In addition to the J.D., the law school offers the LL.M. Students may take relevant courses in other programs and apply credit toward the J.D.; a maximum of 9 credits may be applied. The following joint degrees may be earned: J.D./M.Acc. (Juris Doctor/Master of Accountancy), J.D./M.B.A. (Juris Doctor/Master of Business Administration), J.D./M.Ed. (Juris Doctor/Master of Education), and J.D./M.P.A. (Juris Doctor/Master of Public Administration).
The law school has LawHelp seminars worth up to 15 credits in which second- and third year students provide legal services to clients under the direction of an attorney. Each first-year student has 1 class taught in seminar/small section form; 41 seminars are available for second-and third-year students. Students are allowed up to 15 credit hours for judicial, prosecutorial, government, private law firm, and public interest internships; 2 credit hours for research programs; and 15 for field work. The Career Services Office offers a weekly lecture series course, which features guest speakers from practice area specialties. Student organizations sponsor speakers on topics ranging from practical lawyering skills to jurisprudential theory. Students interested in study abroad programs sponsored by other law schools may transfer credit. Additionally, the Academic Success Program includes study skills, and individual tutors. Minority recruiting includes the Minority Law School night, the Diversity Job Fair, and outreach to the multi-cultural offices at many undergraduate institutions. The most widely taken electives are Constitutional Law, Secured Transactions, and Wills and Estates.
To earn the J.D., candidates must complete 90 total credits, of which 36 are for required courses. They must maintain a minimum GPA of 2.7 in the required courses. The following first-year courses are required of all students: Civil Procedure, Contracts, Criminal Law, Introduction to Advocacy I and II, Perspectives on Law, Property, Structures of the Constitution, and Torts. Required upper-level courses consist of a substantial paper, Advanced Legal Research, and Professional Responsibility. The required orientation program for first-year students is a 4-day program that includes an introduction to the study of law and legal research.
In order to graduate, candidates must have a GPA of 2.7 and have completed the upper-division writing requirement. The grading scale is a 1.6 to 4.0 scale.
In the fall 2007 first-year class, 859 applied, 246 were accepted, and 146 enrolled. Five transfers enrolled. The median LSAT percentile of the most recent first-year class was 93; the median GPA was 3.7 on a scale of 4.0. The lowest LSAT percentile accepted was 20; the highest was 99.
Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree and take the LSAT. The most important admission factors include LSAT results, GPA and a personal statement. No specific undergraduate courses are required. Candidates are not interviewed.
The application deadline for fall entry is March 1. Applicants should submit an application form, LSAT results, transcripts, a personal statement, a nonrefundable application fee of $50, 2 letters of recommendation, ecclesiastical endorsement, and Dean’s certification. Notification of the admissions decision is no later than April 15. The latest acceptable LSAT test date for fall entry is December. The law school uses the LSDAS.
About 80% of current law students receive some form of aid. The average annual amount of aid from all sources combined, including scholarships, loans, and work contracts, is $10,000; maximum, $17,000. Awards are based on need and merit. Required financial statements are the CSS Profile and the FAFSA. The aid application deadline for fall entry is June 1. Special funds for minority or disadvantaged students include funds available to any student based on merit. First-year students are notified about their financial aid application at time of acceptance.
About 34% of the student body are women; 17%, minorities; 1%, African American; 7%, Asian American; 7%, Hispanic; 2%, Native American; and 1%, foreign nationals. The majority of students come from Utah (51%). The average age of entering students is 25; age range is 20 to 51. About 5% of students have worked full-time prior to entering law school. About 1% drop out after the first year for academic or personal reasons; 99% remain to receive a law degree.
Students edit the Brigham Young University Law Review, BYU Journal of Public Law, and BYU Education and Law Journal.The Clark Memorandum is a semi-annual Law Society and alumni magazine. Amicus Briefs is constantly updated online. The school sends teams to the Jessup International Moot Court Competition and 5 other competitions annually. Other competitions include the John Welch Award for Outstanding Writing, the A.H. Christensen Advocacy Award, the Woody Deem Trial Advocacy Competition, BYU Research and Writing Award, and Le Boeuf Bankruptcy Scholar Award. Law student organizations include Minority Law Students Association, Women’s Law Forum, and Government and Politics Legal Society. Local chapters of national associations include Public Interest Law Foundation (NAPIL), Federalist Society, and Phi Delta Phi. Campus clubs and other organizations include the Student Intellectual Property Association (SIPLA), International and Comparative Law Society, and Sports and Entertainment Law Society (SPENT).
The law school operates on a traditional semester basis. Courses for full-time students are offered days only and must be completed within 3 years. There is no part-time program. New students are admitted in the fall. There is no summer session. Transferable summer courses are not offered.