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UCLI and Women of the World Legal Workshop Series

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Women of the World is a non-profit organization that offers free year-round case management and advocates for the self-reliance of their clients. They believe that all women can embrace who they are, define their future, and change the world. UCLI is honored to partner with Women of the World this summer to host a six-part series of free legal workshops open to all members of the community. The workshop topics include: navigating the law in daily life, divorce and custody, immigration, workplace discrimination, general housing issues, as well as housing and rent discrimination. We welcome anyone who has an interest in expanding their knowledge regarding the law, and particularly those who have a refugee or immigrant background. UCLI strives to foster a safe and inclusive organizational environment for all people and believe that no matter one’s age, ethnic background, economic or legal status, it is important to know their rights. 

On June 1st, 2023, the first legal workshop was hosted at The Women of the World’s office and was presented by one of UCLI’s board members, Abby Dizon-Maughan. She is an associate attorney at Parsons who advocates for diverse groups within the community. The legal workshop was an interactive and informational opportunity for all participants to learn and ask questions about their basic rights. Abby went over rights to an equal education, privacy in education, what is informed consent, and interactions with the police. According to Abby, these are especially important to know for people of color who are unaware of their basic rights. She also shared how fulfilled she is by volunteer opportunities, like this one:

 “I recently had an opportunity to participate in the Women of the World’s legal workshop program. There I met with people from our community who are learning to navigate through and adapt to a new community. Being welcomed into this group felt a little like coming home and reminded me of the challenges my own parents faced when they came to the United States and had to learn how to participate in a system that seemed so natural to everyone else around them. To be able to provide some guidance, answer their questions, and offer some solutions to problems that many of us don’t have to think about as we move through our daily lives replenished my exhausted energy reserves. The appreciation I felt was heartfelt and rejuvenating. It reminded me of why I wanted to become a lawyer and an advocate.”

We would like to thank Abby Dizon-Maughan for helping us bring the community together and educating those who attended. We would also like to extend a great thank you to Ghinwa Hneide, WoW’s case manager, for facilitating the event and for interpreting the workshop into Arabic for non-native English speakers. Thank you also to Kafe Mamai, a Spice Kitchen Entrepreneur, for providing delicious catered appetizers for the event. Everyone’s contributions have created a positive impact by helping those who attended understand their legal rights and privileges in Utah. 


Join us for future sessions of the workshops, and spread the word to your friends with refugee and immigrant backgrounds; flyer below.

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UCLI announces 2023 Bar Review Diversity and Inclusion Scholarship recipients

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The Utah Center for Legal Inclusion is pleased to announce this year’s recipients for the Bar Review Diversity and Inclusion Scholarship.

Congratulations to the seven recipients of UCLI’s 2023 Bar Review Diversity and Inclusion Scholarship: Jessica Arthurs, Esther Johnson, Nicole Johnston, Emelie Klott, Nanette Pawelek, Joseph Rivera-Delavega, and Debbie Vargas.

Jessica Arthurs

Jessica graduates from the S.J. Quinney College of Law with her Juris Doctor and a certificate in International Law. She is a native Utahn and earned her undergraduate from the University of Utah in Middle Eastern Studies. She served as this year’s President of the Student Bar Association and has served on the Public Interest Law Organization’s leadership team. She has worked for the Pro Bono Initiative as Street Law Director and is this year’s Rocky Rognlie Fellow for the Pro Bono Initiative. She is passionate about making legal services more accessible to her community here and abroad.

Esther Johnson

Esther Johnson is a recent graduate of the University of Utah S. J. Quinney College of Law and has a BA in Spanish from Brigham Young University. Esther is passionate about helping immigrants and refugees as well as increasing access to justice for marginalized groups. During law school, Esther worked with Catholic Community Services and Utah Legal Services as well as several private immigration firms. She has also participated in experiential law classes centered on regulatory reform of the legal profession as an avenue for increasing access to legal services. Esther speaks Spanish and Portuguese and loves Latin American poetry. In her free time, Esther enjoys hiking, snowboarding, and mountain biking.

Nicole Johnston

Nicole Johnston recently graduated from the University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law with her juris doctorate. Prior to law school, Nicole completed a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Socio-Legal Studies at the University of Denver and a Master’s in Education at Canisius College in Buffalo, NY. During her time as a law student, Nicole served as the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Chair for the Student Bar Association and the Development Director for the Women’s+ Law Caucus. Nicole also externed with the ACLU of Utah and the U.S. District Court for the District of Utah. In her work, Nicole has sought to make the Utah legal community a more inclusive space and improve access to justice. Nicole looks forward to continuing this work after the Bar and finding opportunities to learn and grow in the legal profession.  

Emelie Klott

Emelie Klott is a current third year law student at the University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law. Throughout law school, Emelie has been involved in the Pro Bono Initiative where she served as a volunteer and worked as a Student Director and Fellow for the Family Law Site. With the Pro Bono Initiative, she has been able to help provide legal advice to low-income individuals throughout the state of Utah. Emelie has also gained invaluable legal experience through her work in criminal defense at Salt Lake Legal Defenders Association, as an extern in juvenile defense, and in family law. After law school, Emelie is excited to join Utah’s wonderful legal community and to continue her work in family law at Cordell & Cordell where she will work to ensure fair treatment for fathers in custody cases. 

Nanette Pawelek

Nanette Pawelek is a current 3L at the University of Utah set to graduate in May 2023. She is a first-generation female law student and had a career as a university lecturer before changing course to law. She is passionate about public service and mentorship, as evidenced by recent work with displaced Ukrainians and years of teaching U.S. military members overseas in Kosovo, Iraq, Afghanistan, Kuwait, Japan, and Germany.  

Throughout law school, Nanette mentored prospective and incoming first-year law students and has been involved in notable school organizations, including the Women’s Law Caucus, Students for Ukraine, and the Pro Bono Initiative. She organized clothing drives, fundraised for supplies, and helped collect roughly 30 duffel bags full of medical supplies that she and a few other law students took to Ukraine in May 2022. She also volunteered at a refugee center in Poland and a supply tent for women and children on the Polish/Ukrainian border.  

During her 3L year, Nanette participated in the University of Utah’s Refugee Law Clinic, helping Ukrainians apply for asylum in Utah. The asylum work led to leading a virtual legal English-speaking club for Ukrainian attorneys hoping to expand their employment opportunities. In addition, Nanette externed at the Legal Defenders Association (LDA), working with indigent clients who she says, “need and deserve strong and compassionate advocates.” She looks forward to learning more and plans to work in criminal defense after she graduates from law school.  

Joseph Rivera de la Vega

Joseph Rivera is a first generation law school graduate. As a 22 year old lawyer, Joseph’s main goal is to help advocate for Criminal Justice reform, comprehensive immigration reform, and to make a run for Salt Lake City Mayor by 2026. Joseph was a part of UCLI’s first interns in 2019 and is committed to furthering diversity throughout the legal system by supporting UCLI. 

Debbie Vargas

Debbie Vargas just completed her third year of law school at the S.J. Quinney College of Law. She did her undergraduate degree at the University of Utah and double majored in Honors Psychology and Criminology, and also obtained a minor in Sociology. She has always been passionate about criminal law and is currently working at the Salt Lake County District Attorney’s Office. 

Jessica Arthurs

Esther Johnson

Nicole Johnston

Emilie Klott

Nanette Pawelek

Joseph Rivera de la Vega

Debbie Vargas

UCLI would like to thank the generous sponsors and partners who have made these scholarships possible:

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Second Annual UCLI Fundraiser Luncheon, “Stronger Together”

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On April 27, 2023, the Utah Center for Legal Inclusion held its Second Annual Fundraiser Luncheon “Stronger Together” at the Salt Lake Marriott Downtown at City Creek. We were grateful to be joined by 250 guests, representing large and small law firms across the state, Utah’s courts, and other organizations. We were especially grateful to be joined by this year’s Event Sponsor, Kirton McConkie, and the four Scholarship Sponsors: Kirkland & Ellis, Parsons Behle & Latimer, Ray Quinney & Nebeker, and Foley & Lardner. It was wonderful to be together in person as members of the legal community and to hear from the keynote speaker Dean Elizabeth Kronk Warner, dean of the S. J. Quinney College of Law at the University of Utah, and from Justice Christine M. Durham, former Justice and Chief Justice of the Utah Supreme Court and former co-chair of the Utah Center for Legal Inclusion, as well as from many other excellent speakers.

Program hosts Melinda Bowen and Kristen Olsen welcomed participants to the event, and introduced the speakers. First we heard from Tyler Buswell, who was representing the Event Sponsor, Kirton McConkie. Then we heard from Valeria Jimenez, a 2022 recipient of UCLI’s LSAT Preparation Scholarship and the former Public Outreach Coordinator at the Utah State Courts’ Office of Fairness and Accountability. Next we heard from KC Decker, a 2L at Brigham Young University J. Reuben Clark Law School and a recipient of the 2022 Utah Legal Inclusion Fellowship – an opportunity sponsored by Intermountain Health and Kirton McConkie. After KC, we heard from Breeze Parker, a 2L at Brigham Young University J. Reuben Clark Law School and a 2022-23 Justice Christine M. Durham Fellow. This Fellowship was announced at last year’s luncheon and funded through the generosity of attendees. Finally we hear from Zachary Scott Roemer, an associate at Kirkland & Ellis, and the co-chair of UCLI’s Tracking Progress Committee and K-12 Outreach Committee. Each of them shared personal experiences about their unique backgrounds and journeys to and through law school. 

Next, attendees were present for the debut of the newly published UCLI First Generation Outreach Video, featuring incredible first-generation students who are now a part of the legal community in Utah. You may view it here

Guests then heard from the keynote speaker, Dean Elizabeth Kronk Warner– the Jefferson B. & Rita E. Fordham Presidential Dean and Professor of Law at the S.J. Quinney College of Law at the University of Utah. She presented an incisive address on the way that Utah attorneys can aid in combating racism in our state. You may view a recording of her keynote address or find the slides here

Justice Christine Durham, who served as a justice of the Utah Supreme Court from 1982 to 2017 and as Chief Justice from 2002 to 2012, gave a brief address after this – sharing her perspective about why UCLI’s efforts matter and encouraging attendees to give generously. For anyone who was unable to donate at the event, you may donate here now

The Luncheon also featured a silent auction with twenty five items, including Tuacahn tickets, a private art class by Leslie Debry, and a private dinner by Chef Arturo Thompson. Many people took home these special offerings and we are very grateful for the kind support of everyone who donated items and all those who bid on them. 

We are deeply grateful to the many individuals who chose to donate at this event, and to the Florence J. Gillmor Foundation, who pledged to commit a matching grant to UCLI in the amount of the donations that were received at the Luncheon. Altogether, UCLI raised over $11,000 in individual donations, truly showing that we are stronger together and that our collective efforts can make a powerful difference. Attendees also had the opportunity to honor someone who has made a difference in their lives and to donate on their behalf; these names were submitted and displayed on screen and represented mentors, friends, loved ones, grandchildren, grandparents, or someone who helped them feel like they belonged in the legal profession. You can see the beautiful collection of inspirational people below. 

The silent auction proceeds, individual donations, and sponsorship proceeds will contribute to the UCLI programming that benefits current and future lawyers in our state. UCLI is grateful to all the guests that attended, spoke, and donated at this year’s luncheon, and looks forward to future events and the progress that will continue to be made toward change, justice, and equal representation within the legal profession in Utah.


Thank you to our Event Sponsor


Thank you to our Scholarship Sponsors: 

Kirkland & Ellis

Parsons Behle

Ray Quinney & Nebeker

Foley & Lardner


Thank you to our Table Sponsors:

Lowenstein Sandler

Keller Preece

Workman Nydegger


Strong & Hanni

Greenberg Traurig

University of Utah S. J. Quinney College of Law

Parr Brown

Utah State Bar

Wilson Sonsini

Snell & Wilmer

Snow Christensen

Dorsey & Whitney

Holland & Hart

Fabian VanCott


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UCLI Hosts the International Visitor Leadership Program

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This month the Utah Center for Legal Inclusion had the unique opportunity to host a group of ten international visitors from Austria, Denmark, India, Lebanon, the Maldives, Poland, the Republic of North Macedonia, Ukraine, and Venezuela. These visitors were invited to the United States under the auspices of the Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program. While in the United States the program participants explored the topics of the Rule of Law and the U.S. Judicial System. Their program was arranged by CRDF Global. Nicholas Merrill and his colleagues at the Utah Center for Citizen Diplomacy generously invited UCLI to host the group for an afternoon. 

On February 21, 2023, Mary Anne Davies and her colleagues at the Disability Law Center welcomed us into their beautiful facility and provided a tour of the building and a brief presentation about the Disability Law Center’s mission. We then met back in the boardroom and Kaitlyn Pieper, UCLI Executive Director, provided a demographic overview of Utah and Utah’s legal profession. Following this, we heard from a panel of experts including Jon Wayas, Associate Director at the Utah Center for Legal Inclusion; Michelle Oldroyd, Director of Professional Education & Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer at the Utah State Bar; and Jon Puente, Director of the Office of Fairness, Equity, and Accountability at the Administrative Office of the Courts. The panel was interactive and responded to many audience questions about affirmative action, gender issues in the legal profession, and racial dynamics in the United States. 

UCLI was honored to host such a distinguished group of legal professionals who are doing such incredible work to move justice forward in their home countries (names and home countries of participants listed below). Thank you to Nicholas Merrill and his colleagues at the Utah Center for Citizen Diplomacy for making this connection and to Mary Anne Davies and the Disability Law Center for hosting us at their lovely venue.

Denmark, Ms. Sine Cully

India, Mr. Jose Abraham

Lebanon, Ms. Rania Yahfouf

Maldives, Judge Hamid Rasheed

Poland, Ms. Malgorzata Leokadia Szuleka

Republic of N. Macedonia, Ms. Njomza Selimi Osmani

Ukraine, Ms. Halyna Chyzhyk

Ukraine, Ms. Iryna Levandovska

Venezuela, Mr. Alexis Algarra

International Visitor Liaisons: Mr. Gregory Burnside and Ms. Maren Mentor

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Utah Law Student Mentorship Program Etiquette Dinner

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The Utah Center for Legal Inclusion strives to make a positive impact within the legal field in Utah. A program that UCLI is proud to spearhead is the Utah Law Student Mentorship program. The program fosters working relationships between two practicing attorneys and a law student enrolled in a Utah law school. Currently, 30 students from both the University of Utah and Brigham Young University’s law school participate in the program, and 76 volunteer attorney mentors. The program’s main mission is to empower underrepresented students by utilizing attorneys from similar backgrounds to guide them through the journey of going from law student to practicing attorney. To date, we have had over 100 attorneys participate in the program, and through the dedication from the staff at UCLI, mentors, and students’ work we have been able to make long-lasting changes for law students in Utah. 

On Friday, February 10th, 2023, UCLI hosted an in-person social for the Utah Law Student Mentorship program. The social was an etiquette dinner, open for free to all attorneys and mentees who participate in the program. The dinner was hosted at the Alta Club in Salt Lake City around 6 pm. Over 50 people attended and participated in the evening. We were fortunate to have Justice Paige Petersen to welcome the dinner as a guest speaker, and BYU Law Associate Dean Shannon Grandy Larsen as the main presenter. Dean Larsen created a presentation to educate and remind attendees of the proper etiquette rules to follow in professional legal situations. The presentation was accompanied by a three-course meal and an insightful PowerPoint show. Mentors and mentees had the opportunity to introduce themselves and practice etiquette at the event. Justice Petersen and Dean Larsen stressed the importance of having sharp social skills as an attorney, and how often those social skills translate into being able to foster great working relationships with clients. Throughout her presentation, Dean Larsen intertwined teaching lessons about etiquette in the workplace and at the dinner table. The skills reflected not only professionalism but a keen understanding of how social skills could lead to being a better lawyer for clients. The presentation was accompanied by real-life practice at the dinner table. Mentees were able to apply these lessons with the attorneys who participate in our mentoring program. Furthermore, this dinner allowed mentees to expand their network. Overall, the dinner was a huge success and we would like to thank both Justice Paige Petersen and Dean Shannon Grandy Larsen for donating their time. We are also very grateful to PLEDGE co-chair Sadé Turner, and thank her for her vision, leadership, and time in executing this event and in directing PLEDGE programming.

Lastly, the Utah Center for Legal Inclusion would like to thank the law firms that have been generous enough to sponsor this event and support UCLI’s mission. Their support gives UCLI the opportunity to positively impact the future of Utah and ultimately create a better system for Utahns statewide. From everyone at UCLI, we would like to give a special thank you to the sponsoring legal organizations below: 

Family Law Section

Dispute Resolution Section

Litigation Section

Michael Best

Kirton McConkie

Federal Bar Association 

Attendees of the ULSM Program Etiquette Dinner

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2022 UCLI Certification Program Results

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The Utah Center for Legal Inclusion is proud to announce the legal employers that participated in and completed all requirements for the 2022 Certification Program. Through the Certification Program, legal employers statewide participate in a program that gives them the tools necessary to tackle the existing and future hiring, retention, advancement, and inclusion challenges for women and other diverse attorneys. The program provides a five-requirement certification process for legal employers that benefits their current workforce and future applicants in developing effective strategies, methods, standards, practices, and goals that attract and retain diverse practitioners. Additionally, the program provides trainings and workshops on relevant topics for the leadership and employees of law firms’ for CLE credit. In all, we offer this program in order to commit to the mission of long-term change in diversity in the Utah legal field. 

Last year, 59 legal employers participated in the program, including four new employers who joined: Buchalter, Intermountain Healthcare, Kunzler Bean & Adamson, and Mountain Mediation Center. Out of the 59 participating legal employers, 25 completed the five requirements for certification. Many other employers completed some but not all of the goals. As an organization, we are grateful for the dedication and commitment expressed by all the legal employers who participate in the program.

The Utah Center for Legal Inclusion would like to congratulate the following firms for completing the 2022 UCLI Certification Program:

Anderson & Karrenberg

Ballard Spahr

Christensen & Jensen

Cohne Kinghorn

Disability Law Center

Dorsey & Whitney 

Dentons Durham Jones & Pinegar

Fabian VanCott

Greenberg Traurig

Holland & Hart

Jones Waldo

Juab County Attorney’s Office

Keller Jolley Preece

Kirton McConkie

Lowenstein Sandler

Manning Curtis Bradshaw & Bednar

Maschoff Brennan

Parr Brown Gee & Loveless

Parsons Behle & Latimer

SF Firm

Snell & Wilmer

Snow Christensen & Martineau

Strong & Hanni

Utah Legal Services

Workman Nydegger 

“Train the Trainers” CLE, June 2022

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Congratulations to the 2023 Legal Inclusion Fellows

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In 2022, Intermountain Health, Kirton McConkie, and the Utah Center for Legal Inclusion (UCLI) collaborated to create the Utah Legal Inclusion Fellowship. In its pilot year, the Fellowship provided a first-year law student with a scholarship and the unique opportunity for a paid summer position at Kirton McConkie and exposure to Intermountain Health’s in-house legal department. In 2022, the fellowship was granted to one law student, Keigo (KC) Decker at Brigham Young University’s J. Reuben Clark Law School. 

For 2023, the Fellowship has been expanded to two students: one at Brigham Young University J. Reuben Clark Law School and one at the University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law. The fellowship plays a significant role in UCLI’s efforts to empower students from historically underrepresented groups to thrive in the legal profession by developing professional skills, exploring career options, and receiving financial support.

This year, after a rigorous application process, the following two Legal Inclusion Fellows have been selected:

Gabrielle (“Gaby”) Anguiano, a first-year law student at the University of Utah’s S. J. Quinney College of Law

Kricia Tauiliili, a first-year law student at Brigham Young University’s J. Reuben Clark Law School


Please read more about Gaby and Kricia below.  

Gaby Anguiano

Gabrielle (“Gaby”) Anguiano is a native of the Intermountain West and a proud member of a boisterous Mexican-American family from rural Eastern Washington. At the age of eighteen, she earned her associate degree and high school diploma concurrently while also working part-time. Gaby was selected to be a member of the inaugural Diversity, Collaboration, and Inclusion Research Academy at her undergraduate college, Brigham Young University, where she majored in sociology. Currently, Gaby is a 1L at the University of Utah, S.J. Quinney College of Law. She aspires to be at the intersection of law and social justice, and is eager to continue building long-lasting ties to the state of Utah and its people.

Gaby Anguiano


Kricia Tauiliili

Kricia was raised in Samoa, where she loved spending time with her family at the beach and listening to her dad and uncle jam out together on the guitar and ukulele. She is a 1L at the J. Reuben Clark Law School at Brigham Young University and currently serves as the 1L representative for the Minority Law Student Association and the Council for Diversity, Equity, and Belonging. In June 2022, Kricia earned a bachelor’s degree in English, with a focus in professional writing, from Brigham Young University. She decided to pursue law so that she could be a voice for minority communities, especially women and people of color. Her biggest goal is to serve Pacific Islanders both in the United States and overseas. When she isn’t studying, she enjoys listening to music (mostly Taylor Swift and musicals), painting, and watching movies.

Kricia Tauiliili


We would like to offer a special thank you to the 2023 Legal Inclusion Fellowship sponsors: 

2022 UCLI Staff Message

By News

This year was a year of change for the staff of the Utah Center for Legal Inclusion office! This summer we said goodbye to Layla Shaaban and Lizzie Jarrett, and welcomed Emily Zárate who joined as UCLI’s new Administrative Coordinator in September 2022. We are each grateful for the chance to be part of this organization and to work towards UCLI’s mission. Here are some of our 2022 highlights:

Kaitlyn: I loved working with UCLI’s interns and board members to launch UCLI’s first ever Fundraiser Luncheon. It was a first for all of us, and putting it together took collaboration and creativity. When we started advertising the event to legal employers in the state we had no idea what type of response we would get. We were thrilled when over 200 people attended, and when many of those attendees told us that it was a very “not boring” event – which I have learned is high praise in the legal community. This was all thanks to the dynamic presenters who shared their stories and passion. I also loved watching Justice Durham’s surprise when the Fellowship in her name was announced.

Jon: The UCLI Pre-law Symposiums were the highlight of this year for me. It took incredible collaboration and effort to make these happen. I made it to and through law school almost by happenstance. I know I made many mistakes along the way. It was truly an honor to work with so many great professionals to provide resources and encouragement to over 125 aspiring future lawyers who will hopefully now have a clearer path to law school and practice.

Emily: For me, the highlight of this year was working closely with UCLI’s interns to create outreach videos. It was incredible being able to collaborate with such creative interns and staff to find the right production company, create video concepts and then execute and watch our ideas come to life. It was such a privilege to have been able to interview many inspirational individuals who play a huge role in advancing goals of equity in the state of Utah. This project has been extremely rewarding because I know that these outreach videos will inspire someone out there to go to law school.

Other big milestones and accomplishments in 2022 include a new partnership with the 4H Refugee Youth Internship Program, the launch of the Utah Legal Inclusion Fellowship, scholarship awards for LSAT preparation and Bar review, and many other great developments that have expanded UCLI’s reach to a greater number of young people, undergraduates, and law students in Utah.

As 2022 draws to a close, it is gratifying to reflect upon everything that has been accomplished within the Utah Center for Legal Inclusion and in our broader Utah community. We are so grateful to all of you for contributing to these important causes. The good that was done this year would not have been possible without your passion and efforts. This newsletter highlights just a few of the many notable achievements of 2022, and we hope you feel pride and satisfaction as you review these successes.

Warm holiday wishes to you and yours!


Kaitlyn Pieper, Executive Director


Jon Wayas, Associate Director


Emily Zárate, Administrative Coordinator

Congratulations to the 2022-2023 Durham Fellows

By News

On March 24, 2022, the Utah Center for Legal Inclusion held its First Annual Fundraising Luncheon at the Salt Lake Marriott Downtown at City Creek. At this event, UCLI announced a new fellowship in Justice Durham’s honor: the Justice Christine M. Durham Fellowship. This fellowship is intended to facilitate the legal education of an individual who shows a demonstrated commitment to and great potential for pushing forward the cause of justice, equity, and inclusiveness in Utah’s legal profession. Someone who, like Justice Durham, will make the legal field a better place for all who follow.

Through the Durham Fellowship, UCLI aims to support two law students (one from the S. J. Quinney College of Law and one from J. Reuben Clark Law School) with an annual stipend that can be put towards tuition, housing, food, or any other living expenses while they pursue their legal degree. Funding of up to $1,500 will be awarded to support each law student fellow, who will partner with UCLI Leadership Council and staff on law student programming.

This fall, after a competitive application process, two Durham Fellows were selected. We are pleased to announce the Durham Fellows for the 2022-2023 academic year:

Amy Nichole Briceno, a 2L at the University of Utah’s S. J. Quinney College of Law

Breeze Kauakokoipohaiapuninamoku Waipa Parker, a 2L at Brigham Young University’s J. Reuben Clark Law School

Please read more about Nichole and Breeze in these news articles. 

We would like to offer a special thank you to our 2022-2023 Durham Fellowship Sponsors: 

Utah State Bar Construction Law Section

Justice Christine M. Durham Family

Justice Paige Petersen

Justice John Pearce

Larissa Lee

Casey Jones

Susan Eisenman


Amy Nichole Briceno


Breeze K. W. Parker

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Meet Amy Nichole Briceno, 2022-2023 Durham Fellow S. J. Quinney College of Law

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Amy Nichole Briceno is a 2L at S. J. Quinney College of Law at the University of Utah, and the 2022-2023 Durham Fellow for the Utah Center for Legal Inclusion. Nichole’s life reality as an immigrant, though challenging, has instilled in her a desire to lead, serve, and work in tandem with her colleagues to improve the unstable environment for minorities in Utah.

Nichole’s personal and professional experiences have given her first-hand knowledge about the challenges racial and ethnic communities face when searching for legal representation. She has interned with the District Attorney’s Office, where she associated with Spanish-speaking families who were experiencing abuse. Throughout this internship, she saw the need for more Spanish-speaking prosecutors as she translated for attorneys. She worked with undocumented families who feared deportation because they could not afford legal representation. At Utah Homicide Survivors, she worked with Hispanic families of homicide victims. She saw how difficult it was for Hispanic individuals to find affordable and quality legal advice in this state. She translated legal documents to ensure Spanish-speaking families understood the legal procedures of their case.

During her undergraduate experience, Nichole was the first Latinx President of the Student Alumni Board of the University of Utah. As President, she made it a priority to diversify a board that historically only consisted of white students. Under her leadership, they diversified their alumni engagement and expanded student outreach. After graduating, she spent the year mentoring first-generation college students from immigrant backgrounds. Feeling passionate about giving back to the school that gave her so much, Nichole founded the Briceno Leadership Scholarship, which is awarded yearly to an undocumented/DACA-recipient student who epitomizes leadership and service.

Earlier in 2022, Nichole was elected Treasurer of the Minority Law Caucus (MLC) at the S.J. Quinney College of Law. As Treasurer, one of her goals for this year has been to establish an MLC Scholarship specifically for members that have devoted their time to MLC and show commitment to helping minority communities in their law career. Additionally, she has undergone the Pro Bono Initiative training to assist in Immigration Clinics. 

In the future, Nichole intends to support marginalized communities throughout her career as an attorney. As she says, “quality representation begins with a diversified legal community. To diversify our attorneys, we must first diversify law schools in Utah.” Nichole is focused on providing mentorship to increase minority student applications and retention in schools. She will continue to be devoted to supporting marginalized communities after graduation. 

UCLI looks forward to working with Nichole this academic year as the 2022-2023 Durham Fellow and thanks the many donors who made this opportunity possible. 

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