Areas of Scholarship
Since its founding in 2000, the International Center for Law and Religion Studies (ICLRS or the Center) at BYU Law has emerged as a leader in the field of religious liberty at national and international levels. The Center facilitates legal reform by expanding, deepening, and disseminating knowledge and expertise and developing networks of scholars, experts and policymakers involved in religion and law. Students at BYU Law have the opportunity to work with ICLRS as summer fellows. Their work as fellows includes directed research and in-country legal work representing religious institutions throughout the world. In addition to those opportunities, students also work with professors and Center affiliates on amicus briefs related to religious freedom issues.
The Law School focuses on training students to become advocates in all parts of the criminal justice system, from representation of individual clients to participants in policy reform. Through a variety of courses, clinical alliances, and externships, BYU Law students not only learn about the criminal justice system, but work to create meaningful change for individuals and the community. BYU Law’s Court Watch program in juvenile court, its partnership with the Rocky Mountain Innocence Center, and its Prosecution and Defense Clinical Alliance with state, county, and federal prosecutors and defenders, BYU Law offers students a meaningful opportunity to work with juveniles and adults in the criminal justice system.
The Initiative for the Study of Law and Entrepreneurship (ISLE) facilitates collaboration among BYU Law faculty and students, local startups, and service providers. Central to ISLE is the Law and Entrepreneurship Clinic, in which students, working under the supervision of experienced faculty and practicing lawyers, advise local businesses on a wide range of legal issues. Clients range from entrepreneurs with ideas on a napkin to more established companies, and students assist with every aspect of the businesses, from startup formation to technology licensing to employment agreements to patent prosecution.
The Transactional Design Project at BYU Law is dedicated to studying both well-established and disruptive forms of market infrastructure from an interdisciplinary perspective. The Project is an incubator for new studies and research methods, a platform for academic and private sector collaboration, and the home of an innovative curriculum for training the next generation of transactional attorneys.
Law & Social Change
BYU Law instills an ethic of service in its students, teaching them that a vital part of being a leader is to ‘open the doors of justice to the poor’ and to make a positive difference by creating a generation of lawyers who advocate for humanity’s most vulnerable and underserved populations. Areas of emphasis in Law & Social Change include: elder law, immigration, Indian affairs, international development, environmental law, child advocacy, & disaster law.
Law & Corpus Linguistics
BYU Law is pioneering the study of law and corpus linguistics, a methodology for understanding the meaning of words by analyzing naturally occurring language in large collections of texts called “corpora.” Through the Law and Corpus Linguistics Project, BYU Law created the first course on law and corpus linguistics in the United States, hosts an annual academic conference, develops new legal research corpora, and fosters influential scholarship using this method.