Faculty Spotlight: Brian Wall

Friday, October 8, 2021
Dean Brian Wall

What has been your favorite part of the new job so far?

I really, really love being a resource for students who need someone to talk to. Law school can be hard for everyone for any number of reasons, and my favorite part of what I do is being able to sit down with someone who is having a tough day or week (or a good day or week!), celebrate with them or mourn with them depending on what they need, and help them find the help they need whether that's just having a brainstorming/vent session or making any number of changes that can get them back to where they want to be.

What resources are available for students who need someone to speak with?

UNLV's Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) is a great resource, and it's free for students. One of the major things we learned last year is that, while CAPS is great for a lot of things, a number of our students really wanted to talk to someone who understood specifically what it was like to go to law school and the pressures that accompanied that, and this year we've partnered with the State Bar's Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers program, so any law student who needs help in that way can contact someone who understands what they're going through and can provide them with help. Our faculty and staff are also always here to lend a listening ear, and of course, my door/phone/Zoom window is always open.

What's the best piece of professional advice you've received that you would like to pass on?

That it's okay to change your mind. I went into both law school and grad school expecting to do very different things than I'm doing now, and I was very lucky to have mentors and teachers who encouraged me to explore things that I was interested in even if they weren't part of my life plan. My career has been less of a continuous plan and much more of a series of happy individual steps that led to something I could not have planned on my own, and in retrospect, I wouldn't have it any other way.

If you weren't the new Associate Dean for Student Affairs at Boyd, what would you be doing?

Well, at previous points in my life I was aiming to be a corporate litigator, a prosecuting attorney, and an English lit professor, so somewhere in the multiverse there's probably some version of me doing at least one of those things. As a kid I wanted to be Batman, an astronaut, or the boat driver at Walt Disney World - two of those are probably not going to happen, but there's still hope for the third someday! 

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