Lee Warthen retires after 30 years at College of Law

Lee_Warthen_Fall14_rr7ekxAt more than three decades at the Faust/Quinney Law Library, Law Librarian and Adjunct Professor Lee Warthen will retire at the end of Spring Semester. Among his many contributions to the College, Warthen planned the library move and reorganization in the new building.  In 2014, he received the WestPac Distinguished Member Award from the Western Chapter of the American Association of Law Libraries in recognition of his exceptional service and achievements in the profession.

Post-retirement, Warthen says, many of his plans “are [his wife] Barbara’s, not mine.” “She has wanted to take me to Russia as a retirement trip for years,” he recounts. “The Volga region, where my maternal grandparents immigrated from, is top of the list, but we have to visit Moscow and St. Petersburg. We would also like to visit old friends in Europe, but that might be another trip.”

Closer to home, Warthen says, “there are a lot of fish out there just begging for me to catch them.”

“More seriously,” he continues, “I have been too busy to do much family history research in the last 3 or 4 years, and the technology has completely changed in that time, so I need to relearn search methods and get to work. I will probably also do volunteer work for the international area of the Family History Library. Two of my best friends work there.”

And although Warren may no longer be in the building on a daily basis, he plans to continue pursuing his academic interests. “I have an article on tainted evidence that I have been working on for a long time,” he says. “I would also like to move forward with the notable alumni project that I was working on before the planning for the new building intervened, and I would like to move that work along. That one is likely going to outlast my employment time, so it will become a volunteer project.”

He will also draw on his background in local politics and lobbying to work on criminal reform issues. “Parents in a therapy group have been asking about the effects of a criminal record on their children’s futures,” Warthen recounts. “This has led me to the area of collateral consequences that cause such a huge problem with those who thought they had paid their price for their crimes, and then find that their future is bleak because their record bars them from employment, housing, occupational licensing and many other benefits that the rest of us take for granted. This often leads to recidivism. Congress and the American Bar Association have called for reform, but these are state and local laws barring reentry and have to be dealt with on a local level. I want to be involved here in Utah, which is as harsh or harsher than other states.”

“And finally,” he concludes, “retirement will be such a great opportunity to sleep in when I feel like it.”