Law students are notorious for being busy, and 3L Dallas West is no exception. When he’s not studying for exams or attending classes, he participates in a number of student organizations. West is a member of the International Law Society, co-president of the Sports Law Club, and president of the Student Bar Association (the official student government of the S.J. Quinney College of Law). As such, West sits on a number of boards, like the Young Lawyers Division Board and the College of Law’s Board of Trustees.
West said he prefers being busy, and he believes his heavy involvement in student organizations has played a meaningful role in his law school experience.
“Involvement in clubs and other student organizations while you’re at school is of vital importance because it introduces you to new people and ideas,” West said. “It’s nice to be around people that share similar interests, but it’s more valuable to surround yourself with people that have different backgrounds and diverse opinions.”
West credits his involvement as one of the factors that has opened doors for him. He is currently a contract associate at the University of Utah Office of Sponsored Projects and has previously worked as a law clerk at the Utah Attorney General’s Office and as a legal intern for an international organization in Vienna, Austria.
Even though being an involved student has had its professional perks, West thinks the most valuable part of his experience at the S.J. Quinney College of Law has been cultivating relationships with his fellow students and faculty members.
“I’ll always cherish the relationships I’ve made here,” West said. “I mean, who else gets to say that they met their fiancé at 1L orientation?”
West said that, whenever he’s had questions or has had trouble understanding a concept, faculty members were always willing to sit down and explain it to him and fellow students were eager to talk it out or share their notes.
“I feel at home here because there is a sense of community,” West said. “Everyone is willing to help each other out. There is an understanding that we’re in this together, and we’re going to be practicing law with each other in the future, so it doesn’t make sense to burn bridges while you’re here.”
Speaking of practicing law in the future, West said that he would like to focus his future practice on international and transactional law. But he’s keeping his options open, and he knows his law degree will be as asset to him regardless of what career path he chooses.
“The critical and analytical thinking that you develop and master as a law student is going to help you no matter what you decide to do,” West said. “The ability to approach complex issues from different angles and come up with a solution is easily transferable. That’s why I came to law school. I think there’s a lot of value in that.”
To learn more about the student organizations at the S.J. Quinney College of Law, visit http://www.law.utah.edu/students/student-organizations/.