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UNLV William S. Boyd School of Law
Boyd Briefs: May 15, 2014

From Dean Dan

With graduation this Friday, this will be the last Boyd Briefs until the start of the academic year in August. As the year ends I want to sign off for the summer with the exciting news that the faculty at Boyd recently unanimously approved an LL.M. degree in Gaming Law and Regulation. We need to work with UNLV, the American Bar Association, and the Board of Regents to get this into place, but this decision by the Boyd faculty to pursue gaming law is a vital and necessary step. Gaming law is a dynamic, growing and sophisticated field, and Boyd can and should be the national leader in providing graduate and executive training. Our state has the greatest gaming law expertise in the world, and we look forward to working with our faculty and leaders in the field to build programs that will contribute to the remarkable success of the law school.


Dean & Richard J. Morgan Professor of Law

Jean Whitney


The William S. Boyd School of Law is very fortunate to have Professor Jean Whitney serve as the Director of our Externship Program. By integrating class work with placements in the real-world, externships allow students to experience the practice of law while under the direct supervision of lawyers and judges. Boyd’s program is exceptional because of Whitney’s meticulous management of a constellation of placements as well as her unique ability as an instructor in the classroom seminar component. Through the seminars, Whitney ensures, among many other things, that students appreciate their professional roles and also the ethical obligations of attorneys.

In addition to the usual bona fides of law professors (i.e., honors, awards, publications, and so forth), Professor Whitney has a master’s degree in Education from the University of Minnesota. Her brilliant administration of our program reflects that formal training and benefits our students. Further, Whitney’s experience as a successful lawyer brings perspective and credibility to her position. She was the Director of Policy and Legal Services for the Minnesota Department of Corrections for nine years before joining the Boyd faculty in 1999. She also clerked for the Minnesota Supreme Court and worked in the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office.

Prior to attending law school, Professor Whitney taught preschool children in Head Start and other early childhood education programs. She also taught early childhood educators at the University of Minnesota. The law, then, is actually a second career for her. Education, however, has been a life-long passion. Education is often regarded as partly an art and partly a science: “art” evokes the innate ability to communicate and build relationships that facilitate learning; while “science” captures the more practical knowledge, skills and objectives. Professor Whitney embodies both of these ideals, as does her Externship Program.


Dr. Amy Horne


With her matriculation at the Boyd School of Law last August, Dr. Amy Horne metaphorically hit ”reset” on what already was an interesting and fulfilling career focused on the environment and how its condition affects our lives.

After graduating with a B.A. in Economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Amy joined the Environmental Law Institute in Washington, D.C. as a senior research associate. Simultaneously, she completed requirements for an M.A. in Public Policy and Administration, also from UW-Madison.  

Her continued thirst for insight into humanity’s habitat led Amy to Yale University where she earned a Ph.D. in Forest Ecology. Over the next 20 years, Amy recaps, “I operated at the intersection between science and policy.” Among those intersectional endeavors:
- Research Forester for the USDA Forest Service in Portland, Oregon
- Research Director for the Sierra Business Council in Truckee, California
- Adjunct Professor at Sierra Nevada College in Incline Village, Nevada, teaching environmentally related courses
- Science Writer at the University of California-Davis
- Ten years of service on the Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board in South Lake Tahoe, California

A Boyd Public Interest Fellow, Amy will spend the upcoming summer working for the Office of the Delta Watermaster, which is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day administration of water rights within the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

“After law school, I might identify an unfilled niche and start my own practice in Truckee or Reno, an option with the advantage of letting me control the amount and duration of the work I do,”  contemplates Amy. “A secondary objective is to assume more political responsibility. As a lawyer, I would be eligible for more full-time Governor-appointed positions or I might run for office. To go in any of those directions, I need a new complex of skills.”

Amy’s acquisition of those skills proceeds apace here at Boyd.



Cassie Stratford '08

ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT: Cassie Stratford '08

When alumna Cassie Stratford ’08 moved to Las Vegas to begin law school, she was uncertain of whether she would stay in Las Vegas after graduation. Now, nearly 10 years later, she is proud to call Nevada home, enjoys a challenging and rewarding career in Las Vegas’ gaming industry, and cannot imagine things turning out any differently. 

Originally from North Dakota, Cassie obtained her undergraduate degree from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. She then decided to pursue her long-term goal of earning a law degree, but struggled with selecting a law school until she visited a prospective student weekend at UNLV’s William S. Boyd School of Law. There, she was immediately struck by the friendly and dedicated students and faculty who took time out of their hectic school schedules and personal lives to spend a Saturday talking to prospective students about their law school experiences. It was that warm welcome and the collegial atmosphere—in addition to the impressive faculty and beautiful facility—that ultimately became the deciding factors in Cassie’s decision to enroll.

After graduating in 2008, Cassie joined the Las Vegas office of Snell & Wilmer L.L.P. as an associate in the commercial litigation practice group. While there, she was able to develop her skills as a new attorney while under the guidance of the firm’s extremely skilled and well-respected attorneys. Since 2012, Cassie has worked as Associate General Counsel for Boyd Gaming Corporation, where she continues to develop her legal skills by assisting in a wide variety of matters for the publicly traded, multi-state casino owner and operator. Cassie describes working for the company co-founded by William S. Boyd, the law school’s namesake, as “a unique honor as an alumna of the Boyd School of Law.”

Cassie maintains involvement with the law school by volunteering for alumni-student mentoring programs, serving as a judge for student oral arguments, and generally helping out when she can. She notes, “I feel very fortunate to have had such a positive law school experience, followed by a rewarding career. I am hopeful that by staying involved in the school and our community, I can make a small contribution to help others have a similar experience.”

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