Pre-law Law by garrickWilliams


									Berkeley                                                                                                                            Pre-law
                                                                                                                                    & Law
c a l i f o r n i a

                      What should I major in at Berkeley, if I want to           Berkeley offers an excellent undergraduate education in a wide
                      attend law school?
                      There is no preferred undergraduate major for              variety of majors that prepare you for entry into law school. Like most
                      students who intend to go to law school. To be a
                      lawyer, you will need the ability to read and write        universities and colleges in the United States, Berkeley does not offer a
                      well, and to think critically and analytically.
                                                                                 major specifically called “pre-law” because law schools do not require
                      Law school admissions officers often say they
                      look for success in solid academic courses taken           any specific major for admission. Most law schools require a bachelor’s
                      as part of a rigorous undergraduate program. To
                      prepare for law school, you should choose courses          degree, the Law School Admission Test (LSAT), strong letters of
o f

                      which develop your writing skills and which
                      stress the ability to reason logically, systematically     recommendation, and a compelling personal statement for admission.
                      and analytically. The ability to speak effectively is
u n i v e r s i t y

                      important for both the law student and lawyer. In
                      addition, courses that provide a general under-
                      standing of business, economics, politics and            Does UC Berkeley have a law school?                      into consideration, so attending Berkeley
                      social institutions will give you a valuable context     Yes. Berkeley’s School of Law, Boalt Hall, is gen-       is an advantage. An excessive number of
                      for the study of law. Most importantly, choose a         erally considered one of the top ten law schools         courses taken passed/not passed could work
                      major that you will enjoy. In all probability, the       in the United States. Admission to Boalt is highly       against you because law schools cannot
                      more you enjoy your major, the better you will           competitive. For further information, visit its          interpret your accomplishments accurately.
                      perform academically.                                    website at                             Many law school admissions officers assume
                                                                                                                                        that a GPA would be lower if all courses had
                      The most popular undergraduate majors of                                                                          been taken for a grade.
                                                                               Does Boalt Hall give special preference
                      students admitted to law schools are political           to graduates of UC Berkeley?                          2. Law School Admission Test (LSAT). The
                      science, economics, business administration,
                                                                               While no special admission preference is given           higher your score, the better. The current
                      history, English, and rhetoric. Most law schools
                                                                               to graduates of UC Berkeley, the percentage of           LSAT consists of three types of questions:
                      give equal admission consideration to all aca-
                                                                               Berkeley applicants admitted to Boalt Hall is quite      reading comprehension to measure the abil-
                      demic disciplines because lawyers are needed
                                                                               high. Over the last four years, Boalt has been the       ity to read with understanding and insight;
                      in a wide variety of areas. This goal requires
                                                                               second most popular destination for Cal graduates.       analytical reasoning to measure the ability to
                      students with diverse academic backgrounds,
                                                                               (Hastings College of the Law is number one.)             understand a structure of relationships and
                      but no matter what the field, all law students will
                                                                                                                                        to draw conclusions about that structure;
                      need the skills mentioned above.
                                                                               Do other University of California campuses               and logical reasoning to evaluate the ability to
                                                                               have law schools?                                        understand, analyze, criticize, and com-
                      What if I’m uncertain about becoming a lawyer?
                                                                               Yes, both the Davis and Los Angeles campuses             plete a variety of arguments. The LSAT is
                      Your undergraduate years, particularly the first
                                                                               have law schools. In addition, Hastings College          given considerable weight, up to 50 percent
                      two, are a time of discovery and personal growth.
                                                                               of the Law in San Francisco is affiliated with the       (or even more) of the decision in the law
                      If you are considering going to law school, you
                                                                               University of California.                                school selection process.
                      may wish to use some of this time to explore and
                      research the many facets of law, to investigate                                                                3. Personal statement. This is an opportunity to
                                                                               How successful are graduates of Berkeley in
                      the positive and negative aspects of being an                                                                     distinguish yourself from other applicants and
                                                                               being accepted to law schools nationwide?
                      attorney, and to give considerable thought to why                                                                 to explain your qualifications beyond what is
                                                                               Berkeley graduates do very well compared to              revealed by your transcript and test score.
                      you wish to obtain a legal education. You may
                                                                               graduates of other colleges and universities. Over
                      also want to volunteer in a law office during your                                                             4. Letters of recommendation. Usually two or
                                                                               the last five years, nearly 80 percent of Berkeley
                      undergraduate years. It is important to follow                                                                    three are requested. It is your responsibility to
                                                                               graduates applying to law school were accepted.
                      your own interests and to be aware of the ever-                                                                   develop relationships with two or three profes-
                                                                               Additional statistics are available on the Career
                      changing job market. Since admission to many                                                                      sors during your first three years in college
                                                                               Center’s website,
                      law schools is highly competitive, it is important                                                                so they can write strong, informative letters
                      for you to keep alternative career opportunities in      How do law schools decide which students                 about you.
                      mind when selecting a major. This is another rea-        they will admit?                                      5. Activities/work experience. Activities in which
                      son for you to select a major in a field in which                                                                 you have taken on responsibilities and demon-
                      you are interested.                                      Law schools look closely at five factors:
                                                                                                                                        strated leadership are the most useful for
                                                                               1. College GPA. The higher your grades, the better.      admission purposes. It is better to concen-
                                                                                  Grades can account for 30-40 percent (or              trate on a few activities rather than spreading
                                                                                  even 50 percent) of the admission decision.           yourself too thin just so you can list many
                                                                                  The college you attended and the major in             organizations on your resume. Responsibility is
                                                                                  which you earned your degree often are taken          a plus in work experience, particularly paid or
                                                                                                                                        volunteer community or legal work experience.
Where can I get more information and advice?         Berkeley students may visit Boalt Hall and take      Nondiscrimination Statement
                                                     advantage of applicant counseling in the Boalt       The University of California, in accordance
You may obtain more information from
                                                     Admissions Office as well as attend a series of      with applicable Federal and State Law and the
Berkeley’s Career Center
                                                     six applicant information sessions during the fall   University’s nondiscrimination policies, does not
2111 Bancroft Way # 4350
                                                     semester.                                            discriminate on the basis of race, color, national
Berkeley, CA 94720-4350
510-642-1716                                         A useful book about law schools which is usually     origin, religion, sex (including sexual harass-
or at                           available in college bookstores and libraries is:    ment), gender identity, pregnancy/childbirth and
                                                     The Official Guide to U.S. Law Schools, pub-         medical conditions related thereto, disability, age,
The Career Center employs pre-law counselors                                                              medical condition (cancer-related), ancestry,
                                                     lished by the Law School Admission Council.
and maintains a variety of reference materials                                                            marital status, citizenship, sexual orientation,
and features a comprehensive web section on all      You may order publications and find links to         or status as a Vietnam-era veteran or special
facets of applying to law school (career.berkeley.   many law schools by accessing the Law School         disabled veteran. This nondiscrimination policy
edu/Law/Law.stm). In addition, the Center pro-       Admission Council’s website at:            covers student admission, access, and treatment
vides a letter-of-recommendation service, holds                                                           in University programs and activities. It also
workshops on applying and writing the personal                                                            covers faculty (Senate and non-Senate) and
statement, and sponsors an annual Law School                                                              staff in their employment. For information on
Fair which provides the opportunity for law school                                                        other groups, including student applicants and
representatives to meet with students. The fair is                                                        current students, go to the “Resolving Discrimi-
held on the Berkeley campus in late fall.                                                                 nation Issues” section of the Campus Climate
                                                                                                          and Compliance Office website at ccac.berkeley.


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