Exploring the J. Reuben Clark Law School

The J. Reuben Clark Law School is a dynamic part of Brigham Young University, and has been since its founding in 1973. The relationship between the University and the Law School is strong and fulfills the charge issued by then-BYU President Dallin H. Oaks in his inaugural address—that the Law School “should be part of Brigham Young University in all respects, with the law faculty and students fully participating and contributing in the intellectual and spiritual life of the University.” The benefits of this relationship are numerous. For undergraduates, benefits mean learning opportunities and direct access to an exceptional graduate program. For the Law School, benefits include direct access to an outstanding student body that is the envy of law schools across the country and whose members consistently constitute over half of each BYU Law entering class.

A law degree remains the pre-eminent degree for training leaders, and at BYU Law we are committed to providing the type of training that prepares our students for lifetimes of service to the profession,  to their communities and families, and to “those of the last wagon.”[1]We also believe lawyers can be healers, peacemakers, and problem solvers, and we bring unique religious perspectives to these dimensions of professional life.

One of BYU Law’s contributions to the intellectual life of undergraduates is our World of Law discussion series—an easily accessible opportunity for students to gain insights about key legal issues and potential practice areas. The series is taught by some of BYU Law’s outstanding professors, and this year’s presenters include Susan Griffith, Justin Collings, Carolina Núñez, Kif Augustine-Adams and Maybell Romero who will address topics ranging from family law to civil rights.

The Law School also encourages undergraduate student participation by inviting student visitors to first-year law classes.  Class visits can be scheduled online, and students interested in attending other events can stay up-to-date by liking our BYU Law Admissions Facebook page or contacting the Admissions Office to be placed on our distribution list.

Unlike many graduate programs that require specific undergraduate majors, law school builds on analytical and communication skills developed in a wide variety of majors; and BYU Law attracts students from the gamut of BYU’s strong academic programs. The students in this fall’s entering class represent 46 different majors, with political science, English, communications and accounting leading the list. Applicants’ majors range from life sciences and engineering, to the humanities and music, to business and finance. We encourage potential students to engage and excel in intellectual pursuits that align with their particular interests, knowing that the law embraces all disciplines and is intertwined with virtually every field of academic endeavor. Watch our Class of 2019 video for additional information about the diverse backgrounds of this year’s entering class.

With BYU undergraduates as key contributors to its reputation and ranking, BYU Law continues to excel not only in fulfilling its mission to teach the laws of men in the light of the laws of God, but also in ways measured on more secular terms. Our high academic standards coupled with high bar passage rates and low tuition costs have earned BYU Law ranking among the top 20 law schools for value by The National Jurist. Our low tuition costs and generously endowed scholarships have resulted in the best salary to debt ratio in the nation, and we are the #5 law school in the country for graduates with the least debt. In addition, the successful placement of our graduates is testament to the extensive support provided by our national and international network of alumni and Clark Law Society members. This year we celebrated the 40th anniversary of the Charter Class’s graduation, and we will continue to rely on a dynamic and highly qualified contingent of BYU undergraduates to continue their graduate studies at BYU Law, where we are deeply committed to professional excellence as well as the ideal that this is compatible with a life of faith.

[1] From an address given by President J. Reuben Clark, October 5, 1947 and reprinted in the Ensign, July 1997.

Gayla Sorenson is the Dean of Admissions at BYU Law, with previous professional experiences including being a Vice President, Law at Motorola, Inc. and Director of Global Compliance at Biomet, Inc. She has volunteered extensively with the J. Reuben Clark Law Society and the International Center for Law and Religion Studies.

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