Alumni Spotlight: Barbara Buckley

Barbara Buckley is currently the Executive Director of Legal Aid of Southern Nevada. She is a proud graduate of UNLV, earning her bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice in 1986. She then obtained her law degree from the University of Arizona in 1989. Buckley was a member of the Nevada State Assembly from 2001–2011, and became the first female Speaker of the Assembly in 2007.

What is the most interesting aspect of what you do?

The best part of my job is identifying problems in legislation and finding solutions to those problems, particularly legislation that affects foster children, abused children, and the ways in which self-help services are administered.

What is your best memory of UNLV?

As a student in one of Professor Randall Shelden's classes, I wrote an academic research paper for the first time. It was very encouraging, and gave me the confidence I needed to finish my education, especially as the first person in my family to go to college.

If students are interested in following in your footsteps, what is the best way to proceed?

Stay in school and capitalize on the opportunities provided by UNLV... Finish anything you start, including projects, jobs, internships, etc. Work ethic is invaluable!

UNLV (and the Criminal Justice Department specifically) prepared me for my career. My successes can be attributed to the professors and role models I looked up to at UNLV. If I can say anything to students, it would be that our society needs you! Do not be easily discouraged – our community depends on you!

Barbara Buckley

Executive Director
Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada
Class of 1986