TORRINGTON – “This scholarship will serve as a constant reminder that excellence is a habit, and that I must constantly strive to be a better person, friend, and advocate than I was the day before,” – Torrington native Emily Madden, recipient of the University of Wyoming College of Law’s Judge Clarence A. Brimmer Scholarship for 2018-19.
“The Judge Clarence A. Brimmer Scholars Program honors Judge Brimmer’s long and distinguished services to the District of Wyoming, its bar, and its citizens as a Judge of the District Court,” the UW College of Law website explains (uwyo.edu/law). “The substantial scholarship of $10,000-plus is awarded to the student who has demonstrated ‘excellence’ while in law school. The Scholarship committee considers the academics, service, involvement and leadership of the applicants. It is an extraordinary honor to be the recipient of this award, as well as being a finalist.”
In addition to submitting a list of honors, activities, work experience, volunteer efforts, and leadership positions during her time with the College of Law, as well as a resume and a 500-word essay, Madden was interviewed by a panel of judges, including the Honorable Lynne Boomgaarden (Wyoming Supreme Court), the Honorable Kate Fox (Wyoming Supreme Court), the Honorable William U. Hill (Wyoming Supreme Court-retired), Lindsay Hoyt (Assistant Dean, College of Law), Brandi Monger (Clerk for Chief Justice Nancy D. Freudenthal), Lily Sharpe (State Court Administrator for the Wyoming Supreme Court) and Professor Steve Easton (UW College of Law).
Ultimately, Madden was one of two recipients out of eight total finalists. Typically, only one finalist receives the award, but both Madden and Keeley Cronin of Powell were deemed “particularly remarkable”.
“I am truly honored that I was chosen as a recipient by such a distinguished panel and amongst such an accomplished group of finalists,” Madden said. “I am extremely humbled that members of the bar, the judiciary, and the faculty at the College of Law believe that I have what it takes to excel in the legal field.”
Although she remains humble, the 2011 Torrington High School graduate has not wasted time garnering experience and accolades. She graduated cum laude from the University of Dallas in 2015, receiving a Bachelor of Arts in business; became a candidate for a master’s in public administration from the University of Wyoming in 2015 while working as a policy analyst for Gov. Matt Mead; and matriculated into the law program in 2016 and will graduate with a Juris Doctor degree and MPA in 2019.
During her time at law school, Madden has also completed externships for Judge Kelly Rankin, Chief Magistrate Judge for the United States Court for the District of Wyoming and Judge Tori Kricken, Judge for Wyoming’s District Court in Albany County.
This summer, Madden plans to intern for The Spence Law Firm in Jackson, and extern for Judge Gregory Phillips, who sits on the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, when she returns to Laramie in the fall.
“I was always hoping for a career that would be challenging and dynamic, but it was my internship on Capitol Hill that drove me to pursue the law,” Madden said. “The internship highlighted the gap between what is and what ought to be, and I felt particularly drawn to law school to learn how to someday bridge that gap for ordinary citizens.
“I have a passion for Wyoming, litigation, and personal injury law,” she continued. “I hope to combine these passions after graduation.”
A few of Madden’s extracurricular activities include acting as past-president of the University of Wyoming College of Law’s Phi Alpha Delta Chapter, the school’s largest law fraternity; research assistant for Professor Melissa B. Alexander, where she primarily researched the intersection between healthcare and law; teaching assistant during the 2018-19 school year for the Legal Writing program; and appointment as Editor-in-Chief of the Wyoming Law Review for the 2018-2019 term – one of the highest honors conferred by the College of Law.
“The Wyoming Law Review … is a peer-reviewed journal that publishes articles written by practitioners, professors, and students,” Madden said. “As a second-year student, I published an article in the journal analyzing a recent piece of congressional legislation that, if enacted, will preempt a provision in the Wyoming Constitution. I recommend steps forward for the Wyoming legislature if the congressional legislation is passed, with the recommendations preserving the purpose behind the constitutional provision and the fundamental objectives of medical malpractice law.”
Madden has also shadowed Judge Nancy D. Freudenthal, Chief Justice of the United States District Court for the District of Wyoming, through a program called Legal Liftoff; assisted in the publication of a report on human rights abuses in Ethiopia to be used by the Immigration Bar; been recognized as a finalist in the 9th Annual Robert R. Rose Jr. Voir Dire Competition; conducted legislative history research for the Rural Law Center; and is a member of Equal Justice Wyoming and the Wyoming Trial Lawyers Association.
“My family taught me from a very early age that I could do whatever I wanted to, so long as I tried my hardest,” Madden, who is the daughter of Shawn and Pollie, said. “It is this instilled mentality that has allowed me to get this far in my career, and their continuing support that will help me go even farther.
“Thank you to everyone in Goshen County for the constant support and well-wishes that you give me every time I am home,” she added. “It is always delightful and encouraging to hear from everyone and the support has undoubtedly helped me get to where I am today.”