BYU Law Alumni Chapter Board Members
Immediate Past President
David Bertoch & Kelley Marsden, Giving
Gary Christensen & Jonathan Madsen, Class Presidents
Adam Balinski & Simón Canarero, Communications
Jorge Gavilanes & Marie Howick, Leadership & Inclusion
Kate Sookhoo & Jay Redd, Events
BYU Law Administration
Mike Middleton, Assistant Dean of External Relations
Erin Fale, Director of External Relations
Read on to learn more about the board members of the BYU Law Alumni Chapter.
Richard Salgado – President
Favorite BYU Law memory: Getting to know faculty well by being a TA for different professors, but then—as a result—being mercilessly subjected to parody right along with them during the Professor Roast.
About: Richard (’06) is a partner at McDermott, Will & Emery in Dallas, Texas, where he focuses on trials and appeals. A Californian transplanted to Texas, he lives with his wife, three daughters, and one son (all proud native Texans) in a small but growing suburb east of Dallas.
Amy Larsen – Immediate Past President
Favorite BYU Law memory: SBA activities: Halloween parties, with fun games like “Guess the weight of the huge pumpkin”; the Angel Tree fundraiser; the Professor Roast; and winning the coveted BYU Law “Food Locker”!
About: Amy G. Larsen (’04) is President of BYU Law School’s Alumni Chapter. She practices at Kirton McConkie in Salt Lake City in the First Amendment and Religious Liberty section. She also serves on the Conference and Events Committee of the J. Reuben Clark Law Society. Amy lives with her husband and two sons in Bountiful, Utah, and hobbies include talking incessantly, attending Ballet West performances, and cheering for the Cougars and the Utes in football, except when BYU plays Utah, in which case she only cheers for BYU!
MJ Townsend – Executive Secretary
Favorite BYU Law memory: Picture it—the intramural championship kickball game where a slew of obnoxiously loud freshmen come head to head with BYU Law’s Torts Illustrated kickball team. Bottom of the ninth, tie game with a runner on second and MJ Townsend up to bat. The Law School walked away with the win (and the shirt) that night.
About: Melissa Jo (MJ) Townsend graduated from BYU Law in 2021 and began clerking for Judge Ryan Tenney on the Utah Court of Appeals shortly thereafter. She looks forward to continuing her career with Parr, Brown, Gee & Loveless after finishing her clerkship. MJ grew up backpacking the High Sierras, and during her spare time she continues to enjoy hiking and all things outdoors (especially if it includes chasing a ball). A self-designated Wim-Hof-wannabe, MJ also likes jumping into cold water as often as she can.
David Bertoch – Giving Co-Chair
Favorite BYU Law memory: Working as a research assistant for Professor Constance Lundberg and serving as chairman for our Natural Resource and Environmental Law Symposium. And first year memory of attending Woody Deem’s Criminal Law class where he would open each class with a story that began “criminals are stupid . . .” and sharing his gentleman advice to the male students on appropriate wardrobe, particularly that we should wear over the calf socks!
About: David (’85) led ExxonMobil’s corporate Trade and Investment Issues Management team and advises on international trade policy and investment protection issues under free trade agreements and bilateral
David is a transactional attorney with more than 25 years’ experience in the upstream sector of the international petroleum industry. He has been the lead counsel and negotiator of major upstream ventures for ExxonMobil in Brazil, Mexico Russia, Ukraine and the Middle East (including ExxonMobil’s ventures in Iraq) that have involved both international oil companies as well as host nations and their national oil companies.
David received his Juris Doctorate degree from the J. Reuben Clark Law School at Brigham Young University in 1985 and his Bachelor of Science degree from Brigham Young University in 1982. He is admitted to the Texas and Utah State Bars and the Bar of the United States Supreme Court. He is a member of the Association of International Petroleum Negotiators. David grew up in Idaho and met his wife Stacey (who is from Eastern Washington) while attending BYU. They are the parents of four children (3 boys and 1 girl) and grandparents of twelve exceptional grandchildren.
Kelley Marsden – Giving Co-Chair
Favorite BYU Law memory: Late night ping pong tournaments and carrel dance parties.
About: Kelley (’06) is an Associate General Counsel for the University of Utah, where she advises on employment law, student issues, and litigation strategy. She lives in the Salt Lake area with her husband and twin daughters. She loves traveling, hiking with her family, and discussing good books.
Gary Christensen – Class Presidents’ Co-Chair
Favorite BYU Law memory: Professor Gordon’s moon walk across the moot court bench; marching with the cockroach to the Cougareat in mock protest; Nerf football in the carrels late at night; the stress and accomplishment of moot court arguments; the flicker of light near the end of first year when I thought I might be starting to understand the law . . . finally.
About: Gary (’88) is president of the Class of 1988 and a board member of the Portland, Oregon, chapter of the J. Reuben Clark Law Society. He has practiced since graduation at Miller Nash in Portland and now is chair of the firm’s construction industry team. He and his wife, Elizabeth, are now empty nesting, and enjoy three adult children and one granddaughter. They love the beauties of the Great Northwest’s mountains and coastline.
Jonathan Madsen – Class Presidents’ Co-Chair
Favorite BYU Law memory: I don’t know if this is my favorite memory, but it is definitely the most profound memory I have from law school. I was walking by a classmates carol in the early morning and I saw an airplane fly directly into the World Trade Center Towers. I asked my classmate “what movie trailer is that?” He responded “this is live and is actually happening.” I hadn’t realized that I had just seen the second plane fly into the tower live, and it was so unbelievable that I thought it was a fake scene in a movie trailer. The rest of the day was somber, as the law students gathered in shock and then all classes were cancelled. September 11th during law school invokes a poignant memory.
About: Jonathan (’04) is the Chief IP Counsel for a firm providing legal advice and leading intellectual property strategy and implementation globally for a family of blockchain/crypto companies. Prior to working in-house, Jonathan lived and worked in New York and was a partner in a boutique intellectual property law firm. He and his wife Allison have six children (1 boy, the oldest, and then 5 girls) that keep them busy and happy. Jonathan loves spending time in the mountains, coaching his kids’ soccer teams, and watching BYU sports – Go Cougs!
Adam Balinski – Communications Co-Chair
Favorite BYU Law memory: Law school ended up being a blast because of my study group. We laughed together, we cried together—we kept each other sane. We still stay in touch and get together for BBQs and Christmas parties. Recently, most of us traveled to Canada when one of our group members got married up there.
About: Adam (’16) is the Founder and CEO of Crushendo, an innovative education company based in Provo, Utah. When he’s not helping students crush big exams, you can find him getting into trouble talking politics on Facebook, or playing crazy ball with his kids (imagine baseball, dodgeball, and manhunt had a baby).
Simón Cantarero – Communications Co-Chair
Favorite BYU Law memory: Talking to Dean Reese Hansen during 1L orientation week when he hosted a group of first year students at his house, and telling him I felt completely out of place and undeserving to be a BYU law school student. Dean Hansen looked me straight in the eye and said, “You may think you don’t deserve to be here. But we chose you. We wanted you here!”
About: Simón (’04) and his wife are parents of three daughters. He enjoys hiking the trails around his house, particularly in the Fall. He practices law as General Counsel for Priority Dispatch Corp. in Salt Lake City and is an independent non-executive director for a couple of closely-held companies. He was appointed by the Utah Supreme Court to Chair its Committee on the Rules of Professional Conduct, and was nominated by Utah Gov. Cox and confirmed by the Utah Senate as an alternate member of the Utah Political Subdivision Commission. He volunteers his time on the Board of Trustees of “And Justice for All” and as the Vice-Chair of “Utah Humanities,” both non-profit organizations. When not doing the things just mentioned, he tends the vegetable garden and reads (in that sequence), and complains to no avail about yard work and picking up after dogs.
Jorge Gavilanes – Leadership & Inclusion Co-Chair
Favorite BYU Law memory: It’s difficult to narrow it down to a single favorite memory when part of the class of 2014. A sample of some fond memories start with a classmate having a great run selling (at cost) regular Coke from a cooler at his carrel, well before the embrace of caffeinated drinks on campus; “study” groups; SBA Halloween party, talent show, and many other free food events; finding an orange cone in the parking lot that was not in use to save our parking spot while on a Cafe Rio run for a club event; and walking out of the law school at the end the day to see the mountains glowing in the sunset.
About: Jorge (’14) is a partner at Kuck Baxter Immigration in Atlanta, Georgia, where he practices in all areas of U.S. immigration and nationality law. Jorge serves as lead attorney of Emory Law School’s Emory Immigrant Legal Assistance Clinic; a volunteer, student-run clinic in partnership with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Jorge also volunteers as vice-chair in the Georgia-Alabama Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association.
Marie Howick – Leadership & Inclusion Co-Chair
Favorite law school memory: Not having a job.
About: Marie graduated from BYU Law in a year she would prefer to keep to herself in an effort to avoid revealing how old she is. She spent several years as a litigator at Cravath, Swaine & Moore in New York City and is now in-house counsel at a large multinational pharmaceutical corporation. She currently lives in Atlanta with her husband and children. Those same children, after an impressive amount of unrelenting perseverance, recently convinced her to welcome a puppy into their home, which has so far appeared to be simultaneously one of the smartest and dumbest decisions she has ever made.
Kate Sookhoo – Events Co-Chair
Favorite BYU Law memory: Eating candy in our carrels in between classes and watching classmates perform gymnastics in the aisles of the carrels.
About: Kate (’03) now practices family law at Astor Weiss Kaplan & Mandel LLP in Philadelphia after spending six years with her five favorite clients—her kids! Kate previously worked in the family law group at Fox Rothschild LLP in Philadelphia. Since 2017, Kate has served in Communication for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and currently serves as Director of Communication for the Philadelphia Coordinating Council. Kate also serves as the JRCLS Atlantic Regional Chair. Kate loves reading, Lego, running and biking, and spending time with her family. Kate lives with her husband and five kids in Landenberg, Pennsylvania.
Jay Redd – Events Co-Chair
Favorite BYU Memory: Gathering with my classmates by our study carrels. (Also walking down the road to J-Dawgs.)
About: Jay (’07) is a director at Gibbons PC and provides guidance on a variety of regulatory matters. He possesses the unique combination of internal knowledge and external experience critical for successfully navigating the challenging realm of politics on behalf of clients. His longstanding relationships within government, insight into the legislative and executive processes, and deep understanding of the regulatory issues faced by businesses in the current economy enhance the services he provides.
Jay is an avid photographer and loves to travel. Jay is a proud puppy owner (Jackson) and splits his time between Washington, DC, and his home state of New Jersey.
Mike Middleton – Assistant Dean of External Relations
Favorite BYU Law memory: Watched Emely Perez (a young woman whose family my wife taught as a missionary in Honduras) presenting to BYU Law students and faculty with her LLM classmates. I was amazed to consider the law school’s impact on these students from Brazil, Jordan, Swaziland, South Sudan, Honduras, and Mexico and to learn of their unique journeys.
About: Before BYU Law, Mike was an Assistant Athletic Director and Director of BYU’s Cougar Club. A summa cum laude graduate with two degrees from BYU, he has been an adjunct public speaking instructor, Education Week presenter, and script writer for “Music and the Spoken Word.” Mike enjoys camping, hiking, sports, coin collecting, and writing. Somehow he caught and married BYU All-American track athlete Laura Zaugg; the couple have three children and live in Provo.
Erin Fale – Director of External Relations
Favorite BYU Law Memory: Getting to know the 2021 1L Achievement Fellows and BYU Law Alum Roy Montclair over lunch in Room 472. Hearing them share their stories and challenges and inspiring reasons for choosing to come to BYU Law is a testament to the incredible people who have studied and worked at this special place.
About: A graduate of the University of Southern California and of the University of Hawaii (William S. Richardson School of Law), Fale brings a wealth of experience to her new role of helping with alumni events, programming and fundraising for BYU Law and the J. Reuben Clark Law Society. She has worked in politics, public policy and public relations before going to law school in her hometown of Honolulu, Hawaii, where she excelled on the Native American Moot Court Team, was an officer of The Federalist Society and earned a certificate in Native Hawaiian Law. Prior to her new role at BYU Law, Erin was an associate at Durrett Lang Morse, LLLP, practicing civil and corporate litigation, land use and business transactions, and served as Secretary of the Hawaii Chapter of the Law Society. She enjoys baking, crafting and K-dramas and her favorite pastime is walking her labrador retriever and listening to podcasts. Erin and her family (husband, Richard Lee and two daughters, Violet and Regan) live in Provo, UT.