The Career Development Office organizes the Alternative Spring Break program to occur during a portion of the Boyd School of Law’s spring break. The goal of the Alternative Spring Break program is to expose Boyd students of all class years to access to justice needs throughout Nevada. We hope that after participating in the Alternative Spring Break program, students will be interested in returning to the rural counties to serve those who are in need of better access to legal services and information.
During the 2016 Alternative Spring Break program, 6 Boyd students visited southern Nevada. During the trip, they volunteered at Catholic Charities and Three Square Food Bank, traveled to Pahrump and Amargosa, met with judges and public interest attorneys, observed court proceedings, and participated in Ask-a-Lawyer events.
View the 2016 Alternative Spring Break photos here.
Listen to students interviewed on Nevada Public Radio here.
Read the Pahrump Valley Times article about Alternative Spring Break here.
Testimonials from the the 2016 Alternative Spring Break participants
"This program was an amazing opportunity to be active and productive during Spring Break. One of my favorite moments was volunteering at Catholic Charities and Three Square. As a 1L it is hard finding time to volunteer for community service. During this program, I was able to help our community, bond with those who were also in the program, and learn about additional opportunities to stay involved. From learning more about our Legal Aid services here in Southern Nevada to networking with attorneys and judges, this was the best way to spend Spring Break."
-Seleste Wyse (Class of 2018)
"I participated in alternative spring break not only to get involved in my community and meet the wonderful and gracious people behind Southern Nevada's food banks and charity kitchens, but to simultaneously become close to my classmates as we further our journey at Boyd School of Law. Seeing just how much food insecurity Southern Nevada has greatly affirmed my perspective and humility that I am extremely lucky to have a roof over my head and food on my table, let alone the chance to be in law school. Furthermore, the connections I made with judges, Legal Aid Center staff, and other courtroom officials has been invaluable in assessing my future career goals of becoming a judge. Even though it took time away from relaxing during the break, the sense of accomplishment and self worth I felt after completing the program made me wish I could do it all over again, and the little time I lost relaxing was more than worth it for the experiences, insight, advice, and connections I made."
-Bryce Moir (Class of 2018)
"I chose to participate in Alternative Spring Break because I thought it would be a great opportunity to give back to our community. On our first day at Catholic Charities and Three Square, I was impressed to see members of our community coming together to support one another. I felt humbled as I saw the everyday struggles people are dealing with, and it encouraged me to spend more time in the future to help support these great programs.
Volunteering with Nevada Legal Services and the Legal Aid Center was also a great opportunity to see the public service options for those who are unable to afford an attorney. It really sheds a light on how many people within our community are left without options to obtain justice and just how much these services help them. This experience encouraged me to look for and participate in public service programs once I graduate from Boyd.
Additionally, Alternative Spring Break was a great opportunity to meet with Judges and Attorneys within our community. We met with many people working in public interest positions and were able to gain insight on the work that they do, helping us plan for our futures."
-Lyssa Owens (Class of 2018)
"The most important thing that I took away from Alternative Spring Break was a sense of Southern Nevada as a community. As a transplant to Las Vegas I tend to see very little besides the law school and my apartment. It was very valuable to me to see the full life cycle of Las Vegas potatoes, sorting and bagging them at Three Square and chopping them at Catholic Charities. I was heartened to hear about all of the local businesses that donate to and support Three Square (like Sprinkles Cupcakes). It is shocking that Three Square turns every dollar they receive into three meals distributed. Similarly, both the Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada and Nevada Legal Services provide a breadth and quality of service that surpassed my expectations. It was edifying to sit in on ask-a-lawyer sessions and learn how different the troubles people have with their neighbors in Pahrump are from their house rental troubles in Las Vegas. I was impressed by the warmth and generosity of all of the judges who took us into their chambers, particularly Judges Wanker and Kishner. During Alternative Spring Break I saw judges chambers in a courthouse with very tight security (the RJC) and a courthouse with no security at all. I was panhandled outside a Japanese steakhouse in a town that has a jet-pack amusement park but no movie theater. I saw parts of Southern Nevada I never expected to see. Ultimately, I met a lot of people who work to make Southern Nevada a better place and saw how they work together in ways that even they may not be aware."
-Daniel Hansen (Class of 2017)
During the 2015 Alternative Spring Break program, 8 Boyd students visited Minden, Carson City, Reno, and McCarran, Nevada. During the trip, they met with prosecutors, public defenders, lobbyists, judicial clerks, social justice attorneys, and judges; attended legislative sessions; observed court proceedings; and volunteered at the Food Bank of Northern Nevada.
View the 2015 Alternative Spring Break photos here.
Testimonials from the the 2015 Alternative Spring Break participants
“The experience was great because we got to see such a wide range of possibilities in terms of what lawyers do: from Volunteer Attorneys for Rural Nevadans to Deputy Attorney Generals, to the actual work of those who make the law, lobbyists, and of course a host of Boyd alumni.”
- Christopher Blandford (Class of 2017)
“A highlight as well as learning experience involved meeting and listening to Jon Sasser speak. He is a lobbyist for several public interest organizations across Nevada and he spoke with us about how legislative sessions worked, what he did during the year to prepare for bills and amendments that would be beneficial towards the interests of his clients, and how he strategized year after year to create legislation. After listening to him, I’m considering perhaps doing a legislative externship in the future."
- Jonathan Chung (Class of 2017)
“The trip only made my future career path more murky, as now I find lobbying, legislating, and criminal defense fascinating!”
- Kory Koerperich (Class of 2017)
“I made many connections and learned a lot from everyone I met. I have a greater appreciation for the work that attorneys do in rural parts of Nevada and after seeing all the great things Boyd alumni are doing, I feel confident that I picked the right line of work and the right law school to be a part of.”
- Haley Lewis (Class of 2016)
“The trip provided many opportunities to meet attorneys and create relationships. It was my first exposure to the legislative process and I found it intriguing.”
- Ty Maynarich (Class of 2016)
“I also learned a lot about the inner workings of our State Senate and Assembly through witnessing a hearing on a bill regarding bullying in schools, and through talking to lobbyists for various entities, such as the Office of the Clark County Public Defender.”
- Seth Strickland (Class of 2017)
“This trip helped shape my future goals by helping me understand the Criminal Law field. I have always been interested in Civil Law and I did not know much about Criminal Law. After observing and talking with the Deputy Public Defenders in Reno, this experience sparked my interest in Criminal Law.”
- John "Tyler" Mowbray (Class of 2017)
“I learned a vast amount about the local history in Carson City. I think it is important to thoroughly understand the culture of a city you want to work and live in. Lawyers who feel a sense of belonging will probably become better advocates for the populations they serve.”
- Wynn Tashman (Class of 2017)