UNLV is pleased to announce Sara Gordon as Interim Dean of the William S. Boyd School of Law, effective July 1.
“Sara Gordon is a talented law school professor and law school director committed to excellence,” said Chris Heavey, executive vice president and provost of UNLV law schools in the country.
Gordon is a professor of law and has been with the school since 2006. She has been Deputy Dean for Academic Affairs since 2018. She teaches courses in criminal law, mental health law, and evidence and is a member of the Law School’s Health Law Program. She stands up for Dean Daniel W. Hamilton, who announced in April that he was leaving the post.
“I am honored to have the opportunity to lead the law school through this transition,” said Gordon. “UNLV’s Boyd School of Law has been dedicated to developing ethical and effective lawyers and leaders since its inception more than 20 years ago. I look forward to working with our faculties, students, and community partners to ensure that our law school continues to provide high quality education to our students and access to justice for all Nevadans. “
Gordon’s research examines how psychology and mental health intersect with the criminal justice system. Her recent research examines drug and other specialized courts that were originally designed to divert individuals with criminal charges out of the criminal justice system and instead allow them to treat an underlying mental illness or substance disorder. She has written extensively on the barriers people with mental illness face in the criminal justice system. Her articles have been published in the North Carolina Law Review, Illinois Law Review, Cardozo Law Review, Indiana Law Review, Tennessee Law Review, and Hastings Law Journal.
Prior to joining the Boyd School of Law Faculty, Gordon served as a commercial disputes and labor law attorney on Hale Lane, now Holland and Hart, in Las Vegas. She received her Doctorate in Law from the University of Arizona James E. Rogers School of Law, where she served as Senior Editor for the Arizona Law Review. She received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Pitzer College in Claremont, California.
Boyd is consistently ranked one of the best law schools in the country by US News & World Report. That year it rose two places from 193 accredited programs to 60th place. For the fourth year in a row, the school’s Lawyering Process Program was ranked # 1 nationwide for legal writing, and the Saltman Center for Conflict Resolution moved up one place to 5th in the Dispute Resolution category.
The part-time program for Juris doctors was also among the best in the country, ranking 19th this year. The part-time program offers evening classes that enable full-time employees to complete a law degree in four years. Other top 100 law school programs in this year’s national ranking are Health Law (32), Clinical Education (40), Contract / Commercial Law (45), Tax Law (60), Criminal Law (66) and constitutional law (67). , Intellectual Property (71), Business / Company Law (73), Environmental Law (73), and Litigation (79).