by Rodney G. Snow
This is my last President’s Message to the Bar. I have had the privilege of meeting many of you, including dozens of our new lawyers. I have made new friends, for which I am grateful. I continue to be impressed by the untold hours of quiet service many of you render for the benefit of the Bar and our community. For that and so many other reasons it has been an honor and pleasure to represent you as your Bar president.
Service is both a responsibility and a reward that comes with being professional. It is what distinguishes a profession from just another business.
As you renew your Bar license this year, please “Check Yes” to volunteer for the opportunity of a pro bono matter or case. Many of you will have read about or seen the video of Meghan Vogel, a track star from West Liberty Salem high school in Ohio, help Arden McMath across the finish line after she had collapsed in a 3400 meter race, ensuring that Arden finished ahead of Vogel. This moment of humanity exhibited in a competitive race should move us to offer our professional services to those who otherwise might not be able to finish their race for justice.
I thank the Bar Commissioners and the Executive Committee for their hard work and support this year. Your Commission provides many hours of service to Bar matters. I acknowledge, once again, the incredible work and service of our Young Lawyers Division and their leaders. The YLD continues to show us the way with their energy, compassion, and extraordinary service. I also express my thanks to John Baldwin, Richard Dibblee, and the entire Bar staff for their patience, support, and assistance this year.
Thank you to Lori Nelson, our President Elect, who has supported and participated in the launch of our new programs and is already working hard in preparation for next year. Lori pays close attention to critical detail and will be a superb President.
I thank my firm, Clyde Snow & Sessions, and my clients for their patience and understanding this past year.
And last but not least I thank my wife Bobbi and our family for their listening ears, support and constructive suggestions.
As many of you know, during the summer of 2002, I was diagnosed with laryngeal cancer. It was, of course, a shock. I am not a smoker. Among the possible suspects was acid reflux. I don’t know many lawyers, particularly trial lawyers, who do not experience acid reflux at least occasionally. Get checked and medicated, if necessary. Maalox and Tums may not solve the problem. The “C” experience opened windows and vistas I may have otherwise missed. I am pleased to be working and enjoying life with family and colleagues. My grandchildren who are fascinated with my robot friend (electronic larynx) are persistent in learning how to use it.
I also learned to appreciate the incredible resources and talent we have in Salt Lake City, the University of Utah Medical Center and the S.J. Quinney College of Law, two bright jewels that provide unparalleled service to our community and, indeed, the entire Rocky Mountain region. Of course, there are other jewels at the University of Utah, the business and engineering schools, humanities, and many others.
The University of Utah Medical Center
It was an afternoon, as I recall. I had been to Clinic 9 to see Dr. Kim Davis. Dr. Davis was the head of ENT and a skilled head and neck cancer surgeon with a national reputation. He is compassionate and hopeful. He operated on me several times, chasing my squamous cell, well-defined cancer from one spot to another. He moved to IHC during my experience and the care was equally satisfactory. Finally, in April of 2004, after radiation failed to eradicate the cancer, Dr. Davis informed me they had played “Russian Roulette” with me long enough and that a total laryngectomy was imperative to avoid significant risk to my life. My treatment had been prolonged in an attempt to preserve all or some of my vocal chords.
On this particular afternoon, as I entered the lobby of the Medical Center while leaving my appointment, I paused for several minutes to simply observe the mass of humanity moving in, out and around. I became overwhelmed. Just the number of patients, some critically ill, coming and going was amazing. When you add the nurses, staff, residents, interns, and doctors quickly bustling here and there, I began to feel like I was in Manhattan at 9:30 a.m. as the subways emptied. This moment of observance helped me realize the good that was being done every minute, every half-hour, and hour for so many patients, some of whom would never be able to pay for the care they were receiving.
In 2010 and 2011, University of Utah Health Care obtained a national top-10, five-star quality rating from the University Health System Consortium.1 The University of Utah Medical Center combines excellence in patient care, the latest in medical research, and teaching to provide leading-edge medicine in a caring and personal setting. The system provides care for Utahns and residents of five surrounding states and a referral area encompassing ten percent of the continental United States.2 As part of that system, the University hospitals and clinics rely on one thousand board-certified physicians who staff four University Hospitals (University Hospital, Huntsman Cancer Hospital, University Orthopaedic Center, and the University Neuropsychiatric Institute), ten community clinics, and several specialty centers.3 University of Utah Health Care is consistently ranked among US News and World Report’s best hospitals, and its academic partners, the University of Utah School of Medicine and Colleges of Nursing, Pharmacy and Health, are internationally regarded research and teaching institutions.4
The hospital experiences over one million outpatient visits a year; 30,000 inpatient admissions; 25,000 surgeries; and delivery of 3500 babies, including care for 500 critically ill newborns.5 Care provided for patients totaled $1,687,000,000 for fiscal year 2011. Charity services for patients unable to pay totaled $29,000,000.6
Those are just a few of the statistics available regarding the excellence being demonstrated by the University of Utah Medical Center and the University of Utah Health Care system. We express our appreciation and congratulations to the University of Utah Medical Center.
S.J. Quinney College of Law, Another Jewel on the Hill
In Utah, we are fortunate to have two top-tier law schools, the J. Reuben Clark Law School at Brigham Young University and the S.J. Quinney College of Law at the University of Utah. Both law schools make substantial contributions to our community and state by way of education and public service. Dean James Rasband and Dean Hiram Chodosh have demonstrated innovation, excellence and sensitivity to the changing economic and market conditions.
The S.J. Quinney College of Law, under the leadership and direction of Dean Chodosh, received approval from the 2012 Legislature to internally bond a new $60.5 million six-story facility to be built southeast of the current law school where Carlson Hall is located. It is hoped that groundbreaking will occur in the law school’s centennial year of 2013.7
The new law school facility is dedicated to improving the world around it through better forms of training, insights on the critical issues of the day, and direct public service.8 The new law school building will facilitate the College of Law’s vision. Key attributes of the new building will include:
• A wide variety of intimate learning environments for students both within and outside the classrooms.
• Advanced research areas in which faculty, staff, and students can effectively collaborate on major research projects.
• Flexible integration of technology to advance learning objectives, build community, and create broader national and global presence for the College’s programs.
• An emphasis on sustainable design and responsible resource use, with the goal of attaining LEED-Platinum certification and a commitment toward net-zero energy consumption.
• An exemplary approach to access for the disabled.
• Site and building planning that takes full advantage of exceptional views and environmental features and creates an appropriate identity for the College of Law with effective connections to the University and broader community.
• Significant commitment of space so that each student has an effective study and research space in a variety of settings and configurations. The law school is dedicated to keeping the first-year class small in size and maintaining the learning environment that comes from that dynamic. Square foot per student will be expanded from seven square feet to sixty square feet, and the conference center/moot courtroom on the top floor will display views of the valley and handle up to 450 students and/or community members.9
It is hoped the new law building will be yet another University gateway and entry point for the campus.
The new law building will be a resource to the legal community, as well as to the neighborhood and campus.
Recent major commitments from the S.J. and Jessie E. Quinney Foundation (over $15 million) and the LDS Church ($4 million) have facilitated the advancement of this new law facility.10
Of course, additional funds and/or commitment for funds are needed. If you or your law organization can make a commitment to the construction of this new law facility, we hope you will do so. Many lawyers and law firms have made donations and/or committed funds for the construction of this new facility. Those practicing in Utah, whether or not alumni of the U law school, are committing resources to what will be a valuable community and regional presence.
Through many of the law school’s outstanding programs, their student body produces more service per student than any other law school in the country, according to the office of the Dean. Last year alone, the student body of approximately 400 students produced over 45,000 hours of public service.11 For example, according to the law school, the Pro Bono Initiative (PBI), which commenced in 2006, has contributed approximately 29,980.25 hours of public service, and has filled a total of 1282 project placements. Free Legal Clinics are an important component of the PBI – examples are the American Indian Legal Clinic, Debtor’s Counseling Clinic, Family Law Clinic, Layton Family Law Clinic, Medical-Legal Clinic, Immigration Law Clinic, Rainbow Law Clinic, Street Law Clinic, and the new Employment Law Clinic.12 All of these legal clinics are staffed by the S.J. Quinney College of Law, volunteer law students, and volunteer on-site attorneys. In addition to the foregoing programs, the S.J. Quinney College of Law offers:
• The Center for Global Justice will work to ensure the role of law in guaranteeing basic human rights, security, socioeconomic justice, economic development, good governance, and the ability of individuals to realize their full potential regardless of their differences.
• The Center for Law and Biosciences will create innovative legal and public policy solutions to challenges posed by new developments in the biosciences and health care.
• The possibility of relocating from Columbia, South Carolina the National Criminal Justice Academy, which is a national training center for state and local prosecutors and will establish the first national indigent defense counsel training program.
• The Center for Innovation in Legal Education will use technology, simulation, experiential learning, and other improved legal pedagogies to create an integrated and dynamic learning and research environment to prepare future professionals.
• National Service Academy, which will integrate all law school service programs, including clinics, pro bono initiatives, and think tanks. This will also fill a critical need for national service training, both at home and abroad, and facilitate the concept of distributing legal service to different disciplines in national universities.13
The S.J. Quinney College of Law has been led to new levels of community service and global involvement. The new law building will be, as described by Dean Chodosh, “a virtual teaching hospital.”14 We can be proud of both our law schools and they deserve our support.
I conclude this last message echoing the remarks of Rob Jeffs, our past president, made in his last message. We encourage you to become involved in your community in whatever way works with your schedule, talents, and time. That might be serving in a Bar section or committee, in Bar leadership, as a state legislator, on a board of education, or volunteering to take a pro bono case by checking “yes” on your license renewal or to teach a civics course twice a year in one of our high schools. Of course, there are other community service opportunities available and we hope you will participate in those of your choice as your time and resources will allow. Again, thank you for the privilege and honor of representing you as your Bar president this past year.
Rod would like to thank Shannon Zollinger for her research assistance in preparing this message.
1. See 2011 Report to the Community, University of Utah Hospitals and Clinics, at 3, http://viewer.zmags.com/publication/56e89bed#/56e89bed/1.
2. See id. at 8-9.
3. See id. at 6.
4. See University of Utah Health Care, http://healthcare.utah.edu/about/ (last visited June 11, 2012); see also U.S. News Ranks U Programs Among The Best In Physician Assistant, Pharmacy, Nursing, Primary Care and Physical Therapy, March 13, 2012, http://healthcare.utah.edu/publicaffairs/news/current/03-13-2012_US_News_2013_Ranking.html.
5. See 2011 Report to the Community at 9.
6. See id. at 26-27.
7. See Governor, Legislature Show Support for the U in 2012, Continuum: The Magazine of the University of Utah, Summer 2012, at 4; see also Brian Maffly, University of Utah to build new law school, revitalize campus’ western gateway, Salt Lake Tribune, March 12, 2012, available at http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/jazz/53684377-78/law-building-campus-chodosh.html.csp .
8. See Building Justice: Capital Campaign, Executive Summary from Pre-Programming (Phase 2), S.J. Quinney College of Law.
9. See id.
10. See, e.g., College of Law Announces $4 Million Gift from LDS Church for New Facility, ULAW Today, May 11, 2012, http://today.law.utah.edu/2012/05/college-of-law-announces-4-million-gift-from-lds-church-for-new-building/.
11. See Building Justice Through Service, S.J. Quinney College of Law, at 8, http://www.law.utah.edu/wp-content/uploads/Bulletin_2012.pdf.
12. See Pro Bono Initiative: Free Brief Advice Legal Clinics, S.J. Quinney College of Law, http://www.law.utah.edu/probono/free-legal-clinics/.
13. See Executive Summary from Pre-Programming (Phase 2), supra.
14. See Maffly, supra note 7.