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BYU Law for non-LDS

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erdosaen:

Does anyone have any perspective on the experience of non-LDS students at BYU Law?  Do they make up a reasonable block within the school?  Are admissions chances greater or less for those without church affiliation?  Any special benefits or pitfalls for non-members while attending? 

All this because it's really my top choice but I'd like to get an idea of the environment before committing.

sambassoon:
I have not been there, but I have read from various sources that there are only two or three non LDS per class.  I had emailed a student, essentialy asking the same thing as you are, and she said she would have to go find a non LDS. 

801law:
New to the website, but I thought that I would make this my first post.

I'm currently a non-mormon 1L at BYUlaw, and it isn't too bad so far. I have yet to have any doctrine pushed on me. But I made clear my affiliations the first week of classes; thus there is nobody who doesn't know where I stand. Most of the students are also very appreciative of the outside/counter perspective.

NO, there aren't many of us. 3-4 in my class. Probably less than 15 total for the school at any given time.

As for whether or not it helps you in admission? Not sure. I can't imagine it helps you too much. They only take a few each year, so if you want to get in as a non-mormon you better have somthing going for you that most of the mormon applicants don't. Also, make very clear your intentions (I think they are wary of non-mormons applying and then not coming). And having now talked to most of the non-mormon's in the school...Be Prepared to Be on the Wait List for a While! They'd rather have one of their own.

AS FOR THE HONOR CODE: Although the Law School gets no more or less restrictions than any other part of the University, as a non-mormon YOU WILL BE WATCHED CLOSER. Especially by the honor-nazis(trust me, if you go here, you'll know who they are in your class real quick). There is a very very very small group (like 1-3 people p/yr) who think you shouldn't be there, and they will be waiting for you to slip. MY ADVICE: do NOT live on or near campus, get about 10-15 minutes away from the BYU bubble. Do NOT associate with undergrads AT ALL!!(I cannot stress this enough, they are insane about the honor code) Avoiding them is easy though since the Law School is nowhere near them on campus.

In the end, if you are willing to stand out and brush off (or humiliate) the haters, you'll love it. Great facilities, great profs, great career department, tons of on-campus recruiting, and you learn a ton!


biggame:
I am LDS and I am an incoming 1L so I'm sure my perspective will change a bit.

First off let me suggest that like all Law Schools right now "diversity" is the token word. Consequently, BYU is all about having non-LDS people in the school. So much so that my non-LDS friend was permitted to apply after the deadline. She ended up not applying but the point is that she could have.

Also keep in mind that no matter where you go you will probably be different than most. Isn't that just a part of life. The undergrad is probably much more lacking in the area of tolerance and acceptance, though there are students from around the world that come to BYU. The grad school is full of LDS people who are married and/or served missions in other states and countries having to learn other languages. This suggest and I am one of those that the LDS students in the grad school are mature for their age and are open to not just other cultures but to other religions and ways of life. I think the hardest thing for a non-LDS student would be the Honor Code.

Other than the Honor Code, which shouldn't be a major problem if you are a human being of integrity and morals, the school is great for anyone.

PinkIvy49:
This reply is for biggame and 801law.  I am an African-American non-lds woman contemplating applying to BYU's law school; fall 2009.  I reside in Los Angeles.  I desire to apply to BYU because the location affords me the opportunity to get a top rate law education not too far from California (my home state).  Provo is the polar opposite of Los Angeles.  I believe part of one's education is his/her ability to adapt to new environments.  I believe a school like BYU will foster a climate of dedication and committment to law school, without the many distractions of a big city. I don't know anyone in Provo, so I'll be able to fully focus on my studies and not be pulled away by friends who just want to hang out. The Honor Code is not a problem for me.  I do not drink alcohol.  I despise cigarette smoke, and I'm married.  My main concern is lack of diversity.  I'm really concerned that I may not be accepted or welcome on the law school campus because I am different; African-American AND non-lds.  What are your thoughts on this? Thank you.

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