BYU 1L taking Questions

A forum for applicants and admitted students to ask law students and graduates about law school and the practice of law.
User avatar
justcap
Posts: 74
Joined: Sat Dec 12, 2009 11:39 pm

BYU 1L taking Questions

Postby justcap » Sat Dec 11, 2010 2:23 pm

For anyone thinking about applying to BYU, I'm a 1L willing to answer questions.

User avatar
joemoviebuff
Posts: 788
Joined: Wed Feb 10, 2010 12:51 am

Re: BYU 1L taking Questions

Postby joemoviebuff » Sat Dec 11, 2010 2:27 pm

LDS or no? Either way, what do you do for fun in Provo?

jeremychristiansen
Posts: 76
Joined: Tue Feb 09, 2010 9:44 pm

Re: BYU 1L taking Questions

Postby jeremychristiansen » Sat Dec 11, 2010 2:29 pm

Hey I'm under review right now at BYU. Definitely somewhere I would consider. My sister went there, she said it was pretty competitive. What do you think?

User avatar
El_Gallo
Posts: 218
Joined: Wed Apr 28, 2010 10:23 am

Re: BYU 1L taking Questions

Postby El_Gallo » Sat Dec 11, 2010 2:36 pm

How bleak are the perceived job prospects out of BYU? Did you choose BYU over other higher ranked schools? If so, do you regret your decision at all?

Thanks for taking questions!

User avatar
justcap
Posts: 74
Joined: Sat Dec 12, 2009 11:39 pm

Re: BYU 1L taking Questions

Postby justcap » Mon Dec 13, 2010 11:24 am

joemoviebuff wrote:LDS or no? Either way, what do you do for fun in Provo?

LDS. There are 6 out of 150 or so that are not LDS in the 1L class.

The mountains are real close for hiking and camping and skiing/snowboarding in the winter. There's always pick-up sports going on to play. I'm married and I didn't do undergrad here, so I don't really know where all the single people go have fun.

User avatar
justcap
Posts: 74
Joined: Sat Dec 12, 2009 11:39 pm

Re: BYU 1L taking Questions

Postby justcap » Mon Dec 13, 2010 11:28 am

jeremychristiansen wrote:Hey I'm under review right now at BYU. Definitely somewhere I would consider. My sister went there, she said it was pretty competitive. What do you think?

I always heard it was real competitive, and to a certain extent it is. There are lots of really smart (and sober) people that work hard and want to do well. But to me it does not seem cutthroat at all. Nobody is trying to put you down or sabotage anything. As far as I've seen, everyone is willing to help you out and share what they have with you. However, i also heard it depends on the class. Some classes are more chill, some or more intense. My perception is that my class is very smart but pretty chill.

Good luck!

User avatar
justcap
Posts: 74
Joined: Sat Dec 12, 2009 11:39 pm

Re: BYU 1L taking Questions

Postby justcap » Mon Dec 13, 2010 11:37 am

El_Gallo wrote:How bleak are the perceived job prospects out of BYU? Did you choose BYU over other higher ranked schools? If so, do you regret your decision at all?

Thanks for taking questions!


Even in the bad economy it seems like almost everyone still finds a job. It just may not be the job some people hoped for right out of school. I don't know what the job prospects are right now for the graduating class, but BYU seems to place pretty well because of the great alumni network and CSO (career service office).

BYU was the top ranked school I was admitted to, but there were still a couple I was considering up until the deposit deadline. I ended up choosing BYU largely because the cost of attendance and living is so low compared to other places. I don't regret my choice and I have really loved the experience so far.

Unless you want to live in a particular area that has a higher ranked school, I would say that BYU may be a better choice than anything ranked lower than 15-20.

User avatar
El_Gallo
Posts: 218
Joined: Wed Apr 28, 2010 10:23 am

Re: BYU 1L taking Questions

Postby El_Gallo » Mon Dec 13, 2010 3:46 pm

justcap wrote:Even in the bad economy it seems like almost everyone still finds a job. It just may not be the job some people hoped for right out of school. I don't know what the job prospects are right now for the graduating class, but BYU seems to place pretty well because of the great alumni network and CSO (career service office).

BYU was the top ranked school I was admitted to, but there were still a couple I was considering up until the deposit deadline. I ended up choosing BYU largely because the cost of attendance and living is so low compared to other places. I don't regret my choice and I have really loved the experience so far.

Unless you want to live in a particular area that has a higher ranked school, I would say that BYU may be a better choice than anything ranked lower than 15-20.


Awesome. Thanks for taking questions.

Do you plan on staying in Utah after graduating? I have heard rumors that BYU's mobility exceeds its ranking, is this true?

What have you not liked about the BYU experience so far? Any advice for a 0L hopeful?

User avatar
justcap
Posts: 74
Joined: Sat Dec 12, 2009 11:39 pm

Re: BYU 1L taking Questions

Postby justcap » Tue Dec 14, 2010 11:24 pm

El_Gallo wrote:Awesome. Thanks for taking questions.

Do you plan on staying in Utah after graduating? I have heard rumors that BYU's mobility exceeds its ranking, is this true?

I do hope to stay in Utah after graduating. I moved to St. George 11 years ago and I love it there and want to move back after school.
Yes, I think that BYU's mobility is better than almost any other school outside the top 20 probably, due to the Mormon mafia alumni network and the great CSO. However, the majority of BYU grads still take jobs in the west.

El_Gallo wrote:
What have you not liked about the BYU experience so far? Any advice for a 0L hopeful?

The biggest dislike I have is probably the same, if not worse, at other law schools: Some future lawyers think they're pretty cool or smart, especially if they grew up rich. I'm not from a rich or educated family, so that kind of attitude really gets on my nerves. Other than that complaint, which probably holds true at any law school, I really have enjoyed BYU law.

Any kind of specific advice you're looking for? Advice on getting in? or fitting in? or what schools to choose between? Feel free to pm me too if you want.

User avatar
deja
Posts: 171
Joined: Thu Sep 16, 2010 5:51 pm

Re: BYU 1L taking Questions

Postby deja » Fri Dec 17, 2010 4:55 pm

I did undergrad at BYU -- it's a great school in a lot of ways, but one of the things I really did not love is that the school has a prevailing culture of stifling certain ideas and perspectives. I worry that this culture exists in the law school as well, and it makes me hesitant because in my mind an ideal education requires exposure to and discussion of myriad ideas and perspectives.

Would you mind commenting on that? Do you feel there are any elements of a well-balanced legal education missing because of the demographics or the culture at the school?

User avatar
justcap
Posts: 74
Joined: Sat Dec 12, 2009 11:39 pm

Re: BYU 1L taking Questions

Postby justcap » Thu Dec 23, 2010 12:55 am

deja wrote:I did undergrad at BYU -- it's a great school in a lot of ways, but one of the things I really did not love is that the school has a prevailing culture of stifling certain ideas and perspectives. I worry that this culture exists in the law school as well, and it makes me hesitant because in my mind an ideal education requires exposure to and discussion of myriad ideas and perspectives.

Would you mind commenting on that? Do you feel there are any elements of a well-balanced legal education missing because of the demographics or the culture at the school?


Definitely the majority of students are conservative Mormons. There's no avoiding that at BYU. However, I haven't noticed any stifling of ideas/perspectives. I didn't do undergrad here, so I'm not sure how that is, but I think the law school is much more accepting of differing views, even on issues the LDS Church has spoken out on. For example, this semester the lead counsel on the side of gay marriage in Perry v. Schwarzenegger (CA Prop 8 case) came and spoke, making her case for the legalization of gay marriage. (By the way, even though the attorney was lesbian and married her wife while it was legal in 2008, the school still invited her and allowed her to come speak. Would the regular BYU do that? You know better than me.)

Other speakers/events that maybe questioned the predominate belief among Utahns included a debate on environmental policy, two exonerated death row inmates who told their story and opposed the death penalty, and others.

That being said, I've only had one semester, and none of the classes really got into any controversial or political topics (Torts, Contracts, Legal Analysis, Research/Writing).

Just curious: when you say that certain ideas/perspectives are stifled, do you mean by other students, or the university itself? At the law school, I haven't noticed either of those.

User avatar
deja
Posts: 171
Joined: Thu Sep 16, 2010 5:51 pm

Re: BYU 1L taking Questions

Postby deja » Thu Dec 23, 2010 12:21 pm

justcap wrote:
deja wrote:I did undergrad at BYU -- it's a great school in a lot of ways, but one of the things I really did not love is that the school has a prevailing culture of stifling certain ideas and perspectives. I worry that this culture exists in the law school as well, and it makes me hesitant because in my mind an ideal education requires exposure to and discussion of myriad ideas and perspectives.

Would you mind commenting on that? Do you feel there are any elements of a well-balanced legal education missing because of the demographics or the culture at the school?


Definitely the majority of students are conservative Mormons. There's no avoiding that at BYU. However, I haven't noticed any stifling of ideas/perspectives. I didn't do undergrad here, so I'm not sure how that is, but I think the law school is much more accepting of differing views, even on issues the LDS Church has spoken out on. For example, this semester the lead counsel on the side of gay marriage in Perry v. Schwarzenegger (CA Prop 8 case) came and spoke, making her case for the legalization of gay marriage. (By the way, even though the attorney was lesbian and married her wife while it was legal in 2008, the school still invited her and allowed her to come speak. Would the regular BYU do that? You know better than me.)

Other speakers/events that maybe questioned the predominate belief among Utahns included a debate on environmental policy, two exonerated death row inmates who told their story and opposed the death penalty, and others.

That being said, I've only had one semester, and none of the classes really got into any controversial or political topics (Torts, Contracts, Legal Analysis, Research/Writing).

Just curious: when you say that certain ideas/perspectives are stifled, do you mean by other students, or the university itself? At the law school, I haven't noticed either of those.


Thanks for the feedback! I hope finals went well for you.

In answer to your question, I would say it is a little bit of both. I worked at one of the student publications, so we had to deal with the campus' media policies and fight tooth and claw to publish anything that would even mildly cast a negative light on anything related to BYU. More than any particular policies or students, though, my biggest concern with the value of the education is the prevailing cultural attitude that to question certain things is to demonstrate a lack of conviction or devotion -- even when those things are not directly related to the LDS faith. Conformity is the name of the game, and sometimes critical analysis suffers.

Don't get me wrong - I do not mean to rag on the school. I think they're an outstanding institution in myriad ways. I just don't think that robust, multi-faceted and in-depth discussion of issues is one of the school's fortes. But what you've said has definitely helped to assuage some of my fears about a one-sided or shallow legal education.

person33
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Oct 30, 2010 2:23 am

Re: BYU 1L taking Questions

Postby person33 » Tue Jan 18, 2011 6:08 pm

Laptops???

Do most students use recommended laptops from the 'laptop initiative"???

How large is BYU's campus? How long to walk from the west end (provo high) to the law school?

Thanks!

User avatar
jdemmitt
Posts: 697
Joined: Wed Oct 13, 2010 4:52 pm

Re: BYU 1L taking Questions

Postby jdemmitt » Thu Jan 20, 2011 7:14 pm

For those have applied or been accepted, now or previously, when did you hear from BYU about your results? I thought they all came out like April 15th or something, but I just wanted to check to see if you could hear earlier or not.

Also, ya, what is the deal with the laptop initiative? What if I dont want one of those pieces of junk and want to get my own?

User avatar
justcap
Posts: 74
Joined: Sat Dec 12, 2009 11:39 pm

Re: BYU 1L taking Questions

Postby justcap » Fri Jan 21, 2011 6:32 pm

person33 wrote:Laptops???

Do most students use recommended laptops from the 'laptop initiative"???

How large is BYU's campus? How long to walk from the west end (provo high) to the law school?

Thanks!

The school does require you to have a laptop, but I think most people do not have the "laptop initiative" recommended one. I don't, and personally I think it's crazy to spend that much on a laptop (but I don't know much about computers, so maybe there's a reason for it.) All you really use it for is for note taking, paper writing, online research, and the final exams. So really there's no need for anything too fancy. My opinion is just any laptop will do.

I don't really know how big campus is, because I never really go on it. It's a very compact campus, so not super wide or long. My guess would be no more than 20 mins to walk from law school to Provo High.

User avatar
bsm909
Posts: 326
Joined: Fri Aug 14, 2009 4:05 pm

Re: BYU 1L taking Questions

Postby bsm909 » Mon Jan 24, 2011 8:07 pm

Only 6? Thats crazy! Are they integrated with everyone else pretty much so nobody would even really know anyways? Or is there any level of us/them that goes on?

Thanks for taking questions!

justcap wrote:
joemoviebuff wrote:LDS or no? Either way, what do you do for fun in Provo?

LDS. There are 6 out of 150 or so that are not LDS in the 1L class.

The mountains are real close for hiking and camping and skiing/snowboarding in the winter. There's always pick-up sports going on to play. I'm married and I didn't do undergrad here, so I don't really know where all the single people go have fun.

User avatar
bsm909
Posts: 326
Joined: Fri Aug 14, 2009 4:05 pm

Re: BYU 1L taking Questions

Postby bsm909 » Thu Feb 03, 2011 12:30 pm

Hi,
Can anyone who is currently a student at BYU give their input on something? I'd love to know what the average schedule is like in the first year particularly in regards to when you have to be on campus (days and for what range of hours, what time most classes start, etc) maybe there isn't a general answer, but any help would be appreciated. I live in SLC and would be commuting daily and am just weighing out how that commute would be, how much of a toll it may take, and just what I'd be getting myself into :)

Thanks!

User avatar
justcap
Posts: 74
Joined: Sat Dec 12, 2009 11:39 pm

Re: BYU 1L taking Questions

Postby justcap » Wed Mar 02, 2011 5:37 pm

bsm909 wrote:Only 6? Thats crazy! Are they integrated with everyone else pretty much so nobody would even really know anyways? Or is there any level of us/them that goes on?

Thanks for taking questions!

Yeah, they're integrated with everyone, and there is no us/them mentality whatsoever. From my point of view, nonmormons fit in just like everyone else and I don't see it as an issue at all. But of course, since I'm a Mormon, I can't really say exactly how they see or feel it is.

User avatar
justcap
Posts: 74
Joined: Sat Dec 12, 2009 11:39 pm

Re: BYU 1L taking Questions

Postby justcap » Wed Mar 02, 2011 5:50 pm

bsm909 wrote:Hi,
Can anyone who is currently a student at BYU give their input on something? I'd love to know what the average schedule is like in the first year particularly in regards to when you have to be on campus (days and for what range of hours, what time most classes start, etc) maybe there isn't a general answer, but any help would be appreciated. I live in SLC and would be commuting daily and am just weighing out how that commute would be, how much of a toll it may take, and just what I'd be getting myself into :)

Thanks!

First off, I know of quite a few people in all 3 years who commute down from different parts of SL valley. I'm sure the commute isn't much fun or cheap, but it is definitely doable.
As far as class schedules, each section is a bit different, but here are the hours I had classes last semester and this semester:
Fall semester: Mon/Wed- 9-950, 10:00-10:50, 1-2:15; Tue/Thur-8:30-9:45, 10-10:50, 1-2:15; Fri-9-9:50 ... I also had non-required lecture classes on Wed 4-450 and Fri 10-1050.
Spring(Winter): Mon/Wed-9-950, 10-10:50, 1-215, 230-345; Tue/Thu- 10-150, 1-215; Fri 1-215 ... And a non-req lecture Fri at 10.

There are usually events at lunch time (with free lunch a few times each week) and other things you may or may want to attend. Almost everyone gets here sometime in the morning before class and stay all day until after classes are over or even later to do tomorrow's readings. Most people treat it like a full-time job and do something like 8 or 9 to 5 or 6

User avatar
BushyPotter
Posts: 9
Joined: Sat Mar 12, 2011 4:46 am

Re: BYU 1L taking Questions

Postby BushyPotter » Sat Mar 12, 2011 5:43 am

I really like BYU's honor code [I don't drink coffee anyway lol], but I'm a christian guy so I was wondering how that would work out.
Are there any christians at byu? are there any christian churches out there?
and would I have to attend LDS church services?
I'm sure I would fit in there, I'm just trying to figure out if I would have to compromise my faith in any way
what do you guys [and by guys I mean law students] do for fun out there?
Also, do you know of anybody ever leaving utah after graduation and working in CA, is it possible?

User avatar
justcap
Posts: 74
Joined: Sat Dec 12, 2009 11:39 pm

Re: BYU 1L taking Questions

Postby justcap » Tue Mar 15, 2011 10:00 pm

BushyPotter wrote:I really like BYU's honor code [I don't drink coffee anyway lol], but I'm a christian guy so I was wondering how that would work out.
Are there any christians at byu? are there any christian churches out there?
and would I have to attend LDS church services?
I'm sure I would fit in there, I'm just trying to figure out if I would have to compromise my faith in any way
what do you guys [and by guys I mean law students] do for fun out there?
Also, do you know of anybody ever leaving utah after graduation and working in CA, is it possible?

Those are some good questions, and I'm going to answer them out of order:
You don't have to attend LDS church services, but I think the honor code says you commit to regular attendance of your own church of choice. There are several Christian churches of all denominations in the Provo area, so you could easily find one you like. I don't know, but I would bet there are some that are geared toward college students and young people, if that's what you want, since there's a state university nearby.

You'll never have to compromise your faith at all, but I'm sure there will be at least someone that will try and convince you that Mormon-Christian is the way to go. You'll also learn alot about Mormonism (whether you want to or not), at least its culture, because probably 95% of the law school students are Mormon. The 1L class this year has about 145 students and only 6 are not Mormon. I know a couple of them are Catholic, but I don't know about the others. There's probably a handful of non-mormon Christians at the law school, and a number of them at the main university.
All in all, the things you'll have to deal with are being surrounded by Mormons, lots of references to church teachings, probably frequent invitations to church or church activities (which are generally pretty fun), occasional questions about your beliefs and occasional preachings.

Now, to your question about what law students do for fun. There are always all kinds of sports going on, including a very extensive intramural program at BYU. The law school this year had intramural teams in basketball, football, soccer, water polo, tennis doubles, ultimate frisbee and maybe some others. Other common activities that are very close to campus include: hiking, climbing, camping, fishing, skiing, snowboarding, bowling, golf, board and other group games, attend college athletic events, and other stuff. But also, half the students are married and like to spend their time away from school with their families.

Hopefully this longwinded response is useful :)

User avatar
zonto
Posts: 480
Joined: Thu Dec 16, 2010 4:20 pm

Re: BYU 1L taking Questions

Postby zonto » Wed Mar 16, 2011 7:05 pm

Are Mormons Christian? (for BushyPotter)

I would hope that you wouldn't have to compromise your faith in any way. The major difference is that you probably believe revelation ceased with the Bible; we believe it still continues today through modern prophets and apostles. Even driving on the freeway down to Salt Lake though there are numerous billboards from other churches advertising so I doubt you'd have any problem finding other churches to attend.

justcap, are there any traditions or activities exclusive to BYU or Utah County as opposed to Logan (where I am) or Salt Lake City? Wondering if there's an adjustment (even being LDS) of actually attending a school where the church is so prevalent.

User avatar
justcap
Posts: 74
Joined: Sat Dec 12, 2009 11:39 pm

Re: BYU 1L taking Questions

Postby justcap » Mon Mar 28, 2011 2:06 pm

BushyPotter wrote:Also, do you know of anybody ever leaving utah after graduation and working in CA, is it possible?

Yes, lots of people go work in CA after graduation. I don't know the numbers, but there are quite a few people from CA that plan on returning. I know of a number of people who are working there this summer. So, yeah, if you want to work in CA, you can.

zonto wrote:justcap, are there any traditions or activities exclusive to BYU or Utah County as opposed to Logan (where I am) or Salt Lake City? Wondering if there's an adjustment (even being LDS) of actually attending a school where the church is so prevalent.

I don't know of any traditions or activities that are exclusive to the area other than what any town will have (their own marathons, holiday events, etc.) The BYU feel certainly is different that anywhere, including Logan. Even though the church (well, at least its people) pretty much dominates Logan, it is even more pervasive at BYU since it is owned and operated by the church. I feel like it really does live up to its name of "happy valley" not because everyone is happy, but because people have that bubbly somewhat fake happy. Also there are some real goofy condemnations written into the school newspaper. Also, I really have heard people refer to it seriously as "the Lord's University." So in some ways BYU lives up to it's somewhat negative reputation of self-righteousness.
But I do want to clarify that although there is some of that negative stuff, it doesn't dominate the area or school. Generally it is a good place with good and genuine people.

Though I personally prefer Cache Valley to Utah Valley, it has almost nothing to do with BYU or the closeness to the church. It mostly is because Cache is still quite rural with lots of nice folks that grew up on the farm. I like the little town feeling up there. Here it is a bit more crowded and there aren't many farmer folk.

User avatar
zonto
Posts: 480
Joined: Thu Dec 16, 2010 4:20 pm

Re: BYU 1L taking Questions

Postby zonto » Tue Mar 29, 2011 8:40 pm

Thanks for your comments.

Cache Valley has been a great place for undergrad work, but after 5 years of the ridiculous weather here and the lack of city life I am ready to move. You can shed a coat/jacket during winter going from Logan to Provo! :shock:

I've heard about people calling it "the Lord's University" before too. And I think I can relate to the fake happiness. I dated a girl once that never said a negative thing and was always laughing and smiling. Initially it drew me to her; after a while it drove me nuts. What type of stuff shows up in the newspaper?

After the ASD yesterday, I have another question you might be able to help me with. How are the alumni contacts with regards to helping find jobs in places where the school doesn't seem to place a lot? (thinking about Boston) Clearly there are alum there, so if a BYU grad wants to get a job somewhere like that does it just fall upon them to find contacts and work them themselves since there isn't a whole lot of interview opportunity there at OCI or the off-campus stuff in CA or DC?

gon09009
Posts: 9
Joined: Wed May 25, 2011 1:57 pm

Re: BYU 1L taking Questions

Postby gon09009 » Tue Oct 11, 2011 2:22 pm

Does J. Rueben Clark Law School have night classes? Also, I understand that the school has externships instead of clinics. Can you tell me the difference? Thanks, I appreciate you taking time out from your busy schedule to answer our questions.




Return to “Ask a Law Student / Graduate”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: dclaw93, Yahoo [Bot] and 4 guests