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Dean's Column: Diversity at the Boyd Law School

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STATE BAR OF NEVADA
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Nevada Lawyer Magazine
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“Our entering classes have consisted of 29-31 percent ethnic minority students in each of the last four years.”
Dean’s Column
BY DEAN JOHN VALERY WHITE
DiVeRsitY at tHe BoYD LaW sCHooL
Diversity is an extremely important value in contemporary society, and so it is at the William S. Boyd School of Law. Las Vegas is a diverse town with many transplants from around the world, bringing interesting experiences to Nevada – the Boyd School of Law is no different. From its inception the school has recruited a diverse faculty; it has hired a diverse support staff; and administration is focused on enrolling a diverse student body. Our entering classes have consisted of 29-31 percent ethnic minority students in each of the last four years. Consequently, we have ranked in the top quarter of law schools for diversity in annual rankings. We have also been near the top in individual rankings of law schools for Hispanic/Latino students and for “Mormon-friendly” law schools. Moreover, the average age in our entering classes tends to be older than in most public law schools, as our classes feature students from the business world, police officers and others embarking on second careers (as well as the traditional new college graduates). In four of the last five years, our entering class has contained at least one medical doctor. The value of diversity at the Boyd School of Law is realized not only in these ways but as a manifestation of our commitment to our community. We are steadfastly committed to this community. This commitment includes contributing directly to the development of effective law and policy for Nevada and more indirectly by supplying the community with excellently trained young lawyers that reflect the community. Diversity is a part of this process precisely because it makes us more effective at serving our community. We are still a young law school, but our presence is already felt throughout Nevada. Our graduates are now becoming partners in local firms, establishing their own successful firms, and attaining important positions in government practice and in businesses. And, they are being elected to political office. These graduates will continue to attain positions of greater significance and, as their numbers grow, become a major force in the future of Nevada. As this influence is realized, our obligation to ensure that our student body is diverse takes on a greater significance on par with our commitment to develop professional, skilled and effective attorneys and businesspeople.
36 Nevada Lawyer
May 2012

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