“One of my passions has always been education. I love to learn, but I also love to teach and to educate others,” says Marianna Richardson, ’22. After earning a bachelor’s degree in English literature from BYU, Richardson went on to have 12 children with her husband of forty-five years, Stephen D. Richardson. During these years she pursued masters and doctorate degrees in education as well as an MBA and has taught advanced writing at the BYU Marriott School of Business for nearly a decade.
The decision to attend law school was motivated by another cause Richardson feels passionate about—religious freedom. “I was raised in the New York area in mostly Jewish communities,” she says. “Growing up in that environment as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I learned that religious people of diverse faith traditions aren’t that different.” Richardson currently serves as director of communications for the G20 Interfaith Forum, an organization focused on exploring the link between economic development and religious freedom through informed, scholarly discussion. Legal education will provide a meaningful background for the work she does in the interfaith space.
“Law school has given me a greater understanding of the power of one person,” Richardson says. “Reading cases and learning what people have been able to accomplish through the law is powerful.” While at BYU Law, Richardson has developed an interest in asylum law and hopes to serve her community after graduation by pursuing pro bono work that will assist refugees. “Law school has taught me how to be a better citizen. When I’m working with my business students, I always put in a plug for law school. I encourage them all to go.”