Law school celebrates, looks to emulate gaming success story 


Gaming commission offers inspiration for Boyd’s  next 10 years

Ten years down and many, many more to go — at least if Dean John Valery White has any say in it.

According to White, the William S. Boyd School of Law has big goals, aiming to be as  much a pillar of Nevada’s legal community as the Nevada Gaming Commission is in its industry.

The law school held its 10 Year Anniversary Finale Monday in the Thomas & Mack Moot Courtroom, in conjunction with a salute to the 50th anniversary of the gaming commission.

Monday’s event focused on the commission’s role in Nevada and the law school’s hopes to be a prominent force in the Nevada legal profession.

“We’re here to salute the gaming commission and in some ways emulate it,” White said, saying that the institution brought integrity to the state gaming industry, setting a model for the law school to follow.

White called attention to the positive effect the school has had in the state in its 10 years of operation.

Boyd graduates are a strong presence in the community, according to White. One in 10 lawyers in Nevada are graduates of the Boyd Law School, he said.

“We believe our actions here in these beautiful but humble buildings will translate to Nevada lawyers and improve the community and build an international reputation of excellence,” White said.

“Our graduates’ commitment to the community is perhaps best evident by their regular appearance in large numbers in the Pro Bono Awards, held every year here in Clark County,” White added.

Peter Bernhard, the chair of the Nevada Gaming Commission, comes from a legal background himself. He discussed the frequently changing day-to-day experiences in a law career.

According to Bernhard, those who blazed a trail in gaming regulation need to be recognized for their contribution to the state.

“This is a time of celebration,” he said. “It’s the time for each of us… to recognize we have done a darn good job over the past 50 years in… providing the structure that allows business people to make business decisions.”

Former Nevada Governor and U.S. Senator Richard Bryan spoke on the history of the commission, hearkening back to gaming’s legacy — spanning from the pharaohs of ancient Egypt to the mob of the depression era. He called Nevada’s gaming regulation “the envy of the world,” claiming that they are mimicked worldwide.

“Today, 48 jurisdictions in the U.S. have some kind of form of gaming. Gaming is universally embraced as a legitimate enterprise, a form of recreations. Tens of millions of people enjoy throughout the United States,” he said, adding that former Governor Grant Sawyer and the legislature’s creation of a gaming control system has “served the test of time well.”

“Sawyer could not have foreseen this,” he said, explaining that no one predicted the success of Nevada’s gaming policies.

White has hopes that Boyd Law will be as prolific as the gaming commission in the coming years.

“With your continued support, we will, like the commission, become a model for how law schools are run, [a model] for the role we play in our communities and will be venerated around the world,” White said.

“[As with the commission], we’ve worked diligently to build at the Boyd School of Law an atmosphere of integrity, professionalism and commitment to community that we believe will translate to the Nevada Bar and throughout our communities.”

10 years of the William S. Boyd School of Law

1997 Naming gift from William S. Boyd

1998 Enrollment of first students; major gift from James E. Rogers

2000 Provisional accreditation by the American Bar

Assocation (ABA)

2001 First graduation; gift establishing the Thomas & Mack

Legal Clinic

2002 Law school building dedication with U.S. Supreme Court

Justice Anthony M. Kennedy

2003 Full accreditation by the ABA; gift establishing the Saltman

Center for Dispute Resolution

2004 Association of American Law Schools (AALS) Membership

2005 Major gift from William S. Boyd

2007 Dedication of the Thomas & Mack Moot Court Facility