Religious Law Schools

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Enderdejorand
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Religious Law Schools

Postby Enderdejorand » Thu Feb 02, 2012 9:58 am

So recently I read an article about Notre Dame, of which they talked about the schools religious roots. I already knew of Notre Dame, thanks to top-law-schools.com, but are there other law schools that are similarly notorious for being religious or having a heavily influenced religious community? Appreciate the help! :D

bdm261
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Re: Religious Law Schools

Postby bdm261 » Thu Feb 02, 2012 10:03 am

Sorry I don't have an answer for you but I was wondering this too. What does it mean if a law school is Catholic or Methodist? As an agnostic would I feel put of place there and should I count those ones out?

Enderdejorand
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Re: Religious Law Schools

Postby Enderdejorand » Thu Feb 02, 2012 10:05 am

I know that Notre Dame is notorious for how religious it is. Above The Law just released an article about how they had a big campus-wide explosion about an email/meeting that talked about how contraceptives are wrong. In addition, I've heard some teachers will start classes with prayers, etc. And most rooms have crosses on them. I feel that'd be a major determinant in the perspective with which you approach the law, and it'd also probably show in the population that attends the school (similar religious backgrounds probably, etc).

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UnamSanctam
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Re: Religious Law Schools

Postby UnamSanctam » Thu Feb 02, 2012 11:57 am

A number of TLSers who attended ND have said in the past that the religious atmosphere is there, but they didn't really make you feel uncomfortable if you weren't Catholic. Other religious schools do exist, but I'm not sure any of them are as notorious for it as ND.

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TLS_noobie
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Re: Religious Law Schools

Postby TLS_noobie » Thu Feb 02, 2012 12:04 pm

I just wanted to be clear:

UnamSanctam wrote:A number of TLSers who attended ND have said in the past that the religious atmosphere is there, but they didn't really make you feel uncomfortable if you weren't Catholic. Other religious schools do exist, but I'm not sure any of them are as notorious for it as ND.


Enderdejorand wrote:I know that Notre Dame is notorious for how religious it is.


"Notorious" typically has a negative connotation. So, is Notre Dame's degree of religious-ness strong or not-so-strong (in terms of its effect on the law students who may not share the same religious beliefs)?

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UnamSanctam
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Re: Religious Law Schools

Postby UnamSanctam » Thu Feb 02, 2012 12:12 pm

TLS_noobie wrote:I just wanted to be clear:

UnamSanctam wrote:A number of TLSers who attended ND have said in the past that the religious atmosphere is there, but they didn't really make you feel uncomfortable if you weren't Catholic. Other religious schools do exist, but I'm not sure any of them are as notorious for it as ND.


Enderdejorand wrote:I know that Notre Dame is notorious for how religious it is.


"Notorious" typically has a negative connotation. So, is Notre Dame's degree of religious-ness strong or not-so-strong (in terms of its effect on the law students who may not share the same religious beliefs)?


They are notorious for being religious (as in, I hear people worried about it all the time), but TLSers who have attended Notre Dame say it is not overly preachy.

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TLS_noobie
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Re: Religious Law Schools

Postby TLS_noobie » Thu Feb 02, 2012 12:17 pm

UnamSanctam wrote:
TLS_noobie wrote:I just wanted to be clear:

UnamSanctam wrote:A number of TLSers who attended ND have said in the past that the religious atmosphere is there, but they didn't really make you feel uncomfortable if you weren't Catholic. Other religious schools do exist, but I'm not sure any of them are as notorious for it as ND.


Enderdejorand wrote:I know that Notre Dame is notorious for how religious it is.


"Notorious" typically has a negative connotation. So, is Notre Dame's degree of religious-ness strong or not-so-strong (in terms of its effect on the law students who may not share the same religious beliefs)?


They are notorious for being religious (as in, I hear people worried about it all the time), but TLSers who have attended Notre Dame say it is not overly preachy.


Gotcha.

Thanks for the clear-up :)

Enderdejorand
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Re: Religious Law Schools

Postby Enderdejorand » Thu Feb 02, 2012 12:23 pm

UnamSanctam wrote:A number of TLSers who attended ND have said in the past that the religious atmosphere is there, but they didn't really make you feel uncomfortable if you weren't Catholic. Other religious schools do exist, but I'm not sure any of them are as notorious for it as ND.


Do you know of any of the other schools//the degree to which they are religious? Is there anyway to find out, other than forums that are related with the school itself?

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2LT_CPG
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Re: Religious Law Schools

Postby 2LT_CPG » Thu Feb 02, 2012 12:28 pm

I've went to a Jesuit high school and then a Jesuit college, and I'm likely going to a Jesuit law school. I can't speak to Notre Dame, but I feel like I have some insight into Catholic, and specifically Jesuit schools.

Once you get to the university level, religious affiliation means relatively little for Catholic schools. At my undergrad, the actively Catholic population was there - but they all sought out the Catholic aspects of the school (the pro-life club, faith-based service groups, retreats, mass, etc). But unless you elect to take advantage of the religious stuff, you'd be hard-pressed to see religion in anything else. There was a big number of Jewish people on campus, and even the Muslim Student Association had a pretty active membership, complete with a large prayer room in one of the academic buildings. I hesitate to call myself an agnostic (I just don't care), but I never felt any marginalization or anything. It was a fairly liberal, pro-choice campus, albeit with a more vocal College Republican group.

One of the most famous Catholic law schools in the country is attached to my undergrad, so I assume it's the same there.

That said, I can't speak for women. Our health center would not prescribe birth control, and is somewhat notorious for ordering pregnancy tests for anything girls come in for, even if they say they haven't had sex in months. Males/females can't have overnight guests of the opposite sex signed into university housing, even though there are ways around it and it's never enforced.

That's my experience. But I imagine it's vastly different at BYU, Regent, and Liberty.

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brookieanne
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Re: Religious Law Schools

Postby brookieanne » Thu Feb 02, 2012 12:39 pm

Pepperdine as well.

LS-boundNYC
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Re: Religious Law Schools

Postby LS-boundNYC » Thu Feb 02, 2012 12:47 pm

I can't speak to ND's religious aspect (it was my top choice and they rejected me :( ), but I am at a Jesuit law school right now. Except for a little dust up last semester when people realized they couldn't get birth control through the health services, I'd have no idea it was affiliated with a religious group at all.

To be honest, I'm very religious, but I couldn't imagine going to a law school that over-emphasized religion. As a Christian, I'm interested personally in the roots of our legal system and the extent to which it does (and does not) spring from the Judeo-Christian thought present at the development of the common law. But I don't necessarily see how that translates into applying a "biblical view" in every class, like torts or contracts. I'm sure there's a connection, but my understanding is that the connection is central at places like Liberty and Regent. I'd rather learn the legal theory well and explore those connections on my own or through some group or activity on campus.

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Tom Joad
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Re: Religious Law Schools

Postby Tom Joad » Thu Feb 02, 2012 1:03 pm

If you know many Catholics you wouldn't be worried. Catholics aren't evangelicals.

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rinkrat19
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Re: Religious Law Schools

Postby rinkrat19 » Thu Feb 02, 2012 1:13 pm

I've heard that Pepperdine is very religious, and while it's still a decent school, religion does leak into daily life.

Liberty is a joke of a school completely overrun by its religious affiliation, including in class.

The Mormons swear up and down that a non-Mormon, or even a non-religious person, would be perfectly comfortable at BYU, but I confess to being a bit skeptical.

Of the religious schools that I'm aware of, I'd be most likely to attend Notre Dame. At least Catholics don't try to shove their religion down your throat. On many topics, Catholics are actually pretty chill.
Last edited by rinkrat19 on Thu Feb 02, 2012 1:16 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Kikero
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Re: Religious Law Schools

Postby Kikero » Thu Feb 02, 2012 1:15 pm

Tom Joad wrote:If you know many Catholics you wouldn't be worried. Catholics aren't evangelicals.


This. I even know some non-Catholics who went to Catholic high schools.

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2LT_CPG
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Re: Religious Law Schools

Postby 2LT_CPG » Thu Feb 02, 2012 1:24 pm

LS-boundNYC wrote:I can't speak to ND's religious aspect (it was my top choice and they rejected me :( ), but I am at a Jesuit law school right now. Except for a little dust up last semester when people realized they couldn't get birth control through the health services, I'd have no idea it was affiliated with a religious group at all.

To be honest, I'm very religious, but I couldn't imagine going to a law school that over-emphasized religion. As a Christian, I'm interested personally in the roots of our legal system and the extent to which it does (and does not) spring from the Judeo-Christian thought present at the development of the common law. But I don't necessarily see how that translates into applying a "biblical view" in every class, like torts or contracts. I'm sure there's a connection, but my understanding is that the connection is central at places like Liberty and Regent. I'd rather learn the legal theory well and explore those connections on my own or through some group or activity on campus.

I think we're talking about the same university.

Also, I'm not sure what the situation is at ND, but at most Jesuit universities, the president is a Jesuit priest, and some of the faculty positions are reserved for Jesuits, mostly in theology, but also sometimes in the law school. I once had a Jesuit professor in my music history class. I took a theology course in comparative religion, and the professor was probably the most intelligent person I've ever met. He was a Jesuit priest, but his area of speciality was eastern religion - he spoke ancient Arabic, Aramaic, and whatever language the Bhagavad Gita is written in. It was impressive. He held the distinction of being the only known Catholic priest to have been to Mecca, which means he technically had converted to Islam when he was studying in Egypt. That's the kind of thing you get at Jesuit schools, which I love.

ND had that dust up a few years ago when it invited President Obama to speak at commencement. A ton of alums, students, and faculty were furious because the president is pro-choice. I feel like that's more illustrative of ND than say, Georgetown, because it has a much more conservative and openly religious student body, and the alumni network (and hence, board of trustees) reflects that.

But like others have said, it's different at the evangelical universities. There was a great article in the NYT maybe two months ago that was all about Michele Bachmann's law school, currently known as Regent. Extremely conservative and preachy, dedicated to a Christian, biblical interpretation of the law. I recommend it if only to get some insight into those kind of schools. I don't know for sure, but I imagine Brigham Young is similar, albeit with a Mormon twist.

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mattviphky
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Re: Religious Law Schools

Postby mattviphky » Thu Feb 02, 2012 4:28 pm

I think ND might be a bit more religious than people realize, which may or may not be a good aspect for you. I'm Catholic, so when I visited ND nothing came across as shocking, but a non-religious person might find it to be a little much. As stated above, the alumni association went ape shit when President Obama was invited, given his pro-choice views. Also, SMU doesn't seem overly religious, but I think that Methodism might be a little bit more reserved than Catholicism. For instance, while looking through the website I saw that SMU health services dispenses contraception.

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mattviphky
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Re: Religious Law Schools

Postby mattviphky » Thu Feb 02, 2012 4:30 pm

Tom Joad wrote:If you know many Catholics you wouldn't be worried. Catholics aren't evangelicals.


Not in the sense that they become fire and brimstone, but they definitely know how to administer disapproval. A prominent politician from my state belongs to the same parish that I do, but the priest has made it widely known that he isn't invited to take communion, given his stance on abortion.

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TommyK
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Re: Religious Law Schools

Postby TommyK » Thu Feb 02, 2012 4:42 pm

Liberty, BYU, Ave Maria

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JamMasterJ
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Re: Religious Law Schools

Postby JamMasterJ » Thu Feb 02, 2012 4:51 pm

TommyK wrote:Liberty, BYU, Ave Maria

I think these, Regent and St Thomas are about the only ones with heavy religious influence to the point that it creeps into the classroom. Schools like Pepperdine and ND seem to have a bit of atmosphere, but don't teach law from a Biblical perspective.

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2LT_CPG
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Re: Religious Law Schools

Postby 2LT_CPG » Thu Feb 02, 2012 5:05 pm

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/14/us/politics/bachmanns-years-at-oral-roberts-university.html?pagewanted=all
There's that article on Regent I was referencing. Again, the extreme, not what ND or others are like.

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crossarmant
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Re: Religious Law Schools

Postby crossarmant » Thu Feb 02, 2012 6:29 pm

What about Boston College? I was thinking about throwing a transfer app out to them, but the idea of an overtly religious university bothers me (Been at only state schools). I know they're a Jesuit school, but I haven't heard of any real religious overtones permeating from them.

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2LT_CPG
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Re: Religious Law Schools

Postby 2LT_CPG » Thu Feb 02, 2012 7:07 pm

crossarmant wrote:What about Boston College? I was thinking about throwing a transfer app out to them, but the idea of an overtly religious university bothers me (Been at only state schools). I know they're a Jesuit school, but I haven't heard of any real religious overtones permeating from them.

Read the stuff I wrote about Jesuit colleges, the same probably applies to BC. BC as a university (not strictly talking law school comparisons here) is pretty similar to Georgetown with how they exude their 'Catholicness'.

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UnamSanctam
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Re: Religious Law Schools

Postby UnamSanctam » Thu Feb 02, 2012 7:39 pm

2LT_CPG wrote:
crossarmant wrote:What about Boston College? I was thinking about throwing a transfer app out to them, but the idea of an overtly religious university bothers me (Been at only state schools). I know they're a Jesuit school, but I haven't heard of any real religious overtones permeating from them.

Read the stuff I wrote about Jesuit colleges, the same probably applies to BC. BC as a university (not strictly talking law school comparisons here) is pretty similar to Georgetown with how they exude their 'Catholicness'.


This. Jesuits have a reputation for being on the more liberal side of Catholic theology.

Also, interesting note about the priest that went to Mecca since, as you mentioned, you have to be Muslim to enter it.

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2LT_CPG
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Re: Religious Law Schools

Postby 2LT_CPG » Thu Feb 02, 2012 7:50 pm

UnamSanctam wrote:Also, interesting note about the priest that went to Mecca since, as you mentioned, you have to be Muslim to enter it.

It was a pretty cool story the way he told it. He was studying Islamic theology in Egypt and went because he was really intellectually curious. It may have happened before he was ordained though - I think it's possible he was still either just an academic or it was during his scholastic period in the SJ. But he recited the Shahada before witnesses and everything.

Same guy spent time at a Buddhist monastery in India for awhile too.

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Re: Religious Law Schools

Postby dtl » Thu Feb 02, 2012 9:58 pm

The biggest offenders are Baylor, Pepperdine, BYU, Liberty, Ave Maria

Lots of other schools (The Loyola's, U of San Diego, et al) are religious but it does not really transfer into student life at all. The above ones do impose a sort of religious atmosphere from what I understand. I have only had direct experience with Pepperdine and Baylor though.




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