law Works, and International Trade LawBerkeley Journal of International Law
The Berkeley Journal of International Law is an academic journal covering international law. It is run and edited by students at UC Berkeley School of Law. It was established in 1982 as the International Tax & Business Lawyer.
The journal publishes articles on public and private international law and comparative law. It also publishes reviews of new books in the field.
As of 2011, the Berkeley Journal of International Law is the 12th most cited international law journal in the world.The journal publishes two issues per year and on its website also publishes the Publicist, "an online-only journal that allows for faster publication of ideas in a shorter and more accessible format than the traditional printed Law Review." The journal hosts the Stefan A. Riesenfeld Symposium, where scholars and practitioners address important international legal issues.Billy Hunter (basketball)
George William Hunter (born November 5, 1942) is a former executive director of the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA), the players' union of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He is also a former American football wide receiver in the National Football League (NFL) for the Washington Redskins and Miami Dolphins.
Hunter played baseball as a child, and helped lead his team to the Little League World Series in 1955. He graduated from Delaware Township High School in Delaware Township (now Cherry Hill), New Jersey, and played college football for Syracuse University. While a student-athlete at Syracuse, "he helped organize the school's boycott of Southern schools whose stadiums were segregated."Following his football career, Hunter attended law school at UC Berkeley School of Law and became an attorney. One of the youngest United States Attorneys in history, he was appointed to serve the Northern District of California, where he prosecuted high-profile federal defendants including members of Hells Angels and the Black Panther Party. Hunter was named the executive director of the NBPA in 1996.Hunter has received criticism for employing many family members within the NBPA. An external audit initiated by Derek Fisher uncovered numerous irregularities, and a select committee of NBA players unanimously ousted Hunter from his position on Feb. 16, 2013, during the All-Star break. In May 2013, Hunter sued the NBPA, Fisher and Jamie Wior, Fisher's publicist and business partner, seeking compensation and punitive damages. The suit claimed that Fisher had a secret deal with NBA owners during the 2011 NBA lockout. In January 2014, a judge dismissed all of Hunter's claims against Wior and Fisher, and Hunter dropped his subsequent appeal in May. However, the judge also ruled that it was the union's prerogative to fire Hunter, but allowed Hunter's claim that he was still owed $10.5 million to continue.David Caron
David D. Caron (28 June 1952 – 20 February 2018) was a professor of law, public international law, environmental law, and international arbitration. He was the dean of the King's College London School of Law, and an emeritus professor of UC Berkeley School of Law. He died on February 20, 2018.Donald Segretti
Donald Henry Segretti (born September 17, 1941, in San Marino, California) is an attorney best known for working as a political operative with then-U.S. President Richard Nixon's Committee to Re-elect the President during the early 1970s. Segretti served four and a half months in prison after investigations related to the Watergate scandal revealed his leading role in extensive political sabotage efforts ("ratfucking") against the Democrats.He holds a B.S. in finance from the University of Southern California (1963) and a J.D. from UC Berkeley School of Law (1966). While at USC he was initiated into Phi Sigma Kappa fraternity and became associated with Dwight L. Chapin, Tim Elbourne, Ron Ziegler, Herbert Porter, and Gordon C. Strachan, all of whom joined the "Trojans for Representative Government" group.Ecology Law Quarterly
Ecology Law Quarterly is an environmental law review published quarterly by students at the UC Berkeley School of Law. The journal also produces Ecology Law Currents, an online-only publication that contains "short-form commentary and analysis on timely environmental law and policy issues."Franklin Zimring
Franklin E. Zimring is an American criminologist, law professor, and the William G. Simon Professor of Law at the UC Berkeley School of Law.Gary B. Pruitt
Gary B. Pruitt (born c. 1957) is the President and CEO of the Associated Press and was the CEO, president, and chairman of the board of the McClatchy Company.
Pruitt was born in Virginia and grew up in Satellite Beach, Florida. He received a B.A. degree from the University of Florida and received his masters in public policy from University of California, Berkeley and a J.D. degree from the UC Berkeley School of Law.Pruitt was counsel for McClatchy from 1984 to 1987, corporate Secretary and General Counsel from 1987 to 1998, publisher for the Fresno Bee from 1991 to 1994, general counsel from 1987 to 1991, and Vice President, Operations and Technology from 1991 to 1994. He was Chief Operating Officer from 1995 to 1996. He became President starting in 1995, Chief Executive Officer in 1996, and Chairman in 2001.In April 2012 it was announced he was going to become CEO of the Associated Press. Kevin McClatchy assumed his chairman of the board role and Patrick J. Talamantes assumed the CEO role.Herma Hill Kay
Herma Hill Kay (August 18, 1934 – June 10, 2017) was the Barbara Nachtrieb Armstrong Professor of Law at UC Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall). She previously served as dean of Boalt from 1992 to 2000. She specialized in family law and conflict of laws.Institute for Legal Research
The Institute for Legal Research is a legal research center at the UC Berkeley School of Law. It was founded in 1967 as the Earl Warren Legal Institute, after American jurist and politician Earl Warren, and was originally an Organized Research Unit of the University of California, Berkeley. It was renamed to its current name in July 2005, and became part of the UC Berkeley School of Law in July 2009.Jon S. Tigar
Jon Steven Tigar (born October 8, 1962) is a United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California.Kent Mitchell
Henry Kent Mitchell II (born March 29, 1939) is a retired American rowing coxswain. He competed in the coxed pairs at the 1960 and 1964 Olympics and won a bronze and a gold medal, respectively. He was a law student at the UC Berkeley School of Law at the time. He won a bronze medal in the same event in 1960 while an undergraduate at Stanford University (class of 1961). Only two other Americans have coxed two crews to Olympic medals. He also coxed Stanford to two national championships, in 1961 and 1962.Following graduation from law school in 1965 he practiced law in Palo Alto, California. He also set up and leads the Kent Mitchell Rowing Club, an elite masters competitive organization composed mostly of former national or Olympic champions. He also served three terms as mayor of Portola Valley, California.He is in the Stanford University Hall of Fame and the National Rowing Hall of Fame.Melvin D. Close Jr.
Melvin D. Close Jr. (born April 24, 1934) was an American politician who was a Democratic member of the Nevada General Assembly. An attorney, he is an alumnus of Brigham Young University and the UC Berkeley School of Law. He was Speaker of the General Assembly from 1967 to 1968, and President pro tempore of the Senate in 1977 and 1981.Milton Marks
Milton Marks, Jr. (July 22, 1920 – December 4, 1998) was a California politician who served in the California State Assembly and California State Senate, as both a Republican and a Democrat, representing San Francisco for 38 years.Born in San Francisco, Marks attended the city's Alamo Grammar School and Galileo High School, where he participated in the Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps. After graduating from Galileo as valedictorian of the class of 1937, Marks went on to earn an A.B. from Stanford University in 1941, where he had been part of the Army Reserve Officers' Training Corps. Marks went on to the UC Berkeley School of Law and was studying with a friend, future federal judge Milton Lewis Schwartz, at International House Berkeley during the attack on Pearl Harbor. Less than a month after the attack, Marks reported to Fort Ord as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Army. Serving in the Pacific Theater of Operations, including the Philippines Campaign (1944–45), he was the Assistant Defense Counsel for the Court of the Eighth United States Army during the Occupation of Japan. After completing his Army service as a Major, Marks returned to the UC Berkeley Law School but eventually transferred, graduating from San Francisco Law School in 1949.Marks first ran unsuccessfully for the State Assembly in 1954 as a Republican. He was elected in 1958 as a Republican to the Assembly, serving until 1966, when he was named a city judge. When a vacancy occurred in a State Senate seat in 1967, he ran in and won the special election as a Republican, defeating Democrat Assemblyman John L. Burton, who was the younger brother of powerful Democratic Congressman Phil Burton, head of the San Francisco political machine. While still a Republican, Marks made an unsuccessful run for Congress in 1982 to unseat Phil Burton, losing by a margin of 58%-40%. Burton died unexpectedly of an aneurysm five months after the election at the age of 56 and was succeeded by Sala Burton, who would serve in the seat until her death less than four years later when she was succeeded by Nancy Pelosi, a longtime Burton family friend.
He served in the Senate as a Republican until 1988, when he won re-election as a Democrat. He won his last Senate term as a Democrat in 1992; term limits forced his retirement in 1996.
Marks and his wife, Carolene, had three children: the late Milton Marks III, who served as a board member of City College of San Francisco, Caro Marks, a Federal Defender in Sacramento, and Edward David Marks, an attorney practicing in the Bay Area.Rachel Moran
Rachel F. Moran (born 1956) is an American lawyer who is the Michael J. Connell Distinguished Professor of Law at UCLA School of Law. She served as Dean of the UCLA School of Law from 2010 to 2015, and was a faculty member at UC Irvine School of Law from 2008 to 2010, and at UC Berkeley School of Law from 1983 to 2008.Stephen Sugarman
Stephen D. Sugarman is the Roger J. Traynor Professor of Law at the UC Berkeley School of Law, where he has taught since 1972. He was the associate dean of the UC Berkeley School of Law from 1980 to 1982, and then again from 2004 to 2009. At UC Berkeley, he teaches multiple classes in the social justice curriculum, including classes torts and sports law. He has been a visiting professor at the London School of Economics, at University College, London, and at Columbia University, among other institutions.Thomas F. Crosby Jr.
Thomas Fulton Crosby Jr. (June 4, 1940 – January 23, 2004) was an American judge. He acted as Associate Justice of the California Fourth District Court of Appeal, Division Three, having been appointed to the post by Jerry Brown as Governor in 1982.Born in Long Beach, California, Crosby graduated from Wilson High School before receiving an A.B. from Stanford University in 1962, an LL.B. from UC Berkeley School of Law in 1965, and an LL.M. from the University of Virginia School of Law in 1988.Crosby worked for the National Labor Relations Board from 1965 to 1967, the Peace Corps in Peru from 1967 to 1969, and the Orange County District Attorney's office from 1969 to 1973. From 1973 to 1981, he worked in his own law firm.Governor Jerry Brown appointed Crosby to the Orange County Superior Court in 1981. Thirteen months later, Brown moved Crosby to the newly created Division Three of the Fourth District Court of Appeal in December 1982.As a graduate student at Berkeley, Crosby met his first wife, undergraduate Sharon Scott, with whom he had two sons: Scott (born during the 1970 Super Bowl) and Brett (born 1974). While a Justice of the Court of Appeal, he married his second wife, Patty.Thomas H. Werdel
Thomas Harold Werdel (September 13, 1905 – September 30, 1966) was a U.S. Representative from California.
Werdel was born in Emery, Hanson County, South Dakota, the son of Mary Laura (Burke) and Bernard Werdel. Werdel moved with his parents to Kern County, California, in 1915. He attended the public schools and Kern County Union High School. He was graduated from the University of California at Berkeley in 1930 and from the UC Berkeley School of Law in 1936. He was admitted to the bar in 1936 and commenced the practice of law in Bakersfield, California. He served as member of the California State Assembly from the thirty-ninth district in the legislative sessions of 1943 and 1945.
Werdel was elected as a Republican to the Eighty-first and Eighty-second Congresses (January 3, 1949 – January 3, 1953). In 1952, he hoped to lead a pro-Taft, anti-Warren delegation to the Republican National Convention, but Governor Earl Warren, a favorite son candidate, once again controlled California's votes.
He was an unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1952 to the Eighty-third Congress. He resumed the practice of law. In 1956, he was the running mate of T. Coleman Andrews as Vice Presidential candidate for the States' Rights Party. They won 107,929 votes (0.17%), doing best in Virginia, where they won 6.16% of the vote.He died in Bakersfield, California, September 30, 1966. He was interred in Greenlawn Memorial Park.Walton J. Wood
Walton Jones Wood (August 5, 1878 – September 2, 1945) was an American attorney and jurist who served as the first public defender in United States history from 1914–1921 and as an associate justice of the California Second District Court of Appeal, Division Two from 1935–1945, having been appointed to the latter post by Republican Governor Frank Merriam.Born in Oroville, California, Wood earned his A.B. from Stanford University in 1901, and did graduate work at Vanderbilt University and the UC Berkeley School of Law. He served as an attorney in private practice in the Philippines from 1902–1906. Earning admission to the California State Bar in January 1907, Wood served as an attorney in private practice in Los Angeles, California from 1907–1913. From 1913–1914, he was a Deputy City Attorney for Los Angeles.On January 6, 1914, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors appointed Wood the first public defender in U.S. history. Under Wood's leadership, the new Public Defender's Office handled over one hundred cases per week, including an average of forty-five felony cases.Wood left the public defender's post on January 2, 1921, when Republican Governor William Stephens appointed him a judge of the Los Angeles County Superior Court. Wood left the Superior Court on September 5, 1935 upon his appointment to the appeals bench.Wood died in office in Pasadena, California on September 2, 1945.
Located in: Berkeley, California
California law schools approved by the American Bar Association
Law schools in the Southwestern United States