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  • Shelley Berkley


    Shelley Berkeley

    Date of Birth:
    January 20, 1951
    Place of Birth:
    New York, New York
    Arrival in Las Vegas:
    Junior High Age
    Congressional Representative
    Date of Interview:
    April 2011
    Interviewed by:
    Emylia Terry and Linsey Scriven

    Women’s Research Institute of Nevada
    University of Nevada, Las Vegas
    4505 Maryland Parkway, Box 455083
    Las Vegas, Nevada 89154-5083

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    Oral History

    Congresswoman Shelley Berkley was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in November, 1998. Shelley represents constituents living in the First Congressional District of Nevada, including residents of Las Vegas, North Las Vegas, and unincorporated areas in Clark County. The Congresswoman has lived in Las Vegas for over 39 years. She has a deep sense of commitment to give back to the community that opened the doors of opportunity for her.

    She also has never forgotten that her family headed west seeking a better life, and found it in Las Vegas. Shelley completed junior high and high school in Las Vegas, then went on to become the first member of her family to attend college when she enrolled in UNLV. Elected Student Body President, 1971-1972, she graduated with honors and a B.A. in Political Science from UNLV in 1972.

    After earning her law degree at the University of San Diego School of Law in 1976, Shelley returned to Las Vegas to begin her career. Shelley and husband Dr. Larry Lehrner now reside in Northwest Las Vegas. Shelley’s son Max studies at the University of Arizona, while son Sam attends Bonanza High School in Las Vegas. Dr. Lehrner’s son David attends classes at the University of Indiana, while daughter Stephanie is enrolled in the medical school at University of Nevada-Reno.

    Previous Elected Offices

    Shelley is a former Vice Chair of the Nevada University and Community College System Board of Regents. Appointed to the Board in 1990 by the Governor, she was then twice elected as a Regent by Las Vegas-area voters. She completed her second term on the Board in 1998. Throughout her tenure, Shelley worked to keep higher education in Nevada affordable and accessible to all qualified students.

    Elected to the Nevada State Assembly in 1982 and serving through 1984, Shelley championed consumer protection for car buyers and mobile home owners, fought for tougher drunk driving laws, and founded the Senior Law Project. Shelley Berkley has devoted her energies to charitable and civic efforts ever since she was a teenager. Her work and ideas have contributed to many of Southern Nevada’s successes.

    Shelley Berkley has been recognized for her community service and commitment.

    Of the many awards she has received, some of the most notable are:

    Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce “Woman of Achievement”
    Las Vegas Business and Professional Woman “Woman of the Year”
    Clark County Mother of the Year, 1994
    Anti-Defamation League Public Service Award
    Las Vegas Review Journal’s Outstanding Women in Clark County
    UNLV Distinguished Alumnus of the Year

    A representative sampling of her record of service includes:

    Past President, Las Vegas Public Broadcasting System affiliate, KLVX Channel 10
    Former Board Member and Secretary, UNLV Alumni Association
    Nevada Advisory Committee Member, U.S. Civil Rights Commission
    Director Emeritus, National Conference of Christians and Jews
    Advisory Board Member, Clark County School District “Partners in Progress” Committee
    Founder and President, Southern Nevada Association of Women Attorneys
    Coordinator, Clark County Bar Association Pro Bono Project


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    Women's Research Institute of Nevada
    University of Nevada, Las Vegas
    4505 Maryland Parkway, Box 455083
    Las Vegas, Nevada 89154-5083

    © 2017 WRIN | All rights reserved.

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