Brigham Young University J. Reuben Clark Law School

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Overview

Founded in 1973, the J. Reuben Clark Law School at Brigham Young University is fully accredited by the American Bar Association. BYU offers students varied learning experiences—from the Socratic method of teaching and problem solving to seminars requiring individual research to hands-on clinical experiences—and the sum of these experiences helps prepare students to become adept in the range of professional experiences that make up the practice of law.



The J. Reuben Clark Law School’s curriculum is designed to enable students to master legal reasoning and to appreciate the institutions and traditions that have shaped American law. The school’s faculty members help students analyze complex factual situations and distinguish relevant information while performing thorough analysis of legal issues. Students are also taught the finer skills of written and oral advocacy.

Compact classes with small student-teacher ratios make the analytical approach to legal education more effective as they allow the teachers to pay closer attention to individual students. The first-year course curriculum also allows each student to actively participate in small, closely knit sections.

Students in their second and third years complete a substantial writing project under the supervision of a faculty member, which is designed to develop their writing and reasoning skills. In addition, the law school offers other opportunities to aid students with developing their careers through externships, seminars, and simulation courses. BYU law graduates may sit for the bar exam in any state of their choice.

J. Reuben Clark Law School’s students also interact with the community to explore their future contributions as attorneys dedicated to religious principles practicing “law in light.”

The law school’s Howard W. Hunter Law Library comprises around 457,000 volumes of study materials in a technologically well-equipped environment.

Student-Faculty Ratio 16.0:1

Admission Criteria

 

LSAT

GPA

25th-75th Percentile

160-167

3.51-3.87

Median*

163

3.74

The above LSAT and GPA data pertain to the fall 2011 entering class.
Medians have been calculated by averaging the 25th- and 75th-percentile values released by the law schools and have been rounded up to the nearest whole number for LSAT scores and to the nearest one-hundredth for GPAs.

Admission Statistics

Approximate number of applications

755

Number accepted

207

Percentage accepted

27.4%

The above admission details are based on fall 2011 data.

Class Ranking and Grades

The law school compiles an individual class rank for students in the top 15% of the class. Under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act class ranking and cumulative grade point average records maintained by the law school are available to students. The law school compiles, and students may request, individual Student Progress Reports that disclose ranking to the middle of the class in 10% increments, with the remainder of the class listed as bottom 50%.

All courses and seminars are evaluated by numerical grades unless departure from that general policy is approved by the Curriculum Committee. Individual faculty members may determine whether to grade Directed Research on a numerical or pass/fail basis. There will be a minimum grade of 1.6 for complete non-performance and a maximum grade of 4.0.

Pass/Fail

In a Pass/Fail-graded offering, a student may receive a grade of Pass, Low Pass, or Fail. A Low Pass will appear on the transcript as a grade of 2.7 per credit hour. A Fail will be recorded as a 1.6.

The law school follows a 4.0 grading scale with intervals of 0.1. The presumptive top grade in each class is 4.0, the grade point average required for graduation is 2.7, and the minimum grade for which credit will be given is 2.2.

The J. Reuben Clark Law School uses the following grading scale:

A

4.0

Superior

3.9

3.8

3.7

3.6

Excellent

3.5

3.4

B

3.3

High Pass

3.2

3.1

3.0

2.9

Pass

2.8

2.7

C

2.6

Low Pass

2.5

2.4

2.3

2.2

No credit

2.1

Failing

2.0

1.9

1.8

1.7

1.6

Grades are usually based on a single final examination, except in seminars and in problem-solving/clinical courses. The law school’s examinations ordinarily consist of general questions based on hypothetical situations. The quality of a student’s response is determined not only by evidence of the student’s mastery of the subject matter but also by his or her ability to recognize and assign priority to relevant issues, to deal with complex facts and separate the relevant from the irrelevant, to analyze the basis for his or her conclusions, and to express ideas in a clear and orderly fashion. Consideration in grading may also be given to attendance, class participation, and other written work. Students who fail to maintain a grade point average of 2.7 at the end of the second, fourth, and sixth semesters may be terminated from the law school.

Grade normalization (Curve)

The median grade for all first-year courses at the J. Reuben Clark Law School must be 3.3. For a class of fewer than 10 students in all second- and third-year courses, the median grade must be 3.3.

In a particular course a deviation may occur occasionally, but in almost all years the median for that course must be 3.3.

A cumulative grade-point average of at least 2.7 is required for graduation.

Honors

Honor

Criteria

Order of Coif

Top 10%

summa cum laude

Top 2% or GPA of at least 3.80 or higher

magna cum laude

GPA of 3.60 to 3.79

cum laude

GPA of 3.45 to 3.59

Dean List

GPA of 3.45 or higher

Awards

Name of Award

Description

J. Reuben Clark Award

Awarded to students who are committed to making a contribution to the community by dedicating part of their legal education to public interest or pro bono causes

John S. Welch Awards

Awarded to the winners of the law school’s co-curricular writing competition

A.H. Christensen Award

Awarded for oral advocacy

Hugh B. Brown Award

Awarded for class presentation and performance

Achievement and Service Award

Awarded for a variety of criteria

National Association of Women Lawyers Award

Awarded for contribution to the advancement of women in society

Foundation Press Award

Awarded for excellence in constitutional law

Margaret Rose Nielson Award

Awarded to the best oralist in moot court competition

International Center for Law and Religious Studies Award

Awarded for service related to international religious freedom

Distinguished Clinical Practice Award

Awarded for exceptional commitment to clinical practice

Exceptional Service Award – Student Bar Association

Awarded for exceptional service to the Student Bar Association

Linda Anderson Trial Advocacy Competition Awards

Awarded to the competition’s champion, runner-up, and finalist

High Grade Awards

Awarded for excellence in law school

American Bankruptcy Institute Medal of Excellence

Awarded for a professional project in the bankruptcy area

ABA-BNA Award for Excellence

Awarded for excellence in IP Law

Humor in the Law Award      

Awarded to student who has kept their sense of humor

ABA State & Local Govt. Award 

Awarded for highest grade in municipal law and  land use     courses

Journals

The Brigham Young University Law Review is a self-perpetuating organization comprised of second- and third-year students at the J. Reuben Clark Law School. Its goal is to produce a legal periodical for use by scholars, practitioners, and judges. Members of the law review contribute to this goal by editing and writing articles and by performing other tasks associated with its publication that are assigned periodically throughout the year. The law review publishes six issues each year. By preparing articles, notes, and comments for publication, members of the review receive intensive legal writing and editing experience, which improves their ability to analyze and discuss legal issues and contributes significantly to the orderly development of the law.

The Brigham Young University education and Law Journal, a student-run journal, is solely committed to the field of education law. The J. Reuben Clark Law School and the Brigham Young University Department of Educational Leadership and Foundations jointly sponsor this journal, which is currently published biannually and addresses educational and legal issues affecting elementary, secondary, and higher education. The journal features work by many of the nation’s top legal scholars, practitioners, administrators, educators, and students.

The Brigham Young University Journal of Public Law is dedicated to publishing scholarly articles addressing topics in public law, including the relationships between governments and their citizens, associations among governments, and the effects of governmental entities upon society. It publishes two issues per year.

The Brigham Young University International Law & Management Review is an interdisciplinary student-edited journal that solicits, edits, and publishes articles dealing with current issues in the fields of international law and management. It provides practical insights and solutions to complex issues in international law and management. The review’s student editorial staff is made up of law and business management students attending Brigham Young University. It is a biannual publication.

Moot Court

The basic requirement prior to joining a J. Reuben Clark Law School moot court team is to write an appellate brief and give an oral argument, and all first-year students participate in the 1L Moot Court Competition at this level. The 1L Moot Court Competition is the primary mechanism by which 1Ls apply to the team, and invitations to new team members will be extended during the summer. Brigham Young University’s National Moot Court team is selected from second-year students who participate in an intra-school competition - the Rex E. Lee competition during the first semester. This team then represents the school in all regional and national ABA competitions during their third-year. These team members also become the editors and judges for all first-year competitions.

Others who progress in the competition may apply to compete in other competitions around the country during winter semesters of their 2L and 3L years. In years past the law school has sent teams to eight different competitions around the country. These competitions often focus on specific topics, such as securities law, civil rights, or religious liberty.

The J. Reuben Clark Law School also offers a trial advocacy program that facilitates its students’ training in oral advocacy, courtroom procedures, trial practices and techniques, and trial competition performance. This is accomplished through an integrated program that works closely with the law school’s faculty, administration, and legal practitioners. The program serves students at all levels of their legal education.

Clinical Programs

The law school provides opportunities for students to develop practical skills in three main programs: externships, LAWHELP seminars, and simulation courses.

LAWHELP seminars include a one-credit course on the topic, together with a one-credit practical experience externship. The LAWHELP seminars include elder law, domestic violence intervention, domestic relations, mediation, immigration, child advocacy, public lands & natural resources, advanced mediation, advanced community lawyering, judicial tribal courts, and appellate courts. Training in the development of practical skills is also provided by well-developed simulated courses in civil, criminal, appellate, and non-litigation situations. The law school maintains a complete audiovisual facility that allows students to self-critique and review with the professor.

Placement Facts

Starting Salaries (2010 Graduates employed Full-Time)

Private sector (25th-75th percentile)

$80,000-$130,000

Median in the private sector

$100,000

Median in public service

$51,000

Employment Details

Graduates known to be employed at graduation

69.0%

Graduates known to be employed nine months after graduation

95.9%

Areas of Legal Practice

Graduates employed In

Percentage

Law Firms

48.2%

Business and Industry

13.7%

Government

12.2%

Public Interest Organizations

3.6%

Judicial Clerkships

13.7%

Academia

5.8%

Unknown

2.9%

Externships/Internships

Externships

The law school’s externship program aims at providing real-life experience for the school’s law students. After the completion of their first two years of law study, students receive one credit for each 50 hours of work up to a maximum of six units (300 hours) during the summer or three units (150 hours) during a school term. Most students work full-time for five weeks during the summer and earn four credits. However, the number of hours and dates of work are mutually arranged between the student and the employer. American Bar Association rules prohibit students from receiving compensation of any kind, apart from compensation for expenses paid out of the student’s pocket (like parking and lunch expenses), while earning externship credit.

A student who wishes to complete an externship must submit a learning plan (a list of experiences he or she hopes to have during the externship) to the law school, besides performing work assignments and participating in the full range of activities available through the office. A supervising attorney provides work assignments and evaluates the student’s performance.

Internships

The J. Reuben Clark Law Society Internship Program provides a living stipend to one student each year that has distinguished him or herself in law school and is not engaged in paid employment for the summer. The program provides a stipend of $3000 and the recipient is expected to work approximately six weeks at a public service agency, private non-profit organization, or on a self-initiated, independent service project.

Student organizations
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution
  • American Constitution Society
  • Black Law Students Association
  • Business Law Association
  • BYU Law Review
  • Education and Law Journal
  • Environment, Energy, and Resources Society
  • Family Law Society
  • Federalist Society
  • Government & Politics Legal Society
  • Immigration Law Forum
  • International Law and Management Review
  • International Law Students Association
  • Iron Justice Golf
  • Jail Outreach
  • Joint Degree Student Association
  • J. Reuben Clark Law Society, BYU Student Chapter
  • Journal of Public Law
  • Latino/a Law Student Association
  • Law & Economics
  • Law Partners
  • Law School Choir
  • Minority Law Students Association
  • Moot Court
  • Native American Law Students Association
  • Pacific Island Law Student Association
  • Phi Delta Phi
  • Public Interest Law Foundation
  • Real Estate Law Society
  • Spirit in the Law
  • Sports and Entertainment Law Society
  • Student Bar Association
  • Student Intellectual Property Law Association
  • Trial Advocacy
  • Women in the Law
References
  • http://www.law2.byu.edu/
  • http://premium.usnews.com/




Brigham Young University

    

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