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How to Get Into UC Hastings Law School

August 25, 2023


Reviewed by:

Former Head of Pre-Law Office, Northeastern University, & Admissions Officer, Brown University

Reviewed: 04/27/23

If you’re interested in joining a law school that continues to redefine legal education, read on to learn more about how to get into UC Hastings Law School.

The University of California Hastings was established in 1878 and has since provided its students with rigorous academics, hands-on practice, and unparalleled opportunities to prepare them for revolutionary legal careers. 

As a one of a kind law school, UC Hastings is located at the epicenter of law firms: local, state, and federal courts, non-profits, and tech companies. UC Hastings also boasts having one of the most extensive and innovative experiential learning and judicial externship programs in the country.

With so many reasons to join this law school, this guide will go over what it takes to become part of the UC Hastings law community, how much it costs, and more!

UC Hastings Law Admission Requirements

In order to reap the benefits of UC Hastings Law School, prospective students must have or submit the following law school requirements:

A Bachelor’s Degree

UC Hastings will need transcripts of an undergraduate degree to view your GPA, as this score speaks to your academic potential. In order to maintain a high GPA, it is recommended you pick a major you have a genuine interest in, given that UC Hastings has no preference.

There are, however, specific GPA requirements you should aim for to ensure you stand out as a competitive candidate. UC Hastings’ median GPA is 3.52. 

To help you transition into law school easier, you should take courses that strengthen your reading, writing, research, communication, and analytical thinking skills regardless of your major. Taking and excelling in a diverse range of courses also shows the admissions committee you are academically talented in multiple disciplines! 

Standardized Test Scores

UC Hastings is one of the many law schools that has begun accepting GRE scores instead of LSAT scores

If you choose to write the LSAT, you should aim for a 160 to be considered competitive.

Letters of Recommendation

UC Hastings also requires students to submit two letters of recommendation with their application. Ideally, both of these letters will come from professors that taught you and can attest to your academic achievements and potential.

However, if you’ve been out of law school for several years, you can ask professional mentors or supervisors to write them for you. 

A Personal Statement

Likely the most dreaded part of a law school application, UC Hastings Law also requires a personal statement for admission consideration. This personal statement should tell the committee more about who you are, what you value, and what you can bring to the UC Hastings legal community.

There is no page limit on this statement, which gives you more freedom to express yourself! 

A Resume

You must also submit a resume detailing all of your relevant postsecondary work and volunteer experience. This experience does not have to be direct legal experience, but should demonstrate that you are already honing some skills necessary to be a successful law student and lawyer. These skills include:

  • Leadership
  • Initiative
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Problem-solving
  • Collaboration
  • Dedication
  • Time management
  • Organization
  • Critical and analytical thinking
  • Communication skills
  • Prioritization 
  • Self-motivation 

Ensure you also include any academic and non-academic achievements on your resume!

UC Hastings Law School Acceptance Rate

The University of California Hastings Law School is moderately competitive to get into. It has an acceptance rate of 28%.

UC Hastings Law School Application Deadlines

To get a better idea of how long the application process is, here are some important deadlines to keep in mind:

Event Deadline
Application Deadline April 15, 2023
Applications are Reviewed Starting in October
Decisions Sent Out Starting in December
Final Decisions Made June

Source: UC Hastings

Since the admissions committee begins to review applications in October, it is recommended that you submit yours around then to maximize your chances of acceptance. Applicants that wait until April to submit their applications will be competing for even fewer spots!

UC Hastings Law School Class Profile

At UC Hastings, you’ll be part of a tight-knit community of students with similar goals and passions. To learn more about the types of students you’ll be spending three years with, here is the graduating 2025 class profile:

Admission Category Statistics
Applications Received 4,069
Students Enrolled 392
Median LSAT 160
Median GPA 3.59
Undergrad Colleges and Universities Represented 120
Women 234
Men 154
Nonbinary 5
Median Age 25
Students of Color 54%

Source:UC Hastings School of Law

To further prove the point that your undergrad major doesn’t matter, this 2025 class had 63 different undergrad majors! While political science was the most common, there were also students with STEM majors, advanced degrees, and more!

UC Hastings College of Law Tuition

UC Hastings Law School costs $49,930 for in-state tuition and $55,930 for out-of-state tuition. While these costs may be high, UC Hastings offers scholarships and awards to ease some of the financial burden their law students face. In fact, the average scholarship awarded to the 2025 class was $15,400.

UC Hastings Law Rankings

UC Hastings ranks as the 51st best law school in the nation and is best known for dispute resolution, which it ranks ninth in, and health care law, which it ranks twelfth in.

Tips to Get Into UC Hastings College of Law

After going over the admission requirements and acceptance rate, you might want some pointers on how to impress the admissions committee and stand out as an applicant. Here are the top three tips on how to get into UC Hastings College of Law.

Consider Writing the LSAT Over the GRE

While UC Hastings offers you the option to write the GRE instead of the LSAT, and it might be tempting to skip over those pesky logic games or tedious reading comprehension passages, doing so may hurt your chances of admission.

UC Hastings states they prefer the LSAT over the GRE because the LSAT is generally more trusted as it’s been used to assess law students’ potential for much longer than the GRE. Notably, only eight students that submitted GRE scores were accepted into the graduating 2025 class. 

Choose Who Writes Your Letters of Recommendation Wisely

When deciding which professors or mentors to ask to write your recommendation letters, you want to choose those that will depict you as a stellar student or employee. You do not want to come across as average or slightly above. 

You also want this letter of recommendation to be very personal and specific to you. Generic letters of recommendation will not impress the committee and will actually make them believe you were unable to make lasting impressions on your professors/mentors since they did not make specific remarks about your skills and abilities.

Keep Your Personal Statement Concise

While there is no page limit on your personal statement, you should not exceed two to three pages. If you feel you have important information to convey that will exceed this limit, do so cautiously. Writing over this limit puts you at risk of being redundant, including unnecessary information, going off-topic, or oversharing.

Your personal statement has to intrigue the admissions committee throughout their reading, so you want to ensure each paragraph is interesting. You will also be assessed on your clarity and ability to be concise, so ensure you prioritize quality over quantity.

FAQs: UC Hastings Law School

We’ve covered the basics on how to get into UC Hastings Law School. For any remaining questions, here are the answers to frequently asked questions about UC Hastings. 

1. How Hard Is It to Get Into UC Hastings Law School?

Compared to higher-ranking universities, like UC Berkeley, UC Hastings is less competitive and has a much higher acceptance rate. However, students must still maintain high LSAT and GPA scores and have stellar applications to be considered for admission.

2. Is UC Hastings a Good Law School?

Yes, despite its lower rankings, UC Hastings is an excellent law school. It is located in a hotspot for legal employment, has world-class faculty, and offers unparalleled experiential learning and externship opportunities.

3. What is UC Hastings Law Known For?

UC Hastings Law is best known for its dispute resolution specialty.

4. What LSAT Score Do I Need for UC Hastings?

You should aim to have an LSAT score of 160 to be considered competitive at UC Hastings Law School.

5. What GPA Do I Need for UC Hastings?

A GPA of 3.52 will put you around the median GPA of accepted UC Hastings law students.

6. Where is UC Hastings Located?

The UC Hastings College of Law is located in San Francisco, California.

Final Thoughts

If you’re intrigued by this law school's long-standing history of producing leading lawyers, or its prime location for employment, UC Hastings Law might be the perfect school for you! Attending Hastings will equip you with the skills necessary to begin your legal journey and become an excellent attorney!

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