Helping others heal has been an important aspiration of BYU Law student Andee DeVore ‘17. She originally intended to fulfill this desire by attending medical school. She had completed her medical pre-requisite courses and graduated in public health when she felt nudged in a different direction. As she considered options, her brother, who was finishing law school, planted a seed: “He recommended looking into law school; after that point, I couldn’t stop thinking about the possibility. Within a year it turned into a reality.”
At the beginning of DeVore’s law school experience, she worried about not having a career that would give her the opportunity to help people heal. However, as time proceeded, she learned that lawyers help people heal in different ways. “Though it may not necessarily be healing of the physical body, lawyers can heal people by guiding them through disputes and providing them with peace in their lives,” she said.
DeVore’s interest in the healing aspect of the law led her to mediation. “Mediation…gives parties an opportunity to candidly address all of their relational issues and come to a resolution they believe is fair for everyone involved,” she said. DeVore continued to develop mediation skills she learned in the classroom through clinical work.
One clinical experience that stands out in DeVore’s memory was helping two parties who were not seeing eye-to-eye on an issue come together. “Talking things out and helping them understand where the other side was coming from really helped them to fix that relationship, and perhaps they even returned to a relationship that was stronger than in the beginning,” she said.
During DeVore’s second year of law school, she was the ADR Society President and had the opportunity to present her research on women and peace negotiations at the Peace and Justice Conference at Utah Valley University. Currently, DeVore works at the BYU Center for Conflict Resolution.
DeVore will miss her experience at BYU Law, particularly the people. “My classmates and professors have instilled in me a deep desire to use my law degree to benefit and serve others, and my greatest wish is that I will be able to live up to their examples,” she said.
After graduation, DeVore plans to work for a mediation firm in Provo. “I’m really looking forward to strengthening my mediation skills so I can help other people find healing,” she said. In addition, DeVore will work towards fulfilling her dream to create an NGO geared toward providing higher education and ADR training to women in developing countries. “Mediation skills can be helpful in every aspect in life,” she said.