Sep 2013 Newsletter



Moving the JRCLS from Simple to Global: Celebrating 25 Years of the Law Society

This is the fourth in a series celebrating the 25th year since the organization of the J. Reuben Clark Law Society. These articles are authored by members of the JRCLS History Committee.

The first governing body of the J. Reuben Clark Law Society in 1988 was known as the National Committee and operated under Ralph Hardy's leadership. The chapter chair from each chapter sat on the National Committee and oversaw the needs and initiatives of the Law Society. The Society grew quickly and with that growth came necessary changes to the governing structure. Read more. . .


Register Now for the 2013 JRCLS Leadership Conference

All chapter leaders and international JRCLS committee members: Don't miss the 2013 J. Reuben Clark Law Society's Annual Leadership Conference on October 3-4 at BYU. Venues will be the Gordon B. Hinckley Alumni Center and Aspen Grove resort, with its breathtaking fall mountain vistas. The conference is a one-of-a-kind Law Society event and an absolute must for Law Society leadership. Attendees will enjoy an exceptional experience that combines training, fellowship, and inspiration. Read more. . .


Don't Miss Exciting New Religious Liberty Website!

A variety of religious freedom resources are available at a new website just launched by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Available at the site is a video featuring JRCLS members Hannah Smith and Gayla Sorenson, an introductory video from Elder Tom Perry, a whiteboard animation, suggestions on how to engage in religious freedom discussions, and a Facebook page. Read more. . .


Considering a Career Change? Annual Women-in-Law Event Has Answers

In conjunction with the upcoming JRCLS leadership conference in Provo, Utah, the Women in Law committee of the JRCLS invites you to attend its 5th annual pre-law event on BYU campus on Wednesday, October 2. This year's event is a panel discussion, "Law School & Beyond," on the diverse career paths available to legal professionals. Panelists include Lorena Riffo-Jenson, President at VOX Creative; Kelley M. Marsden, Associate General Counsel at the University of Utah; and Lucy Andre, Foundation Manager and Legal Counsel for the Success in Education Foundation. The meeting will start at 7:00 pm in Room 3228 of BYU's Wilkinson Center. Read more. . .


Caught Doing Something Good in Los Angeles and Orange County

Members of the JRCLS have a firm commitment to provide legal services to the underprivileged. This resolve is founded upon Christian principles and a religious commitment to consecrate their time and talents to those in need. The Pro Bono Legal Services Program of the JRCLS is designed to help its attorneys fulfill their commitment. It provides the means for local LDS clergy to contact an attorney from the local JRCLS chapter with names of members and nonmembers of the LDS faith who need legal help but are unable to pay. Read more. . .


Judge Monroe McKay: Adventure in a Black Robe

"Termites taste like nothing else you've ever had," smiles Judge Monroe McKay, remembering his time with the Peace Corps in Malawi, Africa. The menu was far different 25 years earlier, when he dined at the home of Ian Smith, future Prime Minister of Rhodesia, as an LDS missionary in 1950. The exotic and unexpected are some of the reasons Judge McKay loves Africa. They are also words which describe the turnings of his life since graduating from the University of Chicago law school in 1960. Read more. . .


Historic Regional Women in Law Conference

The JRCLS Women in the Law Committee is hosting its first-ever regional conference in Tempe, Arizona, on Saturday, November 9, 2013 from 8:00am to 2:00pm. The theme of the conference is "Paths We Take." It will address issues of interest to attorneys practicing full-time, part-time, and not practicing, as well as law students and those considering law school. Read more. . .


"Stand on Guard" Theme for Canadian JRCLS Conference

The J. Reuben Clark Law Society 2013 Canadian Conference was a resounding success. Nearly 100 lawyers, students, and spouses met at the historic Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel in Banff, Alberta to learn from and be inspired by a fantastic array of speakers. The Conference began on Friday, September 6, 2013 with dinner and the keynote address by Bruce C. Hafen, currently the President of the St. George, Utah, temple. At President Hafen's request, the conference delegates rose to sing the first and fourth verses of "O Canada," the national anthem of Canada. The fourth verse, while sung as often as the first verse, fits particularly well with the mission and purpose of the JRCLS. Read more. . .


Leaving Law Practice for Church Service: Jim Tate's Story

The July 2013 JRCLS Newsletter featured an article by William Maycock on serving as a mission president in the Congo and how he managed to put his law practice on hold and work with his firm to return.

This article summarizes an interview by Tom Isaacson with James R. Tate of Tate, Bywater & Fuller, PLC, in Virginia, on this same topic. Jim Tate left his law practice in 2007 to serve as the mission president (with his wife Sharon) in the Birmingham, Alabama mission. What follows is a slightly edited version of Tom's interview with Jim Tate. Read more. . .


Northeast Brazil Chapter Gives Pro Bono Services, Holds Dinner

This summer has been a busy one for the members of the Northeast Brazil chapter of the J. Reuben Clark Law Society. In June, while the skies outside poured down rain, the attorneys inside the Cabo de Santo Agostinho, Brazil, LDS meetinghouse gave just as generously of their time and skills to help residents of the city who could not otherwise afford legal services. The Northeast Brazil chapter partnered with the Municipality General Attorney (city attorney's office) to provide the service. Read more. . .


Outstanding CLE at BYU Education Week

Members of the J. Reuben Clark Law Society contributed to the continuing legal education (CLE) courses offered during the BYU Education Week. These courses ran from Tuesday, August 20 through Friday August 23, 2013.

In 2003, Eugene Bramhall and Anthony Schofield, founding chairs of the Utah County chapter of the J. Reuben Clark Law Society, formulated the idea to offer CLE courses during BYU's Education Week. 2013 marks the program's eleventh consecutive year. What began as a project of the Utah County chapter of the Law Society has now been drawn into the larger umbrella of the international J. Reuben Clark Law Society. Read more. . .


Army of JRCLS Volunteers Editing Encyclopedia of Religion

Earlier this year, members of the J. Reuben Clark Law Society were asked to volunteer to edit articles for the Encyclopedia of Law and Religion, a project organized by the International Center for Law and Religion Studies (ICLRS) at BYU. The Encyclopedia project is led by Professors Cole Durham and Gerhard Robbers. Professor Durham is the ICLRS Director and has taught at the BYU Law School since 1976. Professor Robbers is a member of the ICLRS Academic Advisory Board, a professor at the University of Trier in Germany, and the current President of the German Protestant Church Congress. Professor Durham currently serves as the President of the International Consortium for Law and Religion Studies (ICLARS), and Professor Robbers is a member of the ICLARS Steering Committee. Read more. . .


"Unruly Underbrush of Conscience" Imperiled by "Public Reason"

Professor Brett G. Scharffs addressed the topic "Can Public Reason Accommodate Conscience?" at the Religious Freedom Discussion on Wednesday, September 4, at Brigham Young University and via live Webinar. Professor Scharffs is Francis R. Kirkham Professor of Law, Associate Director of the International Center for Law and Religion Studies, and Associate Dean of Research and Academic Affairs at the BYU Law School. Read more. . .