July 2017 Alumni Spotlight: Bryson Morgan

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Bryson Morgan is an attorney with the Washington, D.C. based law firm Caplin and Drysdale. He graduated from the University of Utah in 2007 with a degree in political science and a minor in economics. Following his time at the University of Utah, he graduated from Harvard Law School. He is a recipient of the prestigious Harry S. Truman Scholarship.

Q: Tell us about your Hinckley experiences. 

A: I interned with the Utah State Legislature in 2004 and the Campaign Legal Center in 2006.  Between 2004 and 2007 I worked as a staff assistant at the Hinckley Institute, led the Hinckley Institute Student Alliance (“HISA”), which was an umbrella organization for politically-focused groups on campus, served as a Hinckley Forum host, and took and served as a teaching assistant in a handful of political science courses associated with the Hinckley Institute taught by Dr. Dan Jones, Dr. Ron Hrebenar, Dr. Tim Chambless, and others. I also traveled with then-Hinckley Institute Interim Director Dr. Hrebenar to Lithuania to study the development of interest groups in that country, which was an incredible experience. Like so many of my civically-minded peers, the Hinckley Institute was my “home” on campus throughout my time at the University of Utah.

 Q: What is your favorite Hinckley memory?

A: I have too many great memories to select one. Working with Dr. Ron Hrebenar, Dr. Dan Jones, Kirk Jowers, and the Hinckley Institute staff was inspiring. Interning with the Utah Legislature opened my eyes to the legislative process and triggered my passion for ethics, redistricting, and campaign finance reform. I also had the task, as a Hinckley staffer, of preparing a slideshow for the Hinckley Institute’s 40th Anniversary Gala featuring dozens of photos of past intern groups. I will never forget going through those pictures and recognizing that many of the interns went on to lead distinguished lives and careers of public service. Hinckley intern group pictures are rather accurate previews of Utah’s future political and civic leadership.

Q: How did the Hinckley impact your undergraduate education?

A: The Hinckley Institute supplemented my coursework with real-life experiences, and allowed me to focus my time at the University of Utah on developing skills valued in the work-a-day world. Scholarships made available by the Hinckley Institute, such as the Matheson Leadership Scholarship, allowed me to focus more time on my education and preparation for law school. 

How did the Hinckley impact your competitiveness for grad school/your career?

A: The Hinckley Institute staff, especially Kirk Jowers and Dr. Dan Jones, encouraged me to apply for the Harry S. Truman Scholarship, and being selected as a Truman Scholar and my other Hinckley experiences gave me a tremendous advantage in applying to law school.  The political science department provided my education, but the Hinckley Institute opened the door to my career.  There is a direct connection between what I do today, as a political law attorney practicing in Washington, DC, and the experiences I had as a Hinckley intern.  In fact, I still work for the very person for whom I interned in Washington, DC in 2006 as a Hinckley intern at the Campaign Legal Center.