God orders student to go to law school — but she wants us to foot the bill

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By Judge John Hack on

A young woman in South Carolina launches a novel crowd-funding bid to cover degree fees after the Almighty provides career planning advice

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Some students train to be lawyers because of a vocational calling, some in a bid to please their parents, some are lured by the prospect of a pot of gold at the end of the City’s rainbow — and some do it because they can’t think of anything else.

Not Julianna Battenfield. No, this 20-something bundle of joy from the US of A has been commanded by no less authority than the supreme being to get herself enrolled in law school and become a lawyer.

“God asked me to go to law school for the good of the kingdom of God,” she tells us in a no-nonsense style on her website.

Fair enough — it’s difficult to say no to that level of diktat. The only problem is — Julianna’s a bit strapped for cash. So she’s embraced crowd-funding to make the mission come true, as it would be presumptuous to ask Jehovah — or God, if you prefer — to cough up for the law school tuition fees, which, let’s face it, are bloody expensive Stateside.

But, as Yankee legal affairs website Above the Law has highlighted, Julianna is also no run-of-the-mill begging bowl merchant. She puts a bit of welly into it, having produced a YouTube trailer for “Operation Law School” (seen below) which is the name of her made-for-Hollywood project.

And this is no home movie-style effort. Indeed, it looks as though she could probably have covered the fees for the first term at law school with the cash she’s splurged on the glossy production values.

Indeed, it puts the efforts of UK law school crowd-funders — such as Vanessa Knowles — to shame. Vanessa’s approach has been essentially to create a rough and ready website saying this: give me some money to go to law school.

On the other side of the Atlantic, Julianna’s trailer may be short on specifics and but it is very long on mood. The clip is replete with emotive images of a woman we assume must be Julianna on what looks to be an African mission.

There, she tutors grateful local children — one of whom appears to be wearing a miner’s lamp — in the ways of the Lord … and tort law, presumably.

There are also scenes taken from Julianna’s younger life as an innocent child herself, and through a perky period as a high school cheerleader.

Julianna — who we think is from Greenville in South Carolina — tells anyone who will listen that’s she’s hell bent (sorry) on attending the law school at Regent University in Virginia, which promotes itself as providing “Christian leadership to change the world”. Above the Law points out that the private university was founded by renowned television evangelist Pat Robertson (pictured).


If anyone knows about having a word with God and translating that into a money raising operation it is Robertson, who, in addition to running a religious broadcasting empire, also stood for the Republican Party presidential nomination in 1988. Sadly, God took his eye off the ball and the party plumped for George Bush senior.

More to the point, Above the Law reckons that despite having the big man on its side (that’s the Christian God in addition to Robertson), Regent University is home to a mediocre law school at best.

The website attributes that assessment to figures from US News & World Report magazine, the bible (as it were) for ranking American universities.

But rankings probably won’t bother our Julianna, who seems perfectly happy to aim for an institution that in her view would make Jesus happy.

And most importantly, don’t forget, she needs your cash, because the last thing Julianna is going to do is follow convention and have a humiliating word with the bank — either of mama and papa or the one in the high street. And that approach is all down to God as well.

“After much prayer and wise counsel,” she tells us, “I have decided to let you in on this part of my life so that you will know what God is doing in and through me. I do not believe in taking out student loans because the word of God says not to, and He asked me specifically not to, so I have permanently declined my loans in faith, trusting that He will provide the full amount.”

Let’s hope God is there for her on final exam day as well or your cash will have been wasted.

Further reading:

Law graduate launches bid to crowdfund her LPC in return for Twitter follows and signed photos [Legal Cheek]