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Dean's Column: By Guest Writer Prof. Steve Johnson

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APRIL 2009
The William S. Boyd School of Law enrolled its first students in the 1998-1999 academic year. Thus, the 20082009 academic year marks the law school’s tenth year. As we have described in previous installments of this column, this decade has been one of great service and achievement for the law school. Our Thomas & Mack legal clinics, our community service program and our Saltman Center for Conflict Resolution have all helped educate Nevadans and assisted in meeting their legal needs. Our faculty’s scholarship has gained national attention and has influenced legislation, judicial decisions and law reform efforts in Nevada and nationally. Our students have won national championships and numerous other honors in moot court and practice simulation competitions. The law school is highly ranked nationally in public interest law, legal process and writing, dispute resolution, clinical education, research productivity and overall. Our graduates have landed jobs in leading law firms, and dozens of our graduates have earned clerkships, including clerkships with justices of the Nevada Supreme Court and judges of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Graduates of the Boyd School of Law are a substantial and increasingly influential part of the bar in Nevada. We began our commemoration of the law school’s first decade with a Ten-Year Anniversary Kickoff Celebration at the law school in April 2008. Building on this momentum, the law school hosted a series of seven continuing legal education programs on topics of current importance to Nevada. Although open to all, the programs were particularly designed to be useful to students and graduates of the law school, since they are, and always will be, at the core of this enterprise. In April 2008, the law school offered a forum on the new advertising rules for lawyers. The forum featured Justice James Hardesty of the Nevada Supreme Court, Dean John White and Professor Jeffrey Stempel of the Boyd School of Law, and prominent Nevada attorneys William Turner, Kathleen England, Dominic Gentile, Edward Bernstein and Richard Myers. In June 2008, our program examined. The Immigration Consequences of Criminal Activity. The program considered the intersection of immigration and criminal
law and examined the repercussions of conviction for immigration purposes, crimes involving moral turpitude and aggravated felonies and sentencing considerations. White, Associate Dean David Thronson and Professor Raquel Aldana of the law school participated, along with Amy Johnson of the Clark County Public Defender’s Office and Assistant Federal Defender Jason Carr. In September 2008, we explored The State of Gaming in Nevada, including legal issues associated with the trends of Nevada-based gaming entities expanding abroad and of foreign entities investing on and off the strip. Associate Dean Steve Johnson of the Law School moderated. The panelists were Kim Sinatra of Wynn Resorts, Michael Neilson of Crown Limited of Australia, Mark Clayton, then of the Nevada Gaming Control Board, and internationally preeminent Nevada gaming law attorneys and adjunct faculty members of the law school Bob Faiss and Tony Cabot. The event was sponsored by the Greenberg Traurig law firm. In October 2008, our program evaluated The State of Diversity in the Legal Profession. This session featured Justice Michael Douglas of the Nevada Supreme Court, Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto; Dean John White; Bryan Scott, Chairman of the Diversity Committee of the State Bar of Nevada; Punam Mathur of MGM Mirage; and Jennifer Carleton of the law firm of Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, which sponsored the event. In December 2008, our program dealt with The Future of the Economy and Tax Structure in Nevada, discussing the processes by which tax statutes are enacted and tax regulations are promulgated in Nevada and by which controversies as to the application of the tax laws are resolved. The program also probed the constraints on tax policy imposed by the current climate of economic and budgetary stress. The panelists were George Kelesis of the Nevada Tax Commission, Carole Vilardo of the Nevada Taxpayers Association, Jeremy Aguero of Applied Analysis, and prominent Nevada attorneys Sam McMullen and Bob Anderson. Anderson also is an adjunct faculty member of the law school. White and Johnson also participated. In February 2009, our program looked at The State of the Business Courts in Nevada, including the advantages and disadvantages of such courts and the directions in which they
APRIL 2009
may develop in the state. Professor Rachel Anderson and Johnson participated in the event along with Nevada Secretary of State Ross Miller; Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez of the Eighth Judicial District; Paula Gentile, Co-Chair of the Article 6 Commission of the Nevada Supreme Court; and Nevada attorneys Paul Hejmanowski and D. Neal Tomlinson. The law school’s celebration of its first decade concluded in March 2009 with a program on How the Bar and the Law School Can Work Together to Prepare New Lawyers for Practice in Nevada, along with a reception at the law school. A high point of the reception was presentation and signing of a book by attorney and adjunct faculty member Bob Faiss, detailing the first 50 years of modern gaming regulation in Nevada. The luminaries who so generously contributed their time, talents and resources to our first-decade celebratory events illustrate one of the most important aspects of our past, our present and, we believe, our future. The law school has received extraordinary support from the bench and bar of Nevada and from governmental officials, business leaders and donors in Nevada. We are deeply grateful for that support. We know that the tremendous achievements of the law school’s first decade would not have been possible without that support, and we hope with such support to continue our trajectory of excellence in the law school’s next decade.
STEVE JOHNSON is the E.L. Wiegand Professor and Associate Dean for Faculty Development and Research at the William S. Boyd School of Law. He is a frequent speaker at law conferences throughout the United States and has authored numerous books and articles. His work has been cited by the United States Supreme Court and many other courts, administrative agencies and commentators.

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