UNLV William S. Boyd School of Law

Boyd Briefs: October 22, 2015

From Dean Dan

The American Law Institute is the country's leading independent organization that produces scholarly work to clarify, modernize, and improve the law. By participating in the ALI, members influence the law's development in existing and emerging areas; collaborate with other distinguished lawyers, judges, and academics; and give back to the legal profession.

This week the American Law Institute announced the names of its newly elected members, drawing from judges, lawyers, and law professors from around the country. I am delighted to report that two out of the 72 members elected nationwide are part of the Boyd community. Congratulations first to our alumna Rosa Solis-Rainey '01, a partner at the Morris Law Group who has been selected to join this prestigious organization. Congratulations also to Nevada State Senate Minority Leader Aaron Ford, who has served as an adjunct faculty member at Boyd and spent his last year of law school here (so he is an honorary alum, too!). Both are among the newest members of the ALI.

These outstanding lawyers join others from the Boyd faculty, including: Professors Chris Blakesley, Leslie Griffin, Francine Lipman, Thom Main, Nancy Rapoport, Keith Rowley, and Jeff Stempel.

Congratulations finally to the other new members from Nevada who have joined this highly selective and important organization, David A. Hardy, Chief Judge, Second Judicial District Court, Washoe County and Phyllis Ann James, International Vice President, Special Counsel & Chief Diversity Officer, MGM Resorts International.


Dean & Richard J. Morgan Professor of Law

Jeanne Price

FACULTY SPOTLIGHT: Jeanne Frazier Price

Jeanne Frazier Price is Professor of Law and Director of Boyd's Wiener-Rogers Law Library. She and her colleagues have made the law library a focus of the intellectual life of the law school, for faculty and for students.

1. What are you working on? I'm excited about a book project that I'm working on with some of my colleagues at the law school. We're thinking and writing about research knowledge and skills. Finding authorities has never been easier. But understanding how these authorities are best used in different contexts and how they relate to each other is often a challenge and that's what our book will address.

2. How does your research and writing cross over to your teaching? I teach an upper-level course that focuses on research and writing in corporate, securities, and tax contexts. Working in areas governed by complex regulatory systems requires students to immerse themselves in new language, new legal structures, and new ways of thinking. When I'm not thinking about the law library, I think and write about law and language and, specifically, about how we use words to categorize our experience. Part of the challenge for students in working with securities and tax statutes involves the unusual uses to which words are put and the convoluted interactions among the different parts of the regulatory structures. Helping students translate from the language we use in ordinary communication to the language of statutes and regulations calls upon a lot of what I've learned in studying language and cognition.

3. What reading has influenced you? Seldom has a really good book had a less appealing title than what I'm reading now -- My Struggle by Norwegian author Karl Ove Knausgard. If I were to try to describe the six (!!) volumes that Knausgard has written with that title, potential readers would flee like lemmings. But Knausgard's books -- which translate his experiences and inner life from childhood forward -- are strangely funny and entrancing. They're all about putting into words who we are, how we become what we are, and how we get through the day. We rarely get the chance to step into the shoes of others and see how they manage and organize the world, and then to think about how their understandings compare with our own. There are lots of parallels to what we do when we read statutes!



Evan Wozniak



This fall, Boyd welcomed to its ranks as transfer students an interesting and talented array of individuals who began their studies at law schools throughout the country. Among that group is Evan Wozniak.

A southern Nevadan since age 4 and a 2013 magna cum laude UNLV graduate with a Bachelor of Liberal Arts in English, Evan found himself, like many of us at one point or another, looking for a change of scenery and an opportunity to see someplace new and unfamiliar. So after spending the year following his UNLV graduation as a technical writer for National Security Technologies, a contractor to the United States Department of Energy, he headed northwest.

"A major reason in my decision to attend law school at the University of Washington was how I felt I needed to leave my community to undergo personal growth," Evan reflects. "Although it was a difficult decision to make, I don't regret it."

Of course experiencing someplace new often gives us greater appreciation for the place we left. "The ups and downs of 1L year caused a lot of soul searching," says Evan. "Once presented with personal challenges, I became acutely aware of an aspect that has been truly missing during my law school career. The missing component was living and working in the community and city I care for."

After working in Seattle this summer as a volunteer law clerk at the Office of the Attorney General of the State of Washington, Evan happily made his way back to the Las Vegas Valley. "Finishing my legal study at UNLV offers me an excellent opportunity to study and work amongst people committed to the state's goals and interests. Obtaining a Boyd School of Law degree provides a direct path to attaining the goals I have set for myself."



Matt Christian '02

ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT: Matt Christian '02

"Without the Boyd School of Law, I don't know where I'd be today," says Matt Christian, a member of Boyd's second ever part-time evening class. Matt was looking for a career change in 1999, and the recent opening of the law school gave him just the chance he was looking for.

As a 1L, Matt began working as a law clerk at a small firm specializing in public construction law. He graduated magna cum laude and has focused his practice on complex construction claims ever since. While a shareholder at Kolesar & Leatham, one of Matt's clients, Clark County, asked him to come work in-house. It was an opportunity he could not pass up, and he has been with the District Attorney's Civil Division since 2013. Matt says he relishes the opportunity to assist his dedicated colleagues at the County to make sure that public money is conserved.

Matt enjoys giving back. He has been a member of the Las Vegas Rotary. He has mentored young lawyers both at his firm and through the State Bar's new mentoring program. And as for Boyd, Matt has served as an adjunct professor on several occasions, teaching primarily civil litigation skills as part of Boyd's nationally recognized Lawyering Process program.

Matt and his wife, Diane, left the Midwest immediately after graduating from the University of Illinois in 1992. "We love living in the West." Matt and Diane have travelled extensively with their two daughters (Ellie, 15, and Isabella, 6), hiking and camping just about everywhere within a two-day drive of Las Vegas. "UNLV and Las Vegas in general have enabled us to have a great life, personally and professionally. I will be forever grateful."


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