On June 27, 2023, UCLI, in its continued partnership with Inclusion Strategies and the Utah State Bar held the third session in the “Pathways to Inclusion” CLE series. This was a hybrid CLE with 25 people joining in-person, and over 200 joining via Zoom. This panel for this session included Tyler Buswell, Shareholder at Kirton McConkie, Judge Dianna Gibson, Utah Third District Court, Barbara Melendez, Director of Diversity, Equity, and Belonging at BYU Law, and Isabel Moreno, Director of Admissions and Financial Aid at the University of Utah SJ Quinney College of Law. The panel was moderated by UCLI Associate Director, Jon Wayas.
This session focused on inclusion and diversity efforts being made in recruitment, retention, and advancement. The law school representatives were given the opportunity to highlight successful programs they have implemented in the last several years. They also highlighted the challenges they are facing now, and potential challenges on the horizon.
Mr. Buswell highlighted the successful Inclusion Fellows program Kirton McConkie has undertaken in partnership with Intermountain Health. Now in its second year, the program takes one student from each of the Utah law schools to be a part of Kirton’s summer associate program. These fellows also work for a number of hours each week with Intermountain’s in-house counsel team. These fellows receive normal summer associate compensation along with a tuition scholarship furnished by the Intermountain Health. UCLI aids in the application and interview process for the fellowship.
Judge Gibson highlighted examples of successful inclusion initiatives she was part of in her private sector career before joining the bench. She also highlighted the new Utah State Court Common Thread program. This program is aimed to encourage more individuals to consider ascending to the bench. This program is still in the planning phase. It will include programming to meet people at all stages of their legal careers, from law school, early-mid career, and even seasoned attorneys thinking of joining the judiciary.
The session also included great discussion with audience members. We appreciate everyone who has participated in the series thus far. There will be a fourth and final session in this series later in the year. There will be plenty to discuss and we hope you will join us then.