The BYU J. Reuben Clark Law School has been ranked number 12 out of 25 according to graduateprograms.com’s online student ratings. More than 4,000 students of over 150 accredited law schools in the United States submitted reviews of their law school programs to determine the results.
The ranking criteria in graduateprograms.com is comprehensive. Students rank their law school on affordability of living, education quality, use of technology, workload, social life, transportation and more. Each category is ranked on a scale of one to 10 stars. The BYU Law School had an average ranking of 8.04, stars, only .78 behind Stanford University, the school ranked first on the list.
BYU’s highest rating within the categories is the affordability of living. One star represents a ridiculously expensive cost of living, and 10 stars represents incredibly affordable. The J. Reuben Clark Law School was given over nine stars from student reviewers in this category. The cost of living includes, among other things, housing, food and entertainment.
Hilary Lawrence, a current law student at BYU, said she has saved a lot of money by going to BYU.
“I definitely think it’s cheaper here that anywhere else,” Lawrence said. “Wymount is way cheap. Especially when you compare it to California, where I’m from, it’s half as expensive.”
The low cost is helping Lawrence get through law school with no debt. She explained that lots of her friends from other law schools have fewer job options because of their overwhelming debt. Some of her friends want to work with non-profit organizations but have to choose a higher paying job to pay off debt instead of the job they really wanted.
“My friends feel like they need to have high-paying jobs to pay off debt,” Lawrence said. “It has been nice because I can come out with no debt, which gives me more job options.”
Jordan Harvey, a political science major and pre-law student, said price is a significant factor in deciding where he goes to law school.
“Also price is important,” Harvey said. “And expense of living and also if they are offering scholarships … BYU is a great school, especially for how much it costs, which is the main draw for a lot of LDS students.”
Haley Jankowski, a second-year law student at BYU, is also grateful for the overall low cost of attending the BYU Law School.
“It lets me do more fun things,” Jankowski said. “More time to do fun things with my husband because we have more money for dates.”
Faculty accessibility and support at BYU had over eight stars. This criteria rated the responsiveness of faculty and the level of support provided to students outside of class.
“Our faculty are really amazing with great careers behind them,” Lawrence said. “They’re always open to talk to you. The administration is really good too. At BYU a lot of the girls are pregnant with kids … and the administration is so good with helping (them) with anything like fixing schedules.”
Jankowski likes the personal attention she gets from the faculty. She said they sit down and help her and write letters of recommendation even though they are busy.
“They have been incredible,” Jankowski said. “I have several faculty who have been like personal mentors and even counselors.”
Harvey said that he wants to be taught by professors who are genuinely concerned with helping their students learn instead of lecturing and then leaving students to fend for themselves.
“A professor that has practical experience in a field and is concerned with the teaching of his or her students is what I’m looking for,” Harvey said. “We all have that experience with a professor who lectures and leaves … I’m looking for more effective teaching so you’re learning what you need to learn.”
The graduate program’s overall value also had over eight stars. This part of the rating asked students if they felt like going to their law school was a good overall decision and if they would do it at that same school again.
“I ended up here because my husband was going to BYU,” Lawrence said. “I did my undergraduate here and was not happy. When I started (graduate school) my perspective changed quickly … it is particularly good here because you feel comfortable … the faculty are open and helpful, and students really want to learn and work. If I could make the choice again I would still choose to come here.”
Jankowski is also pleased with her decision to go to the BYU Law School.
“There are other big-name schools that would be great to go to,” Jankowski said. “But as far as my experience at BYU, I can’t imagine going anywhere else.”