My name is Tracy Nuttall and I currently work seasonally as a drafting attorney for the Utah state legislature.
I live in American Fork with my husband Marc, and our two children, Mira (5), and Ezra (almost 2). We also have two wiener dogs. Our hobbies are: eating! And. . . anything related to eating, like cooking, going to restaurants, and hopefully this year, growing things to eat.
I graduated from BYU with a philosophy degree in 2002. I assumed that I would just be a stay-at-home mom, after I put my husband through medical school in Portland, Oregon. Unexplained infertility got in our way and I decided to pursue law school in the meantime. Our daughter Mira was born two weeks before finals during fall semester of my 3L year at BYU. After I graduated and passed the bar, I taught a couple of semesters of business law at UVU and I also worked for a few months as a law clerk in Utah’s 2nd District Court. I left my clerkship early when I was offered a job as a legislative drafting attorney.
I consider my specialty to be the Utah code, drafting legislation, and constitutional issues that arise as I draft legislation. I spent two years working full time as the drafting attorney for natural resources, environment, and agriculture. I loved drafting the water bills. When I quit my full-time job, I left a little piece of my heart in the water code.
For the last two legislative sessions, I’ve worked just from January through March for the legislative session. I help out with drafting education bills now. There is a lot of drama and controversy in education!
I love drafting legislation because I get to take a concern or concept from a legislator, develop it into a working system, scour the code looking for the right fit, and then translate it all into language that is hopefully perfectly clear and easy to understand. Along the way, I counsel with legislators regarding any legal issues that arise and seek direction from them on policy questions. I’m really lucky that I get to draft legislation in Utah: if you’ve ever read draft legislation in other states, you will see why immediately.
Although I miss work when I’m a stay-at-home mom, and I miss my family when I’m working a million hours a week during the session, for now I really like having my life compartmentalized. I like pouring everything into work for three months, and then pouring myself into my family for the rest of the year. Being a stay-at-home mom has also helped me to remember how many other interests and talents I have besides being an attorney and for me, it’s great to have time to pursue other interests and give more service.
I have a strong testimony that the Lord knows me and has an amazing plan for my life. I’ve had periods of time when the Lord forced me to learn more about myself and come up with my own plans for the future. These times are typically juxtaposed with other times when the Lord has required me to give up my plans and follow his path in faith. What I’ve learned is that when I consecrate my education and career to the Lord, he turns around and gives them back to me a thousand times better than I could have made them on my own.
One difficult time I’d like to share occurred when Marc got a job in Provo and I knew we would have to move away from my job. I was pregnant with our son Ezzie and I knew I couldn’t keep working full time and commute all the way up to Salt Lake without putting too much of a strain on our family. I’d love to say I handled this change gracefully and full of faith, but unfortunately my pride got in the way and the Lord basically dragged me kicking and screaming down to American Fork. If you can’t already tell from the tone of this post, it turned out to be one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. My career has improved, not ended as I thought, and I’m much more confident about who I am and what path I’m on. I’m just a lot happier in general.
How grateful I am to have had an opportunity to go to law school and pursue a career that I never even contemplated until a few months before I submitted my law school application. Someone who knows me better than I know myself helped me to find that path and continues to guide me as much as I will allow.