By: Thom Prince
It’s not uncommon to find Charlotte School of Law students and graduates striving to make an impact in the local community. Now, we have an alum making her presence felt all the way out in Iron County, Utah. In May 2013, Maile Wilson graduated from CSL. In November 2013, the citizens of Cedar City, Utah elected her as their first female mayor. At age 27, she has positioned herself to be a great influence in her community. Mayor-elect Wilson took some time out of her busy schedule preparing for her upcoming duties to chat with the Civil Rights Clinic.
Q: What drove you to take on the task of an election and the responsibilities of being a mayor?
A: I love my community and always knew that I would be very involved in serving the citizens. Further I have always enjoyed local government and the direct impact that the decisions made have on the residents of the community. I am fortunate to have a great City staff to work with and the support of the majority of the citizens of Cedar City and realize that together we can do great things over the next four years.
Q: For those of us who are unfamiliar, please describe the demographics and social or political challenges faced by the population of Cedar City?
A: Cedar City is located on the I-15 corridor, a major highway system connecting Montana, Idaho, Utah, Nevada, and California with access to other major Highway systems including I-40, I-70 and I-80. Over 8 million travelers pass through Iron County on the I-15 corridor each year.
Iron County is accessible to 48 million people or 86.5% of the western metropolitan population within one-day’s trucking.
Cedar City to:
- Denver………………596 Miles
- Las Vegas………….172 Miles
- Los Angeles………446 Miles
- Phoenix……………..398 Miles
- Salt Lake City…….253 Miles
- San Francisco……556 Miles
|U.S. Census Bureau QuickFacts (2010 Census)|
|Cedar City Population (2010)||28,857|
|Iron County Population (2010)||46,163|
|Persons under 5 years||9.5%|
|Persons under 18 years||28.2%|
|Persons 65 years and over||8.6%|
|Persons per household||2.75|
|Median household income 2006-2010||$40,382|
Q: What difficulties did you encounter during the election?
A: One of the most difficult parts of the election came during the primary election when I was attempting to study for the bar exam while campaigning. Thus, I had to work on time management and being very organized to try to fit everything that was required of me within the day.
Q: Was there anything you experienced during your time at Charlotte School of Law that prepared you for these difficulties, or for the rigors of campaigning?
A: Although I hated the Socratic Method during my time at CSL, it was one of the most beneficial aspects of my time at CSL. Also, I quickly realized that how law school teaches you to “think”, public speaking, and overall being prepared for anything that is presented were very useful.
Q: What do you wish you had done differently as a student?
A: I would have participated and taken more skills classes and clinics because both actually teach you about the practice of law.
Q: As an alum, what improvements would you like to see the school make for current and future students?
A: I hope that CSL doesn’t get so big that students can’t get the personalized attention and support from the professors that I enjoyed during my time at CSL and instead just turn into a number like they do at some other schools.
For example, one of my Contracts professors knew enough about each of his students that he could explain things in terms that the students related to and were based on the individual student’s interests. Thus, he explained the contract principals in sports terms to those students that like sports but would also explain the same concept in terms of shopping and shoes to those of us that understood those terms. This truly brought the concepts to life and made them concrete.
Q: Do you have any advice for students who are interested in a career in public service?
A: Develop thick skin! While that is true—also just love what you do, and if a career in public service is what you are passionate about, don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and go after your dreams.
Q: When should I expect my invitation to the inaugural ball?
A: I get sworn in on January 6th. You are welcome to come!!!