The William S. Boyd School of Law, the first and only public law school in Nevada history, commenced classes in fall 1998 and now has graduated more than 1,700 students. Located in a unique, dynamic, and continually growing metropolitan area, BSL offers its students an evolving social climate in which to study the law and observe and participate in its application. The law school is fully accredited by the American Bar Association and is a member of the Association of American Law Schools.
The full-time faculty consists of experienced, accomplished, and well-respected legal educators. All faculty members have excellent credentials, experience, and reputations; all are people for whom teaching and mentoring of students is very important; and all are people who are eager to serve their community through scholarship, civic involvement, and various outreach programs. The law school also taps into the wealth of talent in the local bar association for adjunct faculty who teach a variety of specialized courses.
The Boyd School of Law offers and encourages its students to undertake a generalist curriculum. Specific course offerings are constantly reviewed and revised as societal needs, student interest, and faculty resources change. The curriculum generally emphasizes the responsibilities, skills, and values required of members of the legal profession. This emphasis comes to the fore in Lawyering Process, a three-semester required course that offers students the opportunity to examine the relationship between legal analysis and other legal skills such as research, writing, oral advocacy, and client interviewing and counseling, with significant emphasis on professionalism and ethics.
Programs of Study
The law school offers a traditional three-year, full-time JD program, as well as a four-year, part-time JD program during evening hours and a four-year, part-time JD program during day hours. Additionally, three dual-degree programs have been established: Juris Doctor/Master of Business Administration, Juris Doctor/Master of Social Work, and Juris Doctor/PhD in Education. Finally, the law school offers an LLM in Gaming Law.
A unique aspect of a Boyd education is an early focus on service learning. Under the supervision of attorneys from Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada, Nevada Legal Services, and the law school, all first-year students participate in a community service program directing informational workshops and providing legal information to those in need on the subjects of bankruptcy, foreclosure mediation, small claims, family law, paternity custody, immigration, mediation, and guardianship. After the first year, in our Partners in Pro Bono Program, students work one-on-one with attorney mentors on pro bono cases. These programs are intended to acquaint students with the large unmet need for legal services and to instill a lasting commitment to community service and pro bono work.
The Thomas and Mack Legal Clinic houses the school’s “law firm” and offers an integrated academic and practice-based educational experience that teaches students to be reflective practitioners and community-oriented professionals. The clinic has focused on seven specific areas: appellate litigation, education advocacy, family justice, small business and nonprofit legal, immigration, juvenile justice, and mediation. Additionally, the law school provides an extensive externship program. Working closely with the legal community, the law school has established a year-round program offering opportunities for students to extern with the federal and state judiciary, government and public service agencies, and the Nevada and US legislatures.
Saltman Center for Conflict Resolution
The Saltman Center for Conflict Resolution was established in 2003 to provide a venue for advanced study of the nature of conflict and the methods through which conflicts may be resolved. The work of the center encompasses conflicts arising out of regional, national, and international concerns in both the public and private sectors. Recognizing that a sophisticated understanding of conflict necessarily requires insights derived from disciplines other than law, the center places particular emphasis on interdisciplinary approaches to understanding and resolving disputes. The center’s faculty teach courses on mediation, negotiations, alternative dispute resolution, and arbitration, as well as a clinical offering in the area of mediation.
The Nevada Law Journal is a publication devoted to scholarly research on the subject of national legal interest as well as on issues of particular interest to the Nevada legal community.
The UNLV Gaming Law Journal is a journal of legal scholarship published by the students and dedicated to analyzing the law and policy implications of gaming case law, legislation, administrative regulations, and important gaming legal events.
The Society of Advocates is the school’s appellate and trial forensic program. The society consists of an executive board and team members who participate in interscholastic competitions. Teams compete in mock trial, client counseling, negotiation, mediation, and alternative dispute resolution competitions, as well as traditional appellate advocacy. Boyd’s teams have been very successful in winning regional, national, and international competitions.
Students also participate in more than 30 student organizations.
The Office of Career Development offers personalized career counseling, employment workshops, a job opportunity board, on-campus interviewing programs, and a state-of-the-art online job-search program to assist students.
Academic Success Program
The Boyd School of Law Academic Success Program provides students a comprehensive network of presentations, activities, tutorials, and workshops designed to stimulate learning and to amplify the classroom experience. The program supplements the curriculum with opportunities to enhance learning skills and develop more efficient and effective methods of studying, comprehending, and writing. As part of this program, the student-operated Center for Academic Success and Enrichment (CASE) offers students mentoring, advising, and tutoring.
The Boyd School of Law facility includes the William S. Boyd Hall, the James E. Rogers Center for Administration and Justice, and the Thomas and Mack Moot Court Facility. Classrooms include state-of-the art technology for presentations using PowerPoint, video, and document cameras, and are equipped to facilitate videoconferencing and distance learning. Classroom, lounge, and study space offer students indoor and outdoor wireless access seating areas where they can make productive use of their time between classes.
The Wiener-Rogers Law Library holds the most substantial collection of legal materials in the state of Nevada. The library is staffed by excellent, service-oriented librarians who have come from major libraries across the country. Patrons and students have access to a core collection of important material in printed and micro formats. The library offers one computer lab and provides numerous carrels for individual study, as well as group study rooms. The growing library collection now exceeds 400,000 volumes and microform volume equivalents.
The Boyd School of Law seeks to enroll an academically well-qualified, accomplished, and diverse group of individuals who will contribute to the vitality of the school’s educational program, the community, and the legal profession after graduation. Applicants for admission may demonstrate qualification and accomplishment through distinguished academic records as undergraduate or graduate students, successful careers, meaningful contributions to their communities, or successful efforts to meet challenges associated with race, ethnicity, gender, economic status, or disability. Students of diverse backgrounds, attitudes, and interests contribute to the breadth and quality of the classroom and nonclassroom dialogues, which are critical elements of legal education.
The Boyd School of Law has elected not to publish an applicant profile based on LSAT score and undergraduate GPA. Those two
factors, while certainly important, are not the only factors taken into consideration. The Boyd School of Law uses no form of
indexing system in reaching its admission decisions. Each completed application file is reviewed in its entirety.