Tawni Hanseen Bugden is a Salt Lake City native. She began her criminal defense career at age 5 representing herself against numerous and mostly false accusations. She worked while putting herself through college at the University of Utah where she earned a B.A. in political science and a minor in Italian. Tawni served in the United States Peace Corps beginning in 1991 living in a remote village, Rotifunk, Sierra Leone, West Africa as a community health volunteer where she focused on HIV education and prevention. She had to immediately vacate from her village when Sierra Leone’s long and particularly atrocious civil war broke out.
Tawni graduated from the S.J.Quinney School of Law in 1997. She has worked at LDA since 2000 defending thousands of clients. She has tried numerous cases including, murder, aggravated murder, and sexual offenses. In addition to her regular felony caseload, Tawni is assigned to the Third District Mental Health Court. She is a member and former president of the Utah Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.