BYU Law to Address Wellness During 2023 Law and Leadership Conference

press release

Legal and wellness scholars and practitioners to discuss the legal profession’s role in industry and community well-being

PROVO, UtahJan. 26, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — BYU Law, a global law school focused on leadership in legal theory and practice, today announced that its 2022-23 Law and Leadership Conference will focus on “Well-being in the Legal Profession.” This year’s event will be held on January 27 at the law school’s campus in Provo, Utah.

“Each year, BYU Law School hosts a Law and Leadership Conference to address an issue of current importance with a focus on how the industry might make the world a better place,” said D. Gordon Smith, Dean, BYU Law. “We are concerned by the prevalence of mental and physical wellness issues in the legal profession. We look forward to convening experts to discuss what the legal profession is doing and how we can do better when it comes to being good stewards for the well-being of legal professionals.”

Dean Smith will kick off the event with opening remarks at 9 a.m. Mountain Time on Friday, January 27Meera Deo, The Honorable Vaino Spencer Chair and Professor of Law, Southwest Law School, Director of the Law School Survey of Student Engagement will deliver the morning keynote, exploring a range of topics, including the importance of work/life balance. Professor Deo is a national expert on legal education; racial representation; and diversity, equity and inclusion. In her ongoing empirical study, Pandemic Effects on Legal Academia, Professor Deo analyzes how the global pandemic affects scholarly productivity and the career success of vulnerable faculty, including caregivers, women of color and untenured professors.

Martha Knudsen, Executive Director, Utah State Bar Well-Being Committee for the Legal Profession, and Matt Thiese, Associate Professor and Occupational Injury Prevention Director at the University of Utah and Founder of SeafeLane Health, Inc., will participate in a morning panel titled, “What is the Legal Profession Doing?” They will discuss the Bar’s efforts to promote well-being among Utah lawyers and law students.

The conference will also include a discussion on “Community Well-being.” Panelists Lani Taholo, Clinical Director, Child and Empowerment Services; Abby Dizon-Maughan, Associate at Parsons, Behle & Latimer; and Pamela Beatse, Access to Justice Director, Utah State Bar, will discuss the inherent connection between self-care and community care, what that looks like and how it gives us the power to thrive as a collective.

During the lunch session, Jane Mitchell, BYU Law Research Fellow, will speak about “How Law Schools Fuel Student Threat Responses.” Mitchell co-teaches BYU law school’s leadership class alongside Dean Smith. Mitchell is also co-founder and CEO of the Reset Foundation, which identifies promising young people trapped in cycles of poverty, court-involvement and unemployment, and offers them a high-quality residential program where they learn to work, study and live in healthy ways.

The afternoon discussion will focus on “Well-being Among Minorities” with panelists Melinda Bowen, Of Counsel, Snow Christensen & Martineau; Bryan Jackson, Senior Counsel, Office of General Counsel for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; BYU Law and Leadership Fellow Tatenda Makanza; and BYU Law student Daliyah Rudek. They will discuss the unique challenges of racial, ethnic, religious, and disabled minority lawyers.

For more information about the conference, including the schedule and list of speakers, visit: