Melinda Bowen

“Some of my most rewarding opportunities have come through serving on boards and community groups. I would not of had the same opportunities if I had not gone to law school. For me, the ability to use the perspective I gained in law school to serve has meant a lot.”

Meet Melinda

After graduating from law school, Melinda practiced in the white collar criminal defense and commercial litigation practice groups at Snow Christensen & Martineau in Salt Lake City. She also clerked for Judge Tena Campbell of the United States District Court for the District of Utah and then for Judge Carolyn McHugh of the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. Working in criminal defense helped Melinda understand inclusiveness: “I had to see people as humans and promote them as humans in a way for other people to understand them.” Melinda is currently a visiting faculty member at BYU Law.

Finding Her Passion

Growing up with a Hawaiian/Filipino father and a white mother helped Melinda see the value of diverse perspectives. “My passion in the law is promoting inclusiveness. I helped form the Utah Center for Legal Inclusion where we collaborate with different segments of the legal profession including women, racial minorities, the LGBTQ community, and disabled attorneys to foster greater inclusion in the law. We want to make sure it’s a place where people want to make a career and a life.”

Law in Action

“In an hour of need, everyone wants to feel like someone has their back and is advocating for them. I’ve had the opportunity to do that with businesses and individuals who are facing criminal charges. One of the beauties of the law is to show both sides of a story and uncover all aspects that might otherwise be overlooked.”

Influential Figures

“Dean Hernandez helped me and my husband find a community at BYU Law, and he continued to be a mentor throughout law school. There were other professors who were also strong mentors including Professor Tom Lee who now serves on the Utah Supreme Court, and Professor Lisa Sun, who now is one of my colleagues. The BYU Law faculty are incredibly bright. They represent who I want to be as a professional as well as an individual—they are kind, giving, and generous people.”

Value of a Law Degree

“With my legal degree, I’ve been able to work with two different judges and see the inside of the courts at various federal levels which has given me a unique perspective of how our court system works.”

Finding Balance

Melinda loves doing anything outdoors with her family—from hiking to camping or fishing. Exercise, especially running, is also an outlet. She enjoys hitting the trails by her house and has run many marathons and half marathons. She has also been on multiple Ragnar relay teams. With both Melinda and her husband Dave (BYU Law, ‘09) working, she said, “We have to be creative in how we go about getting in the things that are important. It is an ongoing evaluation of what needs to happen at a particular time for my family; as long as it’s an open conversation, it works out.”

My History
Before BYU Law

Brigham Young University, BS

Academic Interest

Diversity and Inclusion

Criminal Justice Reform

Criminal Procedure

Beyond the Books





After BYU Law

United States District Court for the District of Utah, Law Clerk

Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, Law Clerk

Snow Christensen & Martineau, Of Counsel

BYU Law, Practitioner in Residence

Share This Page