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UNLV William S. Boyd School of Law
Boyd Briefs: May 8, 2014

From Dean Dan

Next week we look forward to the law school's convocation ceremony. I want to congratulate all the graduates from the class of 2014. At the ceremony, we are honored to welcome as our speaker, Congressman Steven Horsford, who does so much for our law school and our university. I also want to congratulate all of our student award winners for their remarkable achievements. For a full list of our graduates and award winners, please see the announcement here. A week from now, Boyd will have added 137 excellent new lawyers who, along with their fellow alumni, will continue to transform the legal community in this city and state.

Boyd School of Law Convocation 2014
Friday, May 16, 2014 | 10:00 a.m.
UNLV Artemus W. Ham Concert Hall


Dean & Richard J. Morgan Professor of Law

Mary LaFrance


Professor Mary LaFrance is a nationally recognized scholar in the fields of copyright and trademark law. Her intellectual property books are used in law school classrooms across the country. Her knowledge is, quite literally, without boundary: indeed, she is an expert in comparative, transnational, and international intellectual property. Her expertise is especially sophisticated and technical because it includes the taxation of intellectual property.

Professor LaFrance was also among the first professors nationally to consider entertainment law a serious discipline. In 1994, while on the faculty at the Florida State University School of Law, she also served on the faculty of the Florida State University School of Motion Pictures, Television, and Recording Arts. In the years since, her abiding interest in fine arts has served as a natural complement to (and perhaps as a muse for) her intellectual property research.

Some of her entertainment law articles are as rich narratively as they are substantive. One recent piece, in particular, reads like an article from THE NEW YORKER. In The Disappearing Fourth Wall: Law, Ethics, and Experiential Theatre, she introduces the reader to experiential theatre and fringe festivals. LaFrance vividly describes this arts scene in ways that are, alternately, shocking, unbelievable, and laugh-out-loud funny. There is also a very serious side to this, though, as some of the performances are physically and emotionally intense, implicating a wide range of tort issues for the actors, the theatre company, the venue, and insurers.

Professor LaFrance graduated summa cum laude from Bryn Mawr with a degree in English literature. She holds a master’s degree in Philosophy from Duke University. She earned her J.D. with High Honors from Duke Law School, where she was also the Executive Editor of the Duke Law Journal. After graduating from law school she was awarded one of the most prestigious federal clerkships in the country, with Harry T. Edwards of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. LaFrance has also taught in Paris, London, Florence, Tokyo, Honolulu, and Los Angeles, among other cities.


Adam Tully


After completing his undergraduate education at Boston University (he earned a B.A. in Political Science with honors), Adam Tully was torn between a career in law or veterinary medicine. What to do? How about a test drive? So over the next two years, Adam worked first in a Boston law firm and then at a veterinary hospital. When all was said and done, he was confident he had more aptitude for law than medicine.

But before fully committing to law, Adam seized an opportunity to live abroad by teaching English in Chiapas, Mexico. His time there left him moved by the people he met who had a remarkable flair for warmth and generosity and impressed upon him the difference a person can make through simple acts of kindness and decency. It was a wonderful segue to Adam’s next job -- a foreclosure mediation specialist with the Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada, which he describes as “a wonderful position to pay forward the kindness I received abroad and to be that lifeline of competence and empathy” to LACSN clients.

His decision now firm, Adam applied to Boyd. And he’s had a great run here.

Adam served as Articles Editor for the Nevada Law Journal. As a member of our Society of Advocates, he and his teammates Mike Esposito and Jaimie Stilz-Outlaw were semi-finalists among 46 competitors in the Wagner National Labor and Employment Law Moot Court Competition. Recently, Adam and several fellow students were recognized by the Clinical Legal Education Association for their critical work in UNLV's Immigration Detention Project. Best of all, Adam was able to share his law school experience uniquely with his wife Maria, who works in our legal clinics.

Following graduation, Adam will begin a two-year clerkship with Nevada Supreme Court Justice Ron Parraguirre.



Tom Wilczek '01


Charter Class graduate Tom Wilczek leveraged his prior career at the Nevada Test Site with his law degree and now leads Nevada’s development and growth of the Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) industry. After graduation, Tom practiced law before being offered the position as the State’s first Aerospace & Defense Liaison at the Governor’s Office of Economic Development. In this position, Tom worked for more than two and a half years to position the State as a lead contender for the sought-after Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) UAS Test Site designation. You may be more familiar with the term “drones” for UAS.

His advocacy took him to the halls of Congress on numerous occasions, as well as meetings in the Pentagon. Tom’s prior knowledge of Nevada Test Site and Nellis Range activities--combined with advocacy skills obtained from BSL--proved invaluable. His leadership on the program finally paid off with Nevada’s successful designation being received on December 30, 2013.

Tom recalls that fateful morning, “I had the FAA office in D.C. on my cell phone speed dial, and I knew that the FAA had until December 31 to make the decision. At 7:15 a.m., my phone rang with the FAA number, so I picked it up. My hands were shaking and after the FAA contracting officer had a positive ID on me, told me ‘congratulations.’ She hit me with about five more minutes of narrative, but none of it registered. All I kept thinking is, ‘we beat out 37 other states that brought millions of dollars to their capture effort, and Nevada’s just getting started!’“

Tom is Nevada’s lead for interface with the FAA toward development of unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) and unmanned aerial system (UAS) regulations, and subsequent testing to allow them to fly in the U.S. for civil uses (as opposed to military uses). Tom is considered a leading UAV policy expert and champions the growth of this industry as transformative to Nevada’s economy. He is a gubernatorial appointee to the Governor’s Military Council and also serves on the Governor’s Interagency Council on Veteran’s Affairs. He has been interviewed by Bloomberg TV, NPR Morning Edition, NPR All Things Considered, CBS, and numerous local media outlets. He received the 2013 “Technology Star in the Public Sector” award from the Technology Business Alliance of Nevada.

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