Troy Booher and Jamie Pleune have joined the faculty of the University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law as Associate Clinical Professors.
Dean Hiram Chodosh expressed his enthusiasm, “We are excited to welcome Troy and Jamie to our faculty. Their experience as superb lawyers and incredibly strong background in clinical training will be invaluable to our students. Our clinical program, including the environmental and appellate practice clinics, is among the most innovative in the nation. We are confident that the addition of Troy and Jamie will add substantially to the student’s full experience in professional training.”
Troy Booher has been an adjunct professor at the College of Law since 2007, teaching Judicial Process and the Appellate Practice Survey. In 2005, he founded the College’s Appellate Practice Clinic. Going forward, he will teach Appellate Practice in the Fall, supervise the Traynor Moot Court Competition in the Spring, and expand the Appellate Legal Clinic to include more opportunities and operate year round. Booher is an appellate lawyer in Salt Lake City who recently established the boutique appellate law firm of Zimmerman Jones Booher LLC.
Booher earned a J.D. from the College of Law, where he was on the Utah Law Review Executive Board and the National Moot Court team. He was named the College of Law’s Young Alumnus of the Year in 2007. He also recently earned a Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of Utah. While working toward his Ph.D., he published articles on constitutional interpretation, the relationship between philosophy and law, the religion clauses and commercial speech. He also co-authored Drugs and Justice: Seeking a Consistent, Coherent, Comprehensive View, published by Oxford University Press.
On his approach to teaching, Booher explains that “law school should be intellectually challenging but ultimately help prepare students to be lawyers. I view my primary role as a clinical professor to help students become better prepared to practice law.” Students in his courses can expect lectures as well as hands-on practical experience and feedback. His Appellate Practice course will be broken up into sections, and he promises a heavy focus on writing and feedback for students.
Booher says he is “very excited to continue teaching at the law school” in his new role, which he views as the “perfect marriage of my two professional lives—teaching and appellate practice.”
Jamie Pleune will be teaching the environmental law clinic. “I believe that supervised clinical education provides an opportunity to begin engaging with the law from a professional, rather than a purely academic, viewpoint,” she explains. “Karl Llewellyn characterized the law as the ‘craft of doing and getting things done with the law.’ Working collaboratively with other students and lawyers on behalf of a client in a live case requires students to figure out how to use the law strategically, how to build legal arguments, how to give and receive professional feedback, and basically how to ‘get things done with the law.’” To that end, she describes her role as facilitating and fostering the student experience.
In the supervised environmental law clinic, students have the opportunity to practice public interest environmental law by working with Western Resource Advocates (WRA) on one or more of their live cases. Students are assigned to a particular issue in a case and must become familiar with the facts and develop or implement an appropriate legal strategy for that issue. Assignments range from writing a portion of a brief to preparing and submitting legal comments during an administrative proceeding to advising a client on their legal options. “We meet with the attorneys from WRA once a week for strategy sessions led by one of the students,” Pleune says. “Throughout the semester, students receive detailed feedback on their writing and oral communication skills.”
The environmental law clinic also facilitates an externship program. Students are placed in law offices in a federal agency, state attorney general, private law firm, or environmental advocacy group in Salt Lake City. Placements outside of Salt Lake City may be arranged with special permission.
“I am proud to be teaching at the College of Law,” Pleune says. “We have a very strong environmental program and I am glad that we now offer students the opportunity to further develop their practical and professional skills through the environmental law clinic.”