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Friday, January 10, 2014

Dean Dan Hamilton Featured in Nevada Business Magazine

Dan Hamilton is the Dean and Richard J. Morgan Professor of Law at the William S. Boyd School of Law.

On Jan. 2, he was featured in the Nevada Business Magazine article Industry Focus: Attorneys. The article summarizes a recent gathering of Nevada attorneys to discuss the industry's current trends and challenges.

When asked how technology has impacted the legal industry, Dean Hamilton responded, "Technology has changed the world of law school admissions in surprising ways. Now admitted students can talk via the internet on the kinds of negotiations they’re having with law schools with respect to their tuition. A student admitted to UNLV will be in communication with someone who was admitted to Cal Western, UNLV and University of San Diego talking about the scholarship offers they’re getting at each. The whole website is devoted to the best deal you can get. It’s very school specific and it has definitely changed the game."

When asked about the importance of business development skills for attorneys, Dean Hamilton said, "Our core services department is now training people how to network from the start of law school. That is one of the skills that can be taught. It’s not just an art, it’s a science. Effective networking is really something that we try to train our students to do from the first day of law school."

When asked if staffing is an issue, Dean Hamilton responded, "The number one job for us is to make sure the Boyd student emerges with a good job and a chance for a very satisfying, good career. We have a terrific career services office that works with students from the first day of law school to well after they graduate. It’s no longer a case of placing them in a job and moving on to the next. We have to make sure our students remain competitive in the increasingly national legal market. We have a new associate dean for experiential learning and their whole mission is to make sure our lawyers hit the ground as close to practice ready as possible. We need to make sure our students compete for those positions in Las Vegas when they come up and that we make the case that the Boyd student is the one you want. They are tied to this community and they are already trained how to network and build these relationships and we are very proud of the students we produce. We will have to shrink, as most law schools will have to do. That will take off some of the immediate pressure to place 150 students every year. This remains our fundamental challenge for legal education broadly." He continued, "One half of law school graduates across the country are going to one- or two-person law firms. Teaching them how to be able to hit the ground running and open up a shop very quickly right out of law school is really a challenge. We’re partnering with the State Bar to figure out ways we can better serve the roughly 40-50 percent of our class that’s going to go into small firms."

Dean Hamilton researches and writes primarily on American property ideology and the legal and constitutional issues raised by the Civil War. He has written numerous articles and reviews on American legal history.