Law School Discussion

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Author Topic: pagan law school  (Read 1373 times)

angelus

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pagan law school
« on: July 15, 2005, 03:26:47 PM »
I notice that quite a few Law Schools are attached to traditionally christian universities such as Pepperdine, Vanderbilt, Harvard, etc. I am wondering if being non-christian will hurt my chances of getting in? Should I mention by beleifs in my personal statement? Will my uniqueness exclude me or make me a desireable commodity? I know that schools cannot discriminate on basis of religious beleif but I don't want to make law school harder than it will already be.

thanx

The Dread Pirate Roberts

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Re: pagan law school
« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2005, 04:13:39 PM »
I think there's unfortunately a chance of someone self identifying as a pagan to be taken somewhat less than seriously.  I'm pagan, but don't plan to mention it on my applications, partly because I just don't think it's relevant (for me: it isn't something that's apparent to other people in my everyday life because I practice privately and don't tend to talk about my beliefs), and partly because I'm afraid my application would be read by somebody who things pagan = new age flake or worse. 

It may well make you stand out, and if your beliefs are important to your decision to go to law school than leaving them out of your personal statment might actually hurt it, so it might well be worth including, but overall, it does seem a little risky.

I'm sure once at law school it won't be a big deal, as long as you aren't going to ave maria.

angelus

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Re: pagan law school
« Reply #2 on: July 15, 2005, 04:29:46 PM »
Well i'm planning on doing a joint JD/M.Div at Vanderbilt, or Harvard. I need to find more info about the pros and cons of joint degree programs. Some say its worthwhile but others say its too complicated. Ultimately I want to have a well paying carreer. I don't want to be a student all my life.

The Dread Pirate Roberts

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Re: pagan law school
« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2005, 05:02:01 PM »
Well i'm planning on doing a joint JD/M.Div at Vanderbilt, or Harvard.

Ah.  I could see where that would make it a lot more relevant.  ;)

I know someone doing a Masters in Divinity at Harvard, and from what she's said about the program, they sound very open to extremely diverse religious backgrounds (I think I recall her saying that traditional Catholics and Christians are very much in the minority), so in that case it could be a positive.

makotosan

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Re: pagan law school
« Reply #4 on: July 16, 2005, 10:40:35 AM »
Like sugersh said, it definitely works both ways. I'm wiccan and didn't mention it anywhere. But with going for the Masters of Divinity, yeah, maybe it is worth mentioning. Most places aren't so religiously linked as they traditionally were... well, except places like BYU and some TTT's that you're obviously not interested in. :P
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mmss

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Re: pagan law school
« Reply #5 on: July 16, 2005, 10:46:53 AM »
I wouldn't mention it.  It's unimportant (or at least it should be).  Don't try to identify yourself by what you believe in--only what you've done.  Your beliefs may come across as arrogant, condescending, or moronic; just play it safe and leave it out of the equation.

Amaraya

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Re: pagan law school
« Reply #6 on: July 16, 2005, 06:10:04 PM »
I notice that quite a few Law Schools are attached to traditionally christian universities such as Pepperdine, Vanderbilt, Harvard, etc. I am wondering if being non-christian will hurt my chances of getting in? Should I mention by beleifs in my personal statement? Will my uniqueness exclude me or make me a desireable commodity? I know that schools cannot discriminate on basis of religious beleif but I don't want to make law school harder than it will already be.

thanx

Schools can't discriminate because of religion because it really isn't relevant to a law school application.  Most professionals would agree to leave out details about your religious beliefs, especially if mentioning them is an effort to highlight your "uniqueness".  The exception to this would be if your religious beliefs led you to apply to a similarly relgious law school.
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ImVinny!

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Re: pagan law school
« Reply #7 on: August 10, 2005, 10:10:51 AM »
I think that if it defines who you are and there is a reason to mention it in your personal statement then go ahead, otherwise shy away from it. I tend to think that any mention of religion just because on a PS is not a good idea.