As the shortest day of the year approaches, it can be uplifting to recall the long, bright days of summer. Just months ago, across practice settings and across the country, many of our students used the summer months to gain valuable experience, make connections, and experiment – to look for that space in the vast network of legal careers that will provide them professional and personal satisfaction.
Here, three of our students share their experiences from the past summer:
CHRISTINE K. CASTRO, 2L
In a hard-fought battle, Brett Beaubien edged out John Ryan Henry in the finals of the 19th Esther Clark Moot Court competition. The competition drew a large crowd of faculty members, attorneys, students, and even participants' family members. The Rhode Island Supreme Court graciously dedicated its time and wisdom to judge these talented oralists.
RWU Law has always been more affordable than most of our peer schools. Last year we took a bold step and widened that gap considerably by reducing our tuition by 18% and freezing tuition for each year of a law student’s course of study. We recognized what too many schools want to deny - that the job market for lawyers has softened and that reducing graduates’ debt makes it easier for them to find their way in that market.
On September 18th, Gerry Riskin delivered the 3rd Anthony J. Santoro Business Law Lecture. Riskin directed the attention of the lawyers in the packed house to the disruptive changes in law practice taking place all around them, and he made provocative predictions about truly revolutionary changes on the horizon.
In what has now become a familiar end of term development, the U.S. Supreme Court in June 2014 expanded the rights of corporations, in this instance to include the right to exercise religion.
Last weekend, a group of law school alumni returned to Bristol and Providence to visit old friends and meet new ones. I attended each of the four events that made up the weekend, and at each I came away convinced that our alumni are not just great lawyers. They are great people. They are warm, kind, and generous. I am proud to be the dean of their law school.
Here are some pictures from a weekend full of great moments.
Aidan’s Pub, Bristol, RI – Friday evening September 26th
Keeping abreast of the criminal justice and evidence areas of the law can be a time-consuming proposition for a law professor. Of course, I regularly read the Criminal Law Reporter and other periodicals. However, being a member of the Criminal Justice Act Panel of Attorneys representing indigents in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit is an effective and satisfying way to keep current while also providing a service to the most needy and also, hopefully, to the courts.
Attorneys maintain their knowledge of the law and legal practice skills through continuing legal education.
As 1Ls, law students begin to learn how to think and write like a lawyer, the foundations of the law, and basic legal research. The library offers three instructional programs that supplement and augment first year legal research instruction, designed to help "practice make perfect" for legal research and office technology skills.
How many students, alumni, faculty and staff can fit into the neither small nor large backyard of the Barron-Yelnosky home for the Fall Public Interest Pot Luck dinner? Turns out at least 112.
The mere thought is enough to strike fear into the hearts and minds of law students. Yet a hardy band of RWU grads has found that tax law can offer a promising career path. It does require some extra effort, though. In the years since I returned to full-time teaching, thirty or so of our graduates have moved on to earn LL.M.s in Taxation from some of the best graduate tax programs in the country – B.U., Villanova, Georgetown, Florida and Miami, among others. This fall, two more RWU grads are joining that group.