Public Interest Fellowship: Cherise Bacalski
BYU Law graduate Cherise Bacalski, who completed a Public Interest Fellowship, describes her experience as a blessing. “During my 3L year I birthed a cute little human, and completed around 250 hours of pro bono service. After I took the Utah bar, I put my feet up and realized . . . I didn’t have a job,” Bacalski said. “BYU Law announced the creation of ten yearlong fellowships, I was able to jump on the opportunity to live my dream,” Bacalski said.
BYU Law and Laura Dupaiz, Division Chief of Criminal Appeals at the Utah Attorney General’s Office, both agreed to sponsor Bacalski for her fellowship. “Under Laura’s tutelage, I drafted ten criminal appeals, mooted many dozen arguments, and argued one case off-brief before the Utah Court of Appeals,” Bacalski said. She wrote appeals with the variety of both state and federal issues.
"Most importantly, I learned that the standard of review is king and that each issue in a case may have a different standard. I quickly fell in love with the work and slowly fell in love with that division," Bacalski said.
"Even though my fellowship has ended, it continues to bless my life: I am positive I owe my upcoming clerkship with Justice John Pearce of the Utah Supreme Court not only to Justice Pearce for taking a chance on me, but to Laura Dupaix and BYU Law for filling me with just enough confidence, hope, and faith to apply," Bacalski closed with.
Bacalski was offered a position clerking with Senior Judge Pamela Greenwood during the interim between her fellowship and clerkship this summer.