World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Boalt Hall


Boalt Hall

University of California, Berkeley, School of Law
Motto Fiat lux (Latin)
Parent school University of California
Established 1894[1]
School type Public
Parent endowment $3.08 billion[2]
Dean Christopher Edley, Jr.
Location Berkeley, California, US
Enrollment 916[1]
Faculty 119 (Full- and part-time)[1]
USNWR ranking 9[1]
Bar pass rate 92% (ABA profile)
ABA profile UC Berkeley School of Law

The University of California, Berkeley, School of Law, commonly referred to as Berkeley Law and Boalt Hall, is one of 14 schools and colleges at the University of California, Berkeley. Berkeley Law is consistently ranked as one of the top law schools, with acceptance rates lower than every U.S. law school except Yale and Stanford.[3] The law school has produced leaders in law, government, and society, including: Chief Justice of the United States Earl Warren, Secretary of State of the United States Dean Rusk, Attorney General of the United States 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.


The Department of Jurisprudence was founded at Berkeley in 1894. In 1912, the department was renamed the School of Jurisprudence, which was then renamed the School of Law in 1950.

The School was originally located in the center of the main UC Berkeley campus in the Boalt Memorial Hall of Law, built in 1911 with funds largely from Elizabeth Josselyn Boalt donated in memory of her late husband, John Henry Boalt. In 1951, the School moved to its current location in the new 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 from "Boalt Hall" to "Berkeley Law", in order to more closely tie the law school's name with the campus upon which it resides. The administration hopes that this move will further increase the law school's prestige, since people will now associate it with the Berkeley campus.[4][5]


Boalt Hall has approximately 850 J.D. students, 100 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 JD program's admissions process is highly selective. Boalt Hall is known to value high undergraduate GPAs, perhaps even more than high LSAT scores. Consequently, Berkeley has the fourth highest 75th percentile GPA, surpassed only by Yale Law School, Harvard Law School and Stanford Law School. According to U.S. News and World Report, Boalt has the third-lowest acceptance rate among American law schools, with about 10% of applicants admitted; only Yale and Stanford have lower rates. For the class entering in the fall of 2012, 813 out of 7,027 applicants (11.6%) were offered admission, with 263 matriculating. The 25th and 75th LSAT percentiles for the 2012 entering class were 163 and 170, respectively, with a median of 167. The 25th and 75th undergraduate GPA percentiles were 3.68 and 3.91, respectively, with a median of 3.81.[6]

Boalt's grading system for the JD program is unusual among law schools. 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 JD 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, both in-state and non-resident tuition is costlier than the private Stanford Law School, which charges $47,460 annually.

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." [7]

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.[8]

It is an American Bar Association approved law school since 1923.[9] It joined the Association of American Law Schools (AALS) in 1912.[10]


In recent years, US News & World Report has ranked Boalt Hall as high as 6th and low as 9th in the United States.[1]

According to Brian Leiter's Law School rankings, Boalt ranks 7th in the nation in terms of scholarly impact as measured by academic citations of tenure-stream faculty.[11] In terms of student numerical quality, Boalt ranks 14th in the nation.[12]

According to The Daily Journal, 15 of the top 100 lawyers in California are Boalt alumni. Law and Politics' Super Lawyers magazine ranks Boalt as #9 in the country, just above Yale Law based on the amount of Super Lawyers it produces.[13] 890 alumni are in their list of the top 5% of peer rated attorneys for 2009.

It is listed as "A" (#5) in the January 2011 "Best Public Interest Law Schools" ratings by The National Jurist: The Magazine for Law Students.[14]

Bar passage rates

Based on a 2001–2007 6 year average, 88.1% of UC Berkeley Law graduates passed the California State Bar.[15]

Post-graduation employment

For the graduating class of 2012, 85.9% of graduates were employed in full-time, long-term legal jobs nine months after graduation.[16]

Centers at Berkeley Law

  • Berkeley Center for Criminal Justice (est. 2006)
  • Berkeley Center for Law & Technology (est. 1996)
  • Berkeley Center for Law, Business, and the Economy (est. 2004)
  • Center for Law, Energy & the Environment
  • Center for Clinical Education (est. 1998)
  • Center for the Study of Law and Society (est. 1961)
  • Chief Justice Earl Warren Institute on Race, Ethnicity and Diversity
  • Death Penalty Clinic (est. 2001)
  • Institute for Global Challenges and the Law
  • Institute for Legal Research (formerly the Earl Warren Legal Institute) (est. 1963)
  • International Human Rights Law Clinic (est. 1998)
  • Kadish Center for Morality, Law and Public Affairs (est. 2000)
  • Robert D. Burch Center for Tax Policy and Public Finance (est. 1994)
  • Samuelson Law, Technology and Public Policy Clinic (est. 2000)
  • Thelton E. Henderson Center for Social Justice (est. 1999)

Law Journals at Berkeley Law

Noted people


(Listed by year of graduation)


Boalt Hall in popular culture

See also


External links

  • – Website for student groups and journals
  • Boalt Hall Turns 100 – Berkeleyan, November 11, 1994

Coordinates: 37°52′11″N 122°15′12″W / 37.86986°N 122.25339°W / 37.86986; -122.25339

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Hawaii eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.