J. Reuben Clark Law Society

Chapter Relations Council: A Look at the Scaffolding that Supports Law Society Chapters Around the World


The workings of the Law Society chapters around the world is the accumulation of thousands of hours of organizing and managing by members of local chapter boards and dedicated Vice-Chairs and Area Directors. If you have ever wondered how the Clark Society is organized to accomplish such a herculean task, check out the Chapter Relations Council (CRC) link under the Committees tab on the website and click on the “Workings of the CRC” at http://www.jrcls.org/?folder=committees&page=areas&id=2 . There you will see the names of Law Society leaders from around the world and the US who donate hundreds of hours to encourage and support the chapter chairs and board members in their assigned areas.

As the vice-chair over the Leadership Development Team (LDT), I am happy to introduce you to the work of our team. We have seven members who are working together to help train and support Law Society chapters around the world.

The LDT team members and their assignments are:

David Armstrong, LDS Church, Office of General Counsel, Regional Legal Counsel (RLC), who is assigned to liaise with the Area Legal Counsels (ALC) around the world. Bill Atkin, Associate General Counsel, has tasked them with building Law Society chapters in the countries in which they work. Armstrong is the principal author of the Leadership Manual. He has experience helping build the Law Society in Latin America where he has lived and worked.

Jorge Pazos, Peruvian lawyer, and University of Utah 2L, who Jorge is tasked with being the Latin American Liaison to the LDT and chapter leadership. He manages calls to local leadership and helps identify problems and solutions for issues that arise in the development and maintenance of successful Latin American chapters.

Randa Vieira, Lear & Lear, Salt Lake City attorney, former Student Randa Chapters Board Chair, and current liaison and advocate for the training and support needs of US student chapter leadership. Vieira makes herself available to the student leaders for advice and counsel, training, and support.


Melissa Flores, Salt Lake Community College General Counsel, has the responsibility to identify and coordinate efforts to create sister chapter relationships for new and fledgling chapters around the world. She solicits willingness to collaborate with new leadership as part of the CRC’s sustainability project as it is critical to the future of the Law Society that leadership be supported.

Dennis Hoagland, LDS Business College and Utah Valley University adjunct professor, is over the lawyer liaison project.  Hoagland recently sent a survey to all student and attorney chapter chairs with questions designed to help us learn which attorney chapters have liaisons assigned and whether those liaisons are working closely with their local student chapters.

Morris Linton, Intermountain Healthcare senior general counsel, is our team member over the Atkin Scholarship and chapter finances training. Morris will help identify and invite international applicants to apply for the Atkin Scholarship. Also, Morris trains chapter leaders on how to conform with JRCLS standards for banking and managing chapter finances. Chapters around the world deal with a variety of internal and external rules related to how to pay for the programming they offer within their chapter. Morris has been an integral part of the development of the JRCLS over the years so he brings a wealth of experience to this position.

In the past 18 months, we have held training calls with leaders in Peru, Moscow, the Caribbean, Mexico City, Sao Paulo, Johannesburg, Montana, three chapters in California, and Buenos Aires. Our team members take time out of their busy practices to mentor Law Society leaders.  

We are working very hard to help you in your assignments in the Law Society. If you are not currently a leader in the Law Society, we urge you to consider committing to becoming a leader in your local chapter. Great things are happening at the local level, especially in the areas of service, religious freedom, and mentoring of students around the world.  

Some of the LDT’s projects that you might be interested in are:

Current Projects:
  • Leadership manual translation from English to French, making that five translations of the manual in addition to English, Spanish, Portuguese, and Russian
  • Newly created leadership manuals for the Middle East Chapter and for student chapters (for a total of seven versions of the manual)
  • Identifying lawyer liaisons in every US chapter in order to help chapter chairs and board members work more closely with the student chapters
  • Training material development for Fall Leadership Conference at Aspen Grove
  • Identifying strong chapters who are willing to serve as “sister chapters” to new chapters we have in Mexico, Brazil, and in the US
Future Projects:
  • Leadership training on the in-development Law Society dashboard, a program to help chapter leaders keep the website current
  • Watch for Atkin Scholarship announcements for international travelers to Fall Leadership
  • Leadership training videos on our own YouTube channel
We greatly enjoy working with each other, the leadership of the Chapter Relations Council, and helping develop the potential and experience of all of the members and the chapter leaders around the world!

By:  Elaine Doyle, Vice-Chair over the Leadership Development Team of the Chapter Relations Council



Posted: May 27, 2016

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