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February 13, 2006

pre-law and pondering

A reader asks:

With the same GPA, would law schools give preference to Brigham Young University over University of Utah? Does BYU really make it harder to get good grades? I would be majoring Economics.
Now, this is serious pre-law here. It's not clear from the question, but if this reader is a high school student, my first bit of advice would be that he should think about going to college before he thinks about going to law school. In other words, pick your school based on how happy it will make you, not your future law school. If you are happy as an undergrad, you're more likely to do well, make better connections with professors (who can write you recommendations), and come out of college a healthier, more well-rounded person.

As for the specifics between BYU and Utah, I don't really know. I know that law schools do take the prestige of your undergrad institution into account, along with the relative difficulty of your major. How much weight they give those factors, though, is a mystery to all, and is going to depend, at least in part, on what law school you're talking about. BYU's law school might not give preference; Harvard may. I honestly don't know though. Does anyone have any sense of how these two schools play against one another?

Posted by kristine at February 13, 2006 08:43 AM

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In my humble opinion, if you plan on living in Utah, it doesn't matter... in fact, if you plan on living in one of the states surrounding Utah, it doesn't matter. BUT if you think that you want to go to the midwest or east, if you have the choice, go to BYU. Much bigger name recognition if you are affiliated with the religion that sponsers BYU.

I think Kristine is right though... for undergrad, you should go where you think you will be happy, where the major you want is stronger... etc. You never know what will happen over 4 years. You might not even want to go to law school when it is all said and done. Good luck.

Posted by: Joey at February 13, 2006 10:25 AM