“Becoming comfortable with change and new experiences has been an important part of my journey,” says Tanner Schenewark. “I didn’t know what type of law I wanted to practice coming into law school. BYU Law gave me a lot of options and flexibility while I was figuring that out.”
A formative influence for Schenewark was his involvement with BYU Law’s Deals Academy, an immersive, multi-day deal making program in New York City that guides students through the process of mergers and acquisitions. “Being exposed to corporate law confirmed for me that it was the direction I wanted to go,” he says. Schenewark interned with Clifford Chance, a prestigious multinational law firm. After graduation he will join the firm’s transactional group. “There’s so much good that can be done from that platform––that’s one of the most exciting things about it for me,” he says.
Another highlight for Schenewark was a blockchain and cryptocurrency law course with Professor Matthew Jennejohn. “I was able to get involved with groups at Clifford Chance who were doing that type of work and feel really competent doing it,” he says. D. Gordon Smith, dean of BYU Law, also inspired Schenewark to think deeply about the future and how he could give back. Schenewark launched the New York Law Society, which invites practitioners from New York City firms to speak at BYU Law and also holds résumé and cover letter workshops tailored to corporate law. “We really want to build momentum and make that path easier for future students,” he says.
Ultimately, BYU Law has helped Schenewark to understand what drives his interests. “Law school has also done a good job of teaching me what really matters. One thing that can be crushing to law students their first year is the idea that you are defined by your grades,” he says. “If I had one message to send, it would be that being at BYU Law is enough. You have the tools to succeed. I hope future students will understand and be encouraged by that. You have every option open to you.”