A worthwhile endeavor: MLS student Ryne Vogel pairs his HR career with legal studies education

May 30, 2024 | MLS Stories

by Angela Turnbow

Ryne Vogel, a young white man with short light-brown hair and glassesAs an undergraduate majoring in philosophy, MLS student Ryne Vogel had every intention of pursuing a JD degree and a career as an attorney. Life, however, steered him in a different direction with his interest in the law firmly intact.

Vogel worked for a company managing hundreds of employees in a call center environment, where he was introduced to numerous employment and labor law issues and had frequent interaction with the human resources department. The HR department later recruited Vogel, and he eventually became the director for the company’s human resources information systems (HRIS) and payroll teams and systems.

“Our company had a presence in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and Canada, requiring me to become familiar with many federal, state, local and provincial laws,” Vogel recalls. “I also was required to work with our in-house or outside legal counsel on a variety of complex issues. These experiences helped me realize the benefits of pursuing additional education in legal studies.”

Vogel now works for the University of Utah supporting HR and payroll systems and is currently enrolled in the Master of Legal Studies program at S.J. Quinney College of Law.

“My time as an employee at the U has only furthered my resolve that pursuing additional legal education is a worthwhile endeavor for anyone working in HR, payroll, or information systems,” Vogel says.

He appreciates the expertise and caliber of the faculty teaching in the MLS program.

“Our professors are amazing. Our class on understanding cases and statutes was taught by a federal magistrate judge, who arranged for two Utah Supreme Court justices to give guest lectures. Our legal research and writing professor served as the editor for the Yale Law Journal. Our class on administrative law was taught by the dean of Ohio State’s law school,” Vogel says. “I could go on and on with positive things to say about each professor. The program is filled with experts in their respective fields who also care about their students.”

And that’s not all—the building itself and the library staff have added to Vogel’s experience in the MLS program.

“The building and the classroom our MLS courses are held in are incredible. Our classroom overlooks downtown Salt Lake, making it a pretty great place to be ‘stuck’ for 16 hours every other week!” he says. “I also have to mention the incredible library staff. The few times I have reached out for help, they have been quick to answer my questions and direct me to helpful materials.”

Vogel recently won the Outstanding MLS Colleague award at the Utah Law Alumni Awards held in April.

“Receiving the Outstanding MLS Colleague award was very humbling and a true honor. Our class is full of amazing people who I have come to admire and respect,” Vogle says. “The relationships I have built with these incredible people will be one of the most valuable things I take away from the program.”

Vogel will complete the MLS program in August, with plans to further his career in human resources. And it sounds like he has an appetite for more education.

“My goals include pursuing senior and executive leadership positions in my field. This program has equipped me with additional tools to help me in that pursuit,” Vogel says. “Being in this program has also reminded me how much I enjoy research. I don’t think my time in the classroom is over, as I have a desire to pursue a doctorate, which would also allow me to occasionally teach as an adjunct.”

Interested in earning a master’s degree in legal studies? Learn more about the MLS program.