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UNLV William S. Boyd School of Law
Boyd Briefs: August 29, 2013

As the new school year gets under way, I want to take the opportunity to introduce myself and to highlight some of the new initiatives and terrific events we have at the UNLV William S. Boyd School of Law.

My name is Dan Hamilton and I've served since July 1 as the new dean of the law school. My family and I are coming from Illinois where I was associate dean for several years at the University of Illinois College of Law. I teach and write in the areas of American legal history, property law, and constitutional law. It has been a real pleasure to get to know Boyd's extraordinary faculty, students and alumni, and we plan to highlight all three in this weekly email, Boyd Briefs. Our goal is to build on the achievements of my predecessors — Dick Morgan, John White, and Nancy Rapoport — and to make this great public law school even better.

We are particularly proud of our scholarly culture at Boyd. This past week, we welcomed Stuart Banner from UCLA on Aug. 26, and we look forward to talks by Stephan Sonnenberg from Stanford on Sept. 9 as a guest speaker for our Saltman Center for Conflict Resolution, Robin Fretwell Wilson from the University of Illinois College of Law on Sept. 16, and Adam Winkler from UCLA on Sept. 17.

Boyd has been warmly welcomed by this city, state and region since the day we opened our doors. I hope very much to hear from you and to keep you updated on the Boyd community and all the wonderful things we have going on at our law school.


Dean & Richard J. Morgan Professor of Law

Nancy Rapoport

FACULTY SPOTLIGHT: Professor Nancy Rapoport

Nancy Rapoport is the Gordon Silver Professor of Law. Professor Rapoport is a nationally recognized expert whose books and articles have impacted not only the scholarly discourse in her fields of expertise, but also the law itself. Her primary area of specialization is ethics, particularly in the contexts of bankruptcy and corporate governance. Her scholarship—in the aggregate and some individual pieces—offers both deep description as well as engagement with broad themes and theory. For example, her very highly regarded scholarship on the Enron debacle provided unique insight on the facts and laws at issue there, but also tackled the question of why the law is (or appears to be) incapable of anticipating and preventing corporate scandals.

Professor Rapoport has twice served as the dean of law schools, and recently completed distinguished service as the Interim Dean of the William S. Boyd School of Law. These leadership positions have given her the perspective and authority to be especially insightful and influential in the ongoing significant discussion about the future of the legal profession generally, and the future of legal education in particular. In the past year alone she has published four articles on these subjects. In a debate that can be caricatured as one between stubborn defenders of the status quo and radical reformers, Professor Rapoport stakes out a middle-ground that defends and even celebrates the uniqueness of traditional legal education yet recognizes the need for fundamental reform. Her specific recommendations reflect, fittingly, the pragmatism of a former dean, the optimism of a teacher, the critical insight of a scholar, the problem-solving capacity of a lawyer, the savvy of a corporate officer, and the humanity of a dancer.


Lisa McAllister


For the past 15 years, Lisa McAllister has seen the first day of school from the other side of the doors, awaiting eager students entering Las Vegas' Faith Lutheran Junior/Senior High School for a brand new year of study. Lisa was an English teacher offering courses in composition, persuasion and argument, world literature, drama, journalism, and speech and debate.

Since 1999, she had coached Faith Lutheran's Mock Trial team. Throughout those years, the thought of becoming an attorney, which she says first occurred to her at age 10, circled Lisa's mind with increasing velocity. "While coaching Mock Trial, I have learned about the law from accomplished attorneys and judges who fired the passion that I have had since childhood," said Lisa. "These attorneys and judges have inspired me, both in their professionalism and in their determination."

Determination is something Lisa has never lacked. At the age of 20 and shortly after completing her sophomore year at the University of Michigan, Lisa was struck by a van while bicycling. She has been in a wheelchair, a paraplegic, since. Her life suddenly and drastically changed, Lisa set out to chart a revised course. That course saw her earn a B.A. in English/Communications from Madonna University, take a swing at the public relations field, and become a mom to daughter Genna and son Colin, before applying her many talents to teaching... and now to law school.

"I'm 50 years old, and I'm not finished yet," Lisa proclaimed. Indeed, she encountered, yet again, the first day of school... though from a different perspective than she's had the past 15 years... as she entered Boyd's doors August 26.


Paola Armeni

ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT: Paola M. Armeni '03

Paola M. Armeni '03 of Las Vegas is a shareholder in the Government Investigations and Business Crimes group of the law firm of Gordon Silver.  She works daily to protect the rights and freedom of individuals throughout Nevada. As part of her work, Paola recently received an affirmation from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals on a $1.6 million judgment against three police officers of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. In early 2011, a jury awarded her client, Charles Barnard, a judgment in excess of $2 million. The judgment was reduced to $1.6 million by a federal district court judge, and then the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department appealed. The affirmation was received in early July.

In addition to her work at Gordon Silver, Paola remains active in the community. She has just finished her first year as one of the 15 Board of Governors for the State Bar of Nevada. She is set to be locked up for the Muscular Dystrophy Association at the end of August, and is in the process of raising her bail to avoid going behind bars as well as funding research and activities for those affected by neuromuscular diseases. She continues her work with the Las Vegas Business Academy and remains especially active with the scholarship committee. She is proud that a Boyd student, Tasha Schwikert, became the first recipient of the scholarship from the Academy. In her personal life, Paola and her husband Joe are preparing for their daughter Francesca to begin her journey in academics as she is starting kindergarten in August.

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UNLV William S. Boyd School of Law
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Las Vegas, NV 89154 | (702) 895-3671 |

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