Recollections – Rosemary Richardson










Rosemary Richardson, #84 of Utah’s First 100 Women Lawyers
Professional Summary:
Born in Albany, California, Richardson earned her J.D. from the University of Utah in 1975.  She had “36 years of experience practicing law in transactional and litigation areas – twenty-five years as in-house counsel for PacifiCorp/UP&L specializing in energy transmission, real property, environmental and regulatory matters; and eleven years as part-time sole-practitioner.” As a corporate attorney, her work entailed analyzing legal issues, preparing documents, researching, writing, advising staff and management, overseeing compliance with federal and state agency rules and regulations, litigating property-related matters, negotiating transactions, and managing other attorneys. Since retiring from UP&L, she takes pro bono cases involving mostly family and contract matters, and writes scholarly papers with a colleague from the U.K. “As my English friend and I both have a long-standing interest in Spain and Portugal (since we were in graduate school together), and we want to improve conditions for women and the poor on the Iberian Peninsula, we have published and presented papers concerning such subjects as ‘Spanish Women and Entrepreneurial Ventures’ and ‘Immigration in Portugal,’ making comparisons to matters in the US.”

On Her Greatest Accomplishment Or Contribution As A Woman Lawyer:
“I was the first woman to join the all-male legal department at Utah Power & Light in 1975, when I graduated from law school. But I don’t consider that an ‘accomplishment’ really; it was more like a lucky fact, because affirmative action had just started.”

Recommendation To Other Women Lawyers During Their Careers:
“Think of ‘success’ as being satisfied with your work, not something measured by the final tally of ’wins’ or ‘losses’ in court. Focus on the quality of your work.”

Favorite Memory Or Story Related To Being A Woman Lawyer:
“Although it is not related to being a woman lawyer, in particular, my favorite memory as corporate counsel is working with small groups of professional engineers, as a team. We prepared cases together. Their practical insights contributed greatly to the legal aspects, and our mutual enthusiasm and interest made the projects enjoyable.”

Advice To Newly Admitted Female Members Of The Bar:
“Be prepared. Be thorough in understanding the issues, finding facts, interviewing witnesses, and researching the law. Good preparation is more important than trying to develop tricky legal strategies. Be ready to think about the solution, not [just] the angle. Give all your cases – big or small – the attention they deserve.”

Rosemary passed away on November 24, 2016 after a short but courageous battle with cancer.