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The Berkeley Exchange Program was designed for the purpose of enhancing the educational opportunities available to law students at both Harvard and Berkeley by providing them with exposure to a different faculty and student body. Each year, the program allows up to five Harvard Law School students to spend their third year studying at Berkeley’s Boalt Hall School of Law. In return, up to five students from Berkeley can spend their third year here at Harvard.

Under the rules adopted by HLS and Berkeley for this program, all students who are selected will:

  1. continue to pay tuition to and apply for financial aid from their home law school,
  2. pay medical fees to the host law school,
  3. receive their degree from their home law school, and
  4. have access to both host and home placement offices.

For additional Financial Aid information about the program, please visit the Student Financial Services site.

General policies for participating HLS students

  1. The writing requirement must still be met under the supervision of an HLS faculty member.
  2. Professional responsibility requirements must still be met. If you are planning to apply to the Berkeley Exchange Program, you should strongly consider taking a course in professional responsibility in your second year.
  3. The HLS Registrar must approve of the course of study to be taken at Berkeley.
  4. Participation in Berkeley’s Clinical Semester Away Program is not permitted.
  5. The application deadline for the program is first Friday in February.

Applying to the Berkeley Exchange Program

HLS students who wish to be considered for the Exchange Program should submit an application to the Administrative Board via the Dean of Students. The application should be in the form of a letter indicating why you wish to participate in the program. Special attention will be given to academic reasons for wishing to go to Berkeley such as a desire to work with a particular faculty member there, or to take courses not available at Harvard. In any event, the application should include a proposed course of study at Berkeley. Courses at Boalt Hall are listed on their website

Every effort will be made to let students know by the beginning of April who has been chosen to go to Berkeley next year. Once a student is notified of acceptance into the program, the student will have two weeks to advise HLS whether he or she will participate. If the student gives an affirmative response, he or she will not be permitted to pre-register. The consequences of this will be if a student accepts a place in the Exchange Program but later withdraws and returns here for the third year, the student will have the lowest priority with respect to course and seminar selection here. Accordingly, you should give careful consideration now whether you wish to participate in the Program. Any questions about the Program may be raised with the Dean of Students Office.

What will my transcript look like?
How are grades calculated?
Will my financial aid budget be adjusted to account for cost of living?
How long is the program? Can I participate for one semester?
How does participating in the Berkeley Exchange affect registration? How do I register for classes?
How long should the application essay be?
Even though the application does not require letters of recommendation, should I get some?
How many applicants are admitted?
What sort of correspondence occurs between HLS and Berkeley during the admissions process?
Should I mention any personal considerations in my essay?
Who should I contact for additional information?