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Fast Facts

Each year the Rhode Island Supreme Court presides over the final round of our Esther Clark Moot Court Competition giving the finalists a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

First Impressions

Cliff Walk in Snow

Student Experiences

All of the funds raised from 2008/2009 Public Interest Auction were used to support unpaid, summer legal internships that serve the disenfranchised and less fortunate populations across Rhode Island and southeastern Massachusetts. Twenty-eight Roger Williams law students were able to work with many public interest organizations across the United States, with the majority being located in Rhode Island and southeastern Massachusetts.  Below you will find information about each stipend recipient's summer experience.

Aitchison Stipend 

Rebecca Aitchison
Rhode Island Public Defender
Wheaton College, 2008
Hometown: Norwalk, CT

I worked in the Rhode Island Public Defender, in the Appellate Division. While the majority of my work consisted of legal research and writing for current clients, I was also able to meet with clients in the ACI, and watch different trial proceedings. Furthermore, because there are only four appellate attorneys in the office, I was able to get a lot of supervision and one-on-one feedback for my various assignments.

Stipend Alexander

Angela Alexander
Office of the Child Advocate
Brown University, 2007
Hometown: Baltimore, MD

While interning at the Office of the Child Advocate this summer, I assisted the attorneys with trial preparation.  In addition, I did research for and began drafting a proposal for a statute specifically drafted to protect youth in juvenile detention from sexual abuse.  I also observed the Child Advocate and Assistant Child Advocate at trial, and accompanied them to meetings.

Stipend Alves

Angela Alves
New York State Division of Human Rights
Boston University 2008
Hometown: Pawtucket, RI

I spent the past summer interning at the New York State Division of Human Rights in the Investigations Unit. I worked on the investigations of various discrimination cases primarily in the areas of housing and employment. One case in particular that really interested me and was a great learning experience involved housing discrimination on the basis of disability.

Stipend Basting

Jeff Basting
Westchester County District Attorney’s Office in White Plains, NY
Loyola College, Maryland, 2008
Hometown: Dover Plains, NY

Funded by a stipend I received from the Association for Public Interest Law, I spent this past summer working with the Mortgage Fraud Unit at the Westchester County District Attorney’s Office in White Plains, NY. Assigned to a team composed of assistant district attorneys, criminal investigators, and members of the New York State Banking Authority, I had to opportunity to assist in the investigation and prosecution of a group of attorneys, real estate brokers, appraisers and straw buyers recently charged with stealing over 1.4 million dollars in equity from vulnerable homeowners in Westchester County, NY. With my responsibilities ranging from drafting affidavits and subpoenas to researching criminal statutes for charge schemes, I was constantly challenged to think creatively about the law, and presented with a host of opportunities to develop my legal research and writing skills.

Stipend Coliflores

Jennifer Coliflores
Providence Solicitor’s Office
Colby College, 2006
Hometown: Wrentham, MA

While working in the Solicitor’s Office, I had a wide variety of experience in the many different areas of municipal law. In addition to responding to the assigning attorneys, I did a substantial amount of drafting, specifically complaints, easements, leases, and motions.  I also observed and did trial preparation for a tort case in the United States District Court.  One of the highlights of the internship was participating in the 77th Annual Meeting of the United States Conference of Mayors, which was held for the first time in Providence.

Emily Connolly
Connecticut Deptartment of Social Services: Aging Services Division, Office of the Legal Services Developer
Providence College, 2005
Hometown: Stratford, CT

My primary responsibility was creating a Legal Needs Survey for Connecticut. This survey is pursuant to and required by a $100,000 grant (for each of three years) from the Administration of Aging. The overall goal of the project is to create a comprehensive legal assistance delivery system for seniors fully integrating Connecticut’s existing senior legal helpline with all components of the Older Americans Act Title IIIB and other legal and aging services providers. This project involves over 30 collaborating legal and aging federal and state agencies and organizations including the Attorney General and the Congressional delegation and state disability centers as well as three faith-based major religious groups – the Catholic Diocese of Norwich, the Episcopal Diocese of CT, and the Jewish Community Center in New Haven. Thus, the Legal Needs Survey, once completed, will serve as a tool for an effective and efficient implementation of this overall project goal.

Stipend Cooley

Jayson Cooley
New York Civil Liberties Union Reproductive Rights Project
Indiana University, 2004
Hometown: Boston, MA

This summer, I interned with the New York Civil Liberties Union's Reproductive Rights Project in New York City.  I had the opportunity to work on a wide range of issues, including family planning, contraception and abortion access, comprehensive sex education, rights of pregnant and parenting women, and minors' rights, among others.  The internship consisted mostly of legal research and writing, but also included drafting memorandum in support of legislation and public education and advocacy work. 

Stipend Deans

Alastair Deans
International Institute of Rhode Island
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2004
Hometown: Wilson, NC

This summer I volunteered at the International Institute of Rhode Island, a non-profit organization that helps immigrants get settled, become legal permanent residents or citizens, and manage their paperwork.  In addition to those regular services, the IIRI also provides legal assistance to immigrants when needed, either through their staff attorney or through a list of pro bono immigration attorneys in the area.  My contribution to their operations over the summer was the drafting of a rights pamphlet for illegal immigrants who do not necessarily know what rights they have out of status in the United States.  I also assisted a local pro bono attorney with a case involving a refugee that the Department of Homeland Security wants to deport, I wrote an appeal for a the husband of U.S. citizen that the Department of Homeland Security wants to deport, and I began the process of an appeal and waiver for the wife of a U.S. citizen and six year resident and active community member that Department of Homeland Security wants to deport.

Stipend Delgado

Misty Delgado
Rhode Island Department of Children, Youth & Families
Roger Williams University, 2008
Hometown: Providence, RI

While working at the Department of Children, Youth and Families I was able to observe the Rhode Island Family Court System in a way that few individuals ever experience. I worked with an attorney and support staff that were committed to their job and the future of the children in state care.

Stipend Duket

Jane Duket
Pawtucket Solicitor’s Office

I had the opportunity to work at the Pawtucket Solicitor’s Office.  I researched an array of issues the city was dealing with including land use issues, tax assessment issues, and tort claims against Pawtucket.  Additionally, I had a chance to prosecute simple domestic assaults that occurred in the city.  

Dawn Euer
National center for Victims of Crime, Washington DC
University of Minnesota, 2004
Hometown: Kenosha, WI

Dawn Euer ('10) interned for the National Center for Victims of Crime over the summer.
I was able to hone my legal research skills and learn about victim law, which is not discussed very much in law school.  I spent time researching stalking laws in all 50 states and the territories.  I also was able to network with other professionals at various events and conferences that took place in DC over the summer.

Stipend Fischer

Darci Fischer
Planned Parenthood of Rhode Island
Northeastern University, 2003
Hometown: East Haven, CT

This summer I was a research assistant at Planned Parenthood of Rhode Island in Providence. My task was to explore possible legal strategies that would alleviate the access issues facing the clinic; ultimately to balance the protesters’ First Amendment rights along with patients’ right to privacy. My legal memorandum was based on data I complied from agency files, observations of the protesters, and interviews of staff and volunteer clinic escorts.

Andrea Flanagan
Burns Paiute Tribe of Burns, Oregon.
Oregon State, 2005
Hometown: Pendleton, Oregon

This past summer I had the opportunity to work with the Burns Paiute Tribe of Burns, Oregon.  The Tribe is involved in the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) relicensing of two dams on the Snake River, advocating for fish passage and reintroduction of salmonids in the Upper Snake River. However, the Burns Paiutes have a small tribal government and limited funding. Through my research I was able to provide the Tribal Council with an index of resources and a timeline of past legal events impacting the Tribe. My memorandum on the Burns Paiutes' legal history will provide the tribal government with a better understanding of the Tribe's legal past and help them better prepare involvement in the relicensing of Hells Canyon dams. 

Stipend Furst

Hala V. Furst
United States Attorney's Office, Providence, RI
University of Minnesota,  2004
Hometown: Wichita, KS
This summer I was privileged to intern at the United States Attorney's Office in Providence. While there I worked closely with Assistant US Attorneys, special agents, and representatives from several agencies of the federal government. I observed criminal trials and civil court proceedings, drafted responses to motions, and assisted with trial preparation. It was a terrific introduction to the inners workings of our federal justice system.

Justin Hersh
New Hampshire Department of Justice, Office of Attorney General
Colby-Sawyer College, 2000
Hometown: Rutland, Vermont

Brandy Noelle Hughes
New Hampshire Public Defender
Winthrop University, South Carolina, 2003
Hometown:  Branchville, South Carolina

For Summer 2009, I was able to pursue two passions at once:  getting her feet wet in the field of public defense and exploring her ever deepening love of New England while working with the New Hampshire Public Defender's Office in Stratham, N.H.  While working as a summer intern, I was able to both fine tune my research and legal writing skills and get my first taste of client representation in a courtroom setting.  This experience was invaluable, as it fertilized my desire to work in the field of indigent criminal defense and gave me the craving to be representing such clients in the courtroom, arguing zealously for justice in the form of favorable outcomes for my clients.

Stipend Johnson

Erik Johnson
Washington D.C. Public Defender
Arizona State University, 2003
Hometown: Gilbert, AZ

During my 1L summer I worked in the Trial Division of the Washington D.C. Public Defender Service.  We were matched up with a particular attorney whom we watched in trial, assisted in writing motions, and discussed life as a public defender.  D.C. P.D.S also set up various learning opportunities such as Trial Practice Groups, which consisted of six or seven law clerks and two senior attorneys.  Every other week we would meet and perform our particular assignment for the week, such as an opening, cross-examination of a complainant, or a closing.  The attorneys, and sometimes our fellow law clerks, would provide feedback and helpful pointers.  The job also proved to be a great networking opportunity, making friendships with law students all across the country, as well as ex-D.C. Public Defenders who now hold senior administrative positions in places like New Orleans and the Southern Public Defender Training Center based in Atlanta.  I certainly was not the same person at the end of the summer as I was at the beginning.

Stipend Kelliher

Katie Kelliher
Alaska Public Defender Agency- Fairbanks AK
Northeastern University, 2001
Hometown: Holyoke, MA

This summer I worked for the Public Defender's office in Fairbanks, Alaska.  While there, I handled my own caseload, representing clients charged with everything from Driving While Intoxicated to felony theft charges.  I represented indigent defendants at every stage of the criminal justice process including arraignments, bail hearings, change of pleas, full trials, sentencing, and restitution hearings.  In addition to representing defendants in a court setting, I also investigated cases and drafted motions to suppress.  I was featured on the Alaska News and MSNBC after defending a single mom who was charged with reckless endangerment.

Stipend LaFex

Anne LaFex
Federal District Court, Northern District of New York, Syracuse, New York
Siena College, 2007
Hometown: Syracuse, New York

I was a clerk for a federal District Court judge in the Northern District of New York.  My supervisor was Judge Suddaby's career clerk, and I also worked closely with his term clerk.  I was primarily responsible for drafting a summary judgment order from start to finish, but I was assigned other smaller research and writing tasks, as well.  I had the opportunity to do work in a variety of legal fields including employment civil rights, maritime, bankruptcy, ERISA, jury instructions and more.  Judge Suddaby let me attend any and all court room proceedings I wished (including anything that was going on in the building with other judges), and he also allowed me to sit in and offer my advice during chamber meetings regarding different issues (for example, a bench order or listening to relevant tapes for pending decisions). 

Stipend Laweryson

Lynn Laweryson
New York City Legal Aid Juvenile Rights Division
Florida Atlantic University, 2007
Hometown:  Bingham, Maine

Lynn Laweryson ('11) interned for New York City Legal Aid's Juvenile Rights Division in Manhattan this past summer.  Lynn said:  "Working at Legal Aid gave me the opportunity to apply the skills learned during first year of law school in a hands-on way that made me remember why I came to law school to begin with.  I was given the opportunity to shadow attorneys in court on a daily basis and gained experience in legal research and writing as I drafted memos on issues critical to our clients' cases.  Additionally, I was able to connect with clients and learned valuable interviewing skills."

Stipend Lee

Casey Lee
U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Rhode Island
California State University, Northridge, 2006
Hometown: Santa Clarita, CA
Casey Lee ('10) interned at the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Rhode Island this past summer.  Casey said: "I gained many valuable experiences during my internship with the Bankruptcy Court this summer, which was especially busy due to the current economic downturn.  Reporting to Judge Votolato's law clerks, I drafted multiple memoranda addressing various bankruptcy issues, researched the interplay between the Bankruptcy Code and applicable state law, and observed numerous bankruptcy hearings.  These experiences reinforced my understanding of bankruptcy law and how it can be used by debtors to achieve a fresh financial start."

Stipend OConnor

Heather O’Connor
South Coastal Counties Legal Services
University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth, 2008
Hometown: Carver, MA

While working at South Coastal Counties Legal Services, I was able to not only draft documents for court, I was even able to argue, present evidence, and win an appeal to the Fall River Housing Authority.  I was able to clerk for a day at New Bedford Family Court, and I worked with a group of AmeriCorp law students and mapped, canvassed, and clinics for tenants regarding their legal rights if their landlord gets foreclosed.

Stipend Rogers

Christopher Rogers
Rhode Island Office of the Attorney General
Weber State University, 2004
Hometown: Salt Lake City, UT

Christopher Rogers (’10) interned for RI Office of the Attorney General, District Court Unit.  While working for the District Court Unit, I had the opportunity to attend court daily, prepare cases and arguments and present them before the judge.  I worked hand in hand with prosecuting attorneys in probation and bail violation hearings, and breathalyser refusal trials.  I also learned about criminal trial procedure in the both the District Court and Traffic Tribunal.    

Stipend Rosenfeld

Greg Rosenfeld
The Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia
University of Colorado at Boulder, 2006
Hometown: Manhasset, NY

Greg Rosenfeld (’11) interned for the Public Defender Service for the District of Colombia this past summer. Greg said:  “While working for Public Defender Service, I had the opportunity to acquire a wide variety of legal experience in many different areas. In addition to responding to the assigning attorneys, I was called upon to do a substantial amount of legal research and writing, including motions, memorandums, and discovery letters.  I also actively participated in several felony trials.

Stipend Spencer

Peter Spencer
Taunton City Solicitor's Office
Brigham Young University, 2004
Hometown:  Cary, NC

I worked directly with the City Solicitor, conducting legal research and drafting memorandums regarding civil litigation, nuisances, lotteries, civil service, and solid waste facilities.  I drafted responsive pleadings to civil litigation and workd with various city departments to compile documentation for discovery purposes.  I Analyzed and drafted responses concerning appeals to the City Council and Massachusetts Superior Court.

Stipend Tasova

Erin Tasova
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
Emory University, 2005
Hometown: Atlanta, Georgia

Erin Tasova (’11) interned for The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey this past summer. Erin said:  “While working at the Port Authority, I had the opportunity to address a wide array of legal issues from real property deed restrictions to admiralty collision and allision proceedings. In addition to visiting Port Authority facilities such as the PATH train system and Ground Zero, I had the opportunity to visit Hangar 17 which houses artifacts and structures recovered from 9/11."

Tretter Stipend

Alixandra Tretter
Social Security Disability Law, Atlanta Georgia
Saint Bonaventure University, 2003
Hometown: Niagara Falls, NY

This summer I had the opportunity to work on Title II and Title XIV Social Security Disability Cases. I had the privilege of being involved in every aspect of case development. I obtained and prepared evidence for hearings and composed pre-trial memos. I analyzed unfavorable decisions and drafted appeals to be sent to the Appeals Counsel in Washington D.C. I attended hearings with my supervisor and was awarded fully favorable decisions in the hearings I tried.  I had
the opportunity to meet numerous judges and attorneys in the Atlanta area and to work closely with clients helping them to obtain their Social Security Disability.