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When Doors Are Opened

June 2023

For Sarah Johns, a 2L student from Huntington Beach, California, attending law school and participating in competitions has improved both her knowledge and her spirituality. Though relatively new to BYU Law, Johns has already competed in two international moot court competitions through BYU Law School’s International Center for Law and Religion Studies. In the competition held in Spain, her team was awarded Best Team. In the competition held in Brazil, Johns earned something even more valuable. Even though unforeseen circumstances required Johns to compete virtually, she felt prompted to continue with the competition over video call. After her presentation was over, Johns did not feel confident in her performance. However, she ended up receiving the award for Best Oralist. “This was the moment I realized that if I’m following my promptings, then I’m in the right place,” she says.

Sarah Johns standing outside the Office of General Counsel

Spiritual promptings—and the confirmations that follow—are what led Johns to BYU Law in the first place. “After my mission, I truly felt inspired to attend law school,” she says. “It has become clear to me that God is making these things happen through generous donors. The Center, and especially those who give to the college, are opening doors that were locked to me and that would have otherwise been impossible to walk through. Donors feel like angels that are making these things possible for me.”

Johns has decided to pursue a path of international law, and the Center has given her opportunities to travel around the world and gain vital experience. Johns says, “It’s important for Latter-day Saints to be articulate in what we believe and to have a presence that evokes positive change. ICLRS has hands all around the globe. It’s incredible to see how the Center builds bridges and then asks students like me to join in the cause.”

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