Utah Law hosts leadership lunches for first-year students

Sep 14, 2022 | Alumni

The University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law recently began hosting Jackson Howard Leadership Lunches again to help connect alumni and first-year law students.

The Jackson Howard Leadership Lunch program began in 2016. After a hiatus due to COVID-19, the quarterly networking lunches have returned.

These lunches are named after Jackson Howard, an important alum, donor, and supporter of the College of Law.  Howard often talked about the importance of the law school teaching leadership to students, so graduates would think about not only practicing law, but also contributing to their communities in leadership positions such as on community councils, city government, boards, and more.

Four lunches are held throughout the year to give every first-year law student a chance to attend. Four alumni of various backgrounds and career paths are invited to each lunch, rotating around the room throughout the event to give each student a chance to ask questions, network, and mingle.

“I started these lunches to give students an opportunity to have direct conversations with practicing lawyers, across the spectrum of practice, to give them an idea of the opportunities which exist in the legal field,” said Lori Nelson, alumni relations director at Utah Law.

This is the perfect networking environment for those who do well in more intimate settings, rather than large groups, according to Nelson.

“Another benefit is giving the students the chance to see the remarkable alumni, who they are, what they do and how they achieved their version of success,” Nelson said. “And it gives the alumni a chance to meet our remarkable students, realize the quality of students we are educating, and reassure our alumni that giving a job to a Utah Law graduate is giving a job to one of the best new attorneys they will ever see.”

The most recent Leadership Lunch, held on September 12th, featured alumni Jody Williams, Ruth Hackford-Peer, Kyle Petersen, and Abby Dizon-Maughan.

“Since I created these events, I have had students tell me that it was the single most beneficial event they had in law school,” Nelson said. “I’ve had numerous alumni tell me that they wish something like this had been available to them when they were in law school.”

To get involved with the Utah Law Leadership Lunches, email Lori at lori.nelson@law.utah.edu.