"Dynamic Duos" Enlighten Audience at Women-in-Law Event


Undergraduates, law students, and attorneys alike benefitted from the advice offered by three father-daughter attorney teams at a Women-in-Law-sponsored event on September 28. The "Dynamic Duo" event took place in Brigham Young University's Wilkinson Student Center the night before the J. Reuben Clark Law Society leadership conference, which made the event attractive to many JRCLS members and Board members.

The father-daughter pairs discussed topics ranging from how to handle demanding law school schedules to what professors expect from their students. Amid the advice, several participants stressed the importance and value of women studying and practicing law. The presentations ended with a lively question and answer session.

Tiffany Smith, an attorney and mother of three, counseled lawyers and prospective lawyers to be joyful in their work and give their best work.

"Go and intend to do well," she said. "Don't bother if you don't intend to do well."

Smith's father, U.S. 9th Circuit judge Milan Smith, backed up his daughter and praised the importance of maintaining a healthy mix of both men and women in the law. Judge Smith, who employs an equal number of female and male clerks, noted that there is a "genuine need for the perspective of both genders in the law."

While speaking about the importance of women in the law, Elder Jim Wright, Arizona attorney and Area Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, quoted Brigham Young.

"We have sisters here who, if they had the privilege of studying, would make just as good mathematicians or accountants as any man," quoted Elder Wright. "We think they ought to have the privilege to study these branches of knowledge that they may develop the powers with which they are endowed. We believe that women . . . should stand behind the counter, study law or physic[s], or become good book keepers and be able to do the business in any counting house, and all this to enlarge their sphere of usefulness for the benefit of society at large. In following these things they but answer the design of their creation."

Panelists included Tiffany and Milan Smith, Elder Wright, and his daughter, Aubrey Wright, second-year BYU law student; and Susannah Thomas, attorney and adjunct BYU law professor, with her father, David Thomas, a BYU law professor.

In addition to tips about practicing law, several participants discussed dealing with the stresses and demands of law school. While Aubrey Wright explained the twin demands and rewards of law school, David Thomas advised law students to be prepared, attend class, and participate regularly in order to have success in law school.


By Megan Woodhouse