Job Well Done

Boyd School of Law alumna Jae Barrick takes a bow after nearly a decade as the Saltman Center’s inaugural Graduate Fellow

When Jae Barrick decided to embark on a midlife career change—a change that would begin with her enrollment at the William S. Boyd School of Law at UNLV—there wasn’t much doubt that she would gravitate toward the world of alternative dispute resolution (ADR). After all, it was something that was ingrained in her while growing up in the mountains of West Virginia.


My dad was a union arbitrator whose job was to argue with union guys in preparation for contract negotiations and other issues,” Barrick says. “So as children, we were pretty much forced by dinner conversation to always see two sides of every story.”


Barrick’s affinity for ADR only grew from there. So it’s no surprise that as a law student in the school’s part-time program, she found her way to Boyd Law’s renowned Saltman Center for Conflict Resolution.


Also not a surprise: When the Saltman Center established a graduate fellowship in 2014, Barrick got the job. At the time, she was just a year removed from earning her law degree, had just begun working as a family law attorney, and already was working part-time at the law school.


During her eight-plus years as a graduate fellow, Barrick has worked alongside Boyd Law professor Lydia Nussbaum to further the mission of the Saltman Center and the school’s Mediation Clinic (both of which are directed by Nussbaum).


Among Barrick’s myriad fellowship duties: She has taught in both the Mediation Clinic and Family Mediation Practicum; served as coach and mentor to Boyd Law students participating in the American Bar Association’s client counseling and negotiation competitions; recruited Las Vegas-area lawyers (including Boyd School of Law alums) to judge those competitions; supervised the school’s parking arbitration program; and served as a law school and Mediation Clinic ambassador, particularly to family court judges and attorneys.


“I thought it would be something interesting to do,” Barrick says about her decision to accept the graduate fellowship. “At the time, I wasn’t sure how I was going to make a living at my law firm as a new attorney with no clients. So working at the school gave me some regular monthly [income]. But the more I did it, the more I loved it.”


“I thought it would be a one-year—two-semester—gig. The truth is, I never left.”


Well, until now. With an overflowing plate as both a practicing lawyer and the administrator for Nevada’s Statewide Juvenile Dependency Mediation Program, Barrick has decided to relinquish her role as the Saltman Center’s graduate fellow at the end of the fall semester.


Albeit with some reluctance.


“I have absolutely loved working with students and giving them a real-life view of what their career will be like as practicing attorneys,” Barrick says. “They’re all so smart—far smarter than I am—and so motivated. I’ll truly miss that interaction.”


When she steps down, Barrick will hand the graduate fellowship baton to Michael Stannard, a longtime friend, colleague and 2017 Boyd graduate. Stannard arrived at the law school the same year Barrick began her fellowship, and the two connected during his second year when he began participating in client counseling competitions.


Like Barrick, Stannard is a Las Vegas-based family law practitioner whose passion for mediation and dispute resolution is as profound as the respect he has for his mentor.


“Michael has a deep well of patience and understanding, both of which are essential attributes for any good mediator and teacher,” Nussbaum says. “He’s also remarkably kind and good natured and doesn’t have an ounce of pretentiousness. He’s the perfect choice to be our second graduate fellow.


“As for Jae, I can’t thank her enough for all that she has done for us. She has been a guide, an advisor, and a friend from whom I have learned a tremendous amount. I will miss her very much.”