UNLV William S. Boyd School of Law

Boyd Briefs: February 4, 2016

From Dean Dan

Please join me in congratulating Professor Rachel Anderson on her role in helping plan the National Bar Association's (NBA) Judicial Council & Mid-Winter Meeting held Jan 12-17 in Las Vegas. As president of the NBA's Las Vegas Chapter, Professor Anderson and members of the local chapter hosted the association's distinguished guests, including judges, attorneys, educators and students, from around the nation.

The William S. Boyd School of Law was honored to be a sponsor and host a welcome reception at the Barrick Museum. Special thanks go to the following Boyd staff for their support and contributions to the success of the event: Vice Dean Ngai Pindell, Associate Dean Christine Smith, Nakia Jackson-Hale, Rachael Adair, and Sandra Rodriguez.

Among the many highlights, Judge Johnnie B. Rawlinson, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, was honored with the Judicial Council Chair's Award and the National Bar Association Lifetime Achievement Award. Justice Michael Douglas, Supreme Court of Nevada, was also honored with the National Bar Association Lifetime Achievement Award, as well as the Judicial Council Leon A. Higgenbotham Award.

Judge Richard Boulware (left) and Professor Rachel Anderson (right) present Judge Johnnie Rawlinson with the National Bar Association Lifetime Achievement Award at the organization's Judicial Council & Mid-Winter Meeting held Jan 12-17 in Las Vegas.

 

Dan

Dean & Richard J. Morgan Professor of Law
daniel.hamilton@unlv.edu
facebook.com/DeanDanHamilton




 
Christopher Blakesley
 

FACULTY SPOTLIGHT: Christopher L. Blakesley

Christopher L. Blakesley is the Cobeaga Law Firm Professor of Law at Boyd. Renowned as a scholar in international and comparative law, Professor Blakesley was a legal advisor in the U.S. Department of State under Henry Kissinger. He is a Barrick Distinguished Scholar, a member of the American Law Institute, and the author of numerous articles and books on topics ranging from terrorism to comparative criminal and family law.

How has your reading inspired your work? Poetry inspires my work. Take "Epitaph of a Tyrant" by W.H. Auden:

Perfection, of a kind, was what he was after,
And the poetry he invented was easy to understand;
He knew human folly like the back of his hand,
And was greatly interested in armies and fleets;
When he laughed, respectable senators burst with laughter, And when he cried the little children died in the streets.

This resonates. I use poetry's ethos and pathos for inspiration, to inspire, teach and write -- to stimulate empathy for victims of our too common inhumanity to each other. Tyranny is ancient and current. Auden's poem echoes my personal pain caused by actions by some within my own cultural-religious heritage. Poetry helps me to feel and impart our common value as human beings and to try to mitigate suffering by teaching, writing, and serving with compassion, empathy, understanding, love, and joy.

Which of your recent articles should I read? Law, Language, Crime, and Culture: The Value and Risks of Comparative Law, 49 Crim. L. Bull. 438 (2013) illustrates much about me -- it shows why I teach, write, and serve. I ruminate on the impact of culture, language, and literature on law, life, thinking, feeling, and learning. It is something of a jurisprudential reflection on crime and punishment, using many historical and literary references to bring out the ethos, pathos, and logos of life and the law. Law is like a language -- a culture. Studying "comparative law" is not some academic field trip or intellectual luxury. Rather, it is an engine for creating a deeper understanding of our own legal system -- of our own being. The article is a precursor to a book, an intellectual memoire.

What are you working on right now? One of my books in progress is tentatively titled THEORIES OF THE WAR POWER AND THE "WAR AGAINST TERROR": A CRITIQUE (with Boyd Professor Tom McAffee). Another is COMPARATIVE LAW, LANGUAGE, CULTURE (projected 2017 or 2018). The latter is an elaboration and expansion of the article noted above. "Comparative law," language, and culture are intellectual activities -- verbs -- that can be useful in revealing the "instinctive and deepest moral values" innate in us. I am fascinated by language, culture, poetry, fiction, and law, which I use in the book to provide insight into law, literature, language, culture, and into my and the reader's personhood. I hope it will be an intellectual memoire for my children, grandchildren, and others.

     

     

Elias Askins



 

STUDENT SPOTLIGHT: Elias Askins

Tell us a little about growing up in Plaquemine, La. Growing up in southern Louisiana was much like growing up in any rural town. Only this rural town is on the banks of the Mississippi. There are a few highlights that stand out: playing with my cousins, road trips to the big cities of Baton Rouge and New Orleans, and fishing of course. But what was best about growing up in Plaquemine was the food! Everyone cooks!

A good part of your early years was spent working with college student-athletes. How did you enjoy that? My work as the NCAA Eligibility Coordinator in the University of Tennessee system was a great experience. Yes, it was trying at times when faced with telling a coach that one of the starters had to sit out. But overall, everyone (students, coaches, administration) worked well together. Watching some of those student-athletes go on to successful pro careers serves as a great reminder of that experience.

You've worked for the United States Department of Agriculture in Georgia and now in Las Vegas. What kind of work do you do? Usually, when I mention I work for the USDA, I'm asked "Do you grade eggs, or meat?" Actually, I'm a Rural Development Specialist in the Rural Housing Service (USDA, RDS, RHS) -- it's an alphabet soup that boils down to being a mortgage officer. We assist individuals as well as entire communities.

After four years of full-time work and law study by evening, you graduate in May. What are your plans thereafter? First, practice, practice, practice for the bar exam! Beyond that, I hope to continue working with a federal agency, but in a new capacity as legal counsel. I'm making contacts with a few agencies in preparation for that next step.

     

     

Kevin Remus '10

ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT: Kevin Remus '10

Kevin Remus '10 is the in-house intellectual property attorney for National Security Technologies, based in Las Vegas.

Tell us more about your position and how long have you been with them? National Security Technologies is the company that manages the Nevada National Security Site for the United States Department of Energy. I started there in the summer of 2012. Since 2013, I have also been a JAG in the Nevada Army National Guard.

What drew you to National Security Technologies, and what do you like about working there? When I was working in San Diego at a small patent prosecution firm, Assistant Dean of External Relations Layke Martin called me and told me about an opportunity with National Security Technologies. As a former Active Duty Army Officer, it sounded interesting because of the work that National Security Technologies does in the national security field. During my interview, the general counsel told me that I would have an opportunity to be the attorney who handled all intellectual property matters for the company and to work closely with the scientists and engineers who do research at the company's facilities in Las Vegas, California, New Mexico, Maryland, and at the Nevada National Security Site.

How does serving as a JAG in the Nevada National Guard help or complicate your career as an attorney? As the senior-ranking JAG in my unit, I am able to practice all aspects of military law. I also manage and lead two attorneys and two paralegals in the unit. I joined the military when I went to West Point in 1994, and I enjoy continuing to serve, but it does present complications. I am leaving my civilian job for the next 11 months to deploy to Kuwait. My job is protected under federal law and my employer is very supportive, but I know the other attorneys in my office will have to pick up my job duties. However, I am almost at my military retirement, so this should be my final deployment.

     

 
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