ALUMNI: Meet Shelby Moench

By Angela Turnbow

Shelby Moench learned that hard work really does pay off and is indeed very rewarding, especially when it comes to a certain professor’s quizzes.

Moench is a recent graduate of the Master of Legal Studies program, a three-semester executive degree program designed to help working professionals gain a better understanding of the law and legal system without them having to practice as an attorney. Classes are held every other Friday and Saturday throughout the year at the law school so professionals are still able to work full-time.

The College of Law learned more about Moench’s law school experience in the MLS program in a recent Q&A.

Q: What made you interested in pursuing an MLS degree?
I work in research at Intermountain Healthcare and I am the director of the Human Subjects Research Protection Program. My job involves ethics, compliance and regulations, so legal studies seemed like a natural fit. I had been interested in pursuing a master’s degree for some time, but I was looking for a program that would allow me to continue to work full-time.

Q: What do you do today? How did your time in the MLS program shape and/or help what you are currently doing?
I have the same job as when I started. I wasn’t seeking a career change and I love my field and my job, but I would say the MLS program broadened my perspective. I feel my work experience and now my degree will help my career grow and help me consider new paths that I might not have thought of otherwise.

Q: What is one memorable experience from the MLS program that will always stay with you?
Professor Dryer insists his “quizzes” are not hard . . . it is NOT TRUE! But in all seriousness, a moment that really sticks with me is taking the first test I had taken in 20 years. I hadn’t felt that kind of test anxiety for a long time! I had to take a minute and remind myself that I can do hard things! I survived Professor Dryer’s quizzes. In fact, I did really well on one. When he told me my score, I said, “Wow! It’s a miracle.” He reminded me that it wasn’t luck, but hard work and it was a score I earned! It is a reminder to me that hard work pays off and the success from hard work is very rewarding.

Q: How did you balance your personal life while pursuing an MLS degree and working full-time?
Balance was challenging, especially during COVID-19. My work in research became more demanding than ever. I was also helping my 6th grader with homeschool. It was insane! The MLS program is set up to help with that balance. If I needed to miss a class or leave for a meeting or call, the professors were very flexible and absolutely supportive and understanding.

Q: What advice would you give others who are considering enrollment in the MLS program?
I would just re-emphasize what I mentioned above. It isn’t easy for working professionals to head back to school – but the students in this program are smart, capable and can do hard things!