About the Blogger

Dean Yelnosky's picture

Michael J. Yelnosky became the dean of Roger Williams University School of Law on July 1, 2014.

Dean Yelnosky is a founding member of the RWU Law faculty. He served as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs for four years, and he was named Distinguished Service Professor in 2011. He has also...



Dean Yelnosky's Posts

Posted by Michael Yelnosky
08/28/2017 at 11:01 AM
On Friday, President Trump signed a directive precluding transgender individuals from joining the military.  The directive leaves to the Secretary of Defense the task of determining whether transgender individuals already in the military may continue to serve.  We thought this an opportune time to share an interview granted to Edward Fitzpatrick of RWU Law by Chief Justice Joseph Weisberger Visiting Assistant Professor of Law David Coombs, the lawyer who represented Chelsea Manning in the so-called “Wikileaks trial.”  Professor Coombs teaches Criminal Procedure at RWU Law and...
Posted by Michael Yelnosky
07/10/2017 at 09:52 AM
When I talk to prospective students about RWU Law I have lots to say, but I don’t spend too much time talking about our faculty’s teaching because all law schools say they have great teachers, and this is a difficult claim for prospective students to evaluate.  For similar reasons I don’t often talk about our faculty’s research and scholarship.  Moreover, it is not immediately apparent to prospective students that they should care about whether and what faculty are writing in books or journals.  I am writing this blog to spotlight some of the important information I am...
Posted by Michael Yelnosky
06/02/2017 at 10:09 AM
  As spring is finally springing and commencement is behind us, we (Tiffany Healey and Nicole Dyszlewski) wanted to take a stroll down memory lane and check in with some of the members of last year’s graduating class - the Class of 2016.  Specifically, we wanted to pick their brains to find out what types of opportunities made a difference when they transitioned into the next stages of their careers. We wanted to know how the opportunities they were presented at RWU Law impacted them. Lucky for us, our alumni are wise and willing to talk! One of the great dilemmas here at RWU Law...
Posted by Michael Yelnosky
05/08/2017 at 09:43 AM
On May 19th, the members of the Class of 2017 will cross the stage and receive their diplomas from President Farish. That short crossing tells little of the rich stories of how graduates arrived at that path. Part of what is moving about commencement is that observers know each graduate’s path was unique and deeply personal.  I write to share the path of just one of the members of our remarkable Class of 2017, Maria Viveiros. Maria was born in Rhode Island.  Her mother is a Guatemalan immigrant who came to the United States to try to build a better life for her daughters. ...
Posted by Michael Yelnosky
03/06/2017 at 03:42 PM
On February 21st I flew from Providence to D.C. for what turned out to be an amazing twenty-four hours.  Shortly after touching down, I entered a hotel function room to meet admitted students and others interested in attending RWU Law.  I arrived to find a group of prospective students talking with members of our superb admissions and career development staff.  I was able to join those conversations and get to know, in a casual setting, some of the members of the RWU Law Class of 2020.  The next time I surveyed the room I found that the prospective students had been...
Posted by Michael Yelnosky
12/22/2016 at 04:37 PM
The American Bar Association, which regulates law schools, has recently taken steps to increase the amount of “consumer information” law schools must make available to potential applicants.   I consider this a positive trend, even though reasonable minds can differ on the question of what kinds of information should be provided.  There are at least two risks involved when picking data all schools must report.  First, as the saying goes, “just because you can measure something does not make it important.”  For example, does the total number of volumes and titles in a...
Posted by Michael Yelnosky
10/22/2016 at 10:44 AM
Less than two years ago, RWU Law hosted a day-long symposium on the issue of mass incarceration, an event attended by approximately 350 judges, lawyers, law students, and others.  It was a remarkable day, but two moments in particular stand out for me. Bryan Stevenson, Executive Director of the Equal Justice Initiative, gave a gripping speech about the justice system from his vantage point as a lawyer representing clients in criminal cases throughout the country.  He explained that one of the reasons the United States is unresponsive to the growing inequality of wealth and the...
Posted by Michael Yelnosky
08/12/2016 at 11:40 AM
One hallmark of an education at RWU Law is instruction in lawyering skills.  We teach students both how to think like lawyers and how to act like lawyers.  We have been recognized for our innovative curriculum, and last year we joined a small group of law schools that now require a third semester of instruction in legal writing, one of the most important lawyering skills. This year we welcome two new members of the faculty who will help us continue to deliver the best legal writing instruction to our students.  We are not just saying it, we are putting our money where our mouth...
Posted by Michael Yelnosky
07/08/2016 at 05:01 PM
A note I sent to the student body of RWU Law today: Good Afternoon Sadly, communities across the country continue to be ravaged by the use of deadly force by police officers against people of color.  The recent instances in Louisiana and Minnesota are all the more disturbing because the shootings or their aftermath were captured on video. I went numb last night as I watched Philando Castile bleeding to death in the passenger seat of a car driven by his girlfriend, who said the couple, with a child in the back seat, had been pulled over for a broken tail light. Mr. Castile’s name joins...
Posted by Michael Yelnosky
06/17/2016 at 12:54 PM
Last Sunday, when the scope of the tragedy at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando began to emerge, I sent the following email to the student body: Tragically, once again Americans are mourning the loss of life caused by a senseless act of gun violence, this time apparently directed at members of the LGBTQ community.  We mourn the loss of life and wish the hate would go away. In addition, it is important that we – as lawyers and future lawyers – remain committed to the principle of equal justice for all and put our skills to work in pursuit of a more peaceful future for all. Since then,...