The University of California, Berkeley Law

Berkeley Law students are bright, intellectually curious, and remarkably collegial. They come to us to partake of our rich curriculum, to experience a supportive learning environment, and to learn the law under an unusual grading system that encourages them to compete with themselves, rather than against one another. Our professors—even the most legendary—are approachable and accessible. Our alumni are members of an extended, world-wide family, actively engaged with the School in a multitude of ways in any given year. And our administrators are constantly looking for ways to improve the experience for everyone..

Application Deadline February 1
Tuition Fee $16,155 for California residents or $31,257 for nonresidents
Duration full-time 3
Languages English
Location Boalt Hall Berkeley, CA 94720-7200
Description The J.S.D. program is a three-year doctorate level program. Candidacy for the J.S.D. degree is very restricted, and is open only to those who have completed an LL.M. degree at Berkeley Law or another law school with a comparable program and are engaged in or planning careers in academic or other work that emphasizes legal scholarship. Each J.S.D. student works closely with a faculty advisor who specializes in a field of law related to the candidate's research and typically chairs the candidate's dissertation committee. Only law faculty with the title of Professor or Assistant Professor may serve as J.S.D. advisors.
Completion Requirement J.S.D. students complete a program of study including a combination of required and elective coursework and independent research. First-year students take a J.S.D. Legal Scholarship seminar designed to expose students to canonical arguments and central topics in American legal theory, and which also serves as a forum for students to receive guidance and feedback on their own developing research. Upon completing the coursework requirement and passing a preliminary oral exam, students advance to J.S.D. candidacy, typically by the end of the first year. After advancing to candidacy, the nonresident tuition fee (if applicable) is waived for the remaining two years of the program.
Language Requirement The TOEFL is not required.
Scholarships To help Berkeley Law students pay for their legal education,we offer a number of scholarships provided by sources including the law school itself, the University of California, the U.S. government, and private organizations and agencies. Students are encouraged to seek out as much scholarship funding as possible in order to minimize their borrowing.

JD students who believe they qualify for Chapter 33 (Post 9/11 GI Bill) benefits may apply for the Yellow Ribbon Program (YRP) Scholarship. The purpose of the Yellow Ribbon Program is to provide funding for any gap in tuition and fees not already covered by the VA or other sources, thus total aid including YRP awards may not exceed the total cost of tuition and fees. YRP rules allow us to assist nonresident students with up to $5,000 of their nonresident tuition. Applicants will be considered and awarded on a first-come first-served basis and only 10 awards of up to $5,000 each will be made for each academic year, including participants carried over from the previous year. If chosen, the award is renewable for two more years as long as the eligibility requirements are met each year.
The Matching Scholarship, offered by the Berkeley Law Admissions Office, is available to entering (first-year) JD students.

Click here for information on the application process and timeline for the Berkeley Law scholarships available to entering students (including the Matching Scholarship listed above) and a few examples of awards offered in the past.

The Berkeley Law Financial Aid Office administers several supplemental scholarships for continuing JD students. Most are awarded based on the student's financial need as reflected on the FAFSA and institutional applications, as well as on particular criteria for each scholarship. The application period is announced each spring by e-mail and posted to our blog.

The UC Berkeley Graduate Fellowships Office provides several scholarships for graduate students. Most are awarded based on the student's financial need as reflected on the FAFSA form.

We make every effort to announce scholarships offered by outside agencies which may be of interest to our students. These scholarships have their own applications, procedures, criteria, and deadlines. Information is posted to this website and on the blog as it is made available to the Berkeley Law Financial Aid Office.

The ABA Standard 509 requires all schools with conditional scholarships to post a conditional scholarship retention chart. The ABA's definition of a conditional scholarship is: "any financial aid award, the retention of which is dependent upon the student maintaining a minimum grade point average or class standing, other than that ordinarily required to remain in good academic standing." Scholarships are not conditional at Berkeley Law. Renewal of scholarships requires only good academic standing and full-time enrollment at the UC Berkeley School of Law.


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