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Dean's Column: Relevant Scholarship

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Nevada Lawyer Magazine
“As attorneys engaged in the community and in law reform at local and national levels, Boyd faculty members recognize a responsibility to share their expertise.”
Dean’s Column
ReLeVant sCHoLaRsHiP
Faculty members at the Boyd School of Law are committed to producing relevant scholarship. As attorneys engaged in the community and in law reform at local and national levels, Boyd faculty members recognize a responsibility to share their expertise. Scholarship produced at Boyd has far-reaching impact among both scholars and the practicing bar. Current faculty members at Boyd have authored or coauthored more than 600 law review articles and 170 books. These publications are frequently cited within the legal academy and by scholars in other disciplines. The impact of Boyd scholarship extends beyond the academy. Research undertaken at Boyd has influenced courts across the country and abroad. Moreover, national, state and local media outlets look to Boyd’s faculty for expertise and analysis of current events and developments in law. As students see their professors engaged in national and local issues, they appreciate the responsibilities of those within the profession to contribute to law reform and civil discourse. Scholarship authored by current members of the Boyd faculty has been cited more than 230 times by courts around the country. Eleven of the federal courts of appeal and 29 state courts of last resort – from Alaska to New Jersey to West Virginia – have looked to articles and books authored by Boyd faculty. Professor Jean Sternlight’s article, Using Arbitration to Eliminate Consumer Class Actions: Efficient Business Practice or Unconscionable Abuse, was cited in 2011 by the Supreme Court of Canada. Courts cite our faculty’s scholarship in decisions that address, among other topics, bankruptcy, constitutional law, dispute resolution, labor and employment, immigration, insurance, intellectual property and professional ethics. 32 Nevada Lawyer March 2012 Nearly every faculty member came to Boyd after practicing law, whether in a traditional law firm or public interest context. For many, the motivation to join the academy was twofold: a desire to work with students and an interest in effecting law reform. Those two ends often come together in a faculty member’s research. Much of our faculty’s scholarship relates directly to work in the classroom or community. Professor Anne Traum worked with students in Boyd’s Appellate Clinic on behalf of an individual facing deportation who claimed he was a citizen and could not be deported. During proceedings the client was denied access to his immigration file, kept by the Department of Homeland Security. Professor Traum and her students successfully argued before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals that the government’s failure to disclose the immigration file violated the client’s statutory and constitutional rights. The court’s landmark decision in Dent v. Holder, 627 F.3d 365 (9th Cir. 2010), established that every immigrant is entitled to access to his immigration file during deportation proceedings. Based on the clinic’s litigation success, Professor Traum was invited to develop a broader theory on securing immigrant rights, which she presented at the Floersheimer Center for Constitutional Democracy and recently published in the Cardozo Law Review. The article – Constitutionalizing Immigration Law on Its Own Path – which explores the constitutional basis for standardized procedural protections in immigration proceedings (such as an immigrant’s right to his own file) has received well-deserved attention from both immigration scholars and the immigration bar. If courts often look to the expertise of Boyd’s faculty in deciding cases, so does the media seek out faculty for
commentary on, and analysis of, current events. Faculty members have been quoted, cited or otherwise referenced on nearly 500 occasions in newspapers, magazines and television news programs. National newspapers, such as the Christian Science Monitor, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post and U.S. News and World Report, rely on the expertise of Boyd’s faculty to explain and analyze topics ranging from attorney ethics to the administration of veterans’ insurance policies and the role of unions in local and state elections. Members of the Boyd faculty have appeared on CBS News, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC and NPR. Foreign media, including BBC Radio, the International Herald Tribune and London’s Globe & Mail, have also turned to Boyd’s faculty for insights on United States law. While Nevada newspapers – the Las Vegas ReviewJournal, Las Vegas Sun, and Reno Gazette-Journal – most frequently cite our faculty, more than 80 other local papers around the country, including the Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune, Dallas Morning News, Los Angeles Times and San Francisco Chronicle, recognize our faculty’s scholarship and depend on our faculty’s commentary. The diversity of our faculty means that the perspectives they bring to national and local debates are not always consistent. Individual faculty members differ, for example, on whether judicial selection should be by appointment or election. Faculty participation in the debate helps inform the public on both sides of the issue. Boyd faculty members write so that they can make a difference. They are engaged in issues that are important to public discourse and they are recognized as experts by courts and the media alike. Their scholarship benefits all of us and encourages students, as citizens and as future members of the profession, to make similarly substantive contributions to community discussion and debate. March 2012 Nevada Lawyer 33

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