Paying It Forward

Assistant City Attorney Sally Galati (’05)
Assistant City Attorney Sally Galati (’05)

By: Paul Szydelko

When she was a student at the William S. Boyd School of Law at UNLV, Sally Galati wielded a big red casebook when she, her husband, and their two young sons were on a Pacific Northwest road trip. To occupy her younger son, no more than 7 years old, she asked him to read the Miranda case aloud. He read it with exaggerated inflection, entertaining everyone in the car.

Symbolizing the school’s commitment to nontraditional students, Galati was 40 and had an advanced career as an electrical engineer when she began studying the law part-time in 2001. She had worked from engineer to vice president of distribution engineering in almost 16 years for the Nevada Power Co. (now NV Energy). When the company merged with Sierra Pacific Resources, she became familiar with corporate law and applied to the law school.

“I figured having the engineering background and getting a law degree, I could become a patent lawyer. By the time I graduated four years later, I really had more of an affinity toward corporate
law. ... The crazy thing after that is then I became a prosecutor—which was weird.”

After a stint as a deputy city attorney (criminal division) in Las Vegas, four years as a Henderson assistant city attorney and a couple of years in private practice, Galati has been back in Henderson’s civil division since 2019. She handles real estate, contract and land-use law.

Galati credits Boyd Law with bolstering her curiosity and empowering her to remain open for opportunities beyond her original goals.

“The Nevada and Las Vegas communities threw incredible resources into [opening] the law school, and I will be eternally grateful for all of their efforts to provide a law school where the community was lacking in legal representation,” she says.

Now she says she has an obligation to pay it forward and encourage potential law students. It’s an effort that includes persuading that precocious son, now a marketing specialist for a local engineering firm, to take the LSAT and apply to Boyd Law soon.