What's the most important thing you are working on right now?
Perhaps the most important thing I am working on right now is multi-tasking. Since I am teaching two Lawyering Process II courses, while also trying to take care of some administrative duties as Associate Dean for Experiential Learning at McGeorge, serving as chairperson of the Sacramento Ethics Commission, and parenting three teenagers, it is really hard to choose the most important thing. Fun fact: It appears that I will be attending the February Sacramento Ethics Commission meeting remotely from my office here at UNLV. For transparency and open meeting purposes, we will need to list my office as an official location for the meeting. You are all invited to attend.
How does your research and scholarship influence your teaching and service and vice versa?
Researching and writing makes me much more empathetic to the process that my students are experiencing in research and writing classes. It seems to me very difficult to inspire people to overcome researching obstacles and dead ends when you have not experienced that frustration yourself. When I teach writing and have the opportunity to edit student work at every stage in the process, it makes me a more intentional and competent editor of my own work. There is just no question that there is a symbiotic relationship between the discipline of LRW and the engagement in research and scholarship. In terms of how all of it fits in with service, I would simply state that there is nothing like being saddled with lots of committee work to reinforce time management and collaboration skills. I feel like I can serve as a good model for my students when I am demonstrably practicing those skills.
What is it about being a law school professor that inspires or motivates you?
It will likely sound corny, but I really loved law school. Being a law professor means that I get to go to law school for my whole adult life. I love the potential that the law has to transform people’s lives. I love the helping aspects of the profession. I love the exchange of ideas that happen in an academic community and the breadth of topics that we are exposed to on a law school campus. In addition to all of those things about law school, I really value the role that I can play as a law professor to support students at a critical time in their career development. There is nothing better than having alumni come back and let you know that something you said or did at a particular moment helped them to learn and succeed.