Full Time Practice

Friday, April 29, 2016

WIL Regional Conference: Introducing the Speakers Part 3

Lisa Watts Baskin 

Lisa Watts Baskin has practiced law in Utah for nearly 30 years, a J.D. graduate of J. Reuben Clark Law School at BYU. For the past 15 years, she has been in solo practice, presently serves as an Administrative Law Judge, Utah Office of Inspector General and under contract with various municipalities to provide ordinance drafting and legal guidance. She possesses advanced skills in administrative and public law, including public policy formulation and analysis, legislative and initiative drafting, election law and related litigation, and Medicaid claims adjudication. 
Lisa Watts Baskin
Lisa has been a law clerk at the Utah Supreme Court, Associate General Counsel for the Utah State Legislature, and Executive Director to the Utah Constitutional Revision Commission. She is a civil litigator in private practice and board member and chair to numerous boards, including Real Women Run (Chair), Utah Foster Care Foundation (Chair, Exec. Board), and North Salt Lake Planning Commission. She served as North Salt Lake City Councilwoman and Mayor Pro Tem and Second Vice-President of Utah League of Cities and Towns. She is licensed to practice law in Utah, District of Columbia, California and the United States Supreme Court.







Sara Dansie Jones

Sara Jones is currently President of IFINIDI, where she consults with C-level teams on building revenue growth and talent strategies. Prior, Sara was the CEO of ApplicantPro, one of Utah’s fastest-growing tech companies, and responsible for growing a management team during a period of intense expansion. She was also head of business development at School Improvement Network, another of Utah’s fastest-growing tech companies, where she gained deep experience on research-based educational research. She is passionate about building highly functioning organizations, having coached management teams as well as dozens of professionals and attorneys and helping them advance through various career opportunities.  
Sara started her career as a patent attorney at Workman Nydegger, Utah’s largest IP law firm, where she became a shareholder. She taught advanced patent law at BYU Law School. She has a J.D., cum laude, from Brigham Young University, and a degree in chemical engineering, with honors, from the University of Utah.
Sara Dansie Jones
Sara is a recognized technology business community leader. She co-founded the non-profit Women Tech Council in 2007, where she has developed deep connections within the Utah tech community and with executives, business leaders, entrepreneurs, and community leaders. She is often asked to speak to high-level executives about how women positively impact the economic value of organizations. She helps executives to understand gender bias, overcome potential gender-related pitfalls within their organizations, and create opportunities for their organizations by engaging women as meaningful business partners.










Barbara Melendez

Barbara Melendez
Barbara Melendez is a Shareholder with Richards Brandy Miller Nelson in Salt Lake City.  Her practice focuses primarily on immigration and employer/immigration compliance matters. She represents multi-national corporations, educational institutions, religious organizations, and employers on inter-company transfers, all temporary and permanent work visas, investment visas, including working with counsel around the world to help U.S. companies on cross-border employment issues.
Barbara also represents individuals and their families before the Department of Homeland Security's Citizenship and Immigration Services, Immigration Customs and Enforcement as well as the Department of Labor, Board of Immigration Appeals, and in Federal Court.  She has lectured and advised companies throughout Asia and Latin America on investor visas and employment-based visas.





Gayla Sorenson

Gayla Moss Sorenson is currently the Dean of Admissions at BYU’s J. Reuben Clark School of Law. Prior to assuming that role in the fall of 2014, her career spanned a variety of law firm and in-house experiences. After graduating from BYU Law in 1985, she spent four years with Lewis & Roca in Phoenix and then twenty years with Motorola--first as a litigator, followed by extensive experience as a commercial attorney supporting global transactions, and ending her time there as a Vice President and senior legal advisor. Most recently, she was the Director of Global Compliance Operations for Biomet, Inc., a global medical device company based in Warsaw, Indiana.
Gayla Sorenson
Gayla has been actively involved in the J. Reuben Clark Law Society, including having served as Chair of the Finance Committee. Her additional volunteer work has included serving as a Senior Fellow for the International Center for Law and Religion Studies. Gayla is a member of the Arizona and Indiana bars. She is married to Ferril Sorenson and very much enjoys the roles of wife, mother, grandmother, daughter, sister, and aunt. Her hobbies include reading, travel, and golf.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

WIL Regional Conference: Introducing the Speakers Part 2

The countdown has begun for the JRCLS Women in Law Regional Conference on April 30, 2016 at Utah Valley University.  Register here now!  We will be posting information about each of the speakers in the days leading up to the conference.  See below for information on Karen Clemes, General Counsel for Utah Valley University, and one of the plenary speakers at the event.  Stay tuned for details about the other speakers next week.

Karen Clemes

Karen Clemes joined Utah Valley University April 1, 2015 as its first General Counsel.  She earned her J.D. at California Western School of Law, where she graduated summa cum laude, first in her class. She completed both her master’s degree in humanities and bachelor’s degree in comparative literature at BYU. After her law school graduation, she worked as a law clerk for Judge David Thompson of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Karen has extensive legal experience, including as Associate General Counsel for Ancestry.com prior to her current appointment. She has also been Of Counsel with Ballard Spahr LLP, a national law firm, and was Director of the HR Legal Division and Chief Standards (Ethics) Officer for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. For nearly a decade, she was an associate and then partner at the California law firm Luce, Forward, Hamilton & Scripps LLP (now Dentons US), where she litigated employment and business cases and provided state and federal labor and employment law counsel to a variety of clients.

Karen Clemes
In addition to practicing law, Karen is an adjunct professor at Brigham Young University’s J. Reuben Clark Law School, where she teaches employment law.  Karen is currently the International Chair of the Women in the Law Committee for the J. Reuben Clark Law Society. In 2011 she received the Association of Corporate Counsel Mountain West Chapter’s “Outstanding New Corporate Counsel” Award.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

WIL Regional Conference: Introducing the Speakers


The countdown has begun for the JRCLS Women in Law Regional Conference on April 30, 2016 at Utah Valley University.  Register here now!  We will be posting information about each of the speakers in the days leading up to the conference.  See below for information on Angelina Tsu, president of the Utah State Bar, and one of the plenary speakers at the event.  Stay tuned for details about the other speakers later this week and next.

Angelina Tsu

Angelina Tsu is President of the Utah State Bar and Vice President, Corporate Legal Counsel, at Zions Bancorporation. Prior to joining Zions, Angelina practiced at Ray Quinney & Nebeker with the firm’s Finance and
Restructuring Litigation Group. She also served as a judicial clerk to the Honorable Dee V.
Benson of the U.S. District Court for the District of Utah. Angelina earned a J.D. from the S.J.
Quinney College of Law at the University of Utah where she was a William H. Leary Scholar and a Member of the Utah Law Review. 

Angelina co-chairs the Utah State Bar AAA Task Force, is a member of the Federal Judicial
Nominating Commission (Merit Selection Panel), and serves on the boards of the Utah Minority
Bar Foundation, Association of Corporate Counsel, and Women Lawyers of Utah.

Angelina has been recognized for her public service efforts by the Utah State Bar Young
Lawyers’ Division (Young Lawyer of the Year 2009), the Association of Corporate Counsel
(Community Service Award 2010), the American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division (Star of the Quarter 2010), the Utah State Bar (Section of the Year and Committee of the Year, 2010-2011 and 2013-2014), First Chair (Rising Star Award 2012), and the Utah Minority Bar
Association (Distinguished Lawyer of the Year 2014). She has been recognized by Utah Business Magazine as one of Utah’s Legal Elite from 2008 to present.
Angelina Tsu

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

4th Annual Women in Law Regional Conference



Join us for Women, Leadership, and Law, the 4th Annual Women in Law Regional Conference at Utah Valley University on April 30, 2016.  Register now!  This conference immediately follows BYU Women's Conference that same week.  We have an excellent lineup of speakers and topics that you won't want to miss!
Angelina Tsu, Utah State Bar President
"Lemonade 101: Making the Most of Bias"
Implicit bias is the bias in judgment or behavior that results from subtle cognitive processes, and, like it or not, it is a reality in the workforce.  Ms. Tsu's presentation will discuss the issue of implicit bias: what it is, how it affects both men and women, and most importantly, what we can do about it.  Is it possible for us to outsmart biology and use implicit bias to our advantage?
Karen Clemes, General Counsel of Utah Valley University
"The Joyful Lawyer"
Lawyers are notorious for being unhappy and stressed out.  Benjamin Franklin said, “The Constitution only gives people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself.”  This session will provide insights on how to take charge of “catching” your own happiness, including by being mindful of your level of happiness, learning to say no better, discovering what activities make you feel the most joyful, and even changing jobs if needed. 
Lisa Watts Baskin, Founder of Real Women Run
"Power Up, Sisters"
Women serve a unique and invaluable role in their communities, and can use their talents to participate more fully in public life and civic leadership. This session will focus on empowering women to embrace these roles by getting involved, whether that means running for political office, participating in local boards and commissions, or simply engaging more fully in the political system.
Sara Dansie Jones, Co-Founder of the Women Tech Council and President of IFINIDI
"Make Rain While the Sun Shines: Leveraging the Power of Networks in Your Career"
For those who may not currently be practicing law, this presentation will focus on “crafting” a career from a legal foundation and allowing that career to grow and thrive. Ms. Jones has coached dozens of lawyers and executives over the years on growing their business and career transitions.
Barbara Melendez, Immigration Practice Chair at Richards Brandt Miller Nelson
"Women Mentoring Women"
This session will discuss the role of a mentor, the importance of women supporting and empowering one another, and practical ways that seasoned practitioners can prepare themselves to serve as mentors, develop leadership traits, and build long-lasting relationships with those they mentor.
Gayla Sorenson, Dean of Admissions at the J. Reuben Clark Law School
"In Defense of Our First Freedom"
Religious freedom is our first freedom and one that is being attacked on many fronts.  This presentation will provide a high-level look at some of the critical, interesting issues that currently exist in this area of law, and discuss ways to get personally involved in defending this key right.


Date: Saturday, April 30, 2016
Time: 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. (registration begins at 8:30 a.m.)
Location: Centre Stage, Sorenson Student Center, Utah Valley University
Cost: $40, which includes 4 credits of CLE, breakfast, and lunch ($20 for students)
(Please contact Emily Adams at eadams@adamslegalllc.com if you just want the CLE credits and no meals, or if you have any questions)
We hope you can join us for this spectacular event.  Register here now!


Monday, March 21, 2016

Announcing the 4th Annual WIL Regional Conference

Please join us for the 4th Annual Women in Law Regional Conference, held on April 30, 2016 at Utah Valley University in Orem, Utah. This conference immediately follows the BYU Women's Conference that same week.  The theme of the conference is Women, Law, and Leadership, and speakers and topics include the following:

Angelina Tsu, Utah State Bar President
"Lemonade 101: Making the Most of Bias"


Karen Clemes, General Counsel of Utah Valley University
"The Joyful Lawyer"


Lisa Watts Baskin, founder of Real Women Run
"Power Up, Sisters" (Women in Politics)

Sara Dansie Jones, co-founder of the Women Tech Council and President of IFINIDI
"Make Rain While the Sun Shines: Leveraging the Power of Networks in Your Career"

Barbara Melendez, Immigration Practice Chair at Richards Brandt Miller Nelson
"Women Mentoring Women"

Gayla Sorenson, Dean of Admissions at the J. Reuben Clark Law School
"In Defense of Our First Freedom"

Date: Saturday, April 30
Time: 9am-2pm
Location: Centre Stage, Sorensen Student Center, Utah Valley University
Cost: 4 CLE credits (free), breakfast, and lunch $40 ($20 for students)


JRCLS Annual Conference, February 12, 2016
The Confidence Gap
(Written by Jenny Wilson, International WIL Committee Member)

Confidence—we need it! This was the message that came across loud and clear from Dr. Susan Madsen at the JRCLS Annual Conference on February 12. In an engaging and important presentation, Dr. Madsen, who is the Orin R. Woodbury Professor of Leadership and Ethics at UVU’s Woodbury School of Business, taught attendees how women in leadership strengthen the business climate, why women sometimes struggle to find the confidence to step up to leadership, and what we can do to encourage more women leaders.
We need to promote women’s participation in leadership. Dr. Madsen stated that most organizations do not fully realize the value of having women in key leadership roles. It may be that women themselves also do not realize the difference they make to a leadership team, but there are substantial advantages for everyone when women lead. Dr. Madsen cited studies which show that when women in business are part of leadership teams, those organizations show improved financial performance. Their profitability is increased, economic growth is better, and debt is reduced more quickly. In addition, the organizational climate is strengthened, with higher employee and customer satisfaction, less turnover, increased productivity and more ethical company choices and decisions. Women in leadership also influence companies to leverage talent in a beneficial way, to increase corporate social responsibility (which enhances the company’s reputation), and to enhance innovation and collective intelligence. From Dr. Madsen’s findings, it is overwhelmingly clear that businesses do themselves a significant disservice by not attracting women leaders and retaining these leaders in upper echelons of their organizations.While exterior barriers to women’s leadership certainly exist, women also face interior barriers to becoming leaders. Dr. Madsen next focused on what confidence is, why women sometimes struggle with finding and keeping it, and why a lack of confidence impacts a woman’s ability to step up to leadership. We need confidence every hour of every day, and without it we cannot succeed or even envision what we can do or become. We cannot contribute to the world to our full potential. Self-doubt, proclaims Dr. Madsen, is a waste of precious time.  What is confidence, then? According to Dr. Madsen, it is not just feeling good about ourselves or believing affirmations from others. It is not just self-esteem. Confidence is about the belief that mastery is possible, cultivation of the appetite to accept a challenge and the determination to keep going despite setbacks. Self-compassion is an attribute crucial for confidence because it allows us to take risks and then put resulting setbacks or failures in a positive light, which keeps us moving forward—it promotes action, which is the key component for confidence.


Dr. Madsen next pointed out that there are key differences in confidence between the genders. Evidence shows that women struggle more with confidence issues than men do. They are generally less self-assured, have more anxiety in leaving their comfort zones, have a harder time letting go of defeats or mistakes, keep hurt feelings longer, judge themselves harder and beat themselves up more, thus not learning from failures as well as men. These differences show up across cultures, incomes, ages, professions and generations. Women often begin dialogues with disclaimers or apologies, they deflect praise away, and assume blame when things go wrong while not taking credit for success.  Men generally do the opposite. Regarding qualifications for advancement in careers, studies show that men are happy to apply for advancement when they can meet 60% of the job requirements, while women will not apply unless they feel they are 100% qualified. Perfectionism holds women back from making decisions and acting. Women tend to talk less when they are outnumbered by men and then are frustrated when a man says what they are thinking. They also spend too much time (way more time than men) overthinking or ruminating on problems and perceived failures, which can freeze decision making and action. Perceptions about physical appearance also play into the confidence gap issues.

Can anything be done to change women’s confidence issues? Dr. Madsen asserts that although genetics play a part in how much confidence we come to the world with, we are able to change our brains in ways that positively affect our thoughts and actions at any age. We can literally carve new pathways in our adult brains for more confident thinking, which can override genetics and change brain chemistry. It is our choice. 

Suggestions from Dr. Madsen to change brain wiring regarding confidence include learning to develop a growth mindset—always believing that we can improve and continue to learn. She also advocates breaking rumination cycles, to be aware of and stop distracting or destructive thoughts that can take over our minds and actions. Taking risks, struggling through difficult tasks, failing and then learning from failure, quashing perfectionism and focusing outward instead of on ourselves are the roadmap for promoting confidence. With a foundation of confidence, a woman can step up and become the leader she is born to be, and achieve the world change she is capable of making.


Dr. Madsen concluded with this thought by Robert F. Kennedy: “Each time a person stands up for an idea, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice (s)he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.” Dr. Madsen, with her message and example of confident leadership, certainly sent that ripple of hope to all who heard her at the Annual Conference, giving all a vision of the importance of reaching and sharing our potential through confident leadership. As she emphatically stated: “Be ready to lead! Take a stand!”

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Women in Law Breakfast

JRCLS - Women in Law (WIL) section held a meet and greet breakfast overlooking the San Diego skyline from the University of San Diego's patio at the Annual JRCLS Conference in February.  Many were able to share the reasons why they chose the law and how inspiring it is to be a women of faith and law.