UNLV William S. Boyd School of Law
Boyd Briefs
Dec. 1, 2016
UNLV William S. Boyd School of Law
From Dean Dan

Yesterday, we held our last Faculty Enrichment event of the semester and celebrated several books published recently by our faculty. We toasted the launch of Masculinity at Work, written by Professor Ann McGinley; Examples & Explanations: Legal Research, written by Professors Terry Pollman, Jeanne Price, and Linda Berger; and Feminist Judgments, co-edited by Professor Linda Berger and which includes rewritten opinions of the United States Supreme Court by Professors Leslie Griffin and Ann McGinley.

Published by New York University Press, Masculinity at Work uses several cases to analyze Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 through the lens of masculinities theory. The book has received much praise, including the following from Professor Deborah Rhode of Stanford University: "... This book represents pathbreaking work in the gendered dimensions of employment law. It will be of enormous value to scholars, litigators, courts and anyone interested in how the law can better promote gender equality and social justice."

Examples & Explanations: Legal Research guides students through examples and explanations of the kinds of sources they've found, using the context of interesting and entertaining real-world problems. The text helps students determine which sources are the most useful for the current project and which not; it leads students to understand how one source affects and relates to the others; and it shows students how to write about the sources they have found.

Feminist Judgments, published by Cambridge University Press, brings together a group of scholars and lawyers to rewrite, using feminist reasoning, the most significant U.S. Supreme Court cases on gender from the 1800s to the present day. The 25 opinions in this volume demonstrate that judges with feminist viewpoints could have changed the course of the law.

These three books are the most recent in a long line of impressive scholarly accomplishments by our distinguished faculty. I look forward to sharing more and more of the innovative and important scholarship by Boyd professors.

Dan

Dean & Richard J. Morgan Professor of Law
daniel.hamilton@unlv.edu
facebook.com/DeanDanHamilton

Faculty Spotlight

A member of Boyd's founding faculty, Professor Terry Pollman developed the law school's nationally recognized legal writing program, and she is now pioneering a leadership, rhetoric, and law course. She will receive the 2017 UNLV Foundation Distinguished Teaching Award.


What's the most important thing you are working on right now?
I'm finding it most engaging at the moment to be going through the research and incubation stage for a new article. Educational theorists talk about "mindsets," a concept that explores the "frames" or "schema" that affect students' attitudes about their learning and its relationship to school. Several legal scholars have written about how Carol Dweck's work on growth mindset might apply to teaching in law schools. But not many have explored the other mindset theories that the group of scholars Dweck works with have named: the belonging mindset (feeling that this endeavor is one where people like you thrive) and the purpose/relevance mindset (believing that you are working toward the higher purposes in your life and that the work is relevant for you personally). I plan to look at these mindsets as they apply to law schools.

When you are working on an article or a book, what's your favorite part of the process? Many authors find it too difficult, but I like working with co-authors. It requires all the usual skills of writing solo, but requires different skills as well. When you share a writing project, you need to learn to listen. Multiple viewpoints or perspectives can enrich the work, but authors need to be flexible. Sometimes I learn that principles I thought were obvious and enduring are actually not all that important. Working with others almost always teaches me something new -- which is basically the entire reason I write. For example, take a look at the new research book that I wrote with Professors Price and Berger: Examples & Explanations: Legal Research. It’s a new approach that centers on relationships among sources of law and how context changes how we use them.

How do you approach teaching your favorite topics? Your least favorite? Topics I love to teach seem to teach themselves. It's a joy to watch students understand what we mean when we talk about crafting and supporting an argument. I love seeing the students realize that the absence of one right answer isn't scary -- it's both empowering and freeing. I hope my teaching encourages that discovery. My former students all know that teaching citation is my least favorite topic. I regularly use automated services or exercises that help the student figure it out on their own. I hate spending class time on what to italicize or how many spaces follow the period.
Student Spotlight

So, Jordan, did mother inspire son to attend law school or vise-versa?
In high school I had some interest in practicing law, but I put it on a back burner for other subjects like psychology. I started taking more of an interest when I helped mom prepare for the LSAT. Her studies and discussions piqued my curiosity during her 1L year. The study of law provided a challenge that I was missing from my psychology studies, so I switched gears and pursued a law degree.

Given that you, Tiffany, are a part-time evening student and Jordan is a full-time student, how frequently do your paths cross on a given day at Boyd? Last year, we made a point of meeting at Starbucks once a week in the hour after his classes ended and before mine began. This semester we are taking Disability Law together, so we get to see each other at least twice a week in class. We've enjoyed having a class together, but I think the rest of the family would appreciate it if we stopped discussing cases at the dinner table.

Jordan, what was the highlight of your externship last summer with Nevada Legal Services? The highlight of my externship was when I helped prepare for and attended an Unemployment Insurance Benefit hearing. The experience was the culmination of all the unemployment law I had learned during the externship. After reviewing the file, I accurately predicted what the employer was going to argue and was able to see issues that the attorney had not yet seen, which helped when it was time to question the client during the hearing. It was the first time I saw direct and immediate consequences of my work.

With graduation quickly approaching in December, Tiffany, what's next for you? I have been working as a non-attorney Accredited Disability Representative assisting people claiming Social Security disability benefits. I have been fortunate to be able work in Social Security disability law for the past 23 years at Welt Law, my father's firm. After I pass the bar exam, I plan to continue to represent claimants as an attorney, while expanding the practice to include guardianship.
Alumni Spotlight

Associate Attorney at Snell & Wilmer

You're a member of the Alumni Leadership Circle. Why do you feel that it's important to donate to the law school? Also, in what capacity do you feel your membership in this group impacts the school? Boyd has equipped me with an outstanding legal education and has prepared me to succeed after law school. Considering what Boyd has done for me, and how little it has taken, I feel a sense of responsibility to aide in ensuring that our relatively young law school continues to excel. As a young attorney, I think my membership in the Alumni Leadership Circle shows that it's important for young alumni not only to get involved, but also to give back to the law school early.

What was the best business advice you've received? My undergraduate degree is in Finance, and I remember that one of my Finance professors said, "An investment in yourself is the best investment you can make." Although it may sound a little obvious, I think it's more complicated than people realize and if you think about it from a financial perspective, it's really true. Dollar for dollar, the return on your education is really difficult to beat in any financial market. That being said, the investment in yourself -- whether it be the time or money spent -- should always be carefully considered just like any other investment. You should have a clear thesis for investing in yourself, and also an idea of what you expect to be the return from this investment. This way of thinking was the driving force behind my attending Boyd and becoming a legal professional.

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time? I've only been living in Las Vegas for about three years, but I've made a lot of friends here. So, most of my free time I spend with them, watching football or Game of Thrones, having a drink by the pool, playing board games, and having brunch.

What is something that people might not know about you? I was actually born in the U.K., and my family and I moved to the United States when I was about five or six years old. Although my mom, dad and brother are all U.S. citizens, I'm still a British citizen which is due to the problems with our immigration system. When I was in law school I worked in the Immigration Clinic, and it gave me an opportunity to represent clients who, much like myself, had issues with the immigration system. I can tell you how broken the system is and how important immigration reform is, but clear your calendar first.
Community Spotlight

Partner at McDonald Carano Wilson LLP, Member of the Gaming Law Advisory Board at the Boyd School of Law


What was your first or most memorable job? During one summer in college, I served as a U.S. Department of Justice, Internal Audit Division intern, where I was responsible for assisting in the audits of the workshops of every federal prison on the West Coast. It was everything you've seen in movies and would expect, manufacturing of federal signs, office furniture, electrical cables and other equipment, etc. Needless to say, it was a very interesting experience and one I will never forget. I was particularly thankful that they let me back out every night to go back to my motel room and enjoy a good meal with my fellow auditors!

What advice would you give to current UNLV Law students? Work and study hard; it will pay off later. The discipline, skills and knowledge you are gaining now will be with you forever. You'll come to realize that most of what you are learning in school now teaches you how to think like a lawyer but doesn't teach you how to practice law. That lesson comes after graduation with actual work experience as a lawyer. It is what you learn and do in the real world that will help you to become a great lawyer, but law school still provides you with the fundamentals. Make the most of your time in school and develop friendships with your classmates. Your classmates of today may be your partners in the future.

What is your favorite travel destination? I'm half Italian, so I am naturally drawn to Italy as my favorite travel destination; the history, the people, the food! I particularly love Venice, Rome and the Amalfi coast.

Tell us about something you've read that's made a real difference to you. Well, it wasn't so much what I've read, but what I saw when I was young that made a real difference to me and my career path. Watching the movie To Kill a Mockingbird, based on Harper Lee's Pulitzer prize-winning masterwork of honor and injustice in the Deep South (which I've also read), impacted me greatly. I greatly admired the heroism and ethics of Atticus Finch (played by Gregory Peck, of course), as one man standing up to do what was right in the face of blind hatred and prejudice. It is one of the greatest stories/movies of all time and greatly influenced my ultimate decision to become a lawyer.

UNLV William S. Boyd School of Law

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