Speaking Up

Before I started law school I was told that the discussions in law classes often challenged your beliefs. I knew that those kinds of situations were inevitable, especially considering I was leaving BYU to study at Arizona State. But for whatever reason, belief-challenging discussions didn’t seem to present themselves until this semester.


In addition to the Con Law class I am taking this semester I am also taking a seminar on free speech. Over the course of yesterday’s class the discussion turned to de-regulating the availability of pornography and allowing more swear words in TV broadcasts. Everyone in the room that contributed to the discussion appeared to be in support of both ideas, at least to a certain extent. I chose to stay quiet on those topics, although I later regretted my silence. Toward the end of class our professor quoted a story about John Stuart Mill and how Mill believed religious questions were irrelevant to his parliamentary duties, after which he said, “I wish the Republicans would take this suggestion to heart, given the recent comments about Mormonism being a cult. But that’s unlikely to happen.” Considering the amount of thought I have given to this subject as of late, I spoke up. I mentioned that several of the candidates in the debate on Tuesday night said things similar to Mill, although not all of them. As it turned out, no one else in the room had seen the debate, but everyone expressed surprise at the idea that a Republican would support an idea they agreed with. At that point, the girl next to me said, “let me guess, was it the Mormons?” After I said yes, she responded with, “it figures” (I wasn’t sure how to take that, and I still don’t).


I’m not saying that I’m opposed to people challenging my political ideologies, or that Mormonism is connected to the Republican Party. However, it’s interesting to learn how to contribute to religious/moral/political discussions when I feel so outnumbered, even at the #1 most “Mormon-friendly law school” of 2010. It causes me to wonder if I will continue to feel like a minority after I graduate. Either way, I’m definitely not at BYU anymore.

2010 Top Ten Most Mormon Friendly Law Schools

1.      1. Arizona State University, Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law
Number of registered J. Reuben Clark Law Society Members: 65
Cost of Living: $12,952
Cost of Tuition: $28,858
Distance to Nearest LDS Temple: 10 Miles
US News Ranking: 55

2. (Tie) University of Minnesota School of Law

Number of registered J. Reuben Clark Law Society Members: 26
Cost of Living: $13,392
Cost of Tuition: $35,089
Distance to Nearest LDS Temple: 18 Miles
US News Ranking: 20

2University of Nevada, Las Vegas – William S. Boyd School of Law
Number of registered J. Reuben Clark Law Society Members: 26
Cost of Living: $14,260
Cost of Tuition: $21,332
Distance to Nearest LDS Temple: 13 Miles
US News Ranking: 75

3. George Washington School of Law
Number of registered J. Reuben Clark Law Society Members: 67
Cost of Living: $20,500
Cost of Tuition: $40,100
Distance to Nearest LDS Temple: 10 Miles
US News Ranking: 28

4. George Mason University School of Law
Number of registered J. Reuben Clark Law Society Members: 28
Cost of Living: $21,134

Cost of Tuition: $31948
Distance to Nearest LDS Temple: 21 Miles
US News Ranking: 41

5.      5. Texas Tech University School of Law
Number of registered J. Reuben Clark Law Society Members: 11
Cost of Living: $12,990
Cost of Tuition: $20,701
Distance to Nearest LDS Temple: 7 Miles
US News Ranking: 0

6.      6. University of Houston Law Center
Number of registered J. Reuben Clark Law Society Members: 16
Cost of Living: $15,536
Cost of Tuition: $25,977
Distance to Nearest LDS Temple: 29 Miles
US News Ranking: 59

7. Gonzaga University School of Law
Number of registered J. Reuben Clark Law Society Members: 33
Cost of Living: $14,375
Cost of Tuition: $30,263
Distance to Nearest LDS Temple: 12 Miles
US News Ranking: 100

8.      8. University of Idaho School of Law
Number of registered J. Reuben Clark Law Society Members: 45
Cost of Living: $15,270
Cost of Tuition: $20,962
Distance to Nearest LDS Temple: 83 Miles
US News Ranking: 0

9. Oklahoma City University School of Law
Number of registered J. Reuben Clark Law Society Members: 35
Cost of Living: $16,660
Cost of Tuition: $30,970
Distance to Nearest LDS Temple: 15 Miles
US News Ranking: 0

10. Lewis & Clark Law School
Number of registered J. Reuben Clark Law Society Members: 6
Cost of Living: $16,345
Cost of Tuition: $30,461
Distance to Nearest LDS Temple: 5 Miles
US News Ranking: 61

Honorable Mentions: (3 Way Tie)

Ohio State University Moritz College of Law
Number of registered J. Reuben Clark Law Society Members: 9
Cost of Living: $17,870
Cost of Tuition: $35,869
Distance to Nearest LDS Temple: 9 Miles
US News Ranking: 35

University of Nebraska School of Law
Number of registered J. Reuben Clark Law Society Members: 11
Cost of Living: $11,476
Cost of Tuition: $25,101
Distance to Nearest LDS Temple: 58 Miles
US News Ranking: 0

University of Virginia School of Law
Number of registered J. Reuben Clark Law Society Members: 47
Cost of Living: $15,700
Cost of Tuition: $41,800
Distance to Nearest LDS Temple: 119 Miles
US News Ranking: 10

2010 – Top ten most Mormon friendly law schools

Next year’s top ten most “Mormon friendly” law schools will be announced on March 1, 2010! The law schools that will participate are:
ASU
Arizona
Cal. Western
Case Western
Chicago
Creighton
Cornell
Columbia
Colorado
Dayton
Duke
Franklin Pierce
George Mason
George Washington
Gonzaga
Georgetown
Harvard
Houston
Idaho
Illinois
Iowa
Kansas
Lewis and Clark
Michigan
Minnesota
Missouri- Columbia
Missouri- KC
Nebraska
NYU
Ohio State
Oklahoma
Oklahoma City
Pacific McGeorge
Penn State
Pepperdine
Saint Louis
San Diego
Seton Hall
Stanford
Texas Tech
Tulsa
UCLA
UNLV
Valparaiso
Vanderbilt
Virginia
Washburn
Washington and Lee
Whittier
Willamette
William and Mary
Wisonsin
Wyoming
Yale

If you think there is a law school that should be added to our list let us hear from you. We received a lot of great comments about the criteria we used in creating our list and we’ll be implementing some of those ideas in next year’s list to make it even more accurate.

Results From All Law Schools Considered

This topic generated many different opinions.

It is only fair for you, the readers, to see how each considered school was ranked. By sharing this information hopefully some of your questions and concerns will be answered.

To view a PDF of all the schools considered for the list click HERE.

To view a PDF of the points scored by each law school considered click HERE.

We appreciate all the comments that were made. We value our readers opinions and ideas.

KEEP THE COMMENTS COMING.

2009 Top Ten Most Mormon Friendly Law Schools

1. University of Nevada, Las Vegas – William S. Boyd School of Law
Number of Mormon Law Students: 80
Percentage of Student Body: 16.98%
Cost of Living: $14,260
Cost of Tuition: $20,302
Distance to nearest Temple: 13 Miles
US News Ranking: 88
Total Points: 409

2. Arizona State University – Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law
Number of Mormon Law Students: 70
Percentage of Student Body: 11.12%
Cost of Living: $12,952
Cost of Tuition: $28,856
Distance to Nearest Temple: 10 Miles
US News Ranking: 51
Total Points: 394

3. University of Idaho School of Law
Number of Mormon Law Students: 82
Percentage of Student Body: 26.11%
Cost of Living: $15,270
Cost of Tuition: $20,962
Distance of Nearest Temple: 83 Miles
US News Ranking: 0
Total Points: 384

4. University of Michigan Law School
Number of Mormon Law Students: 26
Percentage of Student Body: 2.3%
Cost of Living: $15,000
Cost of Tuition: $22,250
Distance to Nearest Temple: 44 Miles
US News Ranking: 9
Total Points: 329

5. Texas Tech University School of Law
Number of Mormon Law Students: 38
Percentage of Student Body: 5.41
Cost of Living: $12,990
Cost of Tuition: $20,759
Distance to Nearest Temple: 7 Miles
US News Ranking: 0
Total Points: 326

6. University of Minnesota Law School
Number of Mormon Law Students: 27
Percentage of Student Body: 3.37%
Cost of Living: $13,392
Cost of Tuition: $32,303
Distance to Nearest Temple: 18 Miles
US News Ranking: 22
Total Points: 323

7. University of Nebraska College of Law
Number of Mormon Law Students: 38
Percentage of Student Body: 9.52%
Cost of Living: $11,476
Cost of Tuition: $27,742
Distance to Nearest Temple: 58 Miles
US News Ranking: 73
Total Points: 305

8. Gonzaga University School of Law
Number of Mormon Law Students: 50
Percentage of Student Body: 8.97%
Cost of Living: $14,375
Cost of Tuition: $30,120
Distance to Nearest Temple: 12 Miles
US News Ranking: 0
Total Points: 295

9. George Washington School of Law
Number of Mormon Law Students: 70
Percentage of Student Body: 4.13%
Cost of Living: $20,500
Cost of Tuition: $38,198
Distance to Nearest Temple: 10 Miles
US News Ranking: 20
Total Points: 285


10. Willamette University College of Law
Number of Mormon Law Students:55
Percentage of Student Body: 12.97%
Cost of Living: $15,986
Cost of Tuition: $27,495
Distance to Nearest Temple: 39 Miles
US News
Ranking: 0
Total Points: 284


Honorable Mention: Creighton University School of Law
Number of Mormon Law Students:44
Percentage of Student Body: 9.4%
Cost of Living: $16,530
Cost of Tuition: $28,442
Distance to Nearest Temple: 7 Miles
US News Ranking: 0
Total Points: 282

*Neither Brigham Young University or University of Utah were considered for this list.


Download a PDF of Top Ten List HERE

Top Ten “Mormon Friendly” Law Schools Announced Monday

The 2009 top ten most “Mormon Friendly” law schools will be revealed Monday! The long wait is almost over. Below is an explanation of the point system used to create the list.

Neither Brigham Young University’s J. Reuben Clark School of Law or the University of Utah’s S.J. Quinney College of Law were considered for the top ten most “Mormon Friendly” law school list. This was not done as a slight to either school but simply to make the list more exciting. (And unlike when I joked last year Utah wasn’t excluded from the list along with BYU simply so they wouldn’t be ranked #1) If BYU and the U had been included they would have ranked #1 and #2 respectively.

The top ten list was created to help “Mr./Mrs. Mormon Pre-Law Student” develop a better sense of what law school might be interested in attending. For the purposes of the top ten list it is assumed that the law student is married with one child.

How is “Mormon Friendly” defined? Taking the totality of the circumstances into consideration what would be the best law school for “Mr./Mrs. Mormon Pre-Law Student” to attend?

Why include the cost of living and tuition in the Top Ten list? After last year’s top ten list was published several commenters expressed their opinion that the cost of attending a law school shouldn’t have anything to do with how “Mormon friendly” it is. I disagree. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints has taught the benefits of frugality and the heavy burden of debt for decades. In fact this is one of the reasons that tithing funds are used to subsidize the cost of tuition and some housing at Brigham Young University. This leads to my premise; the cheaper the cost of tuition + the cheaper the cost of living = less debt = Mormon friendly.

The first element measured was the number of LDS law students at a particular law school. Each Mormon law student was worth 1 point. The University of Idaho School of Law had the most students of any single law school with 82.

The second element measured was the cost of living. The lower the cost of living the more points a particular law school received up to a maximum of 100 points. Any school that cost less than $12,000 received all 100 points. The more expensive the cost of living the less points the law school received down to 0 points. Any school that had a cost of living more than $22,000 received 0 points.

The cost of tuition was the third element measured. The less expensive the law school the more points they received up to a maximum of 100 points. The more expensive the law school the less points they received down to a minimum of 0 points. Any school that cost less than $19,000 per year received all 100 points. Any law school that cost more than $44,000 per year received 0 points. From every $250 increase in tuition above $19,000 a law school lost 1 point.

The fourth element measured was the distance of the nearest LDS Temple to the law school. Each school started out with 100 points and lost 1 point for every mile they are from the nearest temple. For law schools more than 100 miles from the nearest LDS Temple they received 0 points.

The fifth element measured was the law school’s US News and World Report Ranking. Each law school started out with 100 points and then lost 1 point for its distance from the first place. For example the law school ranked 25th in the US News and World Report Ranking would receive 75 points. Why include the US News and World Report Ranking? For good and bad the law school ranking can have a very big impact on how many job offers a graduating law student has and it what income bracket.

The sixth element measured the percentage of LDS students that made up a schools overall population. This is the only new element to be added this year. By weighing the percentage of LDS law students at a given school to the school’s general population this levels the playing field for smaller law schools. For example Harvard has roughly 4x’s the student body of Yale and so to not take this into consideration unjustly benefits the larger law schools. To come up with the points possible we took the school’s percentage of LDS students and then multiplied that percentage by 4. For example if the LDS students made up 10% of a law school’s total population they would receive 40 points.

Any guesses as to who is number one? I will give a hint and say that last year’s Champion has been “de-throned”!

Top Ten Most Mormon Friendly Law Schools

Top Ten Most Mormon Friendly Law Schools 2008

1. Arizona State University– Tempe, Arizona
75 Mormon Law Students
Cost of living $13,000
Cost of tuition $26,000
Distance to the nearest Temple 10 miles
Prestige 52 points
Total: 389

2. University of Nevada at Las Vegas (UNLV) School of Law – Las Vegas, Nevada
100 Mormon Law Students
Cost of living $14,460
Cost of tuition $20,000
12 Miles to the nearest Temple
Prestige 0 points
Total: 338

3. Creighton University School of Law– Omaha, Nebraska
50 Mormon Law Students
Cost of living $16,530
Cost of tuition $25,000
Distance to nearest Temple: 7 miles
Prestige: 0 points
Total: 318

4. Gonzaga University School of Law– Spokane, Washington
40 Mormon law students
Cost of living: $14,375
Cost of tuition: $29,000
Distance to nearest Temple: 11 miles
Prestige: 0 points
Total: 304 points

5. University of Idaho School of Law– Moscow, Idaho
100 Mormon students
Cost of Living $15,2703
Cost of Tuition $20,0004
Distance to nearest Temple – 85 Miles
Prestige 0 points.
Total: 290

6. George Washington University School of Law– Washington D.C.
70 Law Students
Cost of living: $20,500
Cost of tuition $38,000
Distance to nearest Temple: 18 miles
Prestige: 20 points
Total: 283 Points

7. Harvard Law School
36 Mormon law students
Cost of living: $21,469
Cost of tuition: $41,000
Distance to Temple: 4 Miles
Prestige: 99 Points
Total: 256 Points

8. Georgetown Law School
33 Mormon law students
Cost of living: $20,210
Cost of tuition: $39,000
Distance to nearest Temple: 22 Miles
Prestige: 87 points
Total: 248 Points

9. Columbia University School of Law– New York City, New York
19 Mormon Law students
Cost of living: $19,705
Cost of tuition: $43,000
Distance to nearest Temple: 5 Miles
Prestige: 97 Points
Total: 236 Points

10. New York University School of Law– New York City, New York
18 Mormon Students
Cost of Living: $22,305
Cost of tuition: $39,000
Distance to nearest Temple: 4 Miles
Prestige: 96 Points
Total: 235 Points

Honorable Mention:
University of Dayton School of Law
– Dayton, Ohio
6 Mormon Law Students
Cost of living: $11,700
Cost of tuition: $33,000
Distance to nearest Temple: 68 miles
Prestige: 0 points

The University of Dayton School of Law has been awarded an honorable mention on the first annual most “Mormon friendly” law schools because it is the only ABA approved law school in the country where a J.D. can be received in only 24 months instead of the typical 36 months. The extra year in law school not only costs law students another year of living off of loans but they also lose a year income. For example if a law student is married, and has one child they might need to borrow $30,000 in loans to pay for their living expenses during their third year. They also are losing out on a year’s worth of income. For argument’s sake let’s say their first year income would have been $70,000. That is a $100,000 difference between a student who studies at the University of Dayton School of Law and who studies at a traditional three year school. Additionally, one year less of law school is reason enough to look seriously at the University of Dayton School of law.