Women in law


At the J. Reuben Clark Law School, women make up 39 percent of the student population, an increase over the years as more and more women choose to further their education and expand career opportunities.

[Dehn Craig] Rachel Bennion, Jenny Foote and Cathy Graham studying outside the law school.
Rachel Bennion, 27, a first-year law student, said she applied for law school not only because it is offering her a great education, but because it will help her to be more well-rounded.

“I knew it would increase my capacity to help and serve people and to be an advocate,” Bennion said.

After completing her undergraduate degree in English at BYU and then later a master’s degree in public administration, she still felt there was one more thing for her to accomplish. Bennion said all of her professors were supportive of her decision to continue onto law school, which helped her to make the transition.

However, though Bennion may be a traditional, young law student, not all of them are the same.

Cathy Graham, a first-year law student and mother, decided to go back to school after her youngest graduated from high school. Though most of the students are recent college graduates, Graham said she has always felt accepted.

“I’ve felt great support, interest and camaraderie among the students,” Graham said.

Graham said she hasn’t felt alone being a woman in law school, and that in fact three out of her four professors are women. Though family duties are important, Graham said a motto that a friend once shared with her is especially true in her own life.

“People who want to have families can have it all, just not at the same time,” Graham said.

Even though Graham is not the traditional student, she’s happy to be back in a learning environment that she described as “invigorating everyday.”

“For me personally, it’s one of the most demanding things I’ve ever done,” Graham said.

Jenny Foote, 22, a first-year law student, said that being a woman in law school has been a great experience.

“I’ve never felt beneath the men in any way. … I’ve always been treated as an equal,” Foote said.

She said women are well-represented at the law school and that most of her professors are women as well.

Foote said getting where she is today has not been easy. Though she had support from family and friends, she was uneasy about what to expect.

“If you let the fear of not being able to do it creep in, it will paralyze you,” Foote said.

If she would have listened to her doubts or fears, Foote said she wouldn’t have even applied.

“Being here today takes a lot of self-motivation,” Foote said.

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