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UNLV William S. Boyd School of Law
Boyd Briefs: January 23, 2014

From Dean Dan

The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit will hold a special sitting next week at Boyd. A three-judge panel will hear oral argument in two cases, will take questions from students, and then stay for lunch with the faculty. This is something of a tradition at Boyd, and we are grateful to the Ninth Circuit, and especially Chief Judge Alex Kozinski, Judge Jay Bybee, and Judge Stephen Reinhardt. The judges will be hearing a class action certification issue and a constitutional challenge. For more information and to learn more about the cases on the docket, please see the link below. This is a wonderful opportunity for our students and the Boyd community, and we are honored to host this event at the law school.

Jan. 28: Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to Sit at UNLV Boyd School of Law


Dean & Richard J. Morgan Professor of Law

Jean Sternlight


There is only one Boyd professor who has a brilliant national reputation—and also a brand. Jean Sternlight is one of the faculty’s most prolific writers, most frequently cited scholars, and most visible experts. And to the great benefit of Boyd, Professor Sternlight has earned richly deserved acclaim while serving as Director of the Saltman Center for Conflict Resolution. Under Professor Sternlight’s leadership, the Saltman Center has played an integral role in the development of Boyd’s national reputation; indeed, the Saltman name has become something of a brand that connotes intellectual rigor and relevance. Importantly, Professor Sternlight and the Saltman Center enjoy the active and generous support of the Center’s founders, Michael and Sonja Saltman.

Professor Sternlight is one of the nation’s leading authorities on alternative dispute resolution, and her work in the field of mandatory arbitration is especially well known to courts and other scholars. In recent years, alternative dispute resolution scholarship has incorporated insights from the field of law and psychology. Here, too, Sternlight has been a leader, again advancing the Saltman brand. Sternlight’s recent book, Psychology For Lawyers, co-authored with Prof. Jennifer Robbennolt of the University of Illinois and published by the American Bar Association, won the 2012 Wayne R. LaFave Award for Excellence in Faculty Scholarship. This spring, the Saltman Center will host an important conference about Psychology and Lawyering.

In the recently published article Behavioral Legal Ethics, Professor Sternlight and her co-author offer a sobering and powerful account of some ethical breaches that lawyers predictably commit. The piece draws on psychological research and certain unique characteristics of the practice of law to explain why good people (including lawyers) can behave unethically—and the authors explain how lawyers, even while making unethical decisions, may still believe they are acting ethically. At the core of this research is an understanding of how and why ethical lapses occur less intentionally than we imagine. Importantly, this research also yields suggestions for how attorneys can enhance their ethics by enriching their understanding of certain psychological phenomena such as blind spots, slippery slopes and ethical fading.


Lee Gorlin


One day he dons his New York Rangers hockey jersey, the next he’s got on his USC baseball cap. Though Las Vegas has been his home base for some 15 years now, Lee Gorlin "sports" a wardrobe reflecting his coast to coast quest to collect a wide range of educational and professional experiences, all of which he has brought to bear as an active citizen of the Boyd School of Law community.

Lee first went west as a young man, entering the University of Southern California where he took part in student government, residence life, and intramural sports competition. He graduated in 2005 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology and decided to venture about as far away from LA as he could get for graduate school. To New York University he went to earn a Master of Science in Sports Business with a concentration in Marketing and Media. While in the Big Apple, Lee seized many opportunities for real world experience in his chosen field, serving as a marketing intern with the Arena Football League, as an Entertainment Zone Leader at the New York City Marathon, on the Draft Day staff of the New York Football Giants, and on the Promotional Marketing Game Day Staff of the New York Mets.

Lee entered Boyd in 2011 as a part-time evening student, working by day as a “Creative” for Apple (he’s the guy who teaches consumers how to work the latest gadgets and gizmos the company is rolling out). Not surprisingly, Lee has been active in Boyd’s Sports and Entertainment Law Association, serving as the group’s Symposium Director last year. This year he is president of the Organization of Part-time Law Students, an Academic Success Program student mentor, and a staff member on the Nevada Law Journal.



Gina Bongiovi '07


ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT: Gina Bongiovi '07

As Las Vegas resident Gina Bongiovi ’07 recalls, most of the lawyers she knew prior to law school had their own practices. An entrepreneur at heart, Gina applied to law school planning to hang a shingle upon graduation. Halfway through Boyd's part-time program, a professor set aside the evening's lecture to describe the life of a new associate – grueling hours, sparse guidance, and little or no recognition for one's efforts.

She recoiled at such a description and ran back to her former stomping grounds, the UNLV Business School, to enroll in the joint JD/MBA program. As a result of a semester project she completed in a marketing class, Gina was offered an opportunity to start her own business. “When I, even as a Las Vegas native, couldn't find a lawyer who was willing to advise my bootstrapped startup, I decided I would start my own practice devoted to helping startups and small businesses stay out of trouble - all at reasonable rates,” Gina shared.

“Now, more than five years later, I have been fortunate to enjoy continued growth in my practice and endless opportunities to give back to the community. In addition to volunteering on boards such as the Vegas Young Professionals and Las Vegas Metro Chamber's Business Council, I've helped start nonprofits like Dress for Success, Vegas Shepherd Rescue, and Working K9 Rescue.” She considers herself one of the very fortunate ones, whose passion for her professional work is perfectly balanced by her passion for volunteering. And, Gina counts her lucky stars that she did not give up on law school that fateful day.

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