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Monday, December 14, 2015

JRCLS International Women in Law Committee Hosts the Third Annual WIL Regional Conference

The JRCLS International Women in Law Committee hosted its 3rd Annual WIL Regional Conference. This fall, the Conference was held at Chapman University Dale E. Fowler School of Law in Orange County, California. In years past, it was held in Phoenix, Arizona (2013) and Washington D.C. (2014). Next year’s Conference is planned to take place in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Participants of this year’s Conference were rewarded for their early morning rise with quality addresses from top-notch speakers.  The opening session was titled The Joyful Lawyer,” by Karen Clemes, General Counsel at Utah Valley University and JRCLS Women in Law Committee Chair. Ms. Clemes urged those in attendance to make joy a focal point of their goals and lives.

Karen Clemes, JRCLS Women in Law Committee Chair
Attendees then had a variety of break-out sessions from which to choose. Orange County Superior Court Judge Francisco Firmat (Ret.), a respected negotiator, taught how peace-making skills can improve relationships at home and in the office.  Gayla Sorenson, Senior Fellow for the International Center for Law & Religion Studies and Assistant Dean of Admissions at BYU Law, delineated three ways in which religious freedom has come under attack, and provided instruction as to how attendees could protect it.  Other break-out sessions addressed gender bias; balancing part-time, full-time, and working from home; and exploring careers outside the traditional law firm practice.
Conference Co-Chair, Jenny Wilson and Gayla Sorenson, Religious Liberties Speaker
The Conference concluded with “It’s all Gift:  Stumbling Along the Path of Grace,” by Honorable Nancy Wieben Stock (Ret.) of the Orange County Superior Court. Judge Stock related her story regarding a near death experience, in which a stranger saved her life. That experience allowed for her life perspective to be centered in the fact that life is a gift and that what we are given is through grace. Through that grace, we must be of good to others.
Hon. Nancy Wieben Stock (Ret.)
Those in attendance commented that the conference was “Inspiring!” Many noted that they had “Ah-ha moments!” and that certain presentations “spoke to my soul.” 

By:  Julie Smith

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