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University of California (Boalt Hall School of Law)

The School of Law, commonly referred to as Boalt Hall, is one of 14 schools and colleges at the University of California, Berkeley. The School features specialized curricular programs in Business, Law and Economics, Comparative Legal Studies, Environmental Law, International Legal Studies, Law and Technology, and Social Justice.

The School has approximately 850 J.D. students, 30 students in the LL.M. and J.S.D. programs, and 10 students in the Ph.D. program in Jurisprudence and Social Policy. Its admissions process is highly selective, as well as unorthodox.

The school is known to value a high undergraduate GPA more than a high LSAT score (whereas the opposite can be said to be true at the top American law schools). According to U.S. News and World Report, which ranked the law school as the number 8th overall for its 2007 ranking, Boalt has the third-lowest acceptance rate among American law schools; 10% of applicants are admitted. Also unusual among top law schools is Boalt's grading system. Students are graded on a High Honors, Honors, Pass, and No Pass scale. 60 percent of the students in a given class receive a Pass, 30 percent receive the grade of Honors, and the highest 10 percent receive High Honors. In terms of weight, a Pass is worth 2.0, Honors a 3.0, and High Honors a 5.0.

Boalt Hall's faculty is renowned for its academic excellence and commitment to teaching. Students learn from legal scholars who are internationally recognized as authorities in their fields. Faculty members are actively engaged in research and in service to the public and the profession locally, nationally and internationally.

Boalt professors' scholarly research and writing fulfill one of the central missions of the law school-to serve as a major center of ideas for the understanding and improvement of law and legal institutions. As teachers, researchers and mentors, faculty members play an indispensable role in the Boalt Hall experience.

Student life at Boalt Hall consists of an exciting combination of challenging course work; stimulating academic and social interaction with faculty, students and alumni; voluntary involvement with student organizations; the opportunity to edit and write for student journals; the option of participating in Berkeley campus activities; enjoyment of the Bay Area culture and lifestyle; and access to various lectures, symposia and conferences featuring renowned speakers from law practice, government and top legal institutions. Students discover that these activities enrich their Boalt Hall experience.

As a public institution, Boalt Hall has a responsibility to educate lawyers who will serve the legal needs of all members of society. In light of this responsibility, Boalt Hall seeks to enroll students whose quality of mind and character suggests that they have the capacity to make a contribution to the learning environment of the law school and to distinguish themselves in serving the needs of the public through the practice of law, the formulation of public policy, legal scholarship and other law-related activities.

In making admissions decisions, the school gives substantial weight to numerical indicators [i.e., undergraduate grade point averages and Law School Admission Test (LSAT) scores]. Yet numbers alone are not dispositive. The law school considers other factors as well for all applicants. For example, substantial consideration is given to letters of recommendation, graduate training, special academic distinctions or honors, difficulty of the academic program successfully completed, work experience and significant achievement in nonacademic activities or public service. If it appears that an applicant has experienced disadvantages, this will be considered in evaluating his or her past performance and in assessing the applicant’s potential to distinguish himself or herself in the study and practice of law and to contribute to the educational process and the legal profession.

Boalt Hall seeks a student body with a broad set of interests, backgrounds, life experiences and perspectives. Such diversity is important in a law school, which must train its graduates not only to analyze and interpret the law, but also to reflect on competing viewpoints, advance arguments persuasively in a variety of forums and develop policies affecting a broad range of people. Historically, Boalt Hall’s diverse student body has produced graduates who have served all segments of society and who have become leaders in many fields of law, including such varied fields as civil rights, corporate, environmental, criminal, intellectual property and family law. Exposure to a wide array of ideas, outlooks and experiences is an important part of our students’ educational and professional development.

School name:University of CaliforniaBoalt Hall School of Law
Address:215 Boalt Hall
Zip & city:CA 94720-7220 California

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