Insights and Admission Guide to Hastings Law School


If you’re interested in pursuing a law degree, consider UC Law San Francisco, formerly known as Hastings Law School. This guide covers important topics such as the Hastings Law School ranking, acceptance rate, and the necessary steps for admission. Whether you’re just starting your search or ready to apply, this guide provides the information you need to make an informed decision.

Hastings Law School Statistics

About UC Hastings Law School

Where is Hastings Law School? The school is located in San Francisco. UC Law San Francisco, formerly known as UC Hastings, has held the position of the University of California’s main law department since 1878. This esteemed institution possesses a storied heritage and has flourished into one of California’s most comprehensive and diverse law schools. 

Today, UC Law SF is a hub for innovation and practical experience. The school is home to unique programs and over 15 specialized centers, like the Startup Legal Garage and the UCSF-UC Law SF Consortium, which allow students to explore the intersections between law and fields such as health policy and technology. Students can participate in various in-house and out-placement clinics and enroll in over 10 simulation courses. More than 100 students get involved in the school’s extensive judicial externship program each year. 

2023-2024 University of California Hastings Law School Ranking

Law School Program Rankings Rank
Best Law Schools (tie) 60
Business/Corporate Law (tie) 36
Clinical Training (tie) 22
Constitutional Law (tie) 29
Contracts/Commercial Law (tie) 29
Criminal Law (tie) 36
Dispute Resolution (tie) 11
Environmental Law 18
Health Care Law (tie) 11
Intellectual Property Law (tie) 31
International Law (tie) 25
Tax Law (tie) 18
Trial Advocacy (tie) 24

The University of California College of the Law, San Francisco, holds a notable position in legal education, ranking No. 60 (tie) among the Best Law Schools. In addition to its law school rankings, the school stands out in specialized areas, holding the No. 11 rank in Dispute Resolution and Health Care Law. These UC Hastings Law School rankings highlight the school’s commitment to providing a well-rounded and highly competitive legal education.

The school has also been recognized with other notable awards and honors, such as:

  • No. 1 More California Judges Than Any Other Law School
  • No. 2 Nationally Ranked Moot Court
  • No. 18 in Best Specialty Programs in the Country

Is Hastings Law School Good?

Aside from the University of Hastings Law School ranking, other supporting metrics such as the bar passage rate, post-graduation employment statistics, and the unique experiential learning opportunities are proof of the quality of education it provides.

Bar Passage Rate

The school shines in its bar passage rates, boasting an 81.7% first-time bar passage rate above the state average of 77.1%. Furthermore, the ultimate bar passage rate for the 2019 graduating class stood at an impressive 93.8%.

Employment After Graduation

When it comes to employability, 85.3% of students secure full-credit outcomes within 10 months of graduating. The school ranks 8th in the nation for producing the best general counsels hired at Fortune 500 companies.

Experiential Learning Opportunities

The school offers a variety of hands-on learning opportunities, which include:

  • Clinical Programs
  • Startup Legal Garage
  • Externships
  • Lawyers for America
  • Inter-Collegiate Competitions
  • Simulation Courses
  • Pro Bono Work

For those considering applying, the Law School Predictor can offer further insights into your potential for admission. This tool can be especially useful in helping you understand how your academic credentials measure up, giving you a clearer picture of your chances for acceptance.

Is UC Hastings Hard to Get Into?

UC Hastings Law School has an acceptance rate of 29%, which is below the national average of 41% for law schools. This suggests that UC Hastings Law School is a highly selective institution that admits less than one-third of applicants. Consequently, getting into this school can be quite difficult.

Preparation is key for those who are committed to getting into the UC School of Law. An LSAT study guide can be a useful resource in enhancing your chances of acceptance by improving your LSAT scores, a crucial factor in the admissions process.

Students studying inside a classroom- Hastings Law School

 Programs Offered at UC Hastings School of Law

If you’re considering a legal education, UC Hastings School of Law has multiple programs to meet different needs and career goals. Let’s dive into what each program offers:

  • Juris Doctor (J.D.):

The foundation for those looking to practice law, the Juris Doctor program offers a comprehensive legal education. This program sets the stage for your legal career, covering everything from constitutional law to contract negotiation.

  • The Master of Studies in Law (MSL):

The MSL program is perfect for individuals who aren’t aiming to practice law but still want a deep understanding of legal reasoning and principles. The program can be completed in one year or extended part-time over 1 1/2 to 4 years.

  • Master of Law (LL.M.):

The LL.M. program at UC Law SF is rich in academic coursework, professional development, and community engagement. Students can specialize in one of eight areas and receive additional certifications like a Certificate of Specialization and/or Practice Training Certificate upon graduation.

  • Certificate of Studies in Law (CSL):

The CSL is a one-semester program aimed at professionals who engage with law in their work. The program provides foundational knowledge of legal reasoning and allows students to focus on a specific area of law.

  • UCSF | UC Law Master of Science, Health Policy & Law (HPL):

Designed for those interested in the healthcare sector, this joint Master of Science degree program focuses on the nexus of health policy and law. It equips students with the tools to tackle contemporary legal and policy challenges in health and health science.

  • Summer Legal Institute (SLI):

SLI is a summer program that provides classes in various legal subject areas, allowing for extra study and skill-building during the break.

For more detailed information about each program and how they stack up against others, you can consult Law School Data to help in decision-making.

Admission Requirements and Deadlines for University of Hastings Law School

To successfully apply to the University of Hastings Law School, prospective students must familiarize themselves with the law school requirements and deadlines. Below is a list of required preparations:

  1. Bachelor’s Degree: Earn a bachelor’s degree (or its foreign equivalent) from an accredited institution before enrolling in the J.D. program.
  2. Standardized Tests: Take the LSAT or GRE by June of the year you plan to matriculate. Keep in mind that your scores should not be more than five years old, and the highest score will be what the Admissions Committee considers.
  3. Application via LSAC: Submit a completed application through LSAC.
  4. Transcripts: Send all your undergraduate and graduate transcripts to LSAC.
  5. Letters of Recommendation: Submit two Law School Letters of Recommendation. These should ideally come from people who can speak about your academic abilities, although professional references will also be accepted.
  6. Personal Statement: Include a personal statement with your application. There’s no specific length requirement, but it should be clear, well-structured, and relevant.
  7. Resume: Attach a current resume to your application.
  8. Character and Fitness: If you answer ‘yes’ to any of the Character and Fitness questions on the application, you must provide an explanation.

Admission Deadlines

  • Applications for the Fall 2024 cycle will open on September 1, 2023.
  • The deadline to enroll for Fall 2024 is April 15, 2024.

What LSAT Score Do I Need for Hastings?

UC Hastings LSAT scores for recently enrolled students ranged between 157 and 162. The median LSAT score is 160. Your goal should be to score 160 or higher for a competitive application. For additional help in achieving a high LSAT score, consider enrolling in LSAT Prep Courses or seeking LSAT Tutor services.

What GPA Do I Need for Hastings?

A strong GPA can also enhance your application. You need to aim for a GPA of at least 3.59, as that is the median GPA for admitted students to have a high chance of admission. Typically, GPAs range between 3.40 and 3.74.

Do You Accept GRE Scores?

While the LSAT is the more commonly submitted test, UC Hastings also accepts GRE scores. In fact, 8 students have recently enrolled using their GRE scores, suggesting that a strong GRE score could make you a viable candidate for admission.

Cost of Attendance of Hastings Law School

Fee Fall 2023 Spring 2024 Annual
Enrollment Fee $23,516 $23,515 $47,031
Total Resident Fees $26,721 $27,419 $54,140
Non-California Resident Tuition $3,467 $3,467 $6,934
Total Non-Resident Tuition and Fees $30,188 $30,886 $61,074

Understanding the cost of attendance is crucial for planning your educational journey. With the figures given, you can estimate the budget required for the nine-month academic year from mid-August to mid-May. Please note that this budget does not include expenses such as housing deposits or car payments.

Financial Aid of Hastings Law School

UC Law SF believes that excellent legal education should be accessible to everyone, regardless of financial constraints. The school offers a range of financial aid options to make education accessible to all. These include law school scholarships based on merit and financial need. 

Upon acceptance, your application will be reviewed for merit-based scholarships. You will be notified of your eligibility either with your admission offer or in the near future. Furthermore, students can access federal loans, work-study programs, and external fellowships as additional financing options.

How to Get Into Hastings Law School

If you have reviewed the admission requirements and acceptance rate, you may seek guidance on how to impress the admissions committee and differentiate yourself from other candidates. To assist you, here are three essential suggestions for gaining admission to UC Hastings Law School.

Opt for the LSAT Over the GRE

UC Hastings College of Law prefers the LSAT over the GRE for good reason: the LSAT has a long history of effectively evaluating the potential of law students. In fact, out of the graduating class of 2025, only eight students who submitted GRE scores were accepted. The following services can help you achieve a high LSAT score:

Be Selective with Your Letters of Recommendation

When it comes to your letters of recommendation, quality trumps quantity. Pick recommenders who can provide detailed, specific insights into your academic and professional capabilities. Generic or vague letters can send the wrong message about your impact and relationships.

Keep Your Personal Statement Brief but Impactful

Your personal statement should be compelling but concise. Aim for two to three pages, focusing on the most essential aspects of your story, skills, and motivations. A rambling or unfocused essay could undermine your application.

Seek Guidance from Law School Admission Consulting 

A consultant can guide you through the complex law school admissions, offering personalized advice on essays, interviews, and application strategy. They can review your entire application to make sure it aligns with the requirements and expectations of your desired law school. Consult with our Admissions Experts and secure your spot in UC Hastings Law. 

Apply Early 

Submit your law school application early to increase your chances of admission, as rolling admissions policies evaluate applications as they are received.


Hastings Law School offers a rich array of programs, an excellent faculty, and numerous opportunities for hands-on learning. With competitive admissions standards and a focus on holistic development, it’s clear why many aspiring legal professionals aim to be part of this esteemed institution.

Applying early, preparing rigorously for the LSAT, and carefully selecting who writes your letters of recommendation can give you an edge in the admissions process.