Utah Law Student Mentoring Program


UCLI’s Mentoring Program for diverse students is an evidence-based, comprehensive mentoring program that promotes equity and inclusion within Utah’s legal profession and justice system by providing students from underrepresented backgrounds with resources, opportunities, and networks of support aimed at facilitating their success in the legal profession.

UCLI rolled out its pilot of the Utah Law Student Mentoring Program (ULSMP) for diverse law students at the beginning of this year. The main purpose of this program is to empower historically underrepresented students to thrive in the legal profession by connecting them with current attorneys as mentors. It is designed to build a sense of belonging in Utah’s legal community, to expose mentees to a wide range of career opportunities, and to help in developing the necessary professional skills to succeed in law school and beyond.

Based on “best practices” of student mentoring programs, we assign two attorney mentors to each law student. Mentor groups meet monthly in whichever format works best for them, creating a personalized plan from the program manual. Groups rotate every six months so as to expand our law students’ networks. The next “round” will begin at the beginning of the school year.

Thus far, our attorney volunteers have made themselves available and approachable. As one of our enrolled law students wrote, “I have tried getting mentors with no real luck […] My mentors seem like they are very dedicated to their roles as mentors, and they seem like people I would normally be friends with. They’ve made it clear that no conversation is off the table. I love this. And I’m so grateful! I’m often envious of my classmates that have parents or other family members who are lawyers that can help them figure out this strange world […] I just wanted you to know how incredibly valuable this is to those of us who are embarking on this journey somewhat blindly.

Law students' information

Enrolled student demographics

25 law students 

  • 14 (56%) women
  • 11 (44%) men
  • 2 (8%) self-identifying disability
  • 4 (16%) self-identifying LGBTQ+
  • 11 (44%) refugee/immigrants/dreamers, first to third generation
  • 13 (52%) racial/ethnic minorities
  • 15 (60%) first-generation/low-income
  • 18 (72%) intersectional (self-identified two or more of these identities)

Law student schools

University of Utah, S.J. Quinney College of Law

  • Students represented: 12

BYU J. Reuben Clark Law School

  • Students represented: 13

In our pilot “round” of the mentoring program, 25 law student mentees enrolled–– 13 from BYU and 12 from the U. 14 of the enrolled students are women, 4 are LGBTQ+, 11 are refugees/immigrants/dreamers, 13 are racial or ethnic minorities, 15 are first-generation or low-income students, and 18 fall into more than one of these categories. We are thrilled to be drawing such a diverse pool from Utah’s law schools to our program.

Attorney mentors' information

Attorney mentor demographics

50 attorney mentors

  • 16 (32%) women,  (68%) men
  •  2 (4%) self-identifying disability
  • 4 (8%) self-identifying LGBTQ+
  • 11 (22%) refugee/immigrants/dreamers, first to third generation
  • 12 (24%) racial minorities
    1. 2 (4%) African / African American / Black
    2. 1 (2%) Asian/Asian American  
    3. 1 (2%) Native Hawaiian / Pacific Islander 
    4. 6 (12%) Hispanic
    5. 40 (80%) white
  • 9 (18%) first-generation/low-income
  • 17 (34%) intersectional (self-identified two or more of these identities)

Law firms represented

  • Adair Law Firm
  • Anderson & Karrenberg
  • BitTitan, inc.
  • Blue Source, LLC
  • Dorsey & Whitney
  • Fabian VanCott
  • Holland & Hart
  • Jennings & Medura
  • Lowe, Hutchinson, Cottingham & Hall
  • Maschoff Brennan
  • McConkie Hales & Gunn
  • State of Utah Office of Guardian ad Litem
  • Strong & Hanni
  • Utah Attorney General’s Office

Moreover, 50 attorney mentors enrolled from 16 different firms and organizations, including Anderson & Karrenberg; Dorsey & Whitney; Fabian VanCott; Holland & Hart; Maschoff Brennan; McConkie Hales & Gunn; and Strong & Hanni. Also included are the Salt Lake County District Attorney’s Office, the Utah Attorney General’s Office, and the Juab County Attorney. We already have 16 additional attorneys from 12 firms and organizations–– including Pluralsight, Encircle, the Salt Lake County District Attorney’s Office and the U.S. Attorney’s Office–– on queue for the second round.

Next steps

We are looking forward to continuing to expand our program – we hope with your help!