Understanding the why behind legal counsel: Brooke DeWyze

Jul 17, 2023 | Alumni

by Lindsay Wilcox

Brooke DeWyze, a middle-aged white woman with long blond hair curled at the ends wearing a navy blue blazerBrooke DeWyze, chief operating officer of commercial insurance company Moreton, originally graduated from the University of Utah’s David Eccles School of Business in 1998. After earning her certified public accountant (CPA) certification, Brooke never planned to return to school—but the one-year Master of Legal Studies (MLS) program proved essential due to her new role.

“As a COO, I deal with several facets of the law, from employment law and contract law to business IP and conflict resolution. While I have a general counsel and HR director that guide me in my decision-making process, the MLS program equips me with the knowledge to better understand the why behind their counsel,” Brooke says.

In her April 2023 convocation speech, Brooke recalled Harvard professor Clayton Christensen’s ideas around deliberate and emergent strategies and explained how she identified with the concepts.

“While I had the most deliberate plans, emergent strategies took hold. It is how you react to these that define you,” she said. “Embrace those emergent strategies, as they may not take the path you anticipated. If you are open, you can pivot and create opportunities that far surpass all expectations of your deliberate plans.”

Though Brooke notes that the MLS program was challenging as she balanced work, school, and home life — she has nine children — she found the in-person program invaluable because of the connections she made.

“What I like best about S.J. Quinney is the professors and the ability to have open-ended discussions with them,” she says. “I was able to ask and discuss real-world business issues and think about the legal implications of my decisions as a leader.”

Brooke says the first semester of the MLS was the most difficult and that she wishes she would have switched some of the set classes to take JD classes that were more relevant to her career. She encourages others to participate in the program and to do everything they can to take in-person classes.

“The MLS program has helped me to make more educated and knowledge-based decisions; as a result, I am a better leader and better decision-maker,” Brooke says. “This is the perfect program for executives that need to know about the law but do not necessarily want to practice law.”

Alumni: We want to celebrate your success. Share your personal and professional accomplishments, and we’ll share them in the Class Notes section of future Res Gestae issues.

Check out this video spotlight featuring Brooke as well!