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Dean's Column: Boyd Law School Guest Writers Frank Durand and Nathan Neely

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Nevada Lawyer Magazine
“In 2010, the William S. Boyd School of Law at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas’s future is simply blinding.”
Dean’s Column
THEN (2000)
The year 2000 marked my family’s second year living in the “Entertainment Capital of the World,” my son’s transition from preschooler to schooler and my second year overseeing the admissions’ operation at a dynamic, fledgling law school which, after many years of discourse and debate, had finally come into being. As we recruited the first Boyd School of Law class of the new millennium, much institutional progress had been made… but much progress had yet to be realized. The university was about to vacate the former Dickinson Library and plans were in the works to convert that facility into the permanent home of the law school, but the former Paradise Elementary School remained our (quite) humble home. The law school had submitted application for provisional American Bar Association accreditation and was under consideration, but we had not received a verdict (and, of course, eligibility to apply for full accreditation would not be reached for several years). We were able to take advantage of many recruitment opportunities locally and regionally, but we were unable to participate in many big ticket recruitment events because we still awaited accreditation.
While fundamental challenges associated with our institutional youth remained before us, we went about the business of assembling our fall 2000 entering class. A total of 530 individuals submitted applications (all in hard copy) for fall 2000 admission; it was the largest of our three applicant pools to that point. Of those 530 applicants, 227 (43 percent) were offered admission; of those 227 admittees, 140 (62 percent) matriculated in August 2000; of those 140 matriculants, 90 were full-time students and 50 were part-time students. In terms of numerical indicators, our fall 2000 entering class was comprised of a formidable bunch. The 75th percentile, median and 25th percentile Law School Admission Test (LSAT) scores for the class were 156, 152 and 148. The 75th percentile, median and 25th percentile undergraduate grade point averages, meanwhile, were 3.47, 3.24 and 2.86. We noted, then, that these statistics 1) were comparable to corresponding statistics at a number of fine, long-standing, ABA-accredited law schools at which a number of our faculty members, at that time, had taught previously and 2) exceeded the corresponding statistics at many other fine, long-standing, ABA-accredited law schools that were (and, in some cases, still are) our primary competitors for quality prospective law students. In 2000, the Boyd School of Law had made remarkable progress and its future was bright. We could hardly wait to see where we would be in, say, 10 years.
Dean for Student Advancement, FRANK DURAND, has been a member of the Boyd community since 1998, serving as Assistant Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid from 1998-2006.
Nevada Lawyer
October 2010
NOW (2010)
In May of 2000, I carried a Super 8 mini-camera across the stage with me as I graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Radio, Television and Film. After the graduation festivities wound down, I packed up my college belongings and made my way home to Austin, Texas, where I had a great opportunity to live with two interesting roommates (my parents) as well as gainful employment with the State Comptroller of Texas (as a summer intern). My future, to say the least, was bright. Who knew that 10 years later I would find myself working diligently with the Admissions Staff, in addition to the Admissions Committee, for the only juris doctor-granting institution in the great state of Nevada, in an effort to bring in one of the most highly-credentialed classes the program had ever seen. Relying on new technology to receive and review the 1,745 electronic applications was a critical first step in the process. This was followed closely by the use of an old technology, the landline phone, to maintain contact with the 322 applicants accepted into the incoming fall class of 2010. Finally, as the dust settled from the flurry of phone calls, e-mails, campus tours, Facebook messages, class visits, etc. the William S. Boyd School of Law found itself with 145 brand new legal scholars: 34 of the incoming students counting themselves among the evening part-time program, four finding
themselves taking a part-time load during the day, with the remaining 107 suffering the burden of the full-time course load. In terms of numbers, the Powers That Be smiled upon this still-adolescent institution. Raising the LSAT medians from years past to a stout 25th percentile, median and 75th percentile of 156, 159 and 161 respectively, was an accomplishment. Increasing the 25th percentile, median and 75th percentile of the undergraduate cumulative grade point average to 3.15, 3.45 and 3.70 was pure icing. In 2000, my future may have been bright, but in 2010, the William S. Boyd School of Law at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas’s future is simply blinding.
Director of Admissions and Financial Aid, NATHAN NEELY, has been a member of the Boyd community since 2009.
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October 2010 Nevada Lawyer 35

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