RWU Law provides students a broad range of marine resource and maritime courses taught by full professors as well as expert practitioners. The curriculum includes courses in admiralty, fisheries, piracy, ocean and coastal law, ocean policy, and climate change.
Roundtable facilitators choose topics of interest which can include their latest publication, cases pending before the United States Supreme Court, or legal issues in popular culture. Previous Roundtable topics have included "Constitutional Issues in the Recognition of Same-Sex Marriages and Civil Unions", "Are Lawyers America's Aristocracy", "The Detention of Accused Enemy Combatants at Guantanamo Bay", and "Judging Today: Adjudication in the Era of CNN, CSI, and Court TV". Presenters have included Superior Court Justice Judith Savage, the Governor's Chief of Staff Kenneth McKay, and the President and CEO of Women and Infants Hospital Constance Howes.
Throughout the year students are also invited to participate in a range of academic and social events.
First Year Summer
During the summer, students are strongly encouraged to compete for Law Review. Writing and editing for a law review are among the most valuable and prestigious activities available to students in American legal education.
Our law review student editors have edited and published works of professors from many fine law schools including Columbia, Cornell, Harvard, and Yale.
Honors students take special Honors Perspective Courses in each semester of their second and third years.
Roger Williams' unique Perspective Series is a collection of one-credit courses devoted to reading and discussing a single book. Books - selected to give students important and different perspectives on the law - have in recent years included:
- Simple Justice: The History of Brown v. Board of Education and Black America's Struggle for Equality (Kluger)
- The Bramble Bush (Llewellyn)
- The Future of Ideas: The Fate of the Commons in a Connected World (Lessig)
- Justice Accused: Antislavery and the Judicial Process (Cover)
- No Constitutional Right to be Ladies: Women and the Obligations of Citizenship (Kerber)
- Vichy Law and the Holocaust in France (Weisberg)
In both the second and third years, many honors students are chosen to serve as faculty research assistants, an excellent way to work one-on-one with a faculty member on his or her ongoing research.
Second Year Summer
In the summer following the second year of study, every effort will be made to place honors students in positions with public and private legal organizations.
In the final year of study, qualified honors students are given preference to participate in externships with state and federal judicial officers in Rhode Island, including externships with members of the Rhode Island Supreme Court and the federal courts.
Upon graduation and successful completion of the honors program, students receive a special honors certificate and enjoy a special graduation reception in their honor. A note of completion is also placed on the law school transcript.