I am glad to report that the latest edition of Super Lawyers magazine has identified almost 50 of our graduates as “Super Lawyers” and “Rising Stars.” The magazine identifies attorneys in each state who are chosen by peer review and independent research as the top practitioners; the “Rising Stars” category focuses on lawyers under age 40 or who have been practice for less than ten years.
The Office of Career Services recently presented two excellent programs, showcasing the remarkable array of career paths available to those with a Juris Doctor degree.
We just got word that the Supreme Court of the United States has granted certiorari to hear United States v. Southern Union, a case which was litigated in the Roger Williams Law School in October, 2010. That hearing, before the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, not only featured top federal judges and litigators, but a rare opportunity for our law students to quiz the judges afterward.
For over a decade now, we have offered our students a unique option for summer studies: our Program in London, run by English Barrister Robert Webster, is a unique opportunity for experiential learning which places our students in the chambers of leading barristers and judges.
Election Day 2011 brought a double dose of good news for Roger Williams Law as two members of the family (both Class of 2005 alums) won mayoral slots in cities immediately flanking the Ocean State: to the east in Fall River, Mass., and to the south in New London, Conn.
Both victories carried more than passing political impact. In Fall River, Will Flanagan ‘05 – the city’s youngest-ever mayor, elected in 2009 at age 29 – proved his success was no fluke by handily winning a second term. And in New London, Daryl Finizio ‘05 became that city's first openly gay mayor.
After an intimate conversation with RWU Law’s student leaders, Justice Breyer returned to the Appellate Courtroom for the day’s grand finale – a revealing “Fireside Chat” (well, actually the fire code doesn’t permit a fireplace) with First Circuit Judge Bruce Selya, a valued adjunct and longtime friend of RWU Law, who facilitated the visit.
In addition to the offerings of the Academic Support Program, here are a few resources available to you from the Law Library to help you to prepare for and take exams:
RWU law is proud of all of its graduates, but there is a special place in our heart for Betty Anne Waters (’98), whose amazing legal journey was the basis for the 2010 movie Conviction. A single Mom with a high school GED, Betty Anne went to community college, then college, and then (RWU) law school, and passed the bar with a single goal in mind: freeing her brother Kenny who was serving a life sentence for murder. Betty Anne’s passion and resourcefulness were rewarded when Kenny was freed through work with the Innocence Project.
The most recent edition of our flagship intramural forensic competition was, as so often in the past, a display of supremely prepared and talented finalists, before the Justices of the Rhode Island Supreme Court, in our own courtroom. Nick Nybo had to make a tough argument: that the Supreme Court of the United States would create an exception to its controversial decision in Smith v. Oregon, and recognize a parent’s right to refuse to follow a school ban on foods that had religious significance to members of a small religious sect.
While the Roger Williams Law community is focused on teaching and learning the law, it is good to take a moment to look outside our institution, indeed outside of our state and nation on this Veterans’ Day to recognize the bravery of armed forces personnel, past and present. A special shout out to Lt.