How Boyd Is Shaping Nevada’s Legal Landscape
By April Becker
I am often asked why I made the choice to practice law. The short answer is that in 1998, the William S. Boyd School of Law opened in Las Vegas. With my family and businesses entrenched in the Las Vegas Valley, the opportunity to attend law school was something I never thought would be a possibility: I simply could not leave Las Vegas. That all changed with the announcement that Boyd School of Law was enrolling.
Boyd’s opening not only changed my life, it changed the landscape of the legal community in Nevada. In order to fully understand the impact of the Boyd School of Law, a person has to look into the past void of legal education available. Before Boyd, no law school existed in Nevada. All practicing attorneys in the state were educated in schools that were as different as the locations where those schools were located. This resulted in a lack of continuity within the legal profession, especially when attorneys from other states were recruited to fill the legal needs of our city.
It was less than 20 years ago that Boyd School of Law started operations and began educating potential graduates in an abandoned elementary school across the street from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas campus. From this humble beginning, Boyd now boasts a reputation as a high-profile law school with a landmark campus ranked in the top-100 by U.S. News and World Report. Incredibly, in such a short period of time, Boyd graduates now account for a vast number of practicing attorneys and elected officials.
Quite frankly, being a Boyd graduate opens doors.
In surveying members of the legal profession that hire law school graduates, I have found that the hiring committees of the most prestigious law firms in Las Vegas look first to Boyd for quality graduates and new attorneys to hire. You will find Boyd graduates in almost all of Nevada’s prominent law firms. This is a tribute not only to Boyd School of Law’s rapid growth, but also the respect that the school has earned.
As a mother of three young children, attending law school presented very unique challenges for me; but I soon learned that the benefit of being a Boyd graduate created opportunities beyond any I could have ever imagined. It is amazing how many connections I have made as a graduate of Boyd School of Law. Those connections have created more business and added to the success of my law practice…and, have provided a valuable benefit to my clients. When confronted with difficult legal issues, it is never a problem to reach out and connect with other Boyd alumni for quick and accurate answers.
It is also a source of pride when I see the number of Boyd graduates that hold positions in public office and have become movers and shakers within Nevada politics. Currently, there are several members of the Nevada Legislature that graduated from Boyd School of Law. There are also a number of Boyd graduates seeking election in upcoming political races throughout the State. As a prediction, the number of Boyd graduates involved in Nevada politics will increase each year and with every election.
Las Vegas has always been a city of innovation and influence. Its growth has always centered on its citizens, as well as its unique location. As the city has grown, we have seen many new industries and businesses take root in Nevada, creating more opportunities for Boyd graduates. I feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to graduate from such an outstanding institution. My law partner, my best friends and my network of attorneys are also all Boyd alumni. We all look forward to the continued growth and prestige of the William S. Boyd School of Law.
April L. Becker, Esq., is a partner at Becker Goodey, where she focuses primarily on commercial real estate and business matters, and providing individualized and committed representation to her clients from start to finish.