What LSAT and GPA numbers do you need to get into U.C. Berkeley Law School?
Berkeley Law School, currently ranked #9 in the country by the US News and World Report, is the flagship law school of the UC system. It is matched for prestige on the west coast only by Stanford. Admission to Berkeley would be best described as highly competitive: ABA/LSAC data for 2010 shows 7253 applications with 920 offers made, for a very low ~12.5% acceptance rate. (Source)
Despite this, Berkeley is known for accepting applicants with a wider range of LSAT scores than their peer schools. The 25th to 75th percentile LSAT range for Berkeley in 2015 was 163-170 (source: Berkeley Law School Class of 2015 entering class profile).
However, to be a competitive applicant at Berkeley Law School, you are probably going to need a undergraduate GPA in the very high 3.7+ range.
Looking at the number for Berkeley Law School Class of 2015 will give you a better idea of the GPA and LSAT that typically help an applicant get in to Berkeley:
LSAT Score to get into Berkeley Law
- The 25th percentile LSAT Score at Berkeley is 163
- The Median LSAT Score at Berkeley is 167
- The 75th percentile LSAT Score at Berkeley is 170
GPA to get into Berkeley Law
- The 25th percentile undergrad GPA at Berkeley is 3.68
- The Median undergrad GPA at Berkeley is 3.81
- The 75th percentile undergrad GPA at Berkeley is 3.91
Berkeley Admission’s Dean Tom has discussed the supposed greater emphasis on GPA in an interview with TLS:
“I know that there is a perception out there in the cyberspace world that we value GPAs a lot more than LSATs, and I’m not sure where people get that. Because if you look at our index formula, we are purposeful in weighting it so that GPA and LSAT are roughly equivalent. So, if I had to characterize our review process, it’s about one-third LSAT score, about one-third academic record – I prefer to call it academic record because GPA is just so narrow, whereas with academic record we consider all of the factors that impacted the GPA: work responsibilities, extra-curricular activities, rigor of major, and so on. The last third is the subjective factors — what one says in their personal statement, and what others say about them in their letters of recommendation. So, no, I don’t think either of the two quantitative factors is more important than the other.”
Although Dean Tom is perhaps unaware, it is generally thought that other schools place considerably more weight on LSAT than on GPA, so his policy of near equal treatment is divergent.
Berkeley clearly does it’s own thing, which makes admissions decisions at the school perhaps a bit harder to predict based on numbers alone. Berkeley can really claim to be looking at the total applicant in the admissions process.
Applying early will give you the best chances of a favorable decision. Berkeley recommends that you submit your application as early as possible (between September 1 and December 1) although the application deadline for regular admission at Berkeley is currently February 1.
Other Recommended Reading:
- How I got a 177 on the LSAT
- How to Get Into the Top Law Schools (via Amazon)
- The Law School Admission Game: Play Like an Expert (via Amazon)