Top conservative law schools

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Luke
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Top conservative law schools

Postby Luke » Mon Feb 02, 2009 1:54 am

Although I'd love to be wrong, it seems that most of the top schools are politically liberal. Many of them are famously liberal. I, as a political conservative, cherish the idea of going to a school where the professors and student body are like-minded. I wonder, is there such a thing as a "ranking" of schools based on where they sit on the political spectrum?

Barring that (a ranking), which are the most conservative of the top 25 (or so) law schools? I keep hearing that Chicago is conservative. But how conservative is it compared to, say, Pepperdine? Are there any other top schools that are conservative?

Finally, living in California, I'm naturally attacted to USC and UCLA but I suppose they are fairly far to the left. Anybody have any experience with them?

Thanks for your insight,
Luke

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DMNeece
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Re: Top conservative law schools

Postby DMNeece » Mon Feb 02, 2009 1:55 am


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OnicEnero
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Re: Top conservative law schools

Postby OnicEnero » Mon Feb 02, 2009 2:22 am

Conservative can mean a lot of things. Do you mean socially/religiously conservative or conservative economically/politically?

Law students and students in general are young people. Young people are more likely to be liberal. But I would suspect that all the top law schools have a good minority of conservative students, as I would think future lawyers of all political stripes would want to go to the best school they could get into.

But really, I wouldn't use political ideology to pick a school. Lawyers need to be able to see things from all sides and hopefully the best professors, no matter their leanings, would teach you to do that.

I will say, though, that a lot of modern (secular) conservative thought has come out of U Chicago, so conservative faculty and students MIGHT be a larger minority than at most top schools. George Mason, Notre Dame, and washington & Lee are other schools that I've heard might have conservative majorities, but again, I'm not sure. And of course heavily religious schools like Baylor, BYU, Pepperdine, etc will have more socially conservative student bodies than is the norm.

paraducks
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Re: Top conservative law schools

Postby paraducks » Mon Feb 02, 2009 2:30 am

OnicEnero wrote:Conservative can mean a lot of things. Do you mean socially/religiously conservative or conservative economically/politically?

Law students and students in general are young people. Young people are more likely to be liberal. But I would suspect that all the top law schools have a good minority of conservative students, as I would think future lawyers of all political stripes would want to go to the best school they could get into.

But really, I wouldn't use political ideology to pick a school. Lawyers need to be able to see things from all sides and hopefully the best professors, no matter their leanings, would teach you to do that.

I will say, though, that a lot of modern (secular) conservative thought has come out of U Chicago, so conservative faculty and students MIGHT be a larger minority than at most top schools. George Mason, Notre Dame, and washington & Lee are other schools that I've heard might have conservative majorities, but again, I'm not sure. And of course heavily religious schools like Baylor, BYU, Pepperdine, etc will have more socially conservative student bodies than is the norm.


^ this is true.

in addition, the culture in terms of acceptance of diversity is often considered (whether rightly or wrongly) to add to the definition of a schools liberalness or conservatism. schools like notre dame are on the princeton review list of schools where glbt people are least likely to find acceptance. usually schools that make it on to lists like this don't tend to be full of die-hard liberals.

Luke
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Re: Top conservative law schools

Postby Luke » Mon Feb 02, 2009 3:16 am



This is very helpful, thanks! Just what I was asking for.

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superflush
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Re: Top conservative law schools

Postby superflush » Mon Feb 02, 2009 3:19 am

Luke wrote:Although I'd love to be wrong, it seems that most of the top schools are politically liberal. Many of them are famously liberal. I, as a political conservative, cherish the idea of going to a school where the professors and student body are like-minded. I wonder, is there such a thing as a "ranking" of schools based on where they sit on the political spectrum?

Barring that (a ranking), which are the most conservative of the top 25 (or so) law schools? I keep hearing that Chicago is conservative. But how conservative is it compared to, say, Pepperdine? Are there any other top schools that are conservative?


Most top schools are not conservative.
Education, especially prestigious education has a liberal bias.

If you're looking for religious-affiliated schools, most don't hit high in the ranks, but there is Georgetown and Notre Dame.

Luke
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Re: Top conservative law schools

Postby Luke » Mon Feb 02, 2009 3:24 am

OnicEnero wrote:Conservative can mean a lot of things. Do you mean socially/religiously conservative or conservative economically/politically?

[snip]

I will say, though, that a lot of modern (secular) conservative thought has come out of U Chicago, so conservative faculty and students MIGHT be a larger minority than at most top schools. George Mason, Notre Dame, and washington & Lee are other schools that I've heard might have conservative majorities, but again, I'm not sure. And of course heavily religious schools like Baylor, BYU, Pepperdine, etc will have more socially conservative student bodies than is the norm.


This is also helpful, thanks very much. I guess I would say I'm looking at the Christian conservative side of things (e.g. Con Law including the view that the 1st Amendment meant the opposite of the way it's often applied today). Pepperdine seems to be the most highly-regarded in that respect (and my wife wants to live in Malibu), but I wonder if I would be compromising to go there...I think the intellectual level at Chicago would be closer to what I crave than Pepperdine would be. I just don't want to be spoon-fed a steady diet of "progressive" views on things...even though I would feel comfortable defending my point of view if it differed.

I will take another peek at George Mason and W&L.

I appreciate the input!

galahad85
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Re: Top conservative law schools

Postby galahad85 » Mon Feb 02, 2009 3:33 am

Luke wrote:
OnicEnero wrote:Conservative can mean a lot of things. Do you mean socially/religiously conservative or conservative economically/politically?

[snip]

I will say, though, that a lot of modern (secular) conservative thought has come out of U Chicago, so conservative faculty and students MIGHT be a larger minority than at most top schools. George Mason, Notre Dame, and washington & Lee are other schools that I've heard might have conservative majorities, but again, I'm not sure. And of course heavily religious schools like Baylor, BYU, Pepperdine, etc will have more socially conservative student bodies than is the norm.


This is also helpful, thanks very much. I guess I would say I'm looking at the Christian conservative side of things (e.g. Con Law including the view that the 1st Amendment meant the opposite of the way it's often applied today). Pepperdine seems to be the most highly-regarded in that respect (and my wife wants to live in Malibu), but I wonder if I would be compromising to go there...I think the intellectual level at Chicago would be closer to what I crave than Pepperdine would be. I just don't want to be spoon-fed a steady diet of "progressive" views on things...even though I would feel comfortable defending my point of view if it differed.

I will take another peek at George Mason and W&L.

I appreciate the input!


George Mason is only considered conservative in its economic views. I've never heard it referred to as a "Christian conservative" type of school in the vein of Pepperdine. I'm not sure about W&L, but I doubt it would be like that either (it is a secular school, after all).

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Marmot
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Re: Top conservative law schools

Postby Marmot » Mon Feb 02, 2009 8:47 am

Luke wrote:I, as a political conservative, cherish the idea of going to a school where the professors and student body are like-minded.

Go to Liberty or Regent if you want to talk to dittoheads all day. You might find, though, that diversity of opinion is kind of nice - and that it's fun to argue from the minority.

Pepperdine is the only law school I've heard discussed as super-conservative that's also somewhat respected. George Mason and Chicago are known as economically conservative schools, and Mason does have a pretty big law-and-economics course offering, but that school is more libertarian than anything. No idea what Chicago's law school is like politically.

JRR
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Re: Top conservative law schools

Postby JRR » Mon Feb 02, 2009 9:01 am

Luke wrote:Although I'd love to be wrong, it seems that most of the top schools are politically liberal. Many of them are famously liberal. I, as a political conservative, cherish the idea of going to a school where the professors and student body are like-minded. I wonder, is there such a thing as a "ranking" of schools based on where they sit on the political spectrum?

Barring that (a ranking), which are the most conservative of the top 25 (or so) law schools? I keep hearing that Chicago is conservative. But how conservative is it compared to, say, Pepperdine? Are there any other top schools that are conservative?

Finally, living in California, I'm naturally attacted to USC and UCLA but I suppose they are fairly far to the left. Anybody have any experience with them?

Thanks for your insight,
Luke


Dude, going to a liberal school won't make you less conservative if you have a backbone.

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Cole S. Law
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Re: Top conservative law schools

Postby Cole S. Law » Mon Feb 02, 2009 11:19 am

JRR wrote:
Luke wrote:Although I'd love to be wrong, it seems that most of the top schools are politically liberal. Many of them are famously liberal. I, as a political conservative, cherish the idea of going to a school where the professors and student body are like-minded. I wonder, is there such a thing as a "ranking" of schools based on where they sit on the political spectrum?

Barring that (a ranking), which are the most conservative of the top 25 (or so) law schools? I keep hearing that Chicago is conservative. But how conservative is it compared to, say, Pepperdine? Are there any other top schools that are conservative?

Finally, living in California, I'm naturally attacted to USC and UCLA but I suppose they are fairly far to the left. Anybody have any experience with them?

Thanks for your insight,
Luke


Dude, going to a liberal school won't make you less conservative if you have a backbone.


No, but it does make one sick to one's stomach watching liberal profs and liberal students --deleted-- in every class.

JRR
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Re: Top conservative law schools

Postby JRR » Mon Feb 02, 2009 11:21 am

Cole S. Law wrote:
JRR wrote:
Luke wrote:Although I'd love to be wrong, it seems that most of the top schools are politically liberal. Many of them are famously liberal. I, as a political conservative, cherish the idea of going to a school where the professors and student body are like-minded. I wonder, is there such a thing as a "ranking" of schools based on where they sit on the political spectrum?

Barring that (a ranking), which are the most conservative of the top 25 (or so) law schools? I keep hearing that Chicago is conservative. But how conservative is it compared to, say, Pepperdine? Are there any other top schools that are conservative?

Finally, living in California, I'm naturally attacted to USC and UCLA but I suppose they are fairly far to the left. Anybody have any experience with them?

Thanks for your insight,
Luke


Dude, going to a liberal school won't make you less conservative if you have a backbone.


No, but it does make one sick to one's stomach watching liberal profs and liberal students --deleted-- in every class.


Get used to it. The real world isn't much better. Corporate life is a diversity lovefest.

jungleshark
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Re: Top conservative law schools

Postby jungleshark » Mon Feb 02, 2009 11:47 am

I think one indicator of a law school being liberal is whether the application asks if you are homosexual. Applications to Penn and Cornell ask you if you're homosexual or if you're transgendered. I applied to Penn because it's well-regarded, but I'm hoping I get into a well-regarded school that's not quite as liberal. Also browse through the viewbook and see what the students & faculty look like (how they're dressed, etc...). I looked at UCLA's viewbook and I also looked at Vanderbilt's viewbook and there is a big difference. Vanderbilt looks more conservative. UCLA has an institute on sexual orientation; that is a sign of it being liberal. Also, notice that Texas's non-discrimination policy does not include "sexual orientation;" that may be a good sign if you're conservative. Penn's non-discrimination policy, on the other hand, not only includes sexual orientation, but even "gender identity." Penn is apparently way ahead of the game in terms of being liberal. I think Penn also tried to get military recruiters banned from campus because the army doesn't permit open professions of homosexuality.

alleycat3
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Re: Top conservative law schools

Postby alleycat3 » Mon Feb 02, 2009 12:13 pm

jungleshark wrote:I think one indicator of a law school being liberal is whether the application asks if you are homosexual. Applications to Penn and Cornell ask you if you're homosexual or if you're transgendered. I applied to Penn because it's well-regarded, but I'm hoping I get into a well-regarded school that's not quite as liberal. Also browse through the viewbook and see what the students & faculty look like (how they're dressed, etc...). I looked at UCLA's viewbook and I also looked at Vanderbilt's viewbook and there is a big difference. Vanderbilt looks more conservative. UCLA has an institute on sexual orientation; that is a sign of it being liberal. Also, notice that Texas's non-discrimination policy does not include "sexual orientation;" that may be a good sign if you're conservative. Penn's non-discrimination policy, on the other hand, not only includes sexual orientation, but even "gender identity." Penn is apparently way ahead of the game in terms of being liberal. I think Penn also tried to get military recruiters banned from campus because the army doesn't permit open professions of homosexuality.


Um. Have fun being a homophobe.

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dresden doll
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Re: Top conservative law schools

Postby dresden doll » Mon Feb 02, 2009 12:35 pm

jungleshark wrote:I think one indicator of a law school being liberal is whether the application asks if you are homosexual. Applications to Penn and Cornell ask you if you're homosexual or if you're transgendered. I applied to Penn because it's well-regarded, but I'm hoping I get into a well-regarded school that's not quite as liberal. Also browse through the viewbook and see what the students & faculty look like (how they're dressed, etc...). I looked at UCLA's viewbook and I also looked at Vanderbilt's viewbook and there is a big difference. Vanderbilt looks more conservative. UCLA has an institute on sexual orientation; that is a sign of it being liberal. Also, notice that Texas's non-discrimination policy does not include "sexual orientation;" that may be a good sign if you're conservative. Penn's non-discrimination policy, on the other hand, not only includes sexual orientation, but even "gender identity." Penn is apparently way ahead of the game in terms of being liberal. I think Penn also tried to get military recruiters banned from campus because the army doesn't permit open professions of homosexuality.


I just love how the seeming lack of acceptance of/accommodation for gays can be used as a criteria for identifying 'good' schools worth applying to.

God, I'm glad I'm liberal.

OP, in choosing my schools, I strove for just the opposite of what you're trying to do: I made sure not to apply to any conservative schools, which wasn't too hard seeing how the highest ranked schools don't tend to be afflicted with right-wing thinking anyway. For your benefit, here's a list of 10 most conservative schools, as per PR:

1. Regent
2. Ave Maria
3. Brigham Young
4. George Mason
5. University of Notre Dame
6. Louisiana State
7. University of Alabama
8. Campbell
9. Texas Tech
10. University of Mississippi

Conversely, here's a list of schools you might care to avoid:
1. University of the District of Columbia
2. Northeastern
3. City University of New York - Queens College
4. Lewis and Clark College
5. American
6. Vermont
7. University of Oregon
8. University of California, Berkeley
9. New York University
10. University of Maine

Enjoy!

jungleshark
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Re: Top conservative law schools

Postby jungleshark » Mon Feb 02, 2009 12:45 pm

I actually applied to Berkeley because it is ranked high, it is relatively inexpensive, and the winters are not cold. However, I would appreciate any insight as to whether a very conservative person would be comfortable there. If the school seems large and pluralistic, I might be able to survive there. But I wouldn't want to be in an environment that is repressive towards people like me.

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seraphita
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Re: Top conservative law schools

Postby seraphita » Mon Feb 02, 2009 12:50 pm

I actually applied to Berkeley because it is ranked high, it is relatively inexpensive, and the winters are not cold. However, I would appreciate any insight as to whether a very conservative person would be comfortable there. If the school seems large and pluralistic, I might be able to survive there. But I wouldn't want to be in an environment that is repressive towards people like me.


Doesn't John Yoo teach there?

steindle
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Re: Top conservative law schools

Postby steindle » Mon Feb 02, 2009 12:52 pm

Ahh, the weekly thread about this.

Funny how it tends to be the conservatives who want to be surrounded uniformly by other conservatives.

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Skadden Stairs
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Re: Top conservative law schools

Postby Skadden Stairs » Mon Feb 02, 2009 12:55 pm

Go to Liberty. No one will miss you.

Liberty University School of Law is a law school committed to academic and professional excellence in the context of the Christian intellectual tradition.

We are a law school where what is taught comports with history, objective reality, morality, and common sense.

Cognitive dissonance, ftw.

jungleshark
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Re: Top conservative law schools

Postby jungleshark » Mon Feb 02, 2009 12:56 pm

I do have share a number of positions with liberals, such as opposition to war. But culturally, I'm conservative. And yes, John Yoo does teach at Berkeley.

jungleshark
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Re: Top conservative law schools

Postby jungleshark » Mon Feb 02, 2009 12:59 pm

Give me a a full tuition scholarship and a $1,000,000 stipend, and I'll go to Liberty. I want to get a good job after I graduate, and I'll keep my views to myself while in the classroom if I have to.

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dresden doll
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Re: Top conservative law schools

Postby dresden doll » Mon Feb 02, 2009 1:11 pm

lex talionis wrote:Go to Liberty. No one will miss you.

Liberty University School of Law is a law school committed to academic and professional excellence in the context of the Christian intellectual tradition.

We are a law school where what is taught comports with history, objective reality, morality, and common sense.

Cognitive dissonance, ftw.


:lol: Do they seriously claim they teach doctrines in accordance with objective reality, morality and common sense (as those terms are understood by them, of course)? At least us liberals speak much of concepts like social construction and don't imagine ourselves to be grand arbiters of objective reality.

I agree, sounds like just the place that would satisfy OP's yearnings for a like-minded student body where all are feverishly committed to the same grand orthodoxy. OP, you're in luck. There sure are place where everyone puts on the same ideological tin foil hat as you.

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Axis
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Re: Top conservative law schools

Postby Axis » Mon Feb 02, 2009 1:12 pm

These posts pop up every month or so, and every time I wonder why it is such a big deal. You're going to encounter a diversity of opinion at any law school you attend, and even more so when you actually practice in the real world. Instead of entrenching yourself in your own ideology, why not learn from the other side? At best, you'll learn how to better argue against them. At worst, you can roll your eyes whenever you disagree with someone. Go to the best school you can, regardless of ideology.

jungleshark
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Re: Top conservative law schools

Postby jungleshark » Mon Feb 02, 2009 1:17 pm

Axis, I like your post.

I plan to go to the best school I can, but as a tiebreaker, I might consider, among other criteria, which school is more tolerant of conservatives.

Anyway, I think there is a place for both relativism and objectivism. It depends on the context.

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Diana341
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Re: Top conservative law schools

Postby Diana341 » Mon Feb 02, 2009 1:21 pm

jungleshark wrote:I think one indicator of a law school being liberal is whether the application asks if you are homosexual. Applications to Penn and Cornell ask you if you're homosexual or if you're transgendered. I applied to Penn because it's well-regarded, but I'm hoping I get into a well-regarded school that's not quite as liberal. Also browse through the viewbook and see what the students & faculty look like (how they're dressed, etc...). I looked at UCLA's viewbook and I also looked at Vanderbilt's viewbook and there is a big difference. Vanderbilt looks more conservative. UCLA has an institute on sexual orientation; that is a sign of it being liberal. Also, notice that Texas's non-discrimination policy does not include "sexual orientation;" that may be a good sign if you're conservative. Penn's non-discrimination policy, on the other hand, not only includes sexual orientation, but even "gender identity." Penn is apparently way ahead of the game in terms of being liberal. I think Penn also tried to get military recruiters banned from campus because the army doesn't permit open professions of homosexuality.


What a ridiculous reason to rule out a school. Also, your obsession with homosexuality is a cause for concern. :shock:




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