When Chase Wilde got one too many speeding tickets as a teenager, his license was suspended and he was summoned to appear before a judge. The subsequent visit to the courthouse left him feeling terrified and powerless. It also started him on the path to law school.
“I decided as I left the courthouse that I needed to learn the law so I never had to feel helpless like that again,” Wilde said.After receiving his undergraduate degree in psychology from the University of Utah, attending law school at the U seemed like a natural choice. Many other factors drew Wilde to the S.J. Quinney College of Law, such as a new building, affordable tuition, and connections to law firms in Salt Lake City. The biggest draw, however, was the law school’s sense of community.
“I assumed that the S.J. Quinney culture would match, or be even better, than the U’s undergrad community, and I was right,” he said. “It has been awesome. Whatever you’re interested in, there is always something worthwhile going on at S.J. Quinney if you are willing to get involved.”
Wilde has first-hand knowledge of the benefits of being involved. His peers recently elected him to serve as president of the Student Bar Association for the 2019-20 academic year. The SBA is the official student government of the College of Law. The association plans student activities, organizes programs and resources to help law students, and serves as a voice for students as a voting member of the College Council. The SBA can affect policies regarding curriculum, grades, class and exam scheduling, legal clinics, and more. The SBA also participates in faculty retention, promotion and tenure evaluations. On the lighter side, the SBA also sponsors social events, philanthropic events and intramural sports.
As SBA president, Wilde plans to grow the sense of community that attracted him to the College of Law in the first place.
“Above all, I hope to increase the sense of unity and school pride within the law school,” Wilde said. “And, of course, provide sweet merchandise and rockin’ parties.”
In between classes, studying and activities, Wilde is busy making connections in the Salt Lake City legal community. He spent last summer working at G. Eric Nielson and Associates and he’s spending this summer working at Kirton McConkie, two downtown Salt Lake City law firms.
After graduation, Wilde plans to continue to work in a downtown Salt Lake City law firm. He wants to focus his work on litigation, hopefully preventing his clients from feeling that sense of helplessness he felt on his very first trip to the courthouse.