Erin Cranor’s first interaction with the International Center for Law and Religion Studies was while attending the Religious Freedom Annual Review in the summer of 2016. She was serving on the school board in Las Vegas and attended the conference to gain more insight into protected class legislation around sexual orientation and gender identity issues as well as looking for ways to promote civility in the conversation. A year later she would return to Provo as a first year law student and spend the summer of 2018 assisting in the organization of the Religious Freedom Annual Review and serving an externship at the Office of General Counsel, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, in Salt Lake City.
Erin found herself busy the first few weeks of the summer overseeing volunteers and the general logistics of the Religious Freedom Annual Review. Under the direction of Center Associate Director Elizabeth Clark and Conference Liaison Sharman Blood, she organized the student fellows and other volunteers and made sure that delegates were where they should be when they needed to be during the conference. This included managing airport runs and other ground transportation for delegates, scheduling students to cover conference sessions, and assisting with set up, audio visual issues, and various other tasks.
Following the Religious Freedom Annual Review, she began an externship at the Office of General Counsel of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Salt Lake City. Over the next six weeks, she took part in 20 different projects. She was mentored by nine seasoned attorneys. “I learned something from each of them,” Erin said. “I found it surprising and fun that I used specific knowledge from each of my 1L classes except for torts and civil procedure.” During her externship she calculated that she gained experience in roughly 14 areas of law, from contracts to various areas of tax law, from human rights education to United Nations Treaty Law, to name a few.
“This externship has exceeded all my expectations for learning, challenge, and skills development,” Cranor said. “I have received great mentorship both with respect to the practice of law and with respect to my personal continued preparation for a career in law. After this externship I am totally convinced I chose the right career. I love the law!”