Jim Wright, Aubrey Wright, David Thomas, Susannah Thomas, Judge Milan Smith,
Tiffany Smith, event organizer WIL vice-chair Nan Barker,
and BYU WIL chair Brooke Edwards
Undergraduates, law students, and attorneys alike benefited from the experience of three father-daughter “Dynamic Duo” attorney teams at a Women-in-Law-sponsored event on September 28. Held in BYU’s
on the evening prior to the JRCLS leadership conference, the event also attracted a number of JRCLS members and Board members. Wilkinson Center
Tracing their paths in the law were Aubrey Wright, second-year law student at BYU law school and her father, Jim Wright, Arizona attorney and LDS Church Area Seventy; Susannah Thomas, attorney with the federal government and an adjunct BYU law school professor, and her father, David Thomas, also a BYU law school professor; and Tiffany Smith, corporate attorney in Salt Lake City, and her father, U.S. 9th Circuit Judge Milan Smith.
Aubrey Wright discussed the demands of attending law school, but also its rewards. Elder Wright reiterated the Church’s long-standing support of women attending law school by quoting Brigham Young: “We believe that women . . . should stand behind the counter, study law or physic, or become good book keepers and be able to do the business in any counting house, and all this to enlarge their sphere of usefulness for the benefit of society at large. In following these things they but answer the design of their creation.”
The Professors Thomas, discussing what law professors expect from their students, gave the following advice: prepare, attend and participate.
Noting that technology allows her to work part-time, Tiffany Smith, mother of three, advised prospective law students to “be joyful in their work” and to “go and intend to do well. Don’t bother if you don’t intend to do well.” Judge Smith praised the “felicitous blend of male and female” in his two-male, two-female law clerk configuration, and stated that there is a "genuine need for the perspective of both genders in the law."
Both formal and informal question and answer sessions, fueled by chocolate and lemon bars, followed the presentations.
Photos: Left--Tiffany Smith answers questions after the presentation. Center--BYU Law School Women in Law leaders for 2011-12. Right--International JRCLS past-chair Nancy Van Slooten, WIL vice-chair Nan Barker, WIL Committee liaison and BYU law school ass't dean Mary Hoagland, WIL chair Elizabeth Smith.