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UNLV William S. Boyd School of Law
Boyd Briefs: February 13, 2014

From Dean Dan

Professor Jean Sternlight, the Michael and Sonja Saltman Professor of Law at the UNLV Boyd School of Law and a nationally recognized scholar in the fields of law and psychology and dispute resolution, has organized an important and innovative conference coming to Boyd on Feb. 21 and 22. With the support of the Saltman Center for Conflict Resolution we are delighted to host the Conference on Psychology and Lawyering: Coalescing the Field. Boyd is bringing together leading academics and practitioners to discuss how insights drawn from multiple fields of psychology, as well as from neuroscience, can improve specific lawyering practices. Panels will focus on client relations and perceptions of fairness, applications of psychology to lawyer decision-making, legal persuasion, the courtroom, legal ethics, and lawyer well-being. The keynote address is by Tom Tyler, the Macklin Fleming Professor of Law and Professor of Psychology at Yale Law School, who will give a talk entitled Legitimacy and the Exercise of Legal Authority. We are grateful to our co-sponsors at the University of Illinois College of Law Program in Law, Behavior and Social Science; the University of California, Davis School of Law; Thomson Reuters; and LexisNexis.


Dean & Richard J. Morgan Professor of Law

Peter Bayer


Rare is the law professor whose intellectual breadth enables him to teach a range of subjects as varied as this list: Property; Civil Procedure; Criminal Procedure; Constitutional Law; Agency, Labor and Employment Law; Conflict of Laws; Administrative Law; Legislation; and Jurisprudence. Yet those are just some of the courses taught by Professor Peter Bayer across five law schools and spanning 30 years in legal education. Bayer, who recently joined the tenure track, has taught in Boyd’s highly regarded lawyering process curriculum since 2001.

It is fitting, even if perhaps also surprising to those unfamiliar with him, that Professor Bayer would teach some of the most practice-oriented courses—Legal Drafting, Appellate Advocacy, and Lawyering Process—yet would be a scholar whose recent articles have focused on the works of the 18th century philosopher Immanuel Kant.

In Professor Bayer’s most recent work, The Individual Mandate’s Due Process Legality: A Kantian Explanation, and Why It Matters, he invokes Kant to defend one of the most controversial features of the Affordable Care Act: the individual mandate. Bayer argues that the constitutionality of the individual mandate turns on the concept of liberty that is embedded in the protections of the Due Process Clause. Bayer explains that popular criticism of the individual mandate emphasized that the federal government exceeded its authority—and infringed on individuals’ liberty—when it compelled individuals to purchase unwanted products, like health insurance or broccoli, even if those mandates were for the public good. Bayer uses Kant’s work to explain how the individual mandate comports with vital liberty interests without opening a floodgate whereby Congress could force persons to buy other commodities to promote any purported societal benefit.


Paul & Monica Janda

STUDENT SPOTLIGHT: Monica and Paul Janda

Law students with spouses and spouses of law students frequently bemoan the limited time available for one another amidst casebook reading, course outlining, memorandum drafting, and so forth. Perhaps the solution lies in taking the law school plunge together. To test this hypothesis, let’s give a listen to Monica and Paul Janda.

Monica and Paul entered Boyd’s part-time evening program in August 2012. Paul, a practicing neurologist, offers the following insights: “We did not plan on both attending law school simultaneously. It ended up being a blessing. Being busy with our work lives, and fully committed as new parents, law school ended up being our ‘alone time.’ While some couples have their ‘date nights’ at the movies or restaurants, ours are in the form of sitting next to one another in classes for law school. Law school is a part of our lives that we greatly enjoy, and we look forward to coming to class each day."

Adds Monica: “It has been my goal to become an attorney since starting my undergraduate education. Additionally, it has been my lifelong objective to become a mother and have a family. Many people close to me advised me to wait on law school until I had children. However, the Boyd School of Law afforded me the opportunity to do both simultaneously. It was an amazing experience that I would not have altered in any way. I remember being nine months pregnant and having my baby [son Benjamin] continually hiccup and kick in utero during my final exams. Surely it was distracting, yet it was absolutely worth it; and, ironically, I am currently pregnant with our second child in the second year of law school!”

Maybe Jack Johnson knew something about spouses and law school – “It’s always better when we’re together.”



Miles Dickson '11


ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT: Miles Dickson '11

Miles Dickson ’11 passed up the courtroom for a career in community development and public policy. “There are a lot of brilliant, committed folks working to expand prosperity in Southern Nevada, strengthening its people and economy. I feel very fortunate to get to be a small part of that movement.” For Dickson, a third generation Nevadan whose grandparents came to Las Vegas during the Great Depression seeking to improve their extremely poor financial condition, the work is personal as much as it is professional. Those deep connections with this city led Miles to focus much of his client work on policy and programs, particularly in the areas of education reform and the roles of public, private and social sector actors.

As a Principal of The JABarrett Company, a management consulting firm, Miles brings expertise and insight to diverse client issues, including: organization management, strategy, public policy analysis and development, and external relations. Before joining The JABarrett Company this past year, he was a principal at Moonridge Group, a philanthropic advising firm he co-founded to assist individuals, corporations and nonprofits in making the most of their charitable resources.

Prior to Moonridge Group, as an extern for Snell & Wilmer, LLP, Miles was a registered lobbyist in the 2011 Nevada legislative session. Previously, at Three Square, Southern Nevada’s food bank and distribution hub, he developed a think tank that brought together local, national and international hunger relief experts to study the issue’s public and social implications. 

Miles’ experience in the social sector and community relations began early in his career assisting at UNLV’s Office of Public Affairs and University Advancement and providing support to strengthen the image, raise the visibility, and increase the financial support for the University. Prior to law school, Miles spent seven years in the golf and hospitality industry, where he was responsible for improving corporate performance and growth as a sales and wholesale director for Las Vegas-based Walters Golf.

“It’s been a great journey so far, and Boyd was an important part of it.”

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