Stephen West, Chair
A 1987 cum laude graduate of the J. Reuben Clark Law School, Stephen L. West is this year celebrating 30 years with the same law firm – Udall Shumway PLC of Mesa Arizona – where Steve is an equity owner and member of the firm’s management committee. He completed undergraduate studies at Brigham Young University in 1980, graduating with a degree in accounting and a minor in English. From college, he went to work for the corporate accounting group of Marriott International in Washington, D.C. and later worked for the Midland, Texas office of Main Hurdman (now KPMG) where he focused on oil and gas taxation and became a certified public accountant in 1982. Steve’s legal practice focuses on business formation and dissolution, purchases and sales of business assets and interests, loan documentation, security arrangements, sales and leases of commercial property and estate and business succession planning. Steve has been married to Julie Wilbur West for 38 years. They have 5 children and 12 grandchildren.
Gayla Moss Sorenson, Assistant Dean
Gayla Moss Sorenson serves as the Assistant Dean of External Affairs for BYU Law, a position that allows her to use her professional skills in conjunction with her passion for BYU Law, its students and alumni, and the J. Reuben Clark Law Society. She graduated from BYU magna cum laude with a B.S. in Accounting and then earned her J.D. cum laude from BYU Law School. Beginning her legal career at the law firm Lewis & Roca in Phoenix, she moved to Motorola as in-house counsel working as a litigator, then a commercial attorney supporting global transactions, and finally ending her twenty years there as a Vice President and senior legal advisor. After leaving Motorola, she became the Director of Global Compliance Operations for Biomet, Inc., a medical device company. Three years ago her career took an unexpected turn when she accepted a position as Dean of Admissions for BYU Law School. In 2016 the students of BYU Law honored her with the Student Bar Association’s Distinguished Service Award.
Sorenson’s legal training has empowered her to serve in numerous settings. For many years, her volunteer work focused on children as she served on a local Big Brothers/Big Sisters Board of Directors and acted as a guardian ad litem for abused and neglected children. She actively participates in the J. Reuben Clark Law Society and has served as a Senior Fellow with the International Center for Law and Religion Studies. She has spoken in venues ranging from Clark Law Society conferences to BYU Education Week to help raise awareness about the importance of religious freedom for people of all faiths. She is married to Ferril Sorenson, and they gratefully parent and grandparent an ever-growing family.
Michael Newton, Executive Secretary
Michael Newton grew up in Centerville, Utah and served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. He received his undergraduate degree in Business Management from Brigham Young University and graduated summa cum laude from the University of Illinois College of Law. While in law school, Michael served as chapter chair of the local student chapter of the Law Society and as a member of the Student Chapters Board. Michael is a transactional attorney who focuses primarily on transactions and SEC compliance for publicly traded companies. Michael practiced for two years at Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP in New York City before moving back home to Salt Lake City in 2014, where he practices at Dorsey & Whitney LLP. Michael and his wife, Sara, live in Kaysville, Utah with their three children.