Meet Our Past Leadership Fellows
Class of 2021–2022
Before attending law school, Jonathan Garcia (’23) taught writing courses for several years in the Department of English at BYU, nurturing a passion for the written and spoken word. During his 2L year, Garcia will serve as an associate editor for the BYU Law Review and as a member of the BYU Law moot court team. In 2021, he was selected by the BYU Law faculty for the Wendy C. Archibald Meritorious Achievements and Distinguished Service Award, and in 2022, he will be a summer associate for Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati in California.
Carolyn Sharp (’22) is the first woman to serve as president of BYU Law’s Military and National Security Club. She has written groundbreaking papers on cognitive lethal autonomous weapons systems (CLAWS) and on the role advanced artificial intelligence and neurotechnology can play in reshaping the future of war. Sharp has also published pieces through the Lieber Institute for Law & Warfare at West Point. Sharp was elected to state and county political leadership positions as an undergraduate student and is raising two charismatic teenagers.
Brandon Graves (’22) is passionate about immigration reform and has interned with immigrant rights organizations in Washington DC and Utah. He spent his 2L summer with The Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services, where he assisted in litigation on behalf of immigrant families separated under “Zero Tolerance.” Graves is president of BYU Law’s American Constitution Society and a member of BYU Law’s national moot court team. He participated in the BYU Law Civil and Criminal Rights Appeals Clinic and served as a lead editor on the BYU Journal of Public Law.
Brooke Gledhill (’22) is pursuing a career in social impact and has interned with public interest and nonprofit organizations such as Ohio Legal Help and Encircle. Gledhill advanced to the national finals of the 2021 ABA Student Negotiation Competition and is a member of BYU Law’s national moot court team. She currently serves as president of BYU Women in Law and secretary of the BYU Chapter of the American Constitution Society. Gledhill was also a lead editor for the BYU Journal of Public Law.
Christina Chan (’22) interned with the Coast Guard Office of the Judge Advocate General (JAG), the Department of Defense, and the National Security Law Division of the Army JAG at the Pentagon. She is editor-in-chief of the BYU Journal of Public Law and a Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellow, specializing in Mandarin Chinese. Passionate about minority representation, Chan has served as president of the Asian Pacific American Law Student Association and is a three-year board member and current vice-president of the Minority Law Student Association.
Daniela Seare (’23) is passionate about peace-building and conflict resolution. She has externed with the Leavitt Institute for International Development, where she designed a mediation curriculum for developing Eastern European countries. Seare works as a fellow for BYU’s Center for Peace and Conflict Resolution and serves on the board of the International Law Students Association. Prior to attending law school, Seare worked with a number of non-governmental organizations in Germany and Austria, assisting refugees from the Middle East with relocation and coping with trauma.
Class of 2020–2021
Kade Allred (2L) is the BYU Law Student Bar Association’s vice president of students, an associate editor on BYU Law’s Journal of Public Law, a member of BYU Law’s Trial Advocacy Team, and a member of the A. Sherman Christensen Inn of Court I. He is currently a research assistant to three professors focused on administrative, constitutional, and international law. Kade is also a legal intern at Schaerr | Jaffe LLP, a firm based in Washington, DC, that specializes in high-profile trial and appellate litigation.
Alusine Conteh (2L) is originally from Sierra Leone. He is vice president of BYU Law’s Black Law Students Association and a member of the BYU Law Trial Advocacy Team. Alusine has interned with the Utah Supreme Court, as well as Hayes Godfrey Bell, PC, and has served as a BYU Law faculty research assistant and student ambassador. Outside of law school, Alusine works with the nonprofit Future Scholars of Africa, which provides resources to African college students in Utah.
Marissa Flowerday (3L) is an aspiring judge. She has interned for the Utah Supreme Court and worked as a law clerk doing public defense, immigration, and civil litigation. She currently serves as president of the BYU Law Trial Advocacy Team and competes on the school’s national Trial Advocacy Team. Marissa is spending her final year of law school working with the Utah County Attorney’s Office.
Mike McKinley (3L) is enrolled in BYU’s JD/MBA joint-degree program. He is the executive editor of the BYU Journal of Public Law, an intern for Utah Supreme Court Chief Justice Matthew Durrant, and a law clerk for BYU’s Office of General Counsel and the US Senate Judiciary Committee. Mike has also worked as a summer associate at Snow Christensen & Martineau in Salt Lake City, Utah. Outside of law school, he volunteers his time as a humanitarian project director in developing countries around the globe.
Melissa Jo Townsend
Melissa Jo Townsend (3L) is passionate about appellate advocacy. After winning “Best Brief” in BYU Law’s 2020 Moot Court Competition, MJ was elected to the BYU Law Moot Court Board and drafted five appellate briefs during her 2L summer internship. She has externed on the Utah District Court and Utah Supreme Court and currently serves as a lead editor on BYU Law’s Journal of Public Law. As a 1L, MJ also received BYU Law’s J. Reuben Clark Award from her peers.
Vivian Tse (3L) is originally from Hong Kong. She spent both her 1L and 2L summers as an associate at Baker McKenzie, where she will return next fall as a first-year associate. Vivian is a member of the BYU Law Review and the BYU Journal of Public Law, and is director of events for the BYU Law Federal Bar Association. Vivian also works at Control4, one of the world’s largest pure IoT companies that focuses on cutting-edge home automation.
Class of 2019–2020
Abdullah Hassan (’20) interned at Wilkinson Barker Knauer, LLP in Washington, D.C., one of the nation’s leading telecommunications firms. He has been involved in multiple on-campus organizations including the International Law Students Association (vice president), the Corporate Law Society, and the Animal Legal Defense Fund. Abdullah has also served as a research fellow and member of the Management Board for the International Center for Law and Religion Studies.
Carla Swensen-Haslam (’21) is a proud dual citizen of the U.S. and Colombia. Her 1L summer was spent as an associate at Kirton McConkie in Salt Lake City, where she has accepted an offer to return next summer. Carla is a member of the Moot Court and Jessup Moot Court teams, and she will also become president of the Federal Bar Association in January. Outside of law school, Carla works as a professional on-air sports broadcaster for BYUtv, ESPN700, and other local networks.
Elizabeth Hilton (’20) has completed an externship at the Utah Supreme Court and was a summer associate at Alston & Bird in Washington, D.C. She has served in a variety of capacities including president of Women in Law and associate editor for the BYU Law Review. Deeply committed to immigration reform, Elizabeth sits on the board for the Immigration Law Forum and has volunteered in Dilley, Texas with the law school’s Refugee and Immigration Initiative.
George Simons (’20) is passionate about using skills gained from his joint JD/MBA degree to help close the justice gap. He is the co-founder of Lawble and SoloSuit, winning ventures of the Global Legal Hackathon, the Ballard Center’s Best Product and Best Venture, and the Rollins Center’s New Venture Challenge. Moving forward, George plans to continue leveraging technology as a means to liberate the captive and provide justice for all.
Heather Burton (’21) is a board member of Women in Law, a BYU Law student ambassador, and an associate editor for the Journal of Public Law. She has worked as a graduate mentor for the BYU Civics, Law, and Leadership Youth Camp, and as an extern at the Utah Court of Appeals and the Utah Supreme Court. Heather also serves as an adviser to the It Goes Around Youth Service Club, and is a food courier for Backyard Garden Share, a partner of the Utah Food Bank.
Jake Lee (’20) will be clerking for Judge Benson on the Federal District Court of Utah in 2020, and for Judge Eid on the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in 2021. Jake is also the former digital media director for Governor Herbert, as well as the former statewide college director for the Ted Cruz presidential campaign in Utah. In addition, Jake has interned with the Utah County Attorney’s Office, where he successfully argued a jury trial under the Third-Year Practice Rule.
Paul Fife (’20) is a managing editor for the BYU Law Review, a mentor to a local sixth grade student, and a volunteer arbitration panelist. He has completed externships for Baker McKenzie, Intermountain Healthcare, and Utah’s Fourth District Court, as well as an internship with Kirkland & Ellis LLP. Prior to studying law, he was a candidate for U.S. Congress and helped lead a company that specialized in providing the U.S. government with security, IT, and intelligence services.
Simone Aldredge (’20) leads the Black Law Students Association, is a senior editor with the BYU Law Review, and has interned for the Utah Supreme Court and the legal department of Cisco Systems, Inc. She has enjoyed serving local youth as a mentor to three elementary students, and has also researched solutions for improving opportunities available to Utah’s incarcerated youth. Earlier this year, BYU Law faculty awarded Simone the Meritorious Achievement and Distinguished Service Award.
Class of 2018–2019
Andrew Evans (’19) is pursuing a joint JD/MPA. He makes a significant contribution to the law school community as he leads the Black Law Students Association, works in the Center for Conflict Resolution, and is a research assistant in the Public Service Lab. Andrew serves as Company Commander of the 118th Transportation Company in the Utah National Guard.
Clark Jones (’20) interned at the Utah Attorney General’s Office and was a Summer Associate at McAngus, Goudelock, and Courie in Charlotte, North Carolina. He has served as a victim advocate with the Greensville, North Carolina Police Department. Clark is a member of the Polynesian Law Students Association and mentors first-year law students in the Academic Success Program.
Erika Nash (’19) is pursuing a joint JD/MBA. She has been involved in a variety of activities including Cougar Capital, a $3.9 million student-run venture capital fund, and LawX, a design incubator that tackles access to justice initiatives by developing new technology. Erika placed first in the Woody Deem Trial Advocacy Competition and published a thesis on wearable technology in the Journal of Public Law.
Gabriell Sabalones (’20) completed an externship with the Caribbean Area Legal Counsel of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She served as a research fellow and member of the Management Board for the International Center for Law & Religion Studies. Gabriell mentors fifth-grade students at Wasatch Elementary and sits on the board for the Latino Law Student Association.
Katie Rane (’20) is an associate editor on the BYU Law Review and is involved in multiple on-campus organizations. She is a board member of the Immigration Law Forum, 2L representative for the Public Interest Law Foundation, and member of both Women in Law and Black Law Students Association. Katie is involved in a research project to develop tools to aid asylum seekers in finding legal representation.
Taylor Murphy (’20) is pursuing a joint JD/MBA. He is the managing director of Cougar Capital, a $3.9 million student-run venture capital fund, and he placed first in the Global Venture Capital Investment Competition. Taylor is a member of the Business Law Society and has participated in LawX, a design incubator that tackles access to justice initiatives by developing new technology.