Our Team

Melinda Bowen, Executive Director

Melinda Bowen is a Founder and the current Executive Director of the Utah Center for Legal Inclusion. Melinda came to UCLI after teaching criminal law and criminal procedure at BYU Law School. Prior to teaching, she practiced at Snow Christensen & Martineau in Salt Lake City, in the white collar criminal defense and commercial litigation practice groups. She also served as a judicial law clerk for Judge Tena Campbell in the United States District Court for the District of Utah and for Judge Carolyn McHugh in the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. Melinda received both her B.S. and J.D. from Brigham Young University. In her free time, she loves running, reading, and doing all things outdoors, especially with her husband and four boys.

Kacey Sorenson, Associate Director

Kacey Sorenson is the Associate Director of the Utah Center for Legal Inclusion. She graduated from Brigham Young University in December 2020 with a degree in English and a minor in Environmental Science. At BYU, she conducted interdisciplinary research efforts in health and equity: the first analyzed the gendered impacts of climate change on native Samoans; the second explored combating bias in medicine to improve healthcare outcomes for Black women in the United States. She is a member of the LGBTQ+ community, is passionate about equity, diversity, and inclusion, and plans to pursue a graduate education in business or law. Kacey hopes to center her career on pursuing equity for historically underrepresented and underserved people.

Layla Shaaban, Administrative Coordinator

Layla Shaaban is the Administrative Coordinator of the Utah Center for Legal Inclusion. Born and raised in Jerusalem, Palestine, she moved to Utah to pursue a degree at Brigham Young University in Political Science with an emphasis in Research and Data Analysis and a minor in Legal Studies. She is a research fellow at the Center for the Study of Elections and Democracy and an assistant producer at BYU Radio. She intends to pursue a J.D. after graduation. Her interests include criminal justice reform, civil and LGBT rights, and constitutional law. In her free time, Layla enjoys skateboarding, reading, and thrift shopping.

Lizzie Jarrett, Lead Intern

Lizzie is the Lead Intern at the Utah Center for Legal Inclusion. She was born in Salt Lake City and moved to New Hampshire when she was 1. She returned to Utah to attend Brigham Young University and is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in philosophy as well as a minor in global women’s studies. She plans to attend law school after graduation. Outside of school and work she enjoys any and all adventures in the great outdoors.

Summer 2021 UCLI Interns

Ivan Brea

Project Development Intern

Isa Buoscio

Program Development Intern

Bryn Linderman

Program Development Intern

Caity McKee

Program Development Intern

Collin Mitchell

Program Development Intern

Taylor Percival

Program Development Intern