Harry Reid


Retired U.S. Sen. Harry Reid has landed a new gig: distinguished fellow in law and policy at the William S. Boyd School of Law at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

The school announced this month that Reid, a former Senate majority leader who retired in December after 30 years from his Washington post as a lawmaker from Nevada, will lecture in law courses and work directly with students and alumni while also pursuing writing projects in his new campus role.

Reid, 77, credited the law school’s 1997 creation with bolstering Nevada’s legal industry. It’s still the only law school in the state. “As a longtime supporter of the law school, I am looking forward to joining the UNLV Boyd community and to working with the state’s future lawyers and leaders,” Reid said in written statement.

In March, the university announced that both Reid and former Speaker of the House John Boehner had signed on as co-chairs of the newly created MGM Resorts Public Policy Institute—a campus-based think tank that will focus on bipartisan solutions to economic, social and political issues in the arena of travel, tourism, hospitality and gambling. That announcement made a brief reference to Reid also becoming a law school fellow, but it wasn’t clear until last week just what he would be doing there.

“We are delighted that Senator Reid will be joining the law school as the first distinguished fellow in law and policy,” said law Dean Daniel Hamilton. “This is an unprecedented opportunity for Boyd School of Law students to interact with and learn from one of the most prominent lawyers and policy makers in the history of Nevada.”

Reid, a Democrat, is one of Washington’s biggest lawmaker names. He was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 1987 to represent the Silver State. He served as the Senate majority leader for nearly a decade, and most recently was the Senate minority leader for two years. During his time in the Senate leadership, he earned a reputation as a shrewd political strategist who was unafraid to take unpopular positions if it furthered the Democratic agenda.

Reid’s health took a hit in 2015 when he fell while exercising at home. The spill left him blind in one eye, and with numerous broken facial bones, and contributed to his decision to retire from the Senate.

Reid is no stranger to UNLV’s law school, although he is an alum of George Washington University Law School. He has hosted law student externs at his Law Vegas and Washington offices.

Last year, he visited the Las Vegas campus to argue for GOP lawmakers to consider President Barack Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland for the U.S. Supreme Court seat left vacant by Antonin Scalia’s death. (If you’re not sure how that turned out, read this.) The location of his remarks was purposeful, Reid told students.

“This is a place we should talk about the Constitution,” he said, according to coverage in the Las Vegas Review-Journal.