40 Years of Influence: Scott Cameron

Scott Cameron was teaching English at Rick’s College when he received a letter from Bruce Hafen inviting him to apply to the J. Reuben Clark Law School.

“I wasn’t thinking about going to law school, but reading the letter lit something inside me, and I decided to give it a chance,” Cameron said. He drove from Rexburg, Idaho to Salt Lake City to take the LSAT, completed his application, and soon after became a member of BYU Law’s charter class.

Classes were held at a former Catholic elementary school, affectionately nicknamed St. Reuben’s for the first two years of the news school while the current building was bing constructed on BYU campus. Instead of carrels, the students studied at banquet tables from the chapel with tape marking each student’s space. They gathered in the cafeteria, a room Rex Lee named the Great Hall.

“There was a pioneering feel to St. Reuben’s among the faculty and students,” Cameron said. “There was a strong sense of community, and I think that is what I loved the most about it.”

While in law school, Cameron served as the Student Bar Association President. “We didn’t know what the Student Bar Association was supposed to do,” he said. Because there were no upperclass students to consult, the SBA frequently consulted with the faculty.

Cameron spent a large portion of his career serving BYU Law as Dean of Admissions, working with alumni and the J. Reuben Clark Law Society including publishing The Clark Memorandum. “My story is unique in that I came back to the Law School and was there for another quarter century,” he said.

As Dean of Admissions, Cameron had the opportunity to travel the country to visit alumni and see the influence BYU Law had on their lives. “Visiting alumni at their law office, at their home, or in their community, I could see how their lives had turned out, generally in a very happy way—you could see the influence,” he said. According to Cameron, many BYU Law alumni would probably not have attended law school if it were not for the opportunity to learn in a spiritually enriching environment.

Cameron’s favorite part of being Dean of Admissions was watching the growth of the students during and after their legal education. “I really loved seeing young people come in with such great potential and then graduate with value added and watch it play out in years to come,” he said.