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UNLV William S. Boyd School of Law
Boyd Briefs: September 10, 2015

From Dean Dan

The UNLV Boyd School of Law, in cooperation with Duke University School of Law, will host a conference on Magistrate Judges and the Transformation of the Federal Judiciary on Sept. 25-26, 2015. This conference will be the first of its kind to explore the critically important institution of magistrate judges from interdisciplinary, empirical, theoretical, and practical perspectives. We welcome leading legal scholars and judges from around the country, and I am particularly grateful to conference organizers Thomas Main, William S. Boyd Professor of Law and Mitu Gulati, Professor of Law at Duke and also to Dean David Levi at Duke. The conference was first initiated by an important study on magistrate judges by Judge Philip Pro, who is giving the keynote talk at the conference. To learn more about the conference and to register, click here. My thanks also to Boyd faculty, alumni and students taking part and to our co-sponsor, the Saltman Center for Conflict Resolution.


Dean & Richard J. Morgan Professor of Law

Linda Berger


Professor Linda Berger is the Associate Dean for Faculty Development & Research. She spent her summer editing re-envisioned Supreme Court opinions for the U.S. Feminist Judgments Project.

1. What are you working on? I am one of three co-editors of a collection of re-imagined Supreme Court opinions that will be published by Cambridge University Press in 2016 as Feminist Judgments: Rewritten Opinions of the United States Supreme Court. Like its British counterpart, this collaborative project illustrates what might have happened had the Justices used feminist theory and methods to decide the most significant Supreme Court cases on gender equality from the passage of the Civil Rights Amendments to the present day. Most fascinating to me is how the authors are using historical research to unearth the manner in which previous law and legal reasoning have been permeated by accepted ideas and conventional wisdom.

2. Which of your recent articles should I read? The Color-Blind Constitution: Choosing a Story to Live By, which is being published by Michigan State Law Review as part of its Symposium on Persuasion in Civil Rights Advocacy. The article uses the two phrases most associated with the U.S. Supreme Court's decisions in Brown v. Board of Education (the color-blind Constitution and all deliberate speed) as vehicles for examining the unanticipated consequences of brief writing in the Supreme Court. Its thesis is that some unanticipated consequences -- for example, those associated with the Government's friend of the court briefs filed in Brown I and Brown II and eventually with the term all deliberate speed -- are far more troublesome than others. For support, the article looks to theories of storytelling and metaphor construction.

3. What reading has influenced you? I recently discovered Arguing and Thinking by Michael Billig (even though it was written in 1987 and a second edition was published in 1996). Billig takes a rhetorical approach to social psychology and argues that modern social psychologists should pay attention to the ancient traditions of rhetoric. Billig discovers Aspasia, a rhetorical heroine rarely seen in rhetorical history. She lectured on rhetoric in her home at a time when the laws forbid women to enter many public places.



Wynn Tashman



"I use the phrase,'go to battle,' to describe my process for dealing with conflicts. I never actually fight, but I appreciate the implication of using my mind as if it were a weapon. I wield it to advocate for or against academic perspectives." Given this declaration, it seems Wynn Tashman was destined for law school, and given his ongoing activism for causes he holds near and dear, it seems he also is destined to be a difference maker.

Wynn is a second-year student in Boyd's dual J.D./Ph.D. in Educational Psychology program. The program and its possibilities drew Wynn back home to Las Vegas after having earned a B.A. in Law & Society/Psychology from American University in our nation's capital. "I corresponded with Dr. Rebecca Nathanson, the Program Coordinator for the J.D./Ph.D. program," recounts Wynn of his search for what was to follow his undergraduate studies. "Our conversations created a spectacular vision of me thriving in this new battlefield. The program will provide platforms for my career as a disability rights legal advocate for youth."

Wynn's zeal for children's rights advocacy took many tangible forms prior to his matriculation at Boyd, among which were a public policy internship with the National Disability Rights Network in Washington, D.C. and service as a pre-kindergarten assistant teacher through the AmeriCorps Jumpstart program. While at Boyd, Wynn has served as a Graduate Research Assistant for the Kids' Court School, a program established through the Thomas & Mack Legal Clinic to help educate children about the courtroom process. He also is president of the Child Advocacy Law Association and is actively involved in advocacy for LGBT youth.

A Boyd Public Interest Fellow, Wynn, it seems, is poised and positioned to continue his quest ... to fight the good fight.



Alissa Neufeld '09

ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT: Alissa Neufeld '09

Alissa Neufeld '09 is Associate General Counsel for 1-800 Contacts, Inc., the largest U.S. retailer of contact lenses. Alissa works on a wide range of legal issues, including corporate governance, mergers and acquisitions, supplier relations, business development, commercial agreements, intellectual property, and advertising. Alissa's legal career has followed a winding road, but she is grateful for every turn.

Alissa received a B.A. in International Affairs from George Washington University (GWU), focusing on International Economics with a minor in Spanish. She backpacked throughout more than 25 countries and studied abroad twice. An internship with now Nevada Supreme Court Justice Nancy Saitta steered Alissa's career path toward the legal profession. Upon graduating from GWU, Alissa worked as a paralegal for Commins & Knudsen, PC, in San Francisco.

Her time at the UNLV William S. Boyd School of Law provided yet another significant turn in the road. Alissa's interactions with her classmates and professors taught her to think more critically and negotiate more effectively. After graduating from Boyd Alissa clerked for Judge Johnnie B. Rawlinson at the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. She then joined Ballard Spahr, LLP, as a mergers and acquisitions associate.

The next curve in Alissa's road led to her move in-house with 1-800 Contacts. Her husband, twin boys, parents, and two King Charles Cavalier spaniels relocated with her to Utah.

Alissa is extremely grateful for her outstanding Boyd education she received, as well as her mentoring provided by David Commins and Robert Kim. She cannot wait to see where the road leads her next.

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