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UNLV Boyd Picks Up Optimistic Dean
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UNLV Boyd School of Law’s new dean is keeping an eager face and the pitch and feel of a salesman as he prepares to attack the legal market by offering new student a program that is supposed to make a difference. As William S. Boyd School of Law’s fourth dean, he is riding in on a program that has done well for itself, with UNLV ranking 68th nationally, according to the U.S. News and World Report, but now with a 25 percent drop in its applications, which were well over 1,000 in 2006-2007.

When asked about the drop, he did not mention the recession, but said, according the Sun,


Automation has a lot to do with it. Document review, which once required a lawyer, can now be done by computer, using sophisticated programs. More lawyers are looking for work as the market gets saturated. There’s also more work that can be outsourced to different parts of the world for a cheaper cost.

He was unwilling to speculate whether this was a “structural or cyclical shift,” but does opine, rather optimistically, that law schools have seen applications hit bottom, and expects they will only go up in subsequent years.

Aside from trying to raise the number of applications, the dean expects to bolster the schools gaming law program.

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Gaming law is a very sophisticated area of legal practice. It’s labor law, intellectual law, securities law and administrative law. It’s going to take some time to build out, but it makes sense for UNLV and Las Vegas given the incredible expertise the city and state has to become a leader in this field.

Of course, as a sort of salesman for his school, he put the accent on the positive, stressing that the school was different from alternative programs, a great investment. That might be overstating things at this point.

Boyd is one of the great success stories of the past decade. We want to keep that rise, that momentum, going. We aspire for UNLV to be recognized as one of the top public law schools in the country. We want to take a great thing and make it even better.

Our presence is already impressive. We’re active members of the community. Since we opened our doors 15 years ago through a partnership with the Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada and Nevada Legal Services, more than 50,000 people have taken classes on family law, bankruptcy and foreclosure issues. Our students are working with kids court and immigration law. We’re very proud of the Saltman Center, which is our nationally recognized conflict-resolution center. We’re not only doing great scholarly work but doing great work in the community.

There is quite a lot of selling going on this spiel, but when he goes on to claim that “Boyd grads are thriving, and it’s a testament to the education they get here,” one has to wonder how much weight to grant these claims.



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