Rebekah-Anne Duncan (’17): Federal Clerk and Advocate for Kindness

By Danie Allen November 11, 2022

When Rebekah-Anne Duncan (formerly Gebler), first started at BYU Law, her father gave her this bit of advice: “It is always better to be kind than right.”  Her experience that followed at the Law School echoed her father’s counsel and centralized service as the driving force of her career. Rebekah-Anne still carries Dean James R. Rasband’s message from 1L Orientation at the forefront of her mind. Dean Rasband referenced President J. Reuben Clark Jr.'s 1947 General Conference address, “To Them of the Last Wagon”, and urged students to remember they are not meant to be lawyers solely for themselves, but rather to help those who cannot help themselves.

After law school graduation, Rebekah-Anne explored a variety of careers as she sought those of the “last wagon.” She participated in Utah County’s law clerk/bailiff program, where she attended the police academy for six weeks and was certified as a special function officer, as well as clerking for The Honorable Thomas Low of the Fourth District Court in Utah. She then relocated to St. George, where she currently resides, to focus on family law, contract law, and general litigation at Farris & Utley, PC. In her new Southern Utah surroundings, a complex adoption case for a Native American infant fulfilled her hope to use her law degree to serve those who cannot help themselves.

Rebekah-Anne's next job as Deputy County Prosecutor in Washington County started in the early beginnings of a COVID-19 world. She still remembers the exhilaration of winning her first case after navigating the complex challenges of COVID in a brand new role. This prosecution experience pivoted Rebekah-Anne’s interests to her current position as a federal clerk. She began clerking for the U.S. District Judge David Nuffer in St. George, Utah in September of this year. Her responsibilities include drafting bench memos and orders in response to a variety of motions both in civil and criminal cases, work that is quite different from fast-pace prosecution.

Rebekah-Anne prioritizes using her law degree to be kind outside of work. She served as a Private Guardian ad Litem at the Timpanogos Legal Center and hopes to continue this rewarding advocacy after her clerkship. Recently, Rebekah-Anne also served as the Chair for the Student Engagement Committee of the J. Reuben Clark Law Society (JRCLS) from 2019 to 2022. During her time, the committee reorganized to focus more on student chapters and their needs, including virtually hosting a religion and the law lecture series each month; launching a mentor program; and creating a more developed connection with student chapter leaders. She attributes the success of the committee to the help from her co-chair, Michael Newton, and the committee’s members.

Outside of work, Rebekah-Anne enjoys hiking, especially with her husband. Last year, she hiked the Grand Canyon, rim to rim. This year, she’ll be at the canyon again; this time as a cheerleader and driver for her husband as he completes the same hike.

Rebekah-Anne looks back on her BYU Law days fondly, reminiscing on the happy phone call from Dean Michelle Mumford, former Assistant Dean of Admissions, inviting her to be a part of BYU Law’s Class of 2017. She was grateful to find positive relationships, especially with adjunct professors, and credits her service-focused BYU Law education as an experience that has helped open the door for her current federal clerkship.

In heeding Dean Rasband’s plea to use her degree to seek those in the “last wagon,” Rebekah-Anne Duncan continues to serve and looks forward to future opportunities to help those in need; she claims that she is equally grateful to give and moved by the gratitude given to her by those whom she serves. Like many of her classmates and fellow alumni, she has wholeheartedly embraced BYU Law’s mission to “combine faith and intellect in lifelong service to God and neighbor.”